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feminism, western civilization, stripping, and wage slavery

May 30th, 2007 · No Comments

You know what I hate? When people who call themselves feminists tell me that I’m degrading myself or messing myself up by being a stripper (“if only she knew what she’s doing to herself,” they whisper). After over a decade of dancing, I’ve got a pretty good idea of exactly what I’m doing, and I’m feminist enough not to let them define my experience. Sometimes men even do it, “I know it all seems fun and exciting now, but soon you’ll be passed out on heroin getting raped for ten bucks, trust me, I know these things.” They think this does something for their manly image.

I love stripping. I love getting naked and dancing under red lights. I love crawling around in peoples laps and bringing them into themselves. It’s one of the most sacred things I have ever done.

Sometimes I resent the context of it all. I resent having to deal with a bunch of drunk young guys who are looking for something so different from what I offer, and I wish I could cloister myself away in a sacred temple convent of holy whores. But most of the time I appreciate the way a strip club is a tiny replica of the whole world. I love that I dance with law students and coke heads and we are all just women. I love that I’ve learned more about the patriarchy from drunken assholes than is even possible to learn sitting in a feminist theory class listening to abstract concepts.

I also love that I can pretty much work where and whenever I want, and that when I do work I make enough money that I don’t really have to work very often, if I don’t want to. I think it’s disgusting and fucked up that the dominant culture forces people to go do what they’re told for forty hours a week in order to have a place to live and food to eat. Forty hours a week of slavery, in exchange for food and a bed. If your a good slave, you can have a nice big house, health insurance, and a fancy car, and you’ll probably identify with the slave-makers. It’s an awful system that I like to think I’m completely seperate from.

Except. You know what’s bothering me today? That if I’m going to stay here in my beloved Alaska for the winter, and stay in a warm place, I’m gonna have to go work for a couple months straight to make the money. Even worse, if I’m going to buy land and build my own warm little place to live I’m gonna have to go work really hard all summer.

Tags: Ecofeminist Musings · Stripping

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Matt // May 30, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    I’ve aslways assumed that land is always worth hard work. It’s yours forever and will sustain you indefinately. Only a landowner has the freedon to tell the world and all its people to screw themselves with immunity, because once you own your own place, you never have to be dependent on anyone ever again.

    Even drunken men at clubs.

  • 2 Susan // May 30, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    When I took my Marxist economics class, I thought, “That’s what stripping’s all about! I get to control the means of production and don’t have to be a wage slave!”

  • 3 valentina // Jun 1, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    YES!!!!

    i agree with everything you say : )

  • 4 whitewolf // Jun 3, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Funny you should mention “being a good slave”. Even doing 40 hours of work won’t get food on the table for some ppl or even a decent place to live! I have read an article in the Toronto Star about a woman whose husband is layed off and she works 2 jobs and barely has time to spend with her kids. Is that fucked or what?

    My friend wants to get his own online radio biz started but in order to do that, he needs cash. I have heard that call centres are computerized sweatshops. When I worked there I wondered which of the supervisors would beat you with a whip!

    I don’t blame you for wanting to be a stripper. Atleast you set your own hours!!

  • 5 Annie Temple // Sep 5, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Bravo! Well said. A pleasure to read. Love your site. :)

  • 6 katie // Sep 8, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    omg- i randomly found your blog and i love reading your astute and insightful observations about our dark, nighttime world.
    its like no one in the “real world” aka, wage slaves- has any idea how free our lives truly are unless u live it…

    i have been dancing 6 months and at 1st i felt so guilty becuase i was internalizing society’s perception of who or what a stripper is.
    if they only knew what we really are.

    i’m not saying there arent some ignorant, obnoxious, bitchy whores and druggies in my club and every other one in the country.
    BUT, I have also met some of the kindest, funniest, educated, intellectual and trustworthy girlfriends i have ever met in my life.

    girls are girls and we are just as varied a group as any other segment of society.

    i am a single girl, tired of being a corporate wage slave wasting 40 hrs a week being a mindless drone so SOMEONE ELSE can make a profit off my hard work while i barely scrape by and take 2 weeks vacation all year. at the stripclub i work for 1 person- myself!

    i used to date men who supported me financially and tried to control me and tell me what to do in exchange for financial security.
    inside i was an empty shell of a girl.
    miserable.

    now my life is not perfect, but atleast im independent, and that makes me happy.
    some nights i make 50 bucks, some nights i take home a grand in cash, thats the nature of the business.
    but i know that i will always make more than the average wage-slave, even in the off-season.

    how many other people can take vacation whenever and how ever long they want, make their own schedule, and get paid in tax-free cash daily?
    and as long as u are strong and know your own innate worth, if if i saw him on the street) is gonna make u feel like a worthless whore.
    cuz we r not!!
    it takes more brains and skills to make money dancing than any other job i’ve ever had!
    we also have to b able to charm the cash out of any different personality of man, from any country in the world, from all walks of life and all backgrounds.
    granted 99 % of them are pathetic losers but thats why we charge the big bucks, to put up with their loser asses! hello??!! when r these dumb customers gonna realize- we are working here FOR MONEY not cuz we have nothing better to do, and THIS IS NOT A DATING SERVICE!!

    sorry, for this long tirade, but i love your advice blogs -stripping 101-
    can u write one on how to convince a guy to buy a private room with out having to lie about sucking or fucking them?

    i’m not comfortable lying to a customer, then getting in the room and just taking his money and leaving, but its getting hard to compete with the “blow job queens” at my club for the high rollers in off-season.
    any advice?

  • 7 Tamara // Oct 7, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Word.

  • 8 Nicest Girl // Oct 8, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Awesome. There is absolutely nothing wrong with stripping, pornography or prostitution as long as YOU are the one in charge of YOUR body. As long as YOU want to do it and you are in complete control. I think a lot of ladies lack that control… and that is wrong, not the acts themselves.

  • 9 Dana // Oct 14, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    I think there is some middle ground there between “oh that poor ignorant woman, if only she knew what she was doing” and “Oh yeah, being a sex object is EMPOWERFUL!” I think it’s possible for you to be doing just exactly what you want and still be buying into the patriarchy. I think you know it is, too.

    I was talking with someone about stripping today. I’m 33 and my days of looking cute are long past; I’ve had two kids and my metabolism’s breaking down and boy does it show. I’m seeing less than a thousand dollars a month and I have a daughter to raise. I said, “Not only is this objectification of women fucked up, it is also fucked up that if I WANTED to do something like that, which would support me and my daughter a lot better than merely collecting child support does, I can’t do it because I don’t have the right ‘look’.”

    He said, “There are strip clubs that feature plus-sized women.”

    I said, “Yeah, but I’m not cute enough.” (I’m not. I look like I got put through the wringer–well, I was!) “Even if I was, I hate the thought of being a fetish. Guys go on about ‘being into fat chicks’ like they’re talking about stamp collecting.”

    So sour grapes is probably a little bit involved, but not very far; I did the “being appealing to guys” thing in my late teens and early twenties, and it got me nowhere but confused and at serious risk for STD and pregnancy. And guys don’t suddenly start treating you nicely just because you’re doing what they want. If they’re nice to you anyway, it’s a bonus, not the nature of the beast. In the end, the sex industry just reinforces the notion that women are cheeseburgers and that guys can “have it their way.”

    It isn’t even about filling a need. Nobody has the right to have sex with another person; that would imply that rape is OK. Nobody needs sex, just touch and orgasm. You can get the former by hugging a friend or getting a massage; you can get the latter with any of an array of strange and wonderful toys or with just your hands. Imposing yourself on another person never enters into it (no pun intended) at all.

    So why turning yourself into a thing for the benefit of guys is so wonderful, I will never know. If you enjoy it that’s great, but don’t pretend you’re benefiting other women in so doing. If that’s not your goal anyway, then I guess it all works out, doesn’t it?

  • 10 HoboStripper // Oct 15, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Dana, there are so many misconceptions and untrue premisis in your comment that it would take a lot of time and typing for me to adequately reply to it. I’m sorry, but at the moment, it’s time and typing that I’m not really inclined to spend. If you really want to argue about this, there are links to plenty of blogs where people will argue with you on my sidebar.

    I’m sorry that you seem so unhappy, and I hope that you find happiness within yourself.

  • 11 Molly // Nov 4, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    I really liked this commentary. I fret about not living up to certain people’s expectations at times, but I know my intuitive powers push me to do what’s freeing and what makes me happy.

  • 12 Molly // Nov 4, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    I really liked this commentary. I fret about not living up to certain people’s expectations at times, but I know my intuitive powers push me to do what’s freeing and what makes me happy.

  • 13 Snarfeh // Nov 12, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Dear HoboStripper,

    You are more a feminist than many of the feminists I know. You are also smart, wise, insightful, tough and a most engaging and entertaining writer, all of which are excellent feminist qualities, in my not-so-humble opinion.

    Rock on.

    Sincerely,

    A feminist lesbian

  • 14 orawnbava // Dec 7, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting!

  • 15 orawnbava // Dec 18, 2007 at 12:58 am

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting! Look for some my links:

  • 16 Exotic Dancer Blogs at memoirs on a rainy day // Dec 30, 2007 at 9:51 am

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  • 17 Steph // Dec 30, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    I agree that you are quite more of a feminist than most… You know the ones who get married young, become housewives or work stupid 9-5 jobs any idiot could do, pump out some fuck trophies and then say “i’m a feminist!”

    Feminism to me has always been about living up to your full potential by having the same rights and opprotunities as men.

    So congratulations on living your dream of… not working a 9-5?

  • 18 lovesoft // Jan 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    It isn’t just about having the same rights and opportunities as men, it’s about rewriting the script and creating a world with opportunities to make money from aspects of human life that are considered to be of less value than what is valued in our current world. Why is it that a barrel of oil is worth $100.00 and a bale of hay $5.00? What we think is valuable and important is completely off scale? The feminist movement made possible for a woman to do anything a man could do, but did it make it possible for a traditional female profession to make as much as a traditional male profession? No. Teachers, Mid-wives, Prostitutes, etc, some may get paid well, others, not so well. Even still, it’s not just the money—it’s about a mid-wife being just as valuable to our society as a gynecologist. It’s about not being ostracized from society for living “unconventionally.” “Success” is still determined by our ancient male paradigm.

    I like stripping because I get paid to for being a beautiful, intelligent, empowered woman. I nurture my clients. One day, I dream of a time when nurturing and one’s ability to nurture would be just as important as how well one litigates a merger.

    I have just finished reading A World Without End by Ken Follet. It is a follow up to a favorite book from my teens called Pillars of the Earth. It about the competing forces of he church, nature, economics, the crown and power in 14th century England. What struck me the most about the book was how little Society has really changed. I feel that so many of us are still serfs, working for our lords. Now we don’t have church and the monks services and beer to pacify us.

    It’s actually easier than ever before: TV, fast food, technology all serve to keep us stupefied. And it is doing a damn good job.

  • 19 Brooke // Jan 16, 2008 at 7:10 am

    How many of us workers look at the lawyer shuffles paper all day and understand that that very same guy will have me on their lap, being consoled by me and shown affection by me???? Am I not worth the compensation for my time as he is, or maybe a therapist he would see????

    A break from corporate America has allowed me too look back and remind myself my gift in relating to people(mostly men), and that I am FABULOUS at what I do!!!!

  • 20 bruce // Feb 2, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Really good point Brooke. Well said.

  • 21 Levi // Feb 13, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    You are on the right train of thought about slavery. Did you know that MUCH of the feminist movement in the 60s was financed by the VERY wealthy such as Rockefeller?

    More workers = less pay.

    The person about land ownership is all wrong. Don’t pay property taxes and find out who really owns the land. Just as wages, if you have to pay a tax based on wages you are a slave.

    That is why income tax is REALLY unconstitutional BUT our system is so corrupt you can’t win the tax case unless you are a VERY smart lawyer such as Tom Cryer. MANY have won and never have to pay taxes again.

    Google Jekyll island 1913 or watch America:Freedom to Fascism.

    Levi

  • 22 Rach // Feb 14, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Hi, Im loving your blog. This post hits the nail on the head for me. I danced eleven years in Oz, Japan and London. Then I stopped for two, and went to uni.I was doing great running my life, then I listened to a man(!).
    I thought there was something out there in the straight world that I was missing out on. There isn’t. Its unadventurous and mostly unrewarding. There’s hard slog for minimum reward, tedium and heirarchy, and the patriarchy is worse (and you’re not compensated financially, Ha).
    Well Ive spent a hell of a lot these last two years because I cant face waitressing. My feet hurt less in stilletoes and I had more pride.
    I made in a week what I used to make in a night, and took orders and attitude from the men in the kitchen for the pleasure.
    Back to the club… Ive missed it(all of them, and all of us).
    Im working on tidying myself up a little bit these next couple of months.Im getting a little long in the tooth, but us matrons have our place.
    Thankyou for inspiring me. I love your spirit sister.xx

  • 23 karl // Apr 11, 2008 at 12:26 am

    i wouldnt let you rub your ass on me for free hahaha

  • 24 Anthony // Apr 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Levi: How, then, do you propose to pay for the services that the government provides?

    Speaking as a “wage slave”, I happen to get a lot of enjoyment out of my job, most days. I work in IT, live in a good town in a nice state (Maine) and have my ups and downs same as everyone else.

    Sure, I wish I made more money, or that housing, food, etc. were free. I hope that someday we will be in an economy that is post-scarcity. And perhaps we will be…

    The trick with life for now is to find a way that works for you. I’d strip, but the late nights would kill me – I’m a morning person! :-D

  • 25 Claudia // Jul 22, 2008 at 1:08 am

    I believe that we all come into this world as whole beings. Non of us are inferior to the other. It’s how we think and feel about life which determine the results we have.

    I’m a feminist myself but that has never stopped me from enjoying men or burning my bra!

    Although I’ll admit I could never strip for a living. It is in the end no different to what ever else people do for a living. I think if one is doing it out of a calling rather than a need then great.

    Even though I’m an outdoor girl I just couldn’t live in a van. Not permanently. I have no trouble doing a backpack thing for a couple of days but then I want my comforts again.I guess I could live in a van if it had the things I enjoy in my house like running water, kitchen etc. The mobility of having a portable house is a turn on.

    And like you I’m just not cut out for 9 to 5 either. So I don’t play that game either.

    Thanks for a very interesting website. Good luck and best wishes.

    All the b

  • 26 Friction - Blogs by Sex Workers and Johns // Jul 30, 2008 at 7:19 am

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  • 27 Cecelia // Sep 23, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    This is awesome, I resonnate with so much of what you are saying. Especially the slavery in our society. Ick, it is truly a sad system that we have set up.

    I also love what you say about wanting to strip in a sacred temple convent of holy whores. If I were to ever strip this is where it would be. It would be honoring the feminine, the body and the Goddess. When I was in a strip club when I was 20 a stripper came up to me and said, “you can do this too.” Even before she said this I had a fascination with it and wanting to do it. Just being able to do it in a different environment, a more sacred environment would be better.

  • 28 John // Oct 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    “Work for a couple of months straight”? “Work all summer”? I know people who’ve worked a couple of decades straight, or worked their whole lives, and still can’t afford to stay in a warm place or buy some land to build their own little place. You go girl!

  • 29 Stripping is how I’ve Avoided Wage Slavery « Strip and Grow Rich // Dec 23, 2008 at 11:55 pm

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    [...] Once again, my insightful stripper colleagues: Susan at http://www.RivercityKitty.com and Tara at http://www.Hobostripper.com catapulted me into a philosophical trance yesterday.  They both posted their views on how stripping circumvents wage slavery.  Hobostripper’s is hidden deeper in her blog, the direct link is http://hobostripper.com/index.php/82/feminism-western-civilization-stripping-and-wage-slavery/ [...]

  • 31 stef // Apr 13, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I’m taking a film class and after watching the movie Malena, where Monica Belucci becomes a prostitute for a while, I had an unsatisfying discussion with my teacher about the way sexwork was portrayed in the film. I tried to get him to see that sexwork isn’t inherently degrading, and that many professionals enjoy their work and are quite conscious of the financial benefits of exploiting their sexuality versus the compensation they’d get in straight jobs. He wasn’t having any of that. I said it’s hard work and it’s not for everyone, but you could say the same for most any occupation. Anyhow, it ended up being an agree to disagree situation. Maybe I should have given him the url to your blog. :)

  • 32 Lee // Jun 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I am an 18 year old girl and i have always wanted to strip.. not just because of the money but because i have always wanted to dance for others. I have been Pole dancing for about a year and a half now (just classes) and was wondering what the atmosphere is like for a stripper.. i guess thats my number one concern.. being pushed around by men, is it hard to stay in control.. am i going to be owned? … i would like advice from Dancers that know answers please…

  • 33 HoboStripper // Jul 3, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Lee, the atmosphere is really different in different clubs and parts of the country. I mean, there are clubs in NY with all barbie dolls and cigars and champagne rooms, and clubs in atlanta with booty popping and money showers. I really recommend that you go to the clubs in your area and tell them you’re interested in auditioning but you’d like to hang out and observe the atmosphere for a while. See if it’s something you would be comfortable with. In general, if you’re assertive and not drunk you’ll be fine most places. And being owned? Huh?

  • 34 Heather // Aug 15, 2009 at 6:16 am

    I really enjoy reading your blog! I stumbled across it while doing some research for a paper I’m writing about stripping, and never have I found anyone whose views resonated with mine so strongly! Stripping is illegal in my country, but I know I would like to strip, at least to try it once. As an honors student in university, I make some money on the side by doing some gravure glamour modeling, and already my female classmates accuse me of feeding the patriarchy, and one of them called me the “most un-feminist person” she ever knew, when I told her I felt that semi-nude modeling was empowering to me (and coupled with my hyper-feminine appearance). I am a feminist because I revel in my femininity, I’m proud to be a woman and I show it by working out to achieve the best shape I can, adorning myself with beautiful clothing and jewelry and painting my face to look as good as I can, instead of rejecting my body, neglecting my beauty, to look asexual, just to be taken seriously by men! I can bravely say this now, after years of suffering from anorexia, that you alone are responsible for your body, and that nobody should dictate or judge you for what you choose to do with it!
    Thank you for writing this blog; please don’t ever stop! Your words are a source of inspiration for me!

  • 35 lee // Sep 3, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you so much “hobo stripper” I’m so happy to get a real response back.. That’s so great to hear.. I havnt hurd anyone say one thing good thing about dancing and I’m glad to hear some positive feed back.. Just anouther question.. Do you think that getting your boobs done will make u more money

  • 36 nobody // Dec 5, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I became very angry with my boyfriend for paying for strippers, both at a club and a bucks night. I guess I felt jealous and insecure. I also felt it showed a marked lack of respect- for me and the girl(s) dancing. Take a bucks night for example- there is a girl serving drinks like a slave with no clothes on for disgusting, leering drunks. I see that as a double way to demean someone. If it wasn’t such a big deal why do they have to do it in an apartment, removed from the familiarity of their own homes? And why do people feel that before they tie the knot they have to see naked people who will dance all over them? If they cannot be contained with one person what is the point of marriage? I’m probably very idealistic but it bothers me. If I worked at a strip club i’d probably end up assaulting the patrons :P I guess that’s why I don’t. But if anyone could contribute something that would make me see it differently and feel better that would be appreciated. Am I unreasonable? Have I got it all wrong?

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