That, dear Jasmine, is your problem. It sure as heck isn’t your employers.
Jasmine is the “stage name” of Danielle Everett, who’s an “exotic dancer” at the Ebony Inn in Prince George’s County, Md. Everett recently filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Ebony Inn and the Showcase Theater, another Prince George’s County club featuring “exotic dancers.”
Look, there’s plenty of room for me to make all kinds of wise-cracks about rump-shaking, scandalous, nearly butt-naked hoochies here, but I’m trying to take the high road, OK?
When Everett worked the Ebony Inn and the Showcase Theater, she had to pay $20 to dance. She was also nailed with “fines” of $10 or higher for offenses like being late.
All for a salary of, well, that’s just what Everett has a problem with. She didn’t get a salary. She worked for tips only – those dollar bills the horny, lecherous patrons of “exotic dance” clubs thrust down the dancers’ G-strings.
Some contend this is illegal, a violation of state and federal law. Everett said, that from talking to people, she learned the owners of the Ebony Inn and the Showcase Theater are supposed to pay her a salary, with benefits.
Others – men and women alike – scoff at the very notion. Climbing on a pole, swinging from a pole and rump shaking in a scandalous outfit that leaves you nearly butt naked, is, such folks contend, not a REAL job.
That’s been the advice I’ve heard repeatedly given to Everett and all her “exotic dancing” colleagues: you tricks need to get a grip on reality and find a REAL job.
I have a daughter that has an excellent, well-paying job. She never danced on a pole, never had to, and never thought of doing it.
Ditto for a slew of female cousins, aunts and nieces. Add in friends and acquaintances, and there are scores, if not hundreds, of women in my immediate circle that don’t, won’t and will never have to dance on a pole to make a living.
For their part, the club owners contend that the “exotic dancers” are “independent contractors,” not employees. The “independent contractor” status means club owners don’t have to pay them salaries and benefits.
There have been judges that have ruled in favor of the “exotic dancers” in previous lawsuits, so the owners’ “independent contractor” argument does not seem to be carrying the day. But Everett’s real gripe isn’t, or shouldn’t be, with the owners.
It’s with the club patrons. Can you believe that, in 2013, there are CHEAP BASTARDS still tipping exotic dancers one dollar?
When you go into a strip club, you’ve pretty much identified yourself to the world as a horny bastard. By leaving piddling tips, you’ve pretty much identified yourself as a horny bastard AND a cheap bastard.
Some full disclosure: I don’t go to strip clubs. I used to, but I stopped.
I stopped when my eldest granddaughter, Kaila, got old enough to ask questions. That’s when I asked myself two questions:
1. Do you want Kaila to find out you were in a strip club (and she just might)?
2. Do you want to EXPLAIN to Kaila WHY you were in that strip club when she asks (and she definitely will)?
I quickly realized that I’d rather get a lap dance from a sumo wrestler than have to account to Kaila about why I was in a strip club.
So, yes, this entire column is written by a guy that has a severe FEAR THE GRANDDAUGHTER thing going on when it comes to strip clubs, but I still contend the guys tipping dancers are cheap bastards.
Heck, fives and 10’s don’t even cut it anymore. How about some 20’s and 50’s guys? Even a hundred-dollar bill here or there ain’t out of the question.
Club owners can keep on top of this too. Hire bouncers that will throw CHEAP BASTARDS out the door when they see them stuffing G-strings with one and five-dollar bills. If you can’t tip $10 or up, you need to get the hell out of the club.
Everett, realizing she won’t always have the kind of banging body that makes for good pole dancing or exotic dancing, said she wants to make enough money to attend nursing school.
A noble objective, but skeptics will note that there are many young women that look just as comely as Everett who decided their route to nursing school didn’t run through the strip club.