The Feminist Stripper

In the documentary, “The Punk Singer,” Kathleen Hanna admits that she briefly worked as a stripper in order to pay her bills. This admission wasn’t explored or developed in the film. It was merely presented as a fact of Hanna’s life, so I was curious what Hanna actually thought about the profession. In the article titled “Keeping Women Down and Out: The Strip Club Boom and the Reinforcement of Male Dominance,” Jeffreys’s argues that stripping is a form of social inequality. On Kathleen Hanna’s website, the singer corroborates Jeffreys’s arguments. She says, “To be clear I NEVER saw stripping as empowering, but I did know what I was doing. A gross job to pay the bills.” In comparison, we explored the empowerment argument through “Live, Nude, Girls Unite!” (2000), where strippers unionized and fought to eradicate the stigma associated with this profession. It’s interesting how divided the feminist movement is in regards to stripping. I believe this schism in feminist opinion is a disservice to the movement as a whole because it prevents women from moving forward and taking social action concerning the strip club industry.

“Live Nude Girls Unite!” (2000)
Jeffrey’s, Sheila. “Keeping Women Down and Out: The Strip Club Boom and the Reinforcement of Male Dominance.”


One thought on “The Feminist Stripper

  1. Jonathan Paz

    I think a better way to look at this is how feminism interacts with other real-world struggles. If you remember, in “Live, Nude, Girls Unite!” (2000), their contract negotiation was not simply to demand more respect as workers but to have racial equality in private dances. In other words, that wasn’t just a feminist struggle. It was also an economic and racial issue. The larger idea is that everything is everything at the same time so we when we use one framework to understand (and critique) the world, we inevitably miss something. I think that’s where the disagreement happens in the feminist movement; how equality for women interacts in complex situations where other inequalities are involved.


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