Dear Crabby,

Why, oh, why are men judged by a double standard? If a man talks about going to see a stripper, he’s persecuted, emasculated and chastised. But when a woman goes to see “Australia’s Thunder from Down Under,” it’s accepted and made as a girls night out. Please help me understand this? Before Yakima OKs the strip clubs.


Not So Misogynist

Dear Mr. Misogynist,

I reject your premise; have to say that, just right off the ol’ bat here. The double standard you’re describing does not exist. It’s possible, of course, that you have been chastised for going to a strip club. And it’s possible that women you know have gone to see a male revue like “Australia’s Thunder from Down Under” (which, for those who haven’t Wikipediaed it yet, is a Chippendales-type thing they’ve got down in Vegas these days) and done so with no negative social consequences.

But I do not believe that those attitudes extend along gender lines in any substantial way. That is to say, I don’t think admitting that you hit a strip club for a bachelor party or something is going to earn you any more scorn than a woman recounting her girls-night-out trip to “Australia’s Unnecessarily Long-Named Dudes in Their Drawers Show.”

So, there’s that.

Now, perhaps the real question is, “Why do guys who go to strip clubs a lot get labeled as skeevy perv-monsters?” The answer is multifaceted and has a lot to do with gender-power dynamics in a sociopolitical context and blah, blah, blah. What it basically boils down to is the popular notion that dudes who hang out in strip joints are either self-deluded (“She really likes me, man. I can tell by the way she snaps her G-string.”) or just kind of sad (“I know she’s only paying attention to me because I’m giving her money. But, hey, it’s attention.”).

Then there’s the issue of motivation for the strippers: Are they sex-positive feminists taking advantage of the basest male desires for their own empowerment and financial gain, or are they exploited young women working under bad conditions and selling their identity and self-esteem out of necessity? On the rare occasions when I’ve visited strip clubs, that question has really put a damper on the fun. I’m not sure I want to be on the other end of the transaction no matter what the answer is.

Anyway, look man, I’m not saying you can’t go to strip clubs. Lord knows I’m no puritan; consenting adults and all that. And I won’t think any less of you. If you’re concerned that other people will, you have to weigh that potential for scorn against how much you wanna see naked women. As you make that decision, don’t forget to stop and consider the reasons you care so much about what other people think in the first place.

Hope that helps.



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