I’m Quitting Writing to Become a Stripper
Yeah, right. However, not long ago a male acquaintance suggested I do just that. This really blows my mind because he was the second person to do this in the last year. I am and have always been fairly conservative, kept to myself and not any type of exhibitionist so what is it that makes them say such things?
Well the first time this was suggested to me, I was still doing okay writing but not in the eyes of my friend’s boyfriend who said it. “You should become a stripper. You have the body for it.” I got mad at him. He didn’t understand why. He thought it was a compliment. I guess as a concerned friend, he thought it could really help pay my bills…
The second time it was said to me by a person who’s formal education exceeds my own. He is obviously a moron, though. Money nor degrees can do anything about that… ” You should become a stripper and write about it.”
“Ummm…. Diablo Cody already did that, but you know I don’t think there’s a male writer that’s done that…Maybe you should look become a stripper.”
When I was online dating, several times a week, I got messages asking me to be a hook up or friends with benefits. EW. The most recent message I received read:
“hi how are you? your really pretty. I don’t mean to be rude but would you be interested in a hookup or fwb at all? i just got back from afghanistan so its been a while haha”
Who do they think I am? The sex fairy? If I wanted friends with benefits or a hook-up, it wouldn’t have said on my profile that I was “looking for a relationship.” If a woman wants a fwb or hook up, all she has to do to find one is go to a bar at the end of the night. Sure whomever she finds may not be the most attractive guy in the world, hell he might not even have a job, but what does it matter- if it’s just a hook up?
I blame this somewhat on our culture. Look at the way women’s sexuality is played up and portrayed in the media. The keyword here is objectification. Women and girls are increasingly becoming objectified and at younger and younger ages. In the last year, many fashion houses and ad campaigns have been criticized for using highly sexualized images of pre-teen girls to sell their garments. Just take a look at this controversial spread by Vogue. It’s seriously disturbing and that’s just one publication, many more have followed. And who can forget the recent “Ashley Push Up Bra” designed by Abercrombie and marketed to 8-year-old girls. Sick!
The key ingredient missing in the interactions with these cultural issues and the men mentioned in this article is respect. They have no respect for women as a whole and I was lucky enough to get just a small taste of their ignorance (ignorance that no doubt stretches far and wide, like the ocean). I think it’s sad that some men- men who know me- not just men who have seen me on some stupid dating website, talk to me like this. I have never encouraged it or sexualized our conversations. I am fairly prudish outside the confines of a relationship or at least a romantic interest. It is cultural- women in this culture are not respected. Sometimes I hear men trash female senators and political figures and when I ask why they hate them they cannot articulate a sensible answer. This is why respectful men really do stand out. Nice guys don’t finish last, it is the aforementioned losers who will end up dumped and divorced at very young ages. I find that these men not only hate women but they are often racist and narrow minded to boot.
So when I have had these conversations with these men and when they told me to become a stripper after initially telling them to go fuck themselves, I realized they truly were ignorant and in some strange way felt they were genuinely giving me a compliment. How messed up is that? I saw it more as an attack. In my mind I wondered how they could say that to me especially when I do have a career that I have established through working my ass off and being broke for a long time because my dreams were always more important to me than money would or could ever be. And at the time when this career move was suggested, their advice was certainly unsolicited as I never complained about needing more money or being dissatisfied with my current profession. I guess they are just like rude relatives at family parties who ask why you are so old and not married, or if you gained weight, or when are you going to have children. They too think they are being helpful…
I do think culture plays a huge role in this- our puritanical culture has created monsters. I did an art show a few years ago- most of my current work consists of nudes. They are tasteful paintings and drawings in which there is a single model. There is nothing sexually suggestive about it other than the fact that they are naked- does the act of being naked alone really suggest sex? I didn’t think so- but I’m a mature individual who has been drawing nudes from live models since I was 15. During this art show in which I was asked to be the guest artist, once my work arrived I was asked to hide it. I was sooooo pissed!!! I never would’ve bothered if I knew my work was going to be treated like tasteless pornography- what an insult! “There might be children around,” was the reason she cited for making me conceal 90% of the work I brought with me. I’m sorry but I don’t think this is normal. In Europe they are not ashamed of nakedness like this. It is considered natural.
The puritanical culture has created sex maniacs and porn addicts while it has squelched the appreciation of art that reveals the naked body- and because of it many men view women as objects there for their pleasure- not people. This is evident in the way I was viewed from my male counterparts. They did not see my talent, my kindness or anything about my personality. They only saw me as what I could provide for them and the sexual needs of others. They only saw me as an object.