The other night, I was out for a ‘night on the town’ with some colleagues of mine that I have known for a number of years. As most of this group are aware that I am vegan, and respect the decision that I have made, it was decided that on this night we all ate a vegan friendly meal at the restaurant we went to.
After dinner, as is usually always the case, it was time for a few drinks and to plan what was happening next. As I was ordering the drinks, the gang was more than happy with the vegan friendly wine and beers that I chose.
After a few bottle of wine and a number of beers had been consumed, it was decided that it was time to head out and see what ‘trouble’ we could get into for the night, and part of that ‘trouble’ usually involves visiting a strip club or two.
Knowing that it would be very socially unacceptable for me to force my opinion on them by telling them that they shouldn’t go to a strip club, I went along with it to keep the peace.
Knowing that this group wouldn’t stop going to strip clubs over night, I did a little bit of research on the possible clubs that we were likely to visit to find out which one treated it’s staff better.
Club A had a very generous fee structure, the bar staff were respectably dressed. Unfortunately, it had a substantial cover charge for entry and the drinks were well above ‘normal’ bar prices. Whereas Club B treated the ‘girls’ badly, the fee structure was leaning towards the club taking more of the money that that the dancers ‘earned’, and the bar staff were virtually naked. Yet, there was no cover charge, and the drinks were at ‘bar prices’.
I told the group that seeing as they were going to go to a strip club anyway, that the very least that we could do was make sure the dancers were treated properly and received fair pay for what they were doing, and that Club A was the better option, despite having to pay more to enter and drink at the club.
Once inside the club a few of us ‘pooled’ our money and rescued one of the dancers from having to take her clothes off for other people. She spent quite a few hours with us, getting us the drinks and nibblies that we ordered from the bar. After all, she was obliged to do this seeing as we rescued her, even if it was for a few hours.
During the time that the dancer was with us, she told us that management and the owners of the club really do care about the dancers who work there. They provided continual training, mentors, discounted gym membership and a few other benefits for working there.
At the end of the night we left there all feeling better for ourselves because whilst strip clubs may be exploitive, these girls were exploited fairly, provided with a range of benefits that would make the average office worker jealous, and the owner was making incremental improvements to the point that one day it may no longer be a strip club, despite how much money can be made from ‘adult entertainment’.
[GARD]In closing all I would like to say is that to those who want to see strip clubs closed down, and we know it isn’t going to happen overnight, the least we can all do for those females who work there is to make sure that they are treated as fairly as possible. This means supporting those strip clubs, like the one that I went to a few nights ago and help them show others that their dancers need to be treated fairly.
I will be doing some firther resarch on strip clubs, and finindg those ones who do treat their staff fairly and compiling a list of AusVegan approved strip clubs to be published later.