I’ve lived in Portland for a little over four years now. When I first moved to Portland, I was shocked to discover that after ten minutes of driving I had seen a few strip clubs. It was like driving around and seeing a Starbucks at almost every corner.
Portland has the highest number of strip clubs per-capita throughout the United States. In other words, it is the number one place to go if you want to visit a strip club. Portland is also known as “Pornland” partially because of how many strip clubs it has.
Before I get into the topic of strip clubs, let me preface what I am about to say with this. Not all strip clubs involve women strippers. There are male strippers out there that women pay to watch. For the sake of this article, I am only going to refer to female strippers. This will keep me from having to write about both scenarios: both male and female strippers. The points I bring up in this article apply to both genders.
I know that many people are against, supportive of, and even indifferent towards strip clubs. I’m not trying to highlight the fact that some support them while others don’t. I am highlighting the fact that this issue isn’t an issue to many. It gets minimal attention despite its major need for attention. An issue that disgusts God has become entertainment to many and accepted by some.
We become angry over animal abuse, want justice over the death of a lion or gorilla, and have laws in place that fine someone $250,000 dollars for tampering with a bald/golden eagle egg. These issues aren’t bad to shine light on. These issues become bad when they are addressed at the expense of more important issues; issues that involve the well-being of human life.
I know not everyone grieves over the death of a lion or gorilla, but I use that as an example to create contrast. We may not all grieve over this issue, but issues like this take up the bulk of our social media feeds. Again these issues aren’t bad, but they become bad when they are addressed at the expense of more important issues.
Strip clubs are an important issue because it involves human life. We have laws in place that help keep the sanctity of life. Human life is valuable and laws created should be laws that protect life, not harm it.
Laws should reflect the value of human life. There are no laws in place that protect the well-being of men and women who are in any way involved in the strip club industry. Some strip clubs have rules that make it seem like a lesser evil. For example, some strip clubs allow women to keep on some sort of clothing. This rule doesn’t make a strip club more acceptable, it only makes it seem less immoral.
Some will say “Well yeah, but it’s their choice. If they want to strip and make a living out of it then good for them. Who are we to dictate what they want to do?” First off, many women who work at strip clubs don’t do it by choice; they were forced into it by way of human trafficking. When I was in college, a woman who was previously involved in human trafficking informed us of this sad reality. Secondly, strip clubs are immoral. Choosing to work there doesn’t make it any less immoral.
Sure women can choose to work there, but at what expense? You may make a few hundred dollars in one night, but at the expense of feeling objectified, insecure, and exposed to numerous perverse men. Some women may not feel objectified by their choice to work as a stripper. This isn’t a good thing. It is either because they don’t have a healthy view of themselves or have become so desensitized to stripping that they are numb to it.
Not all women are forced into stripping by way of human trafficking, some do it by choice. It may be a woman’s choice to strip for a number of reasons. She may have no other option for work, she may need to make quick money, or she may even do it because it’s enjoyable for her. Just because she chooses to do something like this does not make it any less wrong. She may choose this job because it makes good money. The reason behind the choice doesn’t justify the choice itself. No amount of justification will negate the damage this job imposes on women.
Here are 3 reasons to be in opposition towards strip clubs:
1) Strip clubs enable men to be perverse. Men have nothing to gain from strip clubs. Men go to strip clubs to live a secret affair without any strings attached. They go in, watch women strip, and leave. There are no strings attached because it can all be done in secret and because they can experience physical and visual pleasure without any form of relational commitment. Strip clubs are also a place where men relieve stress. Men who go into strip clubs to relieve stress are boys, not men. They need to learn healthy ways to relieve stress that don’t involve objectifying women.
2) Strip clubs objectify people for the sake of pleasure. People shouldn’t experience pleasure if it’s at the expense of another human being. Men get to experience temporary pleasure at the expense of a woman’s well-being. His temporary fun contributes to her long-term pain. She is objectified for the sake of fun, pleasure, and entertainment. Since when is it okay to objectify a human just so another human can enjoy perverse fun?
3) Strip clubs don’t empower women; they derail women. Strip clubs aren’t a place where women find encouragement, inspiration, or quality friends. They are a place where women feel objectified, insecure, hopeless, and used.
I wish strip clubs didn’t exist. I wish laws were passed that make them illegal. The issue is that strip clubs bring in a lot of revenue because it is such a huge industry. To get rid of strip clubs would be getting rid of a massive business. That begs the question. What do we value more: business or the well-being of individuals?
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