I guess burlesque has finally hit the mainstream. I never watch “Dancing with the Stars,” but a buddy posted this vid on facebook. Is this show always like this?
Okay, here’s one of the weirdest news items to come our way lately. In March, 2014, the city of Waco, TX held hearings on new ordinances that would effectively shut down the city’s strip clubs. The proposed ordinances would prohibit dancers from getting within six feet of customers, which would make not only lap dancing illegal but would also make it impossible for customers to tip the dancers directly. The strip club attorneys argued that this would effectively shut down the clubs and put all the dancers out of work.
Ironically, a minister from the group, Jesus Said Love, sided with the strip clubs, arguing at the hearing against the proposed ordinances. Noting that many of the dancers were single mothers, Brett Mills, who cofounded the Jesus Said Love ministry with his wife, was quoted: “When they lose the job, they’re going to go to the streets and then they really could do prostitution and drugs.”
On April 2, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported that the city council voted down the new ordinances, allowing the strip clubs to continue as they had been, with the only new restrictions being on private rooms in the clubs.
This is the first time I’m aware of a church group fighting not only to keep strip clubs open, but to allow the dancers to continue collecting tips via physical contact with customers.
On March 6 the San Diego Police raided a Cheetah’s strip club and closed it down for two hours, during which time all 25 dancers working that night were lined up against the wall and photographed. The 10 police officers, who were carrying guns and wore bullet-proof vests, spent two hours in the dancers’ dressing room for the purpose of checking to see if all the dancers had proper work ID. They did. The club manager said the dancers rights were violated as no actual crime was being investigated.
San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer released the following statement:
“One of the many responsibilities of the San Diego Police Department’s Vice Unit is to conduct random inspections of strip clubs to ensure dancers are complying with the law and that they have an entertainers permit…”
The dancers have since filed suit against the SD Police Department, claiming misconduct on the part of the cops, being held against their will, and loss of revenue, asking for $10,000 for each dancer who was held involuntarily. According to the suit, the cops made “arrogant and demeaning comments” as they took the photos, and posed them so they could “expose body parts.”
One dancer was quoted by Fox5News:
“They were taking pictures of me half naked through my sheer top. They can clearly see everything because the flash is going. I felt very violated and my rights were taken away. They took pictures of us – not our faces – our whole bodies.”
A second San Diego area strip club has since filed a similar suit against the cops.
Some guy named Jordan Wolfson has created a robot stripper that he’s showcasing at the David Zwirner Art Gallery in New York. I don’t expect robots to take over too many dancers’ jobs in the near future, but 10-20 years from now, who knows? This one’s got a higher SPW rating than some human dancers I’ve seen. Sneak peek (and don’t say I didn’t warn you … this is scary …):
An article in the Daily Mail Online cites an academic study of strippers in the UK conducted by researchers at Leeds University that found that almost one-third (29.4%) of strippers were currently enrolled as students at various colleges and universities. Almost 200 strippers from clubs and pubs across the UK were interviewed in the survey. The researchers were surprised to find that not only were many strippers college students, but many also came from middle-class families.
Those who were less affluent were stripping to pay for their tuition and books, while those who were not in need of education assistance were stripping for extra spending money as well as social interaction. One student was quoted: “It’s just like party night! I prefer to go to work than go out on a weekend really.”
According to Dr. Kate Hardy and Dr. Teela Sanders, who conducted the study, most of the student/strippers felt that stripping was a perfectly respectable occupation. One club manager said that September was a peak time for students to inquire about stripping jobs and another acknowledged that he put out flyers to attract incoming frosh to audition.