Saturday, August 28, 2010

One in four British lap dancers has a university degree

Mainly humanities (Arts) graduates, of course. What else are their degrees good for?

They are traditionally viewed as uneducated young women who are coerced into the lap dancing industry. But the first academic study on the subject has found that one in four lap dancers has a university degree and works in strip joints to boost their income.

Strippers take home an average of £232 per shift - or £48,000 a year - after paying commission and fees to the club where they work. Many are aspiring actresses, models and artists who hope to use exotic dancing as a lucrative platform for breaking into their desired industry. Unemployed new graduates – mainly with arts degrees – are also dancing because they cannot find graduate jobs.

They decided to work as strippers because it pays much better than bar work and the hours means they can still attend interviews, training days or further education courses during the day.

The research, conducted by Dr Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy from the University of Leeds, found the vast majority of women claimed to have high levels of job satisfaction. It concluded that career and economic choices were the key reasons for dancing rather than drug use or coercion. There was no evidence of trafficking in the industry, researchers found.

However, the academics claimed dancers' welfare was often disregarded because women could be in danger when alone with customers in private booths. They called for better regulations to improve dancers' safety, including the banning of private booths in clubs. Dancers are also open to financial exploitation by clubs who could impose charges and fines, the study showed.

One dancer told researchers: 'There's not enough security. I know of girls who have been raped and abused at work. 'You cannot go to the police as you are a stripper, so there's no legal standing.'

The findings come after a change in the law saw lap dancing clubs reclassified as entertainment venues, giving local authorities more power to limit the number of clubs in their area.

Dr Sanders said she had been surprised at the 'endless supply of women' wanting to be lap dancers. 'These women are incredibly body confident,' she said. 'I think there is something of a generational cultural difference.

'These young women do not buy the line that they are being exploited, because they are the ones making the money out of a three-minute dance and a bit of a chat.

'You have got to have a certain way about you to do it. They say 80 per cent of the job is talking. These women do work hard for their money – you don't just turn up and wiggle your bum.

'But there is an issue about whether these women become trapped in the job because of the money. I think people often stay longer than they want.'

All the 300 women interviewed during the year-long study had finished school and gained some qualifications. Almost 90per cent had completed a further education course, while a quarter had undergraduate degrees. Just over one in three dancers were currently in some form of education, with 14 per cent using dancing to help fund an undergraduate degree.

The researchers found arts degree graduates were most likely to turn to dancing after being unable to find other work. Others used dancing to provide a more steady and reliable income when working in more unstable arts jobs.

One dancer had been doing a law degree which included a work placement during her third year. While working, she got used to earning a good wage, decided she would struggle when she returned to university without an income, and began dancing as soon as she went back to finish her degree.


Separation of school and state

Today my wife and I met with our son’s kindergarten teacher. We are sending him to a pricey private school, but we think it is worth it. It’s not a status thing; this school really offers an environment we think will be great for our son.

It later occurred to me that sending a child to school is one of the most personal and serious decisions a family can make. For all the reasons that Americans strongly believe in separation of Church and State, they should also endorse separation of school and State.

On spiritual matters, the basic civil bargain runs like this: I promise not to use the force of law to make you (pretend to) believe in my religion, so long as you promise not to do the same to me. My freedom of conscience is very important to me, and I would never want to risk losing that in a society where the majority can enforce its religious views on the minority. I say this, even if my religious views are currently in the majority.

The same ought to hold for schooling. Even though I am a born again Christian, it would offend me if the government passed a law saying every child had to read the Bible, and go to church. But by the same token, it offends me that politicians dare to pass laws saying which biology and mathematics textbooks my child must read, and that he must go to school for a large portion of his life.

Whatever argument the modern American liberal could use to defend government intervention in schooling, could also be used to defend government intervention in religious matters. Of course it would be awful if the vast majority of parents were fools and didn’t educate their kids. But by the same token, it would be awful (in my mind) if the vast majority of parents raised their kids to believe there was no God, and that all of the universe in its majesty is really just a big coincidence.

It would be one thing if the government did a good job in the area of schooling. But of course, it fails miserably here too. That is why so many parents have embraced the homeschool movement, because it is the only way to protect their children from State-engineered propaganda.

For a superb analysis of the free market versus the government in matters of education–and note that education is different from schooling–see Murray Rothbard’s “Education: Free and Compulsory.”


"Insensitive" Australian school

An Australian primary school apologised after a student was awarded first prize at a costume party for dressing as Adolf Hitler. The school sent a letter of apology yesterday to parents after several complained about the child's Nazi-inspired getup, which included a swastika emblem, The West Australian newspaper reported.

The school's principal denied allegations that classmates had roared approval with chants of "Hitler, Hitler" explaining that youngsters had simply been calling out the name of the character they thought should win, Sky News Australia reported today..

Parents at the Catholic school also objected to several more "nasty" costumes, including a vampire outfit and a student dressed as the Grim Reaper, the newspaper said. The school, in Perth, Western Australia, has not been identified.


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