Don't buy in

It’s Women’s Worth Week at Queen’s, meaning that for the next three days events are held to encourage men to think more critically about how they treat women.

Kingston’s downtown strip club is a popular attraction for students. It’s deeply troubling to hear students I respect and admire support an industry that relies on the inherent objectification of women.

Salary information company Payscale reported in 2011 that an average stripper can earn up to $82,000 annually. In professions where they keep their clothes on, women struggle to earn that much.

There’s evidence to attest to the point. In 2010, Time magazine reported that in the U.S., women earned $0.77 for every dollar earned by a man.

The high pay for a woman’s scantily-clad performance presents a sickening solution of how women can narrow the economic gender gap.

This income disparity reinforces a misogynistic perspective of how women are valued in society. If women are paid more to cater to what is often a male-dominated customer base, how are these power relations reproduced in other aspects of society?

I can’t fathom the experience of the women who make a living off having their bodies ogled by an audience. But some certain feminists argue we can’t label stripping as psychologically degrading.

Stripping could represent a sought-after moment of liberation and empowerment against conventional gender customs.

It’s not the act of stripping but the economic profit associated with it that deserves critique.

By paying to see a woman strip, you’re equating her body to a commodity. Her identity is reduced to that of an object that’s solely useful for an audience’s viewing pleasure.

The apparent ethical detachment of strip club patrons should trouble everyone, not just zealous feminists. Why do strip club patrons feel this is an appropriate outlet for their time and dollars?

I doubt they’d feel the same if it were their mother or sister being paid to undress.

People who go to strip clubs aren’t inherently immoral, but are rather willfully blind to the message their actions send.

Attendance at strip clubs needs to raise debate.

In today’s culture of commodification where women are turned into sexual objects, interactions are increasingly cheapened.

Strip clubs are cheap, don’t buy in.

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