Strippers and 'immorality'

Wednesday, June 12, 1991

Strippers and 'immorality'

By Janet Fraser

The content of a recent late edition of the TV program Donahue astounded me. The discussion was about strip joints in Newport, Kentucky. The guests were erotic dancers and top public servants from the city.

The public servants want to close down the strip joints because they believe the "girls" are giving Newport a bad name. As a result of this concern for the town, the police department has been arresting the strippers and charging them with prostitution if they accept even a cash tip from the audience.

Some of the women have resorted to wearing black tape on their nipples to avoid being arrested under obscenity laws. It is funny that the nation which canonises motherhood cannot bear the physical reality of women's bodies.

During this discussion of strip joints, drugs and prostitution, it was never once suggested that Newport may have an inadequate social and education system that makes women easy prey for the exploiters of this world. The degradation of these women was not mentioned.

And neither city officials nor audience seemed in the least bit interested in the reason these strip joints had appeared in the first place.

Strip joints do not spring up from legitimate consumer demand. They are developed by unscrupulous, exploitative people to make money from selling women's bodies. Why aren't the people making the real money being charged, rather than the women?

If governments were prepared to spend money on education and support services for women, strip joints would become fewer. Women could find jobs that did not degrade them, when times were tough.

It beats me. The US is involved in dirty little wars all over the globe, yet here are its officials on TV denouncing "immoral" women.

Issue