Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Society's Elite Deal With Adversity

I'm not unsympathetic to what is going on in this article. I have snipped out this piece at the bottom because that's the most compelling part of it. It's not a good thing to see an example of someone being "forced" to work in the sex industry. But this is about a lawyer that can't find work who chooses to work as a topless dancer because of a lack of opportunities. The whole smacks of an elitism that I think is worth commenting on.

No one grows up wishing or praying that they can enter the sex industry. Those who do enter it for a number of reasons, not all about money and not all about abuse or drugs. There are no simple answers, but there are a lot of simple reasons. How is "awful" that someone with a law degree has to dance in a topless bar while the other thirty or forty women have to dance there as well? Are they less important because they have not held a professional job or because they do not have a law degree?

If anything, this should tell you what a law degree is worth if you don't find the right job when you get out of law school. If this woman had specialized or practiced law in such a way as to make herself marketable, would she really be in this position? What if she is, in fact, marketable but chooses to live in a part of the country where there are few, if any, jobs for people who practice the kind of law that she has specialized in?

Is this really a reflection of American society, circa 2011, or is this a symptom of a more generally broken economy and something that should not reflect back on her? If so, then the other thirty women dancing topless in whatever establishment our lawyer is dancing in should not be held in contempt because of what they are having to do in order to survive in this economy. If you can consider the economic conditions that would have a professional woman giving lap dances in a topless men's club, then you can probably develop an understanding as to why all of this talk of austerity and belt-tightening is really putting the squeeze to people who are at their breaking point.

This article sounds, to me, anyway, like this woman is going to break if she cannot escape from the sex industry. Does that sound like heart-wrenching desperation or a calculated move? Some would say both. What better way to distance yourself from something than to set an artificial deadline for stopping.

As noted above, the indignities that this woman is suffering are all too real--for her, and for many other women in the sex industry. Does this article smack of elitism because of the horrifying view she has for being a topless dancer? Why is she so ashamed of what she is doing, legally, in order to make a living? If she were open and honest about what she is doing, wouldn't that help remove some of the stigmas that are associated with dancing topless? Wouldn't she be giving other women forced by economic desperation into this line of work some measure of respect?

If she is so unhappy about what she is doing, why doesn't she try to join the military? She could enter the United States Army, for example, as an officer and join the JAG corps. She could serve for four to six years and gain a tremendous amount of legal experience and probably find a great deal of professional success as a JAG lawyer.

Or is there a stigma attached to that as well?
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