Strip clubs in Texas are all riled up over a $5 per head “pole tax” on entrance into their establishments. Most of the proceeds will go to help rape victims; it is unknown where the rest will go. It is estimated that the new tax will raise about $40 million per year.
While helping rape victims is certainly a noble cause, it is offensive not only to strip clubs, but also to rape victims, to suggest that strip clubs are somehow related to rape. Rape is an act of violence, not an act of pleasure, while strip clubs exist solely for pleasure. It is therefore unfair and inaccurate to make that association. The thought process is most likely that in both, women are sexually exploited by men. However, that is not necessarily the case with strip clubs, since most strippers intentionally choose that profession, and are treated well by their employers.
Not at all surprisingly, the tax was spearheaded by a female, state Rep. Ellen Cohen, a Houston Democrat. It appears that Rep. Cohen has never even been inside a strip club, since she relied on what she had been told by others about entrance fees. Perhaps if she actually went to a strip club, she would understand better what is really happening there.
Undoubtedly Rep. Cohen views herself as a feminist, freeing young women from the bonds of sexual exploitation; but in truth she is anything but that, since many young females use stripping as a way to pursue their dreams without depending upon the government to help them. When the tax goes into effect January 1st, it is inevitable that some young women will lose their jobs, and become dependent upon minimum wages and government assistance.
While the conventional wisdom is that strip clubs are run by organized crime, and that strippers are unintelligent and being sexually exploited, as usual the conventional wisdom is wrong. Certainly there are many strip clubs run by organized crime, but most are a business just like any other business. Many intelligent young women work their way through college as a stripper. Many intelligent young mothers can’t support their children on a minimum wage job without relying upon government assistance, so they choose to strip so they can be independent. The more enterprising strippers both raise their children and attend college on the money they make in that occasionally-lucrative profession.
However, despite those facts, there is still a great moral stigma attached to strippers and strip clubs. As usual the government has found a way to tax morality, just as they have done in the past with cigarettes, alcohol, and other so-called vices.
Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan