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Naked Games

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Of sports, chauvinists and strip clubs.   By Hannah Wallace   “Mr. Treehorn treats objects like women, man.” –The Dude, The Big Lebowski   After trying to follow through on last entry’s promise of another gender-related rant—and succeeding in far too many words—I had to limit myself to mentioning only a couple Wheldon-aggravated issues bouncing […]

June 8, 2007


Of sports, chauvinists and strip clubs.
 
By Hannah Wallace
 
“Mr. Treehorn treats objects like women, man.” –The Dude, The Big Lebowski
 
After trying to follow through on last entry’s promise of another gender-related rant—and succeeding in far too many words—I had to limit myself to mentioning only a couple Wheldon-aggravated issues bouncing around in my neurotic, caffeinated head. Like the argument that women are banned from various sports because they “aren’t able” to play? As though the slowest, smallest, least athletic man—free to have a go at whatever sport—is still more worthy than every single woman? If we could just flat-out ban the incapable and unathletic, well, we wouldn’t need tryouts, now, would we?
 
And why are USA Hockey rules different for adult men and women? Because our rules are hybridized with the children’s rules, we have to wear shoulder pads when we’re not allowed to check? And cages at all times? Are our widdle faces so pwecious we can’t risk a widdle black eye or, God forbid, dislodged tooth? (Well, my face is exactly that pwecious, but the rule is still condescending.)
 
But I could shout these things at the computer for forever and not feel particularly productive, so let’s move on.


POLE POSITION: Her shoes can hold a lot of $1 bills, but does she earn any respect?
 
This topic just happens to segue nicely into my Friday-night plans (and next week’s blog, no doubt). I’ve heard it said before that strip clubs (ahem) are a form of misogyny. This…ok, this is an obvious point: Men gawking at naked chicks doesn’t exactly scream “sexual even ground.” But…I don’t know. Physical attraction and, yes, sex are…well, just fine with me. Assuming they’re all you need? Not wise, in my opinion. But is that assumption synonymous with stripping?
 
Or are there other reasons it’s an affront to womanity?
 
Ironically, it’s the (perceived?) seediness of strip clubs that makes them tolerable—and, yeah, kind of exciting—to me (see my May 16 entry about posing against propriety). I just can’t find the logic to muster any sort of outrage. Am I that incredibly socialized to the idea? Or are the arguments really unfounded? Maybe it’s just pre-existing cultural whatevers that make a complicated mess of something otherwise simple and perhaps even basically harmless.
 
I could flush my stream of consciousness in quite a few directions, but I can’t seem to find the pivot point. (Mixed metaphors, though? Easy to find.)
 
There was once a debate on West Wing regarding legalized prostitution—one person arguing that legalization allows prostitutes to unionize and demand better working (heh) conditions; the other decrying prostitution in any sense as a subjugation of women. Sorkin never knocked this one out of the park for me, though, so it continues to be an intriguing (albeit unsettling) topic. Any thoughts? Get ‘em out now; next entry’s all about nudity and debauch.