Let’s Talk About Strippers

I went to the strippers a few weekends ago.

Before making our way from the pub near my house to the club downtown there had been a lot of ‘we’re not actually going to the strippers, are we?’ and ‘if we don’t go now we’ll never make it happen,’ and ‘yaaaa, boobs!’ (ok, no one anyone literally said ‘ya boobs,’ but it was implied), followed by more, ‘is this actually happening?’

Before long I found myself with my arms over my head proclaiming ‘there’s so much wrong with the strippers!’ This isn’t a great argument, but when I started talking about why I saw problems with going to the strippers I found I lack anything concrete. I couldn’t really validate if it was a good or bad thing to do. Would I be adding to an already broken system of objectification, or was going and being respectful helping to empower anyone? I didn’t know.

My uncertainty on the world of exotic dance didn’t stop me from going, but it did make me want to get some clarity on where I stood and why.

I had a lot of questions left unanswered; are the women treated fairly? are we being sexual objectifiers? does their willingness to participate outweigh any threats? what are the risks? is it demeaning or can it actually be empowering? and how do they feel about their jobs? who really has the power?

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They’re society’s boobs.

We live in a sparkly Hollywood-ified, beauty idealized world where photoshop muddles around with our idea of beauty to the point where we’re continuously told we are supposed to be unhappy with ourselves. Day in and day out we’re beaten over the head with ads, movies, and images that encourage us to reach a little higher and try a little harder.

We are constantly fed media full of of overly photoshopped bodies that have been hand selected to look a certain way then airbrushed until they are perfect. We continuously see images of women, and men likely, that could literally not exist naturally. This has become such a normative look that we don’t second guess the perfect skin, skinny waist, thigh gap, or slender little arms.

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