Since I’m apparently on a roll with my feminist/let’s piss off pole dancers everywhere mode, I’m just going to keep going. I promise this is the last one like this for a while.
Another sentiment I hear again and again from pole dancers is “there is nothing wrong with strippers or stripping.” Hilariously, this is usually quickly followed by “but I’m not a stripper.”
I respectfully disagree with the part about there being nothing wrong with stripping. I can’t speak as to whether or not you are a stripper. Stripping is inherently wrong and fucked up.
I firmly believe that sex is something joyful and that should be experienced with full consent and with no strings attached. Stripping is not particularly joyful, and it is nothing but strings attached. It commodifies something that should be an expression of joy. It also turns women into objects which can be paid for.
Want to have a nice pair of tits rubbed in your face? Pay up. Notice that my language is intentionally crude. Notice that I said “tits” instead of woman. Notice that this sounds like you are buying a second rate bicycle at Walmart instead of expressing joy about being in another person’s company.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, stripping tends to reinforce body image perceptions that are already projected by everything else in society. I was listening to some people exchange stories about trying out to be a stripper (I don’t think they are called tryouts, but I can’t think of a better word). It was horrifying. One woman spoke about being asked to take off her clothes and turn slowly in a circle. It sounded like the way people would inspect their livestock. Others spoke about being told they were “too fat” or “too skinny” or that their boobs were “not big enough.” We should definitely not be reinforcing that only certain types of bodies are acceptable sexually. Particularly not when the criteria only applies to the women- I sincerely doubt the men coming in to the club are subjected to that level of judgement.
I’m not going to be the person that defends stripping in some misguided notion that the women are choosing that career path. Even if they are choosing to be strippers, it does not negate the fact that they are objectified sex objects, and it does not negate the fact that they are reinforcing bullshit notions of sexually acceptable bodies. Furthermore, stripping commodifies something that should be freely expressed between individuals. Whether the stripper chooses the career or not, stripping accomplishes these things. Stripping is wrong.