Today the Houston Press published a blog post by Richard Connelly about stripper blogger/tweeter @AngryStripper (Sarahtress), with what they seem to think is the bombshell revelation that a stripper is also a journalist working for the local daily. But really. How closeted is a stripper who posts face photos and whose Twitter profile lists something close to her real full name?
Sarah is kind of snobby in her stripper posts and tweets, but her bluntness is part of her charm (except for the occasional racism). Reading that she writes society coverage for the Houston Chronicle is unsurprising to readers familiar with her sweetly bitchy tone. Plus, what better background could there possibly be for covering Houston socialites? Anna Nicole Smith was far from the only woman to go from stripping at Rick’s to marrying a millionaire, y’all. There are undoubtedly a good number of former dancers and escorts among the women throwing charity balls and volunteering at (probably) MD Anderson.
Nothing could be more Houston than stripping at Treasures and writing about ladies who lunch. The condescending tone of the Press writer—”It sounds like a bad rom-com book and movie, which no doubt its author hopes it will be — society reporter for a big-city newspaper by day, stripper by night”—is what’s actually corny here. Is a reporter for a Village Voice Media property really looking down his nose at a stripper? VVM is, of course, the owner of Backpage, a well-known venue for escort advertising. As a corporate entity, VVM has stood up for the rights of sex workers to market themselves. Another of their properties, the Miami New Times, has such regular stripper coverage that it may as well be its own beat. Being stripper-negative or stripper-mocking is actually a departure for these weeklies.
If the Press had really gone out of its way to uncover the Angry Stripper’s identity, it would be cause for concern, but something about Sarah’s conduct online says she wasn’t concealing her job to begin with. Which makes the story what, exactly? Unless the Houston Chronicle has a morals clause, there’s nothing here except a male reporter who seems to be really invested in making public a stripper’s real name and day job. If he was a customer, he’d be 86d. Here’s his response in the (heavily pro-Sarah) comments:
I don’t get the “slut shaming” charge. If you want to be a stripper, fine.
If you want to write for a very conservative, uptight paper — covering the very powerful, very conservative and straitlaced people the paper so desperately works to keep happy and unruffled — fine.
If you want to combine the two, it’s interesting, to say the least.
Oh, really? It’s “interesting”? Is that because strippers shouldn’t write for a general audience, or because writers shouldn’t have other jobs? What is so “interesting” from where you sit, Richard?