I’m gonna weigh in on the whole President’s Club incident. I’m going to talk about sex and sexuality so if that makes you uncomfortable then please don’t read this.
I cannot imagine applying for a job where I was expected to ‘hostess’ a group of intoxicated men.
I actively avoided situations as a single young adult where men and alcohol would be present.
But then, I avoided people, period. Still do.
I don’t know the ladies who signed up for the job. The cold hard fact is that if you are beautiful and young and female, there are some pretty quick ways you can earn cash. Not that there is no market for men cashing in on their sex appeal. There is. But Hooters is better known by most than Tallywackers (which by the way, I researched for the sake of writing this).
It’s January, these rather young ladies wanted to make some money. I am sure many of them accepted they would have to cope with an evening of rich men leering at them. Perhaps some of them even thought ‘Well, I’ll have a drink and just get on with it. I could use the money.’
When I was young and ‘hot’ I worked in a Catholic book shop. I didn’t make much money. I couldn’t have gotten my own apartment or say, bought a car.
I was still a reasonably privileged girl and never in a position where I had to consider doing that.
Then again, not everyone who goes with cashing in on sex appeal is poor or from an oppressed group. There’s a whole world of psychology behind it I don’t understand and thus, hesitate to condemn.
Again, some just know that it’s a quick way to get some money. It’s a job. It’s a car payment, a month’s rent. A bit of that student loan paid off.
Supply and demand.
You want a special patron saint card? Three bucks.
You want boobs? Fifty bucks.
I still truly believe that love and sex are beautiful wonderful things to be shared between consenting adults (whatever orientation or gender identity, if it involves mutual desire, consent and grown-ups then fine).
Not everyone is like me.
So, do I think that these women knew what sort of an evening they were in for, signed up, put on black panties, smiled and accepted the money? Sure.
Does that mean that they deserved to be touched or groped or propositioned?
No. A thousand times no.
Honestly? Even if you DO work in the sex industry (as far as I know these ladies weren’t sex workers, they were just young ladies willing to look pretty and sexy, serve drinks and canapes), there can still be such a thing as ethics. In fact, it’s essential. It’s business.
Any business should have a code of ethics. I would have thought those President’s club men knew that.
I mean, the sex industry is older than whatever varying businesses the fellows at that President’s Club men only dinner are involved in.
Tales of young people choosing to strip because it’s a sure fire way to earn cash if you can do it, are abundant. It sure would pay more than working in a Catholic book and gift shop.
Do I wish I would have stripped? No. But I don’t judge women who do choose to do it. I want society to change, yes. I want to live in an ideal world where stripping and sex work isn’t a lucrative (if short term) option for earning money.
I also don’t want to live in a world where grown, professional adults want to attend an event where serving staff are specifically hired to appeal to them and be…
sort of like yet not quite sex workers but are they sex workers not really no actually definitely not but oh they’re attractive why can’t I touch if the beautiful smiles they signed a non-disclosure agreement right? Okay gropey gropey it is then what the hell I’ve had a scotch and it’s for the children’s charity yay I’m rich.
I have both a daughter and a son. Would I encourage my daughter to ‘hostess’ one day? No. It’s my preference as a parent for her to make her way in life in a way that isn’t reliant on youthful beauty. But it doesn’t escape my notice that times can be tough and life is expensive.
But I don’t want either of my children to feel ashamed of themselves or their bodies for having thoughts and feelings that are completely normal.
I will tell BOTH of my children that in no way do they have to tolerate being touched in a way they aren’t comfortable with, and in no way do they have the right to touch someone else who has not given their full, indisputable sober consent.
I’m not particularly happy that my kids are growing up in a society where sexy, attractive, young and willing or representations of such are the most valuable currency.
It’s normal and natural for human beings to have desires, to find others attractive, to crave approval and praise, to seek pleasure. I’m fine with all this. As long as ethics are involved. And yes, ethics also have a place in sexual dynamics. However you roll.
Let me give you a blunt, really uncomfortable scenario. It’s opposite day okay? I’ll imagine, I’m in a room full of shirtless, fit twenty-thirty something men and I am at a ‘ladies only’ function. Personally I find this scenario unlikely and I wouldn’t attend a strictly ladies only function.
But for the sake of argument, it’s opposite day.
Would I notice that the men look nice and have a certain appeal? Sure. I am a grown, heterosexual woman with pretty decent eyesight.
The men might have been told that they might get a grope or two off of some tipsy cougars. They might have been told to wear cologne and make sure they’ve flossed and rinsed.
They might have shrugged and agreed.
So, would I feel it’s cool to stroke one of their biceps? Let my hand linger on one of their shoulders for too long? Caress a freshly shaven jaw?
No. A thousand times no. Those fellows aren’t sex workers looking for a client. They didn’t agree to be fondled.
I struggle to see the fulfillment in that sort of exchange. Also. Ew! And why are we living in a society where this is what we want to do at a party?
First of all I’m married, just as I believe a few of the gentlemen at the President’s club would have been.
Plastic surgery for the wife?
Second of all just because the serving staff are appealing doesn’t mean I have some ‘drunk girls just wanna have fun…you know how women are after thirty wink wink’ permission to touch attractive young men simply because they are walking examples of society’s ideal for male beauty.
Which by the way, isn’t fair on men either. Making people feel redundant for not being a prescribed physical ideal is both low-brow and cruel. We ALL need to do better at fighting this.
Now, this is the point where the old school folks might say, ‘yeah but men are different, they are visual, etc….’
I say fuck that and the bullshit horse it rode in on. Visual eh? LOOK, LOOK, LOOK.
But keep your hands to yourself unless enthusiastically, stone cold soberly invited.
There won’t be any confusion, trust me.
Those high society, upper level elite rich men are in no way excused for being corrupt knuckle draggers.
They should have known better. Anyone should know better.
No matter what level of society you reside in.
I hope we can rise above the bull shit and be better. Just…be better.