Treating erotic dancers like carnival games is apparently normal in Alberta

It’s a looney game all right.

Apparently in Alberta, Canada, local laws separate nude dancers from patrons by 1 meter. As a workaround, patrons toss 1- and 2-dollar coins at the dancers. Sometimes, these tosses are far from gentle. In fact, some “gentlemen” pitch the coins with enough force to leave bruises, and seem to think hitting the most delicate areas give them the highest entertainment value. Some of them will even heat the coins first. This is should be criminal, but it’s just shrugged off.

This article and the activity it describes are profoundly upsetting to me, a GREAT (aka horrible) example of how insane, inhumane, and ultimately pointless behavior becomes considered “normal” just because of circumstances and then repetition. Just because something is common, don’t make it right! Damn!

Arguments can be made generally for “who has the power” in an erotic entertainment setting. There is no ambiguity here: it’s culturally normalized, institutionally enforced abuse and humiliation of women by men, with women just accepting the status quo.

Horrifying.

Also, it was only in 2015 that bare breasts were distinguished from full nudity, and burlesque dancers were subject to the same separation and tipping laws. Here’s the update about that.  Well that’s great for them, I guess.

But that leaves their nude sisters back in the clubs being pummeled. I don’t like the implications of that kind of separatist thinking. Because either way, in the eyes of rape culture, you’re all whores. And here’s some legalistic rape apologist thinking for ya to prove it:

As recently as this summer, Alberta officials were continuing defending the strict anti-bare-breasts policy as a “safety measure” to prevent lust-crazed men from assaulting performers.

“Contact with a performer could lead to a sexual assault, you know … when you involve alcohol, the risk factors increase,” Dave Berry, acting vice-president of the liquor regulator’s compliance and social responsibility division.

In the interest of letting the people affected speak for themselves, here’s a discussion on a chat board for strippers speaking about the game. There are apparently various ways to approach it. But still… Even when speaking positively, they still explicitly call it a carnival game. It’s not right.

 

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About amywinns

Semi-snarky, semi-sincere, occasionally ranting, always paying attention. Feminist who can work a skirt and crack a joke. Grammar nerd who is also fun at parties. Mid-career writer/editor with 15 years’ experience in newspapers & magazines who now helps developers at a major media corporation communicate with the suits who write the checks. Pro-women, pro-family, pro-choice, pro-workingclass, pro-entrepreneur, pro-farmer. Like every other bourgeois Brooklynite, I choose local/organic/raw food — mostly vegetables — whenever possible/reasonable/affordable but I’m not a smug asshole about it. Hometown: Atlanta. Weird hobby: lindy hop. No pets, no kids, no thanks.
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