The Herald News put my strip club community commentary on YouTube as one of their first online videos. It is clear they were new to videography.
(I’m supporting Hillary Clinton for President because) I want to see more women at the top making policy, which is clearly lacking in the Southcoast where businessmen continue to make poor decisions about the region’s economic development. For an area that has been called the “armpit” of Massachusetts, as the beautiful coastline, untapped resources, and hard-working citizens are overlooked, community-based economic development continues to be ignored.
We are at a crucial moment in our history, as this newly named So-Co. With a Governor who actually recognizes our possibilities, including the need for our overdue rail service, and a burgeoning cultural explosion, particularly in New Bedford, the latest development, the urge to get adult entertainment in Westport and Fall River baffles me. How will more strip clubs enhance the positive growth we have begun toward culture, the arts, and a community development based in sustainability?
I spent two summers during graduate school working at what is now The Regatta (then Leones—or “Leave me Aloney’s” as many called it), and I was always surprised by the lack of any development on the waterfront. Growing up on the coast of Maine, the waterfront was often littered with boat slips, restaurants and shops that would fit in perfectly on this stretch of the Taunton River.
Sixteen years later, things aren’t much different. And instead of moving forward and figuring out a way to build the economy by developing the waterfront for everyone, a few brilliant men want to build a “high class men’s club” with “limousines picking up the girls.” A high class men’s club that hires “girls” and not women is not the economic boost that poor Fall River needs. In a community with the highest female dropout rate in the state, is that the message and the environment we want to bank our economic development on?
I grew up in a state that took an old fishing city (Portland, Maine) and developed it into what is now called the Seattle of the East Coast. It wasn’t developed on the backs of “girls” taking off their clothes for men. It was developed through careful planning and economic development that would build community rather than ghettoize it.
How do parents explain to their children, while visiting Heritage Park, what that adult entertainment place next door is? There is already a strip club on Rt. 6 in Dartmouth called The King’s Inn. There is a second Foxy Lady in New Bedford. How many strip clubs does this community need? Are they booked to capacity every night? Are women clamoring to take pole dancing classes so they can strip for a living?
By offering employment opportunities to women that degrade them, we are setting a poor example for a community that needs to build upon its strengths, not its weaknesses.