Fire Away!

By Dee Jay Gordon

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It's funny how a chance, facetious remark can start my train of thought! In March, the Commissioners were debating the renovation of Lexington Park, including the demolition of Rose's Bar. Commissioner Larry Jarboe declared Rose's a landmark, and said it was one of "the last jukejoints" on the strip. What outrage!!! You'd have thought he defamed the Pope! Actually, I don't think Commissioner Jarboe cares one way or the other about Rose's. He was more concerned about why the County wanted to pay for this razing instead of making whatever developer is involved (and will consequently make the bucks off the renovation) foot the bill. Personally, I agree with Commissioner Jarboe. But that's not what I want to talk about.

Amid the vitriolic letters that flooded the "Letters To The Editor" section of the Enterprise, was one woman who thought the Commissioner's remarks were a disgrace because she felt he was condoning women disrobing for a living. She stated that this "exploitation" of women had gone on long enough, and felt that, if Rose's was razed, it would reduce sex related crimes and make the world a better place in general. It seemed to me that she felt that if all strip joints were closed, men would stop lusting after women and sexually harassing them.

No offense, Sis, but I don't think men will stop lusting after women just because they can't see them naked. And although statistics show that male sex offenders are also interested in pornography, not all men who are interested in pornography are sex offenders. That's a faulty hypothesis. Also, it's generally believed by psychologists that rape and sexual harassment are not crimes of passion; they're crimes of power. Powerless little men who can't bully anyone their own size pick on women, either emotionally or physically, instead.

Now let's explore "exploitation." My handy-dandy little Microsoft Thesaurus offered up these alternatives for "exploitation": abuse, misuse, perversion, corruption, and more along that vein. What these raging women are forgetting is that no one is forcing these dancers to take their clothes off for a living. No one holds a gun to their heads and says, "Take it off, or else!" For some of them, it's the only job skill they have. And if it comes down to working in a strip joint or having your child starve, well, there's not a whole lot of choice to be made. Some of these ladies have decided to strip for a living because it pays a lot better than working at McDonald's. Maybe some just enjoy it. Either way, they are not being "exploited" because they CHOSE to do what they're doing.

Women who pose for men's magazines get the same treatment. Poor Playboy Bunnies! Are you kidding me!?! If someone offered me $1 million to pose in the buff, I'd do it in a minute. Would my kids be humiliated? Maybe, but I'll bet they'd get over it when we had the new swimming pool installed! God gave these women the gift of physical beauty and they use it to make a living. Is that so bad? Why don't we get bent over corporations who hire women solely based on their intelligence? Aren't they being exploited also? Used by ruthless MEN for their brains! Disgusting! Why is one body part okay to use for employment, yet another one isn't?

So where was this letter-writing woman when the Sunset Strip guys were at Pat's Bar? You wanna talk about something lascivious, check out one of those shows! Screaming, groping women, stuffing dollar bills down some greasy guy's undershorts. Don't get me wrong...they were REALLY CUTE greasy guys, but I was probably the only woman there hoping they wouldn't touch me and get baby oil all over my sweater. The smell of them made me nostalgic for my children's diaper days. Maybe it's different for other women, but I can't get excited over a man that smells like eau de baby tushie.

So while I'm all for parental warnings on CD's, and against kiddie porn and other ugly things that are TRULY exploitative, I feel that anyone over their age of consent should be able to pursue avenues of pleasure, as long as they're not hurting anyone else or breaking the law. And I agree with Commissioner Jarboe: Make the developers pay!

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