>Thanks to the ever-vigilant blog reading of my friend D., I was pointed to a link from gawker.com to an interview in the UK Sun with Mimi Fowler, BFF of “Belle in the Big Apple” (aka Brooke Parkhurst). Mimi has a degree from Cambridge but works as a stripper in NYC although she came here to be a writer. Now, I admit that when it comes to stripping, I have very mixed feelings. On one hand, I find it extremely sad that an intelligent woman can only earn money in NYC by stripping, not by being smart. On the other hand, if women truly like their stripping jobs, then it’s not my business to tell them what to do. I'm not sure this article supports the concept, though. Some excerpts from the article and commentary from moi:

WITH a first-class degree from Cambridge University, pretty Mimi has the world at her feet when it comes to careers.

But rather than relying on her brains, her long slender legs and curves are proving the key to her fortune — as she spends her nights stripping at a New York lap-dancing club.

She says: “When people see me on stage, they just see the stripper — the girl in the G-string.

“Nobody cares that I have a first from Cambridge, and nobody wants you to be smart.

Does this sound empowering to you? It doesn’t sound empowering to me. In fact, it sounds like someone else is completely in control and able to project their fantasies unto Mimi and make her into who they want her to be, not who she wants to be. Maybe I am just confused, though. I mean, what do I know? I’m crazy enough to like relying on my brains, wanting to be seen as smart, and shit like that. Damn.

Mimi began her lap-dancing at a small New York venue but soon landed a job at Scores — Manhattan’s premier lap-dancing venue.

Despite its glitzy image, she says she still has to fight off advances by clients.

She concedes: “There is a dark, sleazy side to it. Guys whisper horrible things, they try and touch you. But you have to be strong and push them off.

I enjoy the power dancing gives me over men. I was never the kind of girl to go topless on a beach but stripping was like second nature.

“Men who come in often want to rescue us — like we are tragic women trapped in a job we hate.

Mimi explains: “It is classy — the biggest club — and all the celebrities and big spenders are there.

Perhaps I am don’t understand what it means to have power over others. I thought it meant that you control the situation, not others. What is powerful about being strong in order to fight guys off or having them believe that you hate your job (when you love it) and need them to rescue you? Nope, pardon my stupid little feminist head, but this doesn’t seem empowering to me at all. And man, that place sounds totally classy! If celebrities and big spenders are there, how can it not be? Nothing says “classy” like a guy coming in his pants as he stares at a woman’s tits while she gyrates on his lap for money. Silly me.

“I was never one of the hot girls at Cambridge. I had short hair and people thought I was quirky. But when you get on stage it’s great because of the attention you get.

“I’d never really felt sexy or like a real woman before.

"Now I’ve learned how to put on make-up, dance in heels, flirt and really work a man."

“They gave me a job, but told me that I had to sort myself out, to lose weight and look more feminine.”

Once again, pardon my foolishness. How was I supposed to know that in order to be a “real woman,” I couldn’t have short hair or go without make up? Crap, I don’t even really know how to walk in heels, let alone dance in them! Nor do I know how to really work a man for cash, whether I’m fully clothed or just at dinner. (Another one of Mimi’s fine characteristics is that she is a “dinner whore.”) Since Mimi was told to lose weight and look “more feminine” (whatever that means - maybe shaving her snatch?) so that she'd be considered acceptable to appear naked in front of paying men, I guess she has total power and control!!!

I am sooooo pathetic! If I wear comfy shows, have no idea how to put on make-up, prefer my hair short, gain weight or look less feminine (?), no one is going to fire me. Curse my powerless situation!

She adds: “No one thinks they are going to become a stripper. It’s usually just someone you know, or chance, that leads you there.

“But it’s the money and the feeling of power that keeps you there.”

Seriously, given how awesome stripping sounds, I don’t understand why my high school college counselor led me so astray. I guess it’s not too late, though, now that Mimi has enlightened me. Thank goodness society has its priorities straight and I could earn more money and power by helping guys have orgasms in public by swinging my titties in his face than I can by helping low income families! I am so excited for my new career! Oh – wait. I’m currently wearing wool socks, wool pants, a wool sweater, a suit jacket (unfortunately not wool), a wool sweater over my suit jacket, and a pair of gloves at work and I’m still freezing. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be able to gain power and wealth in a stripping career. I’d be too cold. Or maybe I could use it to my advantage - erect nipples would help me be more powerful as I danced my ass off to warm up. I’d just have to require men to warm their hands before shoving money in my underwear. Now that’s power!