I caught my husband frequenting an online stripper website. I’m not as upset about this as society tells me I should be, so I feel like I should be more upset. What should I do, Deus ex MacIntosh?
I’m with you here. I look at a lot of baby animal pictures on the Internet when I’ve got some time and need a cheap endorphin boost, I’m not going to fault a fella for looking at (consenting and hopefully well compensated) pretty naked ladies. Let’s look for ways to justify our ambivalence on TV.
I could only think of a few examples of strippers on TV shows where they weren’t portrayed as Don’t Be This Woman, however, so feel free to jump in the comments with your own suggestions, readers.
In season 9 of Friends, Monica walked in on Chandler’s onanistic fun time, but he hit the remote control in time to turn from the porn to the Discovery Channel before she saw what was on the screen. Monica, in sitcom style, believed his favorite spank bank fodder was sharks. Wanting to be supportive, she integrated a shark documentary into their sexytimes. In season 10, Chandler learned that Monica had a bachelorette party after she made him promise not to have a bachelor party. Monica felt so bad, she hired a stripper (who was actually a prostitute) to perform for him and Joey. Adapting this to your situation, you could offer to watch with him (if that’s something you’re into) or buy him a subscription to an ethically titillating site for the holidays.
The Stripper With A Heart of Gold
When TV does give us strippers we’re encouraged to empathize with, frequently the stripping is treated like a symptom of a larger beautiful + broken ladytrope. See: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Bridget/Siobhan on Ringer, or Ali Larter as Niki/Jessica/Sleepy/Sneezy/Doc on Heroes. (Might there be a connection between strippers with hearts of gold and blonde actresses playing multiple roles? Hmmmm.) To bring this back to you, your ambivalence is justified because for all we know, she’s a lady who’s comfortable with her body making pretty good money in a crappy economy. Or she could be at the mercy of an evil twin.
Hope this helps!