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Filtering by Tag: Feminism

BARE: THE VERDICT

Jacq

Hey look at this sad stripper trope alive and well and funded by IFC.

Hey look at this sad stripper trope alive and well and funded by IFC.

Last week I was so furious perusing my Netflix suggestions, as none of them came even CLOSE to passing the Bechdel test. I'm bored of movies that only feature women portraying wives. SO BORED. AND ALSO ANGRY.

So you could not imagine the SQUEAL OF DELIGHT when someone on the internet alerted me to the fact that there was a LESBIAN STRIPPER MOVIE.

Ohmyfuckinggod. That's ME. People call ME a lesbian (as much as I loathe the word 'lesbian', I do not object when people refer to me as one... my old blog, after all, was www.thesapphicstripper.com). And if you're new here, yes, I am a stripper. A proud and happy one since 2010. 

I was SO FUCKING STOKED. 

It's a movie! Made by women! (Lesbian women?!?! I think so?) HOLY SHIT IT'S A DREAM COME TRUE.

So I slipped under the covers, carefully arranged my jar of Nutella on my nightstand, flipped open my laptop, and pressed PLAY. 

I always reviewed movies that depict strippers. I would address where I, as a stripper, found them relatable and realistic, and where they completely missed the mark. Showgirls, Striptease, Flashdance, Dancing at the Blue Iguana... The Night Porter (there's a hot strip scene and I love me some Charlotte Rampling). I've seen them all. The last stripper-depiction I wrote was more of a rant (and deservedly so). If there's a stripper movie I've missed, please tell me so I can promptly include it in my VERDICT series. 

I didn't watch the trailer (I feel like that ruins the surprise) so I just got out my legal pad and jumped right in for what I was hoping to be a radical feminist realization of a life and career I choose and love. 

I'm familiar with Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo as they made a docu-series for VICE back in 2014. I watched it, and it bummed be the fuck out but I didn't say anything publicly because I don't like to shit on other women who are making their own media. It's hard enough as it is. The series was called Life as a Truck-Stop Stripper, although I think a more apt name for it should have been Slumming on a Hipster Road Trip to New Mexico Paid for by VICE (PS We Tried Stripping).

 I felt mocked while I was watching it. 

 

I didn't shit on it then but after two seconds in to Bare I decided it was time. Because this movie is a 90-minute dump on me and my stripper sisterhood. And when you shit on my family, I will pick it up and throw it back at you. 

It starts off with - you guessed it - drugs. 

Never seen anyone do drugs quite like this but Paz is a unique woman.

Never seen anyone do drugs quite like this but Paz is a unique woman.

(Spoiler alert: Paz de la Huerta is a drug-dealing pimp!)

Then she says this:

I'll say this: Dianna Agron is becoming a really strong actress. Her awful fake-cry attempts from her Glee days are but a distant memory as she plays Sarah. 

Then oh look all the strippers are hanging out and doing drugs again:

This is one of the actual strippers from the Every Woman series. They cast all the real dancers to act out their shitty projections of what they really think of them. My heart aches. 

This is one of the actual strippers from the Every Woman series. They cast all the real dancers to act out their shitty projections of what they really think of them. My heart aches. 

Dianna Agron's character only works when she's high, she falls in love with Paz and they fuck on Peyote, Dianna is ashamed as fuck when her piece of shit boyfriend finds out. Dianna collapses between two eighteen wheeler trucks, sobbing:

 

Then she gets arrested for cocaine possession!

And it all ends with stealing the end from Showgirls. 

As I watched it, my stomach ached from just such a shitty depiction of a life that I know, that I live, that I love. Strippers work tirelessly to undo all the shitty stereotypes and to have two hipster journalists/artists come along and set my crew back five fucking years hurts my feelings. It infuriates me. 

Bare does pass the Bechdel test. Paz and Dianna are talented actresses. 

As far as stripper movies go, it's trite. As far as sex work depictions go, it's part of the problem. 

If you're a civilian, SIT THE FUCK DOWN. The story of strippers has been told by you so many times and look where it's got us. A week of slumming on VICE's dime does not make you part of our club. This movie could have been made at any Brooklyn bar (where I live, where the director lives or lived at the time of Every Woman). The story is about a bored girl who is "seduced by a world of drugs and danger." The stripping has so fucking little to do with the plot. You used strippers in your movie like men use women to sell everything else: to catch the eye, to get the ratings, to reduce us to the sum of our parts. To contribute to the patriarchal narrative that a woman who uses her body as she pleases is shameful. 

STRIPPERS. SEX WORKERS. Get at me. Let's talk about this. Tell me how this movie made you feel (you can watch it on Netflix). Tell me about the kind of stripper movie you want to see because goddamit I'm going to make it. 

 

 

 

IF THIS STRIPPER WON THE POWERBALL

Jacq

I've never been a lottery-ticket buyer. I feel like it's humiliating... paying a dollar to a mystery organization for letting me think I might be lucky. I'm already lucky for having a mother who could afford (and insisted I get) braces, for having relatively symmetrical tits, and for being so goddamn FUNNY (it really is a gift). 

I DO however, fantasize about being rich. You know, like selling a billion copies of The Beaver Show (have you bought it yet?) or whatever.

But, because I'm a dummy for love... I bought a Powerball ticket for my wife. Ok fine I'm a hopeless fucker just like the rest of you who dreams of wealth and power it's true it's true

HERE IS WHAT I WOULD DO IF I WON THE POWER BALL:

I would buy every strip club where I've ever worked. 

I would fire all the shitty managers (read: most of them). 

I would hire women to staff the entire venue. 

Patrons of all genders will be welcome to come and worship the ladies, and as House Fucking Madam I will no longer take 50% of the dancer's earnings (that's what pimps do and all pimps need to either die or suck the dick all by their damn selves), but a normal fucking FIFTEEN PERCENT like a regular fucking agent.

Then I will go on to buy every single strip club in America.

Then Canada...

And then the rest of the world.

If it's women you want to see in the strip club, then it's women you're going to see running the whole goddamn joint. 

I'll be so fucking rich that I'll buy myself out of every lawsuit that claims I've fired someone for his gender (damn straight I'm going to fire every last dick-wielding dude in the business.) They will get severance pay or whatever because I'm spiteful, yeah, but I'm not evil. 

The men I fire will be awarded full scholarships to college where they may only study gender studies. 

THINGS THAT WILL HAPPEN IN MY FEMINIST STRIPPER UTOPIA:

 

1. CHRIS BROWN'S MUSIC WILL NEVER BE PLAYED EVER AGAIN. MARGARET CHO AND PEACHES WILL BE THE RESIDENT DJ's. 

2. ''GOWNS' WILL BE ERADICATED FROM THE STRIPPER DRESS CODE

3. WEDNESDAYS WILL BE DAISY DUKE NIGHT 

I fuckin' love Daisy Dukes they are so dang hot 

I fuckin' love Daisy Dukes they are so dang hot 

4. IN ADDITION TO PAYING A COVER CHARGE, ALL MALE CLIENTS MUST PROVIDE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THEIR MOTHER, WIFE, SISTER OR DAUGHTER UPON ENTRY. IF THEY MISTREAT OR ABUSE THE PRIVILEGE OF BASKING IN THE BEAUTY OF THE DANCERS, MANAGEMENT WILL CALL THE AFOREMENTIONED PERSON TO ALERT THEM OF HIS BEHAVIOR. 

5. THE DRESSING ROOM WILL HAVE LEGIT SNACKS THAT AREN'T STALE PRETZELS (I'm talking cheetos, sliced canteloupe, soprasetta and nutella...) 

6. ONE DOLLAR BILLS WILL BE BANNED.

7. ZERO CALORIE CHAMPAGNE WILL FLOW FROM A CRYSTAL FOUNTAIN (I poached Nigella Lawson and the finest from NASA to invent that shit) 

8. PATRONS WILL BE LIGHTLY SLAPPED ON THE NOSE WITH A ROLLED-UP NEWSPAPER FOR NOT SAYING 'THANK YOU' AFTER AN ENTERTAINER HAS SO GRACIOUSLY DANCED FOR HIM. 

9. MY HAIR WON'T GET STUCK IN MY LIP GLOSS (again, when you have money you can hire whomever to invent whatever the fuck you want.) 

10. THERE WILL BE A VIP PIZZA PARTY ROOM WHERE THE GIRLS WEAR JAMMIES AND THE GUY GETS TO LEARN HOW TO FRENCH BRAID (all for only $10,000/hr) 

(Man learning to French-braid not pictured) 

(Man learning to French-braid not pictured) 

So - since I'm not going to win the lottery maybe just tell all your friends to buy my book so we can really truly bring my feminist stripper utopia to life, yeah?