Can We Talk About Stripping?
Can we have a conversation about stripping?
I've never found stripping for money sexy. Years ago, I dated a guy who took me to a strip club once. I didn't enjoy it. I've been to the biggest strip club in Miami that presents more like a nightclub, but what's under the surface, I don't know. Would I go again given what I know about human trafficking now? Probably not.
Today, I saw a big star...award winning, talented and not a professional dancer... on her knees in a negligee grinding and slapping her butt cheeks on a thin table covered by a sheet. It was downright disturbing. I wondered why she felt the need to put herself on display like that and I wondered who her friends and advisors are. I thought about other major entertainers/performers like JLo and Beyoncé and in the context of dance performance, it feels different. I question myself wondering if I'm being judgmental. Perhaps I am and if so, I need to assess and work on that.
In the context of learning more about human trafficking, I just can't stomach it right now. When it's out there on its own looking like some tragic story...to me...but, perhaps like some excitement to vulnerable young women...it makes me queasy. I think of the strippers and prostitutes who are controlled by pimps, required to earn sums of money to save their own lives, the lives of their families, their children. I think of the Nicaraguan woman, who spoke in her own words, saved from human trafficking just a year ago after 8 years of abuse. She was tricked by a “friend” to come to the U.S. for work as a nanny. The traffickers threatened the lives of her two children. She was raped 50 times per day and forced to insert a chunk of kitchen sponge into her vagina while menstruating. Yeah, those are the images that come to my mind when I see what I saw today.
The bottom line for me is that it’s ok to question and question we must. I love beautiful, sexy, sensual images of men and women. I love women who love themselves and appreciate their own bodies. I'm not in support of self-degradation of any kind. I prefer sensual and sexy over sleazy, understanding that can be in the eye of the beholder. I also love doing what I can to create awareness about and alleviate pain, suffering and forced degradation. I love doing what I can to empower people to love themselves and to mitigate vulnerabilities that can lead to great tragedy.
*ticket proceeds benefit featured non-profits