“I wonder what kind of girls do that kind of work, and how they get into it.”
Victoria Layton is bored. She’s middle-aged by 1968 standards, she used to have a wildly interesting life. Now she’s in Connecticut and she’s fuckin’ bored. She’s so bored that she spends most of the beginning of The Secret Life of An American Wife talking to herself. To be honest, I do this too (we all do), but we’re not under the microscope here so… you know. The film begins as she wakes up on a typical day, rambling about the husband who doesn’t pay attention to her and the life she resents. She gets her old man up and out of the house, drives him to the train, and heads back home afterward for yet another boring day.
Koch Industries is one of America’s largest privately owned companies and a major funder of conservative political causes. You can read about the Koch brothers (there’s family drama in addition to coverage of their Tea Party-supporting ways) in a couple of thorough articles from last summer in New York and the New Yorker. Currently their involvement in the election of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and support of his union-busting ways is making news. Nothing says “America!” today more than billionaires working to kill collective bargaining rights.
They make a lot of products, but one of them is of particular interest to those of us in the various clothing relocation services sectors: LYCRA® spandex. I encourage you all to check the tags when you’re buying tiny stretchy clothes at the hootchie boutique, and boycott that particular brand of spandex. Avoid COOLMAX® sports bras while you’re at it, too.
Have you heard about this supposed “hipster strip joint,” the Westway, in New York? Stories about it usually are sprinkled with HI-larious commentary about how funny it is to mix hot nightlife spots with tits. SORRY NEW YORK, Portland, OR has been doing this for years. Mary’s Club, Union Jacks, and Devils Point are all strip clubs that draw crowds heavier on leather jackets than raincoats. This results in varying levels of profitability for the strippers (needless to say, Portland hipsters are not necessarily a cash-laden customer base). They might stare for free, or they might give you fifty bucks to play “Roadrunner.”
Will the Westway actually operate like a strip club, though? From the coverage, it seems like it might just have topless go-go dancers—on one night a week, at that—and people got hyperbolic in calling it a strip joint. Can you get a lapdance? Is there going to be a DJ announcing the names of the dancers? Will the dancers be paid or will they be paying the club to work there? And most importantly, who wants to go with me the first Monday in April?
Oh, New York, I hope you get some real hipster strip club fun, like maybe a chef brawl over local pork.
* (in addition to Stumptown, competitive facial hair growth, and urban farming)
Y’all catch that joke on 30 Rock a couple of weeks (S05E13) ago? Jack Donaghy is in his office, mourning the change in GE ownership. “This is where we used to hold retirement parties. The balcony below is probably still littered with stripper bones.” HAR.
One of the reasons sex workers become politicized is to make ourselves visible as real people to decrease our chances of being easy victims of violent crimes in a society where we are considered lesser members. Jokes like this (and Tina Fey looooves to write stripper jokes*) are one of the constant small ways sex workers are dehumanized to the public. Cracks about dead ones are less funny in light of the women’s remains that were found on Long Island.
Fey is beloved by a lot of women for modeling success in a male-dominated field, which makes her rage towards other women come off as bitter and unreasonable. You know what’s harder than being a rich white woman in Hollywood who gets called crazy because men don’t want to fuck you (hey, you still get to complain about it in The New Yorker)? Having your humanity denied because you are the woman they do want to fuck.
* “I love to play strippers and to imitate them,” says Fey. “I love using that idea for comedy, but the idea of actually going there? I feel like we all need to be better than that. That industry needs to die, by all of us being a little bit better than that.” Vanity Fair, January 2009