You would have thought that the two women on the Bill O’Reilly show were from the Sisters of Mercy, wanting to help the poor and hungry—at least that’s the way two “entertainers” from a “gentleman’s club” named Scores in New York presented their case. They were “hurt”—and a bit surprised--that the money they had raised for charity was being rejected. After all, we live in a time when suburban moms take lessons in pole dancing, undergraduates write term papers on pornography, and eight-year-old girls dress like little tramps.
Neither of these women is a Sofya Semyonovna, the pious heroine of Dostoevsky’s tale, forced into prostitution to feed her family.
In fact, one guest named “Morgan” claimed that if those who work at this “very legitimate business” wanted to give “back to the community” they should be allowed to. The other entertainer, Kelly Branton, exposing a little bit of the cleavage that customers would see at the club, claimed that many of the targeted charities were involved with the “empowerment of women.” She closed her presentation by claiming that dancing naked “empowered her” and that she was “very proud” of what she does.
Kelly Branton sounds like she has been taking classes in women’s studies at the local community college. It is in the academy that the term “sex worker,” used for exotic dancers and prostitutes, has gained currency, and Ms. Branton was presenting herself as a respectable professional. Ever since Madonna started strutting across the stage in underwear, feminists who have rejected patriarchal linear thought (read logic) have undertaken to “claim” female sexuality as a form of “empowerment.” An entire academic industry has grown from this school of thought. One of the papers I heard at the American Literature Association conference this year was about Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s sex life. Trampiness, as long as it is on the woman’s terms, is seen as a form of empowerment. This phenomenon arose naturally from the earlier feminist revival of goddess religions that involved temple priestesses initiating men with sex--this to counter the “oppressive” Judeo-Christian patriarchy. Such a regressive move could only be considered revolutionary by those schooled in feminist thought. But feminists, in their Marxist style leveling, have undertaken the project of making stripping and prostitution as legitimate as working on an assembly line, or being a college professor. In Marxist-academic parlance, I am a “word worker.”
And they’re just sex workers.
Sex workers present their work as art. A sex workers art show is scheduled for next year. The web site includes artists’ statements--in line with most of the art being produced today that requires the artists’ own jargon-laden rhetoric to cover the fact that the art itself is meaningless. Well, these sex workers are billing their stuff as performance art, which in the past has drawn academic analysis and federal funding.
The lines between the academy and popular, vulgar culture are blurred.
And so are those between business self-interest and the public good.
Interestingly, another Scores club, in Las Vegas, raised a whopping $2,500 for a school district from donations in back-to-school event called “Detention” that according to an AP story “featured strippers dressed as teachers, schoolgirls and librarians.” Marketing Director Shai Cohen was quoted as saying, “We’re a respectable business. We pay taxes….”
The marketing director did not go so far as to claim “empowerment” for the dancers, but you can guess where the “entertainers’” talking points come from.
Should charities accept donations from groups whose principles they don’t agree with?
Absolutely not—and especially from the Scores “entertainers,” and especially during the Christmas season—when Christians celebrate the virgin birth of an infant. This is a time of innocence, of wide-eyed children singing carols and opening presents.
Back in the early 90s when the Gold Club in Atlanta was hailed by local pundits as a classy place to take business colleagues, I was friends with a woman who had once worked as a stripper, but was by that the time the mother of one my son’s friends. Contrary to what the entertainers on television tell you, according to her, there was nothing “empowering” about stripping. The women are often in abusive relationships and on some kind of illegal substance while dancing. You don’t want to hear about what the men in the audience are doing while they dance.
The Gold Club was closed a few years ago, uncovered as a mob venue.
The fact that these women claim no shame in what they do makes the refusal of such ill-gotten goods all the more necessary, for it will send a message that there is shame associated with their activities.
These women should be ashamed of what they do. All the rhetoric and feminist cant about “empowerment” and pride in the female body, etc., is propaganda for the businessman who makes the real money from this activity. It is still the pimp who takes in most of the earnings.
Because they appear on television, the exotic dancers are role models for little girls. I would suggest to them that this Christmas season these “entertainers” make the decision to “sin no more” and direct their efforts at exposing how a depraved culture encourages the denigration of women and the predation of little girls, especially in an act called “Detention.”