We often think about prostitution as only occurring on streets and in the hidden brothels of certain neighborhoods. But as many of us working on this issue have seen, the shady business of the sex trade expands to places both public and unseen in arenas expanding from seemingly normal, gated suburban communities to the local strip club. Public perception of “establishments” such as a strip club neglects the sexually exploitative practices against women working in this sector.
Debate surrounding strip clubs disregards them as a harmful environment for women, and overlooks the disparity between the women stripping and those who develop and benefit from the industry. When examined more carefully through a lens of gender relations and power, one cannot ignore the power control tactics and violent practices employed by club owners and the men attending strip clubs, the considerable involvement of organized crime and the danger associated with them, as well as the trafficking of women and girls forced to dance and prostitute at the clubs.
A survivor and victim of prostitution herself, Olivia makes public what is most times overlooked when discussing the lives of women and girls in this video blog. Listen to her segment in front of a local Chicago strip club and tell us what you think.
Jeffreys, S. (2009). The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade.