Confession of a stripper Chapter five – Who Am I?
Conversations of a working in a Gentlemen’s club often lead to arguments that clubs such as the one I work in are encouraging the exploitation of women. By dancing round making shit loads of money from drunk men am I proving my femininity or just being a slave to objecting women in a sexualised nation?
I’m still questioning where I stand (or dance) on this debate. I’m unsure if I’m another cog in the world of manipulation where men use money to control women or if I’m acting as a modern women and using my sexual self to my advantage. I’m contributing to a society which discriminates against women in employment and by fulfilling a role in which women are objects to be sexualised it appears that I’m agreeing with the negative associations about the industry.
But I have the right to use my body in a way I want to and if I’m earning a living whilst doing it, I think that’s a pretty good plan.
Of course the issue of sexual oppression and objectivity is key in the realm of lap dancing. Whilst women are challenging gender stereotypes, the number one right for a woman is to ‘choose her choice.’ I do feel guilty about doing my job – women tried extremely hard to be treated not as sexual slaves – and I’m peeling off my knickers for a married man.
I’m promoting the vision of lap dancing venues and keeping the managers in cheap BMW’s and enough coke they can snort for a year, I’m agreeing that women should be using their bodies, not their brains for a job. But if we were to wipe of lap dancing, where would we start? The punters or the dancers? It’s a matter of supply and demand, but which comes first?
Tessa Sanders, from the University of Leeds found that the original boom in lap dancing clubs were caused by females hoping to earn a decent living rather than a demand from the customers. Club owners are keen to encourage as many girls to work as possible, thus gaining more commission from each dancer. The supply is formed from girls who are attracted by the cash in hand, flexible nature of the job and are therefore eager to work. Thus the abundance of dancers is the reason for the demand, not the other way round. So it looks like it’s our fault then girls.
If certain feminists groups really want to change the industry, why focus on the women? Feminist should not be discouraging women from entering very well paid, flexible jobs but focus on changing the mind’s of men. Rather than penalising women for choosing a career, they should be homing their thoughts on men.
Whilst many critics discuss how the sex industry affects women, they often come from an outside view, condemning the field without actually experiencing it. Is it society’s issues and not the dancers? The thought of a girl taking her clothes off for a man doesn’t mean she’s being exploited. By claiming this it presumes the girl isn’t in control of her own decisions and is a victim of her own sexuality. The dancers I work with are some of the strongest, most intelligent girls I’ve met and are certainly not vulnerable.
Like many other dancers, I’m getting as much money out of drunken customers as I can whilst doing as little work as possible.
I occupy freedom over my physical self and by being a lap dancer I am choosing to use my body to make a living. I’m not simply using my womanly curves (the few I have) I’m using my brain, mainly the ability to chat shit and pretend to be interested in customers lives (which is a lot harder than it seems, some punters are such saps I feel like I might actually die of boredom listening to them).
So what do I do, change jobs, work in an office and be happy in the knowledge that even though I’m not earning £300 an hour, no one will ask to see my tits by the photocopier?
Shall I quite? Burn my bar (and garter) whilst condemning all those who work and visit the club?
Or do I carry on working, failing to acknowledge the implications it has on a generation of young women but know that I can afford my Mulberry bag if I work over the weekend?
Is it really that bad, and do I even care?
All I know is that I’m too selfish and greedy to stop.
Article By The Stripper