The Daily Mail reports on Sarah Tressler's latest headline-making news: Reporter fired for working as an "Angry Stripper" sues newspaper for gender discrimination.
I've been wondering when we would see the ex-Houston Chronicle reporter Sarah Tressler sitting beside celebrity women's attorney, Gloria Allred.
As a former stripper I've been on edge my entire post-stripping career waiting for the moment that an employer would fire me when my past career came out. Of course, since I write about my stripping and nude modeling life I have never tried to hide it. And I never would be able to.
I look forward to hearing more about her charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) because right now what's being reported sounds like a stretch: "The true reason for my termination was discrimination on account of my gender," Tressler said.
I see where they're going with this, but I think it's more likely she was fired for conflict of interest. Tressler did cover the society page after all, which might have made a few ladies raise their eyebrows after the story broke.
And I would suppose if Tressler was a male journalist busted for the same double life, he would be fired, too. So I'm not so sure how gender discrimination fits in. Unless she plans on suing society as a whole for creating an environment where stripping is one of the only viable options available to pay for a college education.
And in that case, well, then, I think I might have a case.
What's my charge? It's sexual harassment, of course.
My only question is -- who do I sue? The club owners for providing a hostile work environment? The bar patrons for the actual harassment?
It would be hard to charge the thousands of customers who harassed me, seeing as I'm not sure of their names. Could I bring charges based on physical descriptions, for example -- that fat bearded man with body odor at Flashdancers who shoved my hand down his pants, or that skinny Vietnam veteran at The Blue Angel who said, "If I had a dick, it would be getting hard right now"?
I would have to sue society as a whole, for creating a culture where it's permissible for women to be treated like sex objects.
Somebody should have to pay for all my pain and suffering -- the cat-calls, sexual innuendoes, and flat-out propositions.
I was grabbed, kissed, fondled, groped, leered at, and name-called. And these were unwelcome advances. I was just trying to make a buck. I didn't ask to be manhandled -- or did I?
Was my nakedness on stage a license for a man to grab my breasts? Was my bare butt a call for it to be spanked? Was my exotic dancing really a yearning to be asked out for a "date"?
I said "no" when propositioned, but was asked again and again. I just wanted to be treated with a little respect.
The heart of sexual harassment seems to me that one can claim injury even after one "allowed" the behavior to occur. If women in offices and bars can sue creepy jerks, then why can't I?
Strippers all over the world are subjected to the worst sexual harassment imaginable. In a way, strip clubs have become the last sanctuaries for men who still feel the need to degrade women to feel better about themselves.
Striptease is no longer an art form; rather it has evolved into one of the final resting grounds for legal sexual harassment. No one considers the toll expelled onto us, the stripping women who take the abuse so normal women can walk freely down the streets unharassed by construction workers. Strippers are a final dump site for the toxic sludge of sexual degradation.
Well, this exotic gal isn't taking it anymore! I want reparation, damn it.
My self-esteem was shattered. My body image was distorted. My relationships with men were devastated. My sense of guilt and shame crippled me.
I figure I'm looking at least a couple hundred million dollars in damages. Any lawyers care to take on American society with me?
My only worry is that I fought off a few of those obnoxious men with pointy high-heels to their sweaty faces, warm beer on their bald heads, or shoves to their bulging bellies.
I hope they don't counter sue.