I think this is the best place for this rather than AIBU as I particularly want a feminist opinion (and feminists' opinions). A male friend of mine has recently started seeing someone who works as a lapdancer. I haven't met her properly, but when talking to mutual friends about her they said she seemed nervous and thought this was because she thought they would judge her due to her job. They said there was no need for this though as they didn't care as long as he was happy. While of course I want my friend to be happy something doesn't sit right with me. This woman has chosen this job (ie she hasn't been forced into the sex industry for drugs reasons for example). To me therefore it seems she has chosen to perpetuate the objectification of women. It's the same reason I can't get on board with the film 'Pretty Woman'. Have I got the wrong end of the feminist stick and am I being horribly judgemental? Constructive criticism welcome!
Trained dancer who wants to use her skills in a relatively high earning job (compared to e.g. waitressing or working in a call centre)?
Of course lapdancing objectifies women. But so too would e.g. working on a cosmetics counter at Debenhams. Lapdancing's better paid and for some women more convenient hours.
I think you should talk to her about it.
Would you be so concerned about a man whose career was ethically questionable, by the way?
Have a read of this. And if you can't display basic courtesy to this woman and regard her as a human being, stop socialising with your friend.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I couldn't or wouldn't treat this woman as respect as a human being. Imagine if I didn't know her job when I met her and then I found completely changed my atttitude towards her. That would be awful. No, it's more the job itself I have a problem with. This is why in my op I said she works as a lapdancer rather than is a lapdancer. I always try (admittedly with various degrees of success) to say anyone's job like this so they are not defined by what their job happens to be. Basically if my dd said she wanted to do most jobs, I would be fine with that, regardless of whether I thought it would be the best, fulfilling etc job for her. Working as a lap dancer though, I wouldn't be happy with. And the same would happen if I had a ds or knew a man who wanted to be a naked butler, for example.
My rule of thumb is focus on the clubs, the people running them, the industry etc. but not the individual. For example, if I see a man handing out leaflets he might face comeback from me, the women doing it don't. My argument is not with women who are victims of patriarchy, it is with patriarchy.
I also agree you don't know what she has and hasn't chosen and it is wrong to make assumptions on that. Even if there isn't much of a personal back story, all choices are made in response to the messages we get from the society around us. There is no such thing as a free choice on anything. All 'choices' are partial.
That said, there are shades of grey. When individuals engage politically then I would also engage politically, but that's not what you're talking about.
Basically the only circumstances in which this woman needs to hear your opinions on lap dancing and sex work in general would be if she herself starts a discussion on the subject. Some sex workers are activists and advocates for sex workers and very keen on challenging the perception of them as victims, morons, drug addicts or sluts. She may be one of these. Or she may not, in which case there is no need to discuss her job any more than you would expect to discuss the details of anyone else's job at a social occasion.
I think it also depends on the type of dancing, some places having very good security i.e the women arent allowed to be touched etc dancing in there underwear tbh is just a stonesthrow away from most modern day performers.
However if its the type of lapdancing that does private dances etc I can see whyn i might be a concern for her bf, not sure its really ur place to confront her though might put her back up.
SGM - yy. Sylvia Walby has written on the limitations of liberalism and individualism in globalised capitalism, commodification of sexuality, economic neoliberalism etc which is (AFAIK) a reasonable analysis of why an individual's 'free choice' to be a lap dancer is both cause and effect of women's oppression.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
'The Future of Feminism'
(tried and failed to link that - arse)
Suggestions on why women should be conversant with new technology may go unappreciated at this time
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