Archive for December 15th, 2011

Girls, Girls, Girls
Long legs and burgundy lips
Girls, Girls, Girls
Dancin’ down on Sunset Strip
Girls, Girls, Girls
Red lips, fingertips.
  –  Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars & Tommy Lee

I don’t really write about stripping very often, because I have a lot less to say about it than I do about whoring.  Part of that is because in the United States it’s closer to being completely legal than prostitution is, and part of it is because, though it paid the bills for two years and served as my “gateway” into full-fledged harlotry, I didn’t like it nearly as much as I liked escorting.  But despite what some women of each profession might like to believe, strippers and strumpets are sisters under the skin; we’re both sex workers, both persecuted by neofeminists and other religious fanatics, both subject to absurd laws which affect no other jobs and both subject to maltreatment at the hands of the police.  And in recent years, we’ve both been repeatedly targeted by “human trafficking” lies from busybodies who would like to see all sex work abolished; Estes & Weiner considered young strippers as part of their “youth at risk of sexual exploitation”, and Icelandic neofeminists succeeded in closing down strip clubs last year as part of their ever-more-extreme interpretation of the Swedish Model.  Today I’d like to look at three recent American news articles involving strippers; I think you’ll agree that the attitude displayed therein isn’t all that different from that displayed toward whores.

Let’s start with this November 16th article from Riverfront Times:

The Missouri Supreme Court yesterday handed strip club owners yet another loss in their legal fight to overturn a sweeping law  regulating “adult-oriented businesses.”  The law passed in 2010 prohibits exotic dancers from displaying their genitals and most of their breasts, bans the sale of alcohol inside strip clubs and requires the businesses to close at midnight.  Adult bookstore and strip club operators have argued that the law violates freedom of expression under the First Amendment…[and] also claim that Missouri legislators didn’t fully consider the fiscal impact that the bill would have on the economy — with several adult-oriented businesses going out of business since the law went into effect.

In yesterday’s 41-page ruling, the state’s high court sided with a circuit court ruling last year that upheld the law.  In its decision yesterday, the state’s high court [claimed that]…“the restrictions are not content-based limitations on speech but rather are aimed at limiting the negative secondary effects of sexually oriented businesses on the health, welfare and safety of Missouri residents…”  The strip club owners say they may appeal yesterday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court…

This really isn’t surprising, considering that modern American courts increasingly seem to consider themselves the handmaidens of legislatures rather than equal branches of government as they were intended to be.  The “secondary effects” mythology has become a very popular one because it allows moralists to ignore the total lack of any provable negative effects from sex businesses; you’ll find the same nebulous claims made about porn and prostitution.  But when it comes to statements about sex work, who needs proof?  Wild assertions without a shred of evidence are more than good enough, as this November 30th Huffington Post article proves:

…Attorneys doing business at [Miami’s] Federal Detention Center — a maximum security prison — say the joint is overrun with dancers posing as paralegals.  Lawyers hired by imprisoned drug kingpins pass the women off as legal assistants and authorities let them in, according to a report by Miami New Times.  This being Miami, it was apparently no big deal until other attorneys realized they might start losing clients to those whose billable hours come with a little bada bing.  “They take off their tops and let the guys touch them,” veteran defense attorney Hugo Rodriguez told New Times.  “The majority of these young, very attractive women are noncitizens brought in exclusively for the purposes of visiting the FDC.  Any lawyer can sign a form and designate a legal assistant.  There is no way of verifying it.  The process is being abused.”  The report alleges one ‘paralegal’ was caught having sex with an inmate in a room used for legal meetings, while another was busted stripping in a Special Housing Unit — also known as solitary confinement — and banned from the prison altogether…

This isn’t the first instance of one or more lovely Miami ladies with cartel clients in super max prisons.  In 2009, the Denver Post profiled a woman named Lulu who left the Magic City to be closer to clients who paid her $125 an hour to deliver legal docs and keep a little company.  And just north of Miami in Broward County, there’s less security but a lot more ‘access’ — female corrections employees are the ones getting friendly, with one caught having sex with an inmate in a broom closet.

Well, if lawyers say this is happening, it certainly must be true!  Even if it is, I find it difficult to get all that worked up over, because the U.S. government is ignoring the best way to really punish these so-called “drug kingpins”:  simply decriminalize all drugs, and their empires will crumble overnight.

I’m sure you caught the “human trafficking” trope Mr. Rodriguez threw into his spiel; it’s also the central motif of our last story, from the November 30th New York Daily News:

The Mafia teamed up with the Russian mob to smuggle Eastern European beauties into New York to work as strippers — and even arranged sham marriages to keep them here, the feds say.  Twenty suspects…were arraigned in Manhattan Federal Court…on charges ranging from racketeering to visa fraud.  The schemers allegedly recruited women in Russia and neighboring countries through Facebook and newspaper ads…Visa rules barred them from adult entertainment, so the suspects arranged bogus offers for summer waitressing jobs and had the women apply for seasonal visas, prosecutors said…In the most audacious part of the scheme, the mobsters sent female emissaries to upstate New York to find young, single men willing to marry ex-patriate [sic] ecdysiasts in exchange [for] $5,000.  The nuptials secured green cards so the dancers could continue to work in the clubs.  Asked why the clubs needed to bring strippers from overseas, Hayes said, “Based on what we’ve learned, they were particularly marketable.’  Some of the women didn’t realize they would be giving lap dances when they signed up for visas.  They had to fork over $150 a day for housing, transportation and the right to work, Hayes said…

If this country were run by sane people, you might ask why visa rules bar women from even legal branches of sex work.  But it’s not, so I think you know the answer.  Raise hands, how many believe the girls didn’t know they were going to be strippers?  Now, another show of hands:  how many of them do you think really wanted to travel halfway around the world to make a maximum of $400 a week (before taxes) as waitresses in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.?

One Year Ago Today

Ho, Ho, Ho” reports on the first person ever cured of HIV, one celebrity trying to make himself look good, another trying to make her ex-husband look bad and Japan’s answer to Hooters.  Lubbu-lubbu!

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