Friday, August 15, 2008

Strip Clubs Degrade Women

The Herald News put my strip club community commentary on YouTube as one of their first online videos. It is clear they were new to videography.

(I’m supporting Hillary Clinton for President because) I want to see more women at the top making policy, which is clearly lacking in the Southcoast where businessmen continue to make poor decisions about the region’s economic development. For an area that has been called the “armpit” of Massachusetts, as the beautiful coastline, untapped resources, and hard-working citizens are overlooked, community-based economic development continues to be ignored.

We are at a crucial moment in our history, as this newly named So-Co. With a Governor who actually recognizes our possibilities, including the need for our overdue rail service, and a burgeoning cultural explosion, particularly in New Bedford, the latest development, the urge to get adult entertainment in Westport and Fall River baffles me. How will more strip clubs enhance the positive growth we have begun toward culture, the arts, and a community development based in sustainability?

I spent two summers during graduate school working at what is now The Regatta (then Leones—or “Leave me Aloney’s” as many called it), and I was always surprised by the lack of any development on the waterfront. Growing up on the coast of Maine, the waterfront was often littered with boat slips, restaurants and shops that would fit in perfectly on this stretch of the Taunton River.

Sixteen years later, things aren’t much different. And instead of moving forward and figuring out a way to build the economy by developing the waterfront for everyone, a few brilliant men want to build a “high class men’s club” with “limousines picking up the girls.” A high class men’s club that hires “girls” and not women is not the economic boost that poor Fall River needs. In a community with the highest female dropout rate in the state, is that the message and the environment we want to bank our economic development on?

I grew up in a state that took an old fishing city (Portland, Maine) and developed it into what is now called the Seattle of the East Coast. It wasn’t developed on the backs of “girls” taking off their clothes for men. It was developed through careful planning and economic development that would build community rather than ghettoize it.

How do parents explain to their children, while visiting Heritage Park, what that adult entertainment place next door is? There is already a strip club on Rt. 6 in Dartmouth called The King’s Inn. There is a second Foxy Lady in New Bedford. How many strip clubs does this community need? Are they booked to capacity every night? Are women clamoring to take pole dancing classes so they can strip for a living?

By offering employment opportunities to women that degrade them, we are setting a poor example for a community that needs to build upon its strengths, not its weaknesses.


Ashley said...

It depresses me to no end that as a 26 yr. old woman in 2010 I have to "convince" my boyfriend that going to a strip club is degrading to all women. What is more depressing is I can imagine the look of shock I'd get if I said -"if you go to a strip club, I'll consider it cheating, and I'll break up with you."
It's not a concept that's hard to understand- how degrading strip clubs are-it's just so widely accepted that they are acceptable and "not a big deal." We have to remember that at one point slavery was not a big deal. Mankind has such a long way to go and sometimes I lament that I'm alive in a time when I still have to "just accept" my boyfriend or husband doing such things. I'm sorry to say the only way things will change is if we get a few good men - unfortunately white, in positions of power, starting to spread the idea that maybe we should start seeing strip clubs as the breeding grounds for violence towards women that they are. Pretty much they send the message, "pay us, and you can sexually harass us all you want." Pray to god if I have children they are males, as I want the fairest life for my kids, and they'll undoubtedly have the best shot at that as males. Sometimes I feel I'm the only person that feels that way. We all need to start speaking up.

Blogger said...

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pandora camacho said...

I'm sorry if this upsets many people but strip clubs degrading to women?? you obviously do not understand the dynamics. Dancers walk out of a shift with hundreds of dollars from stupid men who put it in your hand while you just stand there and give them the illusion that they have control over our "weak little lady brains." Dancers leave the club with all the men's money and the men leave broke, alone and forced to have another date with, "Mary Palm and her 5 sisters." So in this scenario, who is the one who is being taken advantage of and being used?? the broke dumb guy or the smart girl who has all his money. Stripping is what you make of it. Yes, some girls go a bit over the top and make everyone else who isn't that way look bad. But dancing is subjective. It varies from person to person. It basically boils down to, What will you do for a dollar? For some of us, the answer is; not much. Unfortunately, that is not the answer for everyone. If you feel degraded then that is what you will be. We all create our own reality, if you feel empowered than that will be your reality as well. Just because I don't share the same opinion or may not choose the same actions, I cannot place judgement or my own personal beliefs onto others and neither should you. One person's lemons is another person's lemonade. Just because you may feel objectified or degraded does not mean that another female cannot feel empowered. We all need to respect the choices of others and sometimes agree to disagree.