What Is Inequity: How Strip Clubs Reinforce Male Privilege

In a world where women are gaining economic status and independence, inequity between women and men is still perpetuated in establishments like strip clubs, where women are viewed by customers as sexual objects. Strip clubs provide a way for men to “relax” and “be a man” (Jeffreys 167) without having to worry about feminist women being offended by sexual objectification. Strip clubs promote the idea that it is natural that men need time to unwind and do “manly” things, like drink, smoke, and carry on with their friends while objectifying women. But why does this need to take place in a setting that subjects women to male control? Men have control over women in strip clubs by determining the size of strippers’ tips and how long and to what extent interactions with the women go, reinforcing the power disparity between men and women. According to Jeffreys, strip clubs “provide a compensation for the decline in power that men have experienced as their wives, partners, and women workmates have shed their own subordination, begun to compete with them, and demanded equality.”

Though the act of stripping is seen as empowering by some women, many men do not see it this way. Thus, strip clubs extrapolate the inequity between men and women by creating a place where men can openly objectify women, where women not in the sex industry are unwelcome, and where men do not need to treat women as equals.  

Jeffreys, Sheila. “Keeping Women Down and Out: The Strip Club Boom and the Reinforcement of Male Dominance.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 34.1 (2008): 151-73. Print.

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One thought on “What Is Inequity: How Strip Clubs Reinforce Male Privilege

  1. hilarylprice

    I agree with this post entirely, and find this discussion particularly interesting because the gender power dynamic has shifted. Women have more power than ever before. I find the argument in this post concerning inequity really compelling; as men lose power, they have to formally assert this power in places such as strip clubs. As women experience a “boom” in professional spaces, strip clubs may also experience a “boom” because men are seeking an avenue to assert their dominance. As women continue to climb, I wonder what other reactionary measures threatened masculine institutions will take.

    Reply

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