Go-Go vs. Stripper: Let the Slut-Shaming Begin!

I’m a Jenna Marbles fan. However, as a feminist, liberal, and generally cantankerous sort, most entertainment I am a fan of tends to disappoint me from time to time. In this instance, it was a video titled “My Favorite Dance Moves”. There’s nothing much in the video itself to get upset about, but rather a quick comment in the beginning. Jenna talks about how she used to be a go-go, and that people who think that she is the same as a stripper are “fucking idiots”, in a rather defensive manner (I suppose that was already assumed by the term “fucking” thrown in there).

Sigh.

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Can you spot the difference?

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To me, the only difference seems to be the pole. However, I’m pretty sure that’s not what Jenna is upset about (I know I’d be proud to be able to do any pole tricks). The defensiveness comes from the fact that strippers are seen as dirty, shameful, probably lower economic class, but worst of all… SLUTS.

Slut-shaming is nothing new. Ever since there have been “ladies of the night” (so, forever), women have always prided themselves as not being one of “those” women.

“I may be a stripper, but at least I don’t SLEEP with the guys”
“I dance provocatively in front of an audience in what is basically lingerie, but I’m not a STRIPPER”
“My dancing is an art and it’s skilled, I’m not just a HO who dances in their underwear”

Since feminism is about women being free to make their own choices and express themselves, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong or anti-feminist about being rewarded for your sexual appeal (either monetarily or just with positive attention), but ladies, please, OWN IT! For your sake, and for the sake of other women who do as you do. It pretty much throws any semblance of female empowerment out the window if you engage in an activity where you are being rewarded for your sex appeal and fitting the very narrow standard of what is considered “sexy”, and yet shame other women who do pretty much the same thing you do. You’re admitting that you think that women being rewarded for being sexual provocative is wrong (so, no empowerment there) and still participating and promoting a system where the woman’s main function is to look and act sexually appealing, primarily to men (not to mention having to usually pay for it to in the form of dieting, makeup, plastic surgery, the right clothes, etc. etc.).

While stripping, go-go dancing, or showgirl performing are not the exact same thing, there is a lot of wasted female progress and backtracking that we are doing to nitpick them apart, and place one as being “less shameful/less of a whore” than the other. All women deserve to be happy and do with their lives/careers/bodies as they please. Please don’t tear someone down in a show of moral/class superiority. In just as easily as you turn that venom on other women who do things that are “below” you, someone can (and most likely, will) do the same to you.

4 thoughts on “Go-Go vs. Stripper: Let the Slut-Shaming Begin!

  1. Pingback: Fuck Slut-Shaming, That Shit Has Got to Stop. « Elephant Ocean | straykatstrut

  2. So true! I would say the vast majority of women have a fear of being labeled a slut or a whore. I’m not sure how we break out of this pattern, but personally I think when a woman owns her behavior (no matter what it is), she is empowered.

  3. I agree with The Grown Up Girl. Being empowered to do the work they do, they should own it. Because otherwise they are saying there is something wrong with their work, and their co-workers. It isn’t necessary to do that.

  4. That was always something that bothered me that I saw bits of in her videos and the comments section. People are always quick to defend her job differentiating that she is a go go dancer NOT a stripper. There just always seemed to be a hypocritical slut shaming element to that. But you hit the nail right on the head. I’d like to hear your thoughts on her most recent video which explicitly confirmed my feelings about what is really behind such comments.

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