MCPS mutilates male poms. Why?


Photo by Jona Jancewicz

Male poms performs at the 2022 spring pep rally. The crowd cheered endlessly for each part of the routine with little hint of offense.

Male poms is one of the most well-known traditions at WJ. I can remember the roars from the crowd at last year’s event. No one took issue with the seemingly harmless display of school spirit, but when MPCS handed down a list of changes to the event, all I could wonder is, who wanted this?

Perhaps the biggest change to male poms is that they will no longer be all male. Any student has the option to join, whether they be male, female or nonbinary. I take no issue with this change. Gender inclusivity in this context adds depth and a degree of comedy to the tradition which would be a net benefit. Excluding other genders from the chance to dance and laugh at themselves is ridiculous.

The problem I do have, however, is the removal of skirts and provocative dancing. These were the best part of the male poms experience. Getting to see a group of people you’ve known all your life go out and have a good time in front of the school brought joy and laughs from the student section. There is no deeper, darker meaning to male poms. It was created for lighthearted laughs, not to offend any group in particular. The sight of males in female uniforms isn’t about the cross-dressing aspect, it’s about seeing lifelong friends prance around to the delight of the school.

As for the provocative dancing, one only must look at regular poms highlights from years past to understand why this is ridiculous. Their routines include many provocative dances, and no one takes issue because it isn’t an issue. If they want to express themselves with that particular style, no one should stand in their way. The same applies to male poms. While the intent may be different (a more laughing, light-hearted ordeal as opposed to a competition setting), and no one is being put down by the act. The provocative dancing is simply a means to an end: more laughs. The dancing doesn’t have to be viewed in an offensive light, rather as an expression of the hilarity of seeing it happen at a pep rally. I ask again: Who even had an issue?

A recurring theme in this article is that no one seemed bothered by the way male poms were carried out. There were no rumblings of a greater injustice or lack of inclusion. The decision was made by school officials with no consideration for the student’s actual opinions. In fact, the opinions of the administrators mattered more than the student body they swore to listen to and protect. Why the sudden change? Bring back the original male poms. Or at the very least, explain why such an inane change was made.