Cut down numbers of strip venues
A New Orleans commission suggested that the number of strip-clubs should be brought down. Their statement faced a tough opposition from industry workers who are raising their voice in an attempt to ensure that those changes never take place.
A formal review of the industry was conducted in January by the city council and a temporary ban on new strip clubs was placed until the review was completed. The commission expressed concerns of increased crime rate that was supposedly brought to the city by the large number of strip clubs. As a result, they suggested that the city starts revoking licenses until the number of strip clubs in New Orleans is halved.
However, what they didn’t take into account was the huge number of industry workers who are left jobless and without much hope for the future. When the commission held a meeting to announce their suggestions, they were met by a room full of strippers, club owners and industry people expressing their disapproval and concerns regarding the decision.
Dancers complained that the commission did not consult them during their investigation and fought back against the statement that they were forced to work as strippers.
“It is completely appalling to think that we are sub-human beings with no voice and can’t take care of ourselves” said one of the women that spoke at the meeting. “We choose to work in this industry.”
“We’re all here because we are intelligent, independent, and we want to keep the jobs that we have,” said another.
Rachel Ladner, a 28-year-old exotic dancer working at a Bourbon Street club, argued that the commission is falsely characterizing strip clubs as hot beds for crime because “the people who lead stable lives don’t make the news.”
She added that the commission would put countless women that currently make a good living in “dire straits.”
Nolan Marshall III, one of the members of the commission, appeared to be convinced by the women who spoke up during the hearing.
“There does appear to be a creation of victimhood around the women in this industry that may take away their voice,” said Marshall. “I’m encouraged that those women showed up today to speak out and say ‘we are not victims.’”
“Oftentimes we create victimhood so that we can go in and solve a problem,” said Marshall. “What I heard a lot of today is this is actually empowering, this is how I feed my family, and that the environment is an environment that they feel safe in.”
There are currently 23 strip clubs in New Orleans attracting millions of visitors each year which, undoubtedly, contributes to the city’s economic stability and prosperity. The commission is due to take a decision whether the number of the strip venues would be cut down in the future.
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The case remains still in court.