Last night I finished reading this nonfiction book called Bare: The Naked Truth About Stripping. It's got a feminist slant, and it's probably the most well-written, insightful book I've read about the topic.
The author, Elisabeth Eaves, doesn't really condemn or condone the job. She masterfully remains objective through the bulk of the book while bringing you behind the scenes, including providing interspersed profiles that focus on dancers' personalities and relationships.
Yet I still picked up on this recurring sentiment (not necessarily emanating directly through Eaves) that it's an unrealistic way to make a living, and that the women who do it must "get out" ASAP and find "real" employment somewhere.
While this judgment may not be totally invalid, considering customers by and large only want to ogle young flesh, it still seems exceptionally harsh, since there are literally tons of jobs out there that could be said to be insubstantial, road-to-nowhere livelihood choices. I mean, stripping is generally one of the best-paying "dead end" jobs there is. So what draws the added denunciation against it? Most likely the fact that it's sex work.
On a similar note, it's interesting that a lot of the pressure for the women to get out of the business came from the men in their lives. It seems to be another example of the tendency many men have to try to exert control over women's bodies instead of allowing them to choose for themselves.
Some women happen to think erotic dancing is a beneficial employment choice -- and that can include getting something out of it that transcends their paycheck: a sense of power, control and self-assurance, for instance.