A Woman’s View: strip clubs

By Donna Ward

Strip clubs and the people who attend their shows have been around since the dawn of time. Some women hate them, while others don’t mind or support their cause.  But what do the lovely ladies of our beloved NEast think?  On a poll of 20 women from the NEast area, 17 women said they despised strip clubs and the men who venture to them.  Of the 17 women, only four felt the stripers were wrong for performing.

“I have nothing against the women that work there, just trying to make a living, or even the single man that goes, but for a married or involved man to willingly go – that’s cheating on his wife or girlfriend,”  Melody Boyd said.  “There is a place for strip clubs, and they certainly don’t belong in neighborhoods with schools – what kind of example does that set.”

With the countless number of strip clubs in the Northeast, many women have different views on their prominence. “I don’t care if my husband goes – after all, my man is coming home to me,” said Terry Durst.  “As long as he doesn’t give away too much money, who cares if he just looks at other girls.  Men are men.”

While someone women don’t feel threatened by the presence of strip clubs, others worry that their boyfriends or husbands are cheating on them if they attend any event in a strip club.

“What’s wrong with a bachelor party?  I could see a woman getting mad if it was a guy just going for the hell of it, but a bachelor party is different,” said Don Daniels.

Depending upon the woman and her views, strip clubs could, in fact, be considered cheating.  It is sad that in today’s world a double standard still exists, but it is true.  On a poll taken of 15 men in the NEast area, all 15 said they had, at one time or another, been to a strip club.  While most don’t frequent the clubs, 13 out of the 15 men said they would not want their wives and girlfriends to go. What do our ladies of the NEast think about male strip clubs?

“I find them less offensive, because the dancers are never completely nude and I think the performances are less crude,” Boyd said.

On a poll taken from the same 20 women, from the NEast, eight said they found male strip clubs to be just as offensive and vulgar.

“Strip club is a strip club, no matter who is stripping,” Durst said.  Six of our 20 ladies interviewed said they had been to a male strip club, and of them, only one said she had gone more than once.

There are a number of strip clubs in the NEast, and surprisingly few have been affected by the economic recession.  Many of the exotic dancers who perform at these clubs are struggling to support themselves and/or their families.

“I only dance to support myself and my daughter.  It makes me sick every time I have to go onstage.  All we do is look at the money and try not to see the men.  It’s funny, I know, but I would never want my boyfriend to go see an [exotic] dancer,” said an anonymous exotic dancer from the NEast.

Not all ladies who perform find it disgusting, and some even enjoy their time onstage.

“I used to be known as Champagne Bubbles, but mostly I was called Bubbles, and I loved performing,” said Ashley, a retired NEast dancer. “Who cares if you are stripping –  that’s a small part. Mostly you are dancing, and when the spotlight hits you that’s it, you can’t even see the people.”

With the progression of time and with less censorship, exotic dancing has evolved, and many consider it a form of art when done tactfully.  This issue can be touchy, depending on many circumstances and views, and neither opinion should be met with harsh judgment.

A Woman’s View is a column about women’s issues written by Donna Ward. The column appears every other Thursday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here.

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