The best places to be a woman.......
I saw this article in a paper a while back and the other day when I was out doing some stuff around town I saw it again, plastered on an announcement board. So I took a picture of it.
Well, topping the list, the Scandinavian countries, Sweden in second place. The US is in eight place. They base this on how many women are involved in and hold significant positions in politics, health care, education, justice, financial issues. And depending on what poll it is, the results will differ. I checked out a few months old poll online today, where the US ranks as number six and not one Scandinavian country is even in the top five, I find that hard to believe.
I want to bring something up. They outlawed strip clubs in Iceland a few years ago. It is illegal for any business in Iceland to make a profit from the nudity of it's employees.
As a dancer - what are my thoughts on that? I understand where Iceland is going with this. They strive for equality between women and men, they don't want women to be seen as sex objects, something that can be bought - a product. Perhaps they are worried that stripping might lead to prostitution for some women. And of course there is the always prevalent problem of trafficking.
In Sweden it's illegal for men to buy sex, they prosecute the men if they get caught. Not the prostitute. I am not sure how it works if it's a man buying sex from another man.
If I would had still lived in Sweden I can almost with certainty say that I would not be working in a strip club now. There are some clubs in Sweden but from what I understand they are far from what the clubs are like here in the US.
I was a student at the University of Stockholm when I kind of on whim took a break in my studies to come to the US. And not to work as a stripper, may I add, that happened later.
So, most likely I would have had a degree by now and be working somewhere (normal).
And my Mom would had been very happy to have her daughter home in Sweden, doing something "nice" and "intelligent". She does not want me stripping, of course, she thinks that I am wasting away my life doing it but she accepts it because at the same time, she knows that I have a good head on my shoulders.
I was studying criminology when I left Sweden and only 30 people/year would get accepted to that program. You don't pay for college in Sweden, you get admission mainly based on your grades. I have a cold/warm relationship with studying. I do really well in subjects that interest me and I am awful at and totally bored with stuff I don't like or understand. Like anything that has to with with numbers. I just don't get numbers.
I was also eying journalism, that was my number one pick but I didn't get accepted that year.
I was planning on reapplying at some point. My Mom always said I should had been (and should still become) a politician or a journalist, due to my loud mouth and opinions about everything. I agree with my Mom.
I love journalism and I very much admire people that report on and write about important issues. I admire people that DO something to make the world a better place. Though I think that I personally would be too scared to travel to a country where it wouldn't be safe for me to move around. Imagine getting captured and tortured by a group of extremist, no thanks!
I wonder sometimes if strip clubs fill any positive function in society or if they only, in the end attribute to negative factors.
I never do anything that I am not ok with at work. I get upset when I see girls break the rules, they don't see the bigger picture. They only think about that nights (or days) income.
But really, it is up to the owners of the clubs to make sure the rules are being followed.
And be diligent about it too.
Would I recommend stripping as a job to somebody else? Not sure. It doesn't lead to any promotions or job security. No 401(k). Many people look down at girls that strip. Some girls can't handle it at all and should not be strippers. But I'd rather strip than work in a store or a factory for example. There have been times when I have been so annoyed with dancing and so over it. But I know that I would go crazy if I worked in a clothing store. I am speaking for myself here, some people like working in clothing stores - not me.
I've heard from some people that I take the easy way out, that I profit from the way I look.
I don't know about that. Easy way out to me would be being on welfare. Or snagging some wealthy guy, get pregnant and married to secure money for myself. Or have some kids and either be a stay at home mom or a mom collecting child support. Any woman can squeeze out a kid or a few - being a great parent is the real job, not all are successful in that endeavor. I have always been independent. Yes, there are times when I do think that I am not doing anything useful at all while stripping. Of course.
Like, how am I making the world a better place, contributing to anything of importance? BUT I refuse to act dumb at work, even though - sadly, I know that it could sometimes make me more money. Some men are intimidated by confident, outspoken women.
And I would like to say to all the girls that might be thinking about starting stripping......don't do anything you are not comfortable with, ever!
Don't let a guy you meet at work talk you into something that you are not ok with. Sure, in the beginning I wasn't comfortable with going on stage or doing lap dances but that was because I was super shy, felt awkward and clumsy - not because I felt abused in any way. Besides, you have to go on stage and do dances.....that's part of the job.
And to all the dancers out there that might read this, follow the rules please! Have some respect for your coworkers. Girls that do "whatever" at work (NOT part of the job) are the girls that give strippers a bad reputation. You need to do extra stuff that bad? Get a room! And no, I don't mean the "VIP room" now.
But I know people with "regular" jobs that don't do much of anything useful and important either, besides make sure they can pay their bills each month. I guess we are all suppressed humans of varying degrees caught in the rat race. Some hate their jobs. I can't say that I do.
I have lots of freedom, travel if I want and have fun too. But it also feels totally meaningless at times, for me at least.
Being a stripper doesn't mean that it is all that you do, that it is all that you are.
Some outsiders can have a problem with seeing past that.
You can be a stripper and also work on something absolutely spectacular on the side, something good, positive, creative etc. Many do.
BUT looking at the grand scheme of things.....I would have to say, I probably agree with Iceland, FOR NOW. I am all for equality and the empowerment of all of us. So maybe banning strip clubs is a good idea after all? Even though that's what I do for a living. But while I still do it......I will do it the best way I know how - without compromising myself in any way. As far as nudity goes, that's not compromising myself to me.
I don't have many hangups with being topless or nude. I grew up in Sweden after all......
Here is an example of that.....taken from an interview with Heidi Klum that she did with Tatler magazine.
"Heidi Klum doesn’t mind her parents seeing her naked. The German-born supermodel said she is comfortable with nudity and her family all have an “easy going” attitude. “My parents are still naked. I mean, it’s not like we’re hippies and we run around naked, but if they happened to be in their room changing or something or someone comes out of the shower, they’re not, like, ‘Oh my God. No. Close the door’.”
Europeans are much more comfortable with nudity, wouldn’t you say?"
And while I was looking into this ban on strip clubs in Iceland, I came across what an ex stripper, Jennifer Abel, wrote.
I agree with a lot that she says. Like how she preferred stripping to working in a restaurant or that she doesn't think that strip clubs fall into the category of "sex industry" jobs. I don't either. Yes, I acknowledge that I am topless, even naked at some clubs I work at. But I don't have sex with people, far from it. I personally would not be ok with that, if that was part of the job.
And the worst places to be a woman.....? Well, basically places where women are told what to do, don't have any rights, can't vote, are not allowed to drive a car, get stoned if they stand out in any way - all that stuff.