…you might do well to start up a conversation about philosophy or English lit or even astrophysics with your new ladyfriend, because she just might be a college grad who went into the business after having trouble making ends meet in another job, according to a study highlighted in this article.
At least that appears to be true in Britain, where the research took place. Of three hundred lap dancers interviewed, all had finished their basic high school education, the vast majority had some post-high-school courses, and a quarter were the proud possessors of a college degree (whether this says more about lap dancers’ intelligence or about the British educational system is unknown). The women report uniformly high rates of job satisfaction (it is also unknown what rates of satisfaction their clients report).
One of the researchers, Dr. Teela Sanders, said that:
…she had been surprised at the “endless supply of women” wanting to be lap dancers. She said: “These women are incredibly body confident. I think there is something of a generational cultural difference. These young women do not buy the line that they are being exploited, because they are the ones making the money out of a three-minute dance and a bit of a chat.”
Well, color me unsurprised. Those who don’t feel they have attractive bodies would be likely to choose another field, and there’s virtually always been an “endless supply of women” wanting to go into what one might call the sex trades, and to justify the decision to themselves.
Money, of course, is the object—as well as (at least sometimes) a feeling of power over men, however illusory it may sometimes be. And after a couple of generations of extreme emphasis on the body, self-esteem, materialism, and the erosion of traditional values about the disgrace of working in such fields, you’ve got an even more endless supply of women waiting in the wings. Despite the growth of opportunities for women to be employed in more conventional fields, sex still pays pretty well in comparison, especially in this economy.
According to the article, feminist groups in Britain consider lap dance clubs to be “a form of commercial sexual exploitation and promote the sexist view that women are sex objects.” Well, of course they do—women are sex objects when they lap dance. My libertarian leanings dictate that, if they want to do so, and are of the age of consent, no one should be able to stop them. But my own experience with the feminist viewpoint on such things—via a conversation with a young lady I know a few years ago, back when she was a college student majoring in Women’s Studies—was that stripping and prostitution and lap dancing and the like were a valid and feminist-approved form of self-actualization.
Whatever the feminist point of view du jour might be, the women themselves are reported to bring a certain drive to the job. As one financial journalist wannabee, now working as a stripper in London pubs, notes:
I’ve met dancers who have degrees in astrophysics from top universities. They’ve pushed themselves hard to get those qualifications and now they’re pushing themselves to be successful dancers.
There’s a movie in there, I’m sure.