Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Licensed To Thrill

A new bill has been introduced in NY state which, if passed, would require strippers to be licensed by the government before they can gyrate in front of civilians. Proponents maintain that necessitating state issued work permits would cut down significantly on sex trafficking while detractors argue that the women's privacy would be violated in what is now a largely anonymous profession.

Would this legislation be helpful, hurtful or unlikely to curb sex trafficking? You decide.


Kimberly Kaye Terry said...

Thought I'd come by, before going off to catch the fireworks on post.

"Proponents maintain that necessitating state issued work permits would cut down significantly on sex trafficking"

How in the world is this going to cut down on sex trafficking? I Just finished the final edits on a book I will be mailing in, later this week to my editor, about a woman forced by circumstances, to strip in order to make ends meet. Before I wrote the book, I did a hella lot of research on the industry.

I read a few books about real women who had taken to the pole, each had a variety of reasons. Most of them did so, not because they loved stripper for strangers, but because they were either disenfranchised women with no other means to survive, some were single parents with little education, some were hooked on drugs. I read a book by an author (who went on Letterman, soon after its release) whose book chronicled the year in her life as a stripper. Her reason for stripping seemed to be, because she wanted to. No drug addiction, no children to try and support (she was a young, single white chick with a bachelor's degree) no disenfranchisement, none of that. Just wanted to strip.

In my research I actually spoke to a few women who stripped. One was quite candid and said that she had a couple of men she would meet up with later, after the club closed, and go to a local hotel with. She said a lot of women at her club did the same thing. It was done away from the club, and no one knew about it, but she and the john. (yeah, I’m thinking her management was hip to it, but she didn’t want to tell me that)

At any rate, by issuing state permits, licensing women to strip, how is this going to cut down on sex trafficking? Seriously, I don’t understand that.

Okay, off to see the fireworks!

Susan Edwards said...

I could see licensing sex workers because you can build in health and safety regulations that protect both prostitutes and their customers.

But I can't see what licensing strippers would do, except build a paper trail on these women that would haunt them when they go on to other work or even to run for public office.

I've interviewed a lot of exotic dancers, even worked with one who wrote a story for me at a newspaper I worked for. A lot of the ones I've known here in Florida have done it while they were putting themselves through college and even grad school, especially if they had kids to raise with no paternal support.

So many companies do background checks now. If these women had been required to have a license, every potential employer would know that they had been strippers.

Kimberly Kaye Terry said...

No, I see the need for licensing prostitution. My point was that I don't understand how licensing stripping cuts down on sex trafficking~

Susan Edwards said...

I'm with you. It's just a form of legal harassment.

Jaid Black said...

I don't know how I feel. I *thought* I agreed with you both... that it's unnecessary and unlikely to help stop sex trafficking. I thought sex traffickers forced their victims into brothels, not strip clubs, but then Kim your source makes it sound like clubs can be fronts for prostitution rings which is another Pandora's Box altogether.


Why can't the world just be a sweet, simple place?

Susan Edwards said...

I'd like to think that doesn't happen here, but I just read a story today in Wall Street Journal about two guys in Las Vegas who basically enslaved a Chinese acrobat group, took their passports and forced them to perform without pay.

It seems like a better way to prevent women being used basically as slaves and to discourage prostitution would be surprise spot inspections of the strip joints, rather than saddling the women with all the accountability. I'm not sure if strip joints are licensed now, but that would be the logical place to put the burden of licensing.

Jaid Black said...

Good point, Susan.

Ciana Stone said...

Interesting stuff here. I agree with what all of you've said. I find the whole licensing thing a little funny in terms of stopping any kind of sex trafficing. Heck, I know women who don't strip who sell their bodies, and let's face it some of these gals are selling it to the very people who want to institute licensing strippers.

I agree with Susan. Women already have enough strikes against them in the workforce. Add a stripping license to a woman's history and her chances of a job are diminished - regardless of the fact that she stripped to put herself through grad school or law school or medical school. It becomes a stigma - a scarlet letter. We sure as heck don't need any of that.

And as far as prostition goes, well the truth is, prostitution is one of the oldest professions in the world. It's not going away. Legalize it. Unionize it. Make it legit so these gals can get good health care and cut down on STD's. Will that stop people from operating outside the law. Heck fire no. There will always be a portion of the population that operates on the shady side of the law.

Another sad truth about humanity. There will ALWAYS be those among us who pervert, twist, warp or distort one thing or another. It's part of what we humans do best.

A happy truth is that there are women like all of you out there asking questions. And I like to think it's like the sage said... knowing the answers isn't as important as understanding the questions.

Kimberly Kaye Terry said...

Jaid said: "Why can't the world just be a sweet, simple place?"

ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! Oh sorry, that wasn't a joke, huh? Sorry, Boo...


Vivi Anna said...

I'm not sure how I feel about any of it. I'm all for women's rights and a girl can do what she wants..

but I'm not sure I'd want to legitimize stripping and prostitution as career options for women. Providing licenses and unions to me would somehow to do that.

I have no problems with women that chose those job options but really, are there women out there that grow up and decide they want to be a prostitute. That that is their dream job?

Kimberly Kaye Terry said...

Vivi said: "I'm not sure I'd want to legitimize stripping and prostitution as career options for women. Providing licenses and unions to me would somehow to do that.

Girl, prostitution at least, has been in existence since the dawn of time. At least with a license, they'd have some benefits. I'm serious! No, I'm not making light of it. Hell, since it doesn't look as though it's going away anytime soon, maybe legalizing it will get at LEAST get rid of all those gold teeth wearing, stacy adam, spectator shoe wearing, hustlers out their pimping women!

As for a union, now see, you KNOW I like to clown, Vivi! Why did you have to take it there?! Now, I have this book in my mind where a group of prostitues decide to strike. They set up picket lines, all decked out in stilleto's, string halter tops and hot pants, pissed the hell OFF, demanding a better 401K plan and better dental!

Damn it, girl. As if I don't already have a list of book ideas cramming my computer c drive space to the max, already!!

On a different note, and completely off topic because I'm strange. I just saw the Transformers movie. DAMN! That was one action packed show, fo sho!! Hmmm. Wonder if I can add an element of transforming alien robots to this story? Hmmm. ;)

Jaid Black said...

Kim, what is Transformers about?

Vivi, it's legal in lots of countries, but still quite taboo, so I doubt legalizing prostitution here would ever legitimize it as a profession to aspire towards.

Unions? When I first read it I thought you said "onions" and I was trying to figure out what onions and hookers had in common :-P

Vivi Anna said...

I'd love to see the Transformers movie.

"Transformer. More than meets the eye."

Hmm, that reminds me of this book I'm working on about a robot stripper...well, she's not really a robot but a cybernetic organism...maybe I could have a bunch of them and they could start a union for cyberstrippers.

Kimberly Kaye Terry said...

It's blog ho friday, woohoo!!!

Tina, that movie was an over-the- top, action back-to-back, flick that totally ROCKED. Don't you remember that cartoon in the 80's, Tranformers...Robots in disguise? I loved the big movie version. That kid, Shia LeBeouf stars in it.

Movie is about these big ole alien robots from outerspace, who come to earth. There is the bad boy robot clan, the Decepticons led by Megatron, and the good boys, led by Optimus Prime. I LOVED it when he'd say, in his deep, baritone "I am Prime!" Damn! Gave a human chick all kinds of goosebumps! I know it was a movie, and he was a 50 ft tall robot/custom blown 18wheeler, but he was HOT. LOL! Michael Bay (who is the best action director, EVER, directed the movie, and Spielberg helped spin his magic, as well, I believe) Really fun movie. Two thumbs up and three snaps to the right, from this amatuer reviewer ;)

Vivi: Robot strippers forming a union? Chile, you are sick. Hmmm...when are you writing it? *g*

Okay, blog ho Friday is over for me. Back to my stinky ole writers cave. Don't make me go back's dark and scary.

Peace out, homeys

Jaid Black said...

Or an onion, Vivi *g*!

Jaid Black said...

Kimmie, my favorite cartoon as a kid was Superfriends. I wanted to be Wonder Woman and get my freak on with Superman.

Faster than a speeding bullet is no good, but more powerful than a locomotive? Dayum.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...