By EDITORIAL BOARD
This week’s featured story, “Stripped Down: Why Queens’ Strip Clubs Are Being Forced To Close Their Doors,” shines a spotlight on an industry that is often ignored and kept in the shadows, and understandably so. What the story of Nuni, a dancer at several clubs in Queens and in Manhattan, illustrates, though, is that the workplace at many if not all of these clubs is a hostile one.
In 2018 and in the midst of the #MeToo movement, it is not acceptable to have a workplace that is openly hostile towards women — even at a strip club. Nuni’s personal experience reveals that what happens at many of these clubs is not a simple case of a patron’s getting too drunk and acting disorderly; these are places where women are preyed upon and forced to sacrifice their dignity in exchange for money.
As Nuni puts it, “Well-meaning women that are educated try to decrease the stigma on strip clubs trying to make it seem like it’s this empowering social justice thing but it’s not.”
It is no longer OK to ignore the broken strip club culture in Queens that consistently leads to violent conflicts and exploits women.
Recently, the mayor and City Council formed a nightlife commission, with a stated goal by the mayor being to “help coordinate the businesses, communities and city agencies to help New York City’s nightlife industry prosper safely and ensure it works for all New Yorkers.”
The project is headed up by “nightlife mayor” Ariel Palitz. Instead of cheerleading the successful sectors of the city’s vibrant food and entertainment industry, we suggest Ms. Palitz champion this issue: combating hostile workplaces at strip clubs, bars and other places to make sure all workers are protected.
A night out should be a fun experience — not just for those spending money, but also for those trying to make a buck in the city.