Monday, July 6, 2009

The Local Strip Club

"There are 27 million people sold across borders into bondage today. 50% of the victims are minors, roughly 80% are girls and women. That's about twice the combined population of London and New York. Human beings are trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries around the world. We are committed to see this change for the better." ~Justice&Care

I was chatting with someone not too long ago and they were commenting on how they went into a local strip club that lost it's liquor licence. The person made a joke about how the bartender told him that he had to buy an apple juice or a pop before the girls would dance for him, at which point he walked over to the girls (3 of them standing against a wall), looked each one up and down and then proceeded to tell the bartender that these girls were not worth and apple juice or a pop and walked out.

Funny? Not really. Sad it more like it. I had forgotten all about this strip bar and I wondered how many of the girls within were there due to human trafficking. I also wondered if they heard that disparaging comment made about their "worth" and the repercussions of the lack of customers.

I did proceed to reprimand this person for his behaviour and comments made; however, the words and plea I made on behalf of these women fell upon apathetic ears. What does he care about the mental, emotional, physical, let alone spiritual well-being of these women? He doesn't. He doesn't care. These women are for his enjoyment...if he chooses. They are nothing more than objects. Toys to his fantasy. He forgets that they are human. That they think and feel. That they too want to dream, to succeed, to be valued and be safe and to be loved. Loved not abused. Loved.

This got me to thinking about what I could do. How can I make a difference in these girls' lives...I am thinking and praying about it...Consider the strip clubs around your area and how many of the girls involved have been sold into that business. What can you do to help them? They need someone to stand up for them, defend them...they need community, they need to be set free. How can you help? How can I help? It is not a matter of just shutting the strip clubs down, it is a matter of relationship. Authentic Life giving, God honouring relationship...what can we do to help? What will we do to help?


Jonathan Brink said...

I would encourage you to connect with organizations like Not For Sale. They do exactly what you are talking about.

Although I don't know how many girls from strip clubs are sold, and the practice is for me demeaning, unfortunately I had two friends become strippers. They came from great Christian families but just got sucked into the allure of it. One got out and one stayed in it.

I would also encourage you to read Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Both your friend and the girls are oppressed and likely neither sees that as the case.

Michael said...

I've known girls who were, at one time, strippers. One is my sister. I've dated others. Human trafficking isn't the worst problem these girls face. Even those who CAN walk away are tortured and exploited, and many of them CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT.

THAT's a problem that can't be fixed by eliminating criminals. That's a problem in society, in culture, where these girls never got the love they needed to learn self-respect...
(I'm sorry, this just glances at the tip of the iceberg, but I'm not competent right now to carry it further.)