If I told you I have a friend who is in their mid 20’s, self employed, keeps her own schedule, and makes good money you’d probably be impressed with them. In this era where a lot of folks coming out of college with a mountain of student debt, marginal job prospects, and end up living with their parents. In my twenties I had already flunked out of college once and was working at a gas station. By anybody’s standard my friend would be a success. Yet if I told you she was a stripper your opinion would mostly likely change. You’ve never met her, yet you draw conclusions based purely on a label. DiabloCody wins an Oscar, yet she still gets referred to as a “former stripper”. As if she somehow being a stripper was a great obstacle in her life.
I have another friend who I’ve known since the mid 90’s from when I lived in Texas. He works for the defense industry. His specific skill is designing bomb racks. Making a clamp that can hold 2000 lbs of high explosives to the wing of an airplane through all the stresses of flight then release it at the exact moment needed by touching a button is a really difficult task. It takes a lot of engineering and meticulous planning to make something so robust and reliable. Yet, when all the careful calculations are done, the precision parts are built and installed, the end result is death. When everything works correctly somebody dies. Property is destroyed. Parents have to bury their children. Children become orphans. Suffering is brought to the innocent. I know the ethics are more complicated than that. But a lot of folks would consider my friend a hero. He makes America strong in their view. I suspect most of the people who think that are currently at a Donald Trump rally somewhere. The vast majority of people would consider him a success though, someone to be respected for his accomplishments.
Why is the stripper looked down upon but the engineer is respected? If you could wave a magic wand and have one profession removed from planet wouldn’t it be better to get rid of the weapons designer? Would you rather have you children live in a world that doesn’t have strip clubs or planes carrying 2000lb laser guided bombs?
Strippers can the worse in denigrating their own profession. I often listed to girls talk about having to get a real job. If you pay real bills, take care of real dependents, keep a roof over your head you have a real job. Considering dancers aren’t guaranteed a penny when they walk in the door of the club it’s a more real job than most. Every dollar she makes is because she did something for it. It she does nothing she gets nothing. No paid vacation or paid sick days.
Sometimes dancers make ridiculous amounts of money for nothing. If a dancer can make money like that then good for her. She isn’t running a Ponzi scheme or committing armed robbery. In most cases the customer is perfectly happy handing over their money. If you have a job where you can make a lot of money with a little work, that’s not just a real job but it’s a good job.
Motherhood is another subject where being a stripper suddenly can change a person from admired to reviled in the time it takes to apply a label. She took a job she hated in order to get the financial and scheduling freedom to take better care of her children. Enduring a necessary evil to make a better life better for your family is self sacrifice. Why does being a stripper make this bad? I’ve met women with master’s degrees who were terrible parents. Most strippers I know will do anything for their children. It is the primary reason they are dancing. Not because they want to, but because it’s the best way to take care of their kids. Being a stripper has nothing to do with their parenting skills, yet people will condemn them out of hand. There is nothing worse than willful ignorance, and this is one of the worse.