Monday, May 15, 2006

How Horrible That The Stripper I Watched Was A College Student


There has been quite a bit of commentary on the stripper from the Duke Lacrosse Team sexual assault case where a male editorial columnist or talking head will complain about how horrible it is that a woman would pay for college by working as a stripper. An example,
Now I’m going to be really harsh on her because she isn’t the only single mother in the country trying to get an education and I know way too many of these women who have actually gone on to promising careers WITHOUT stepping to pay for college. Yes folks I am saying that this young lady had choices and at 27-years-old she could have made some better ones. Yet the reality is that she did what she did to pay for school and that was her choice.
Another example,
A couple of basic questions tend to get overlooked. What's the deal with any group of college students thinking it's a perfectly normal thing to hire strippers for a party? What do their parents say when they see that charge on the credit card bill? For that matter, what's the deal with a college student, whatever financial pressure she might be under, thinking that working at night as an outcall stripper is a perfectly acceptable - and safe - way to support herself? It's not blaming the victim to ask if she couldn't have made better choices.
So the problem isn't that she was a stripper, but that she dared to both be a stripper and go to college? Or is it that no woman should be a stripper, and any woman who chooses to do so has obviously made bad choices.

If it's a judgment against all women who become strippers, I have yet to hear one of these commentators describe that they have never seen a stripper perform at a party. For that matter, I have yet to hear one state that he hasn't hired a stripper. I can almost imagine them interviewing strippers for a bachelor party. "I assume that this is a dead end for you - that you're a high school drop-out with no plans for the future. No? You're in college? You plan to get a degree then enter the traditional workforce? I'm sorry, young lady, I can't condone such bad choices."

You know what? Maybe there should be financial programs which help people go to college so they don't become sex workers to pay for their tuition, books, and housing. But doesn't the same hold true for students who work other jobs, such as food service? Why aren't these same people lamenting that students struggle to get by working too many hours in low-wage jobs? Is it that it's okay to wait tables for a fraction of the income, because it's not "immoral" to wait tables, even if the person judging the morality of your occupation has been content to financially support both career choices.

1 comment:

  1. I used to get a lot of that--guys would come into the bar, discover that I was, like, educated, and then they'd go on about how I should Better Myself and What Was I Doing In This Job and on and on. I guess it was okay for all those working-class girls to throw themselves away because one can't expect much from their sort.

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