"All Of The Liquor...None Of The Clothes"

Photo by Pixabay

Photo by Pixabay

Yes, my whole family - including my children - had a chance to see this. This dandy quote was on a highway billboard I saw over the weekend coming home from a family event out of state.

There is a picture of a beautiful woman on it (just her face) and the first words out of my mouth were "Well, isn't that the billboard every father would like his daughter to be on."

The comment begs the question: If you wouldn't want your daughter, sister, niece (or even mother or aunt) on such a billboard...why is it okay if ANY woman is on such a billboard?

Fathers and uncles...is this the way you want to influence boys to think about women? Or is it OK to just think about "some women" this way?

I don't want to advertise the establishment but if you look it up, you can find a web site that talks about all of the advantages of visiting this premier, upscale gentleman's club. More than 100 beautiful women for men to choose from. And that even married men are interested in awesome party packages.

It also has blog posts, including one titled "Don't Worry About Your Boyfriend or Husband Going To A Gentlemen's Club." Why? 1. Men won't get hit on. 2. It boosts men's confidence 3. Going to this place replaces negative options. 4. It can spark sexual creativity. Oh, there's more, but I'm done.

I have to ask, does the term "Gentlemen's" club really belong in the description?

So with all of the "#Metoo" in the media and controversies about how to behave, is it really any wonder why so many young men have grown up not knowing how - before they ever take that first sip of a drink any night - to treat girls and young women in high school, college or beyond?

And with this kind of thinking, is it any wonder that girls and young women don't know how to think of themselves? That for so many years - and even now - the female thinks that when something abhorrent happens, it's "her fault"?

Nope, no one would say "You have a beautiful home and you keep it looking so nice it was asking to be robbed" or "You keep your car so shiny and park it on the street so it was asking to be stolen."

Recently, a ChicagoNow writer wrote about a harrowing sexual experience she had in high school. She wrote of how confusing, overwhelming and demoralizing it was. To read it, go to this link My Story From 32 Years Ago. Reading it now, I am certain to tell not only my 17-year-old daughter who is looking at colleges and being away from home but also my almost 15-year-old son.

Yes, my daughter needs to be aware of the circumstances that can make things more challenging for her and to be wary. But it's never going to be her "fault" if someone else doesn't know how to treat her the right way. She needs to clearly communicate what she wants or does not want.

And my son needs the empathy to realize that a girl may not think as he does and that he needs to clearly communicate to her and ask her to do the same, so he can understand what the girl wants or does not want.

This article - and other stories I've seen on social media from friends recounting their painful sexual abuse stories from classmates - is heartbreaking.

Interestingly, a friend of mine from high school - a prestigious doctor now - posted a "confession" that at no time in his life - be it little boy, preteen boy, teenager, young adult, adult or middle-aged adult has he ever had to confess in any way that he treated any girl or woman in any manner than the utmost respect. It was awesome to read. Good men deserve to get their message out as well - as an example to other men.

I'll be showing that to my kids as well.

I'd be interested to know what readers think of what I'm saying here. My message is simple - women and their bodies are not packages and products to promote. Trying to come up with any number of reasons why it's "OK" to think this way is ridiculous.

How on earth can that line of thinking be good psychologically for the performers themselves or the men that go to see them?

Yes, I'm sure there will be a backlash that I'm a prude, that the performers themselves are making a choice to do their jobs (and probably get paid well) and that the men attending are just going for a good time.

But why does that good time have depersonalize women to the point of them being a commodity or service?

Let me just say, I have no issues with the human body - it's a gracious thing to behold and it is art.

But IMHO a strip club is NOT art. It's just a business.

I don't put male strippers on the same level - it's frankly just not the same. I don't get the same sense of depersonalization when I see ads for such places.

And frankly - although I know male sexual assault by females happens some of the time - those who commit acts of sexual violence are men against women and not the other way around in the majority of circumstances.

I once heard a deacon talking about how women are depersonalized as sexual objects, and that men have grown up thinking that sex is "their right." He said "Men are not monkeys. We are not driven by only a biological urge to have sex. We are human beings too, and we were created to equally revere our partners, not dominate them, not use them, not look at them as a way to 'measure up' and meet sexual milestones. That kind of thinking demoralizes women. And men, too. We men must do better."

To be sure, another speaker who works with college-age people said that young men admitted that at parties, they try to charm whom they peg as the most vulnerable woman in the group. They scour the group for someone who looks like she might need attention. Someone getting through a breakup or other tough time. They offer an ear to listen with the intention of getting the vulnerable woman to have sex with them that night. And you know what? It works like a charm. They have no intention of creating a relationship with that person. They are just out for the sex that night.

How's that for disgusting?

And, especially for teenagers, girls sharing nude photos is not so uncommon. Why do girls do it? Many say because the boy asked her to, and she would "feel bad" if she said no. Or, that she is "proud of her body." But here is the number one reason I heard is from a counselor who works with young people. That the young women doing so send the pictures because they want validation that they are attractive.

So, if anyone out there still thinks I'm a prude for my concerns about "gentlemen's clubs," I hope you read this blog post. Again and again. To men and boys, I agree with the deacon: you're better than that. To girls and women, again, I agree with the deacon: you're better than that.

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