Main Line Mommies Gone Wild!

When did a spin around the stripper pole become so glamorous? And what's it doing to our kids?

I was at lunch with a friend not long ago and she was telling me about a group of women from Lower Merion she calls “mommies gone wild.” Apparently this is a group of elementary school mothers who rented a “pimped out” bus to go out for a girls’ night and posted photos on Facebook of themselves dancing on the stripper pole. Pop quiz: How many things are wrong with that last sentence? Answer: Two. First, why does a bus come with a stripper pole? Second, posting those pictures on Facebook, where everyone from their kids’ school will see or hear about them, including the teachers. Really?

This brings up an issue I’ve been wrestling with for a few years now. I’m not a prude and have nothing against people who work in the sex trade, but when did stripping become glamorous? I remember when the actress Sheila Kelley was featured on TV and in magazines for her “S Factor” workout, which is a pole-dancing routine designed to (I kid you not) empower women. Hollywood caught on and over the next several years, young female stars were photographed on stripper poles.

It seems like the boundaries have been pushed further and further, and now we’re basically teaching the next generation of women that objectification is desirable. Is this what the feminists worked so hard to achieve for us? Yes, Gloria Steinem went undercover as a Playboy Bunny but it was to make a statement, not to encourage all young women to don cottontails. The pornograph-ization of our society is teaching us to expose more, get raunchier and have less dignity. [SIGNUP]

I was watching a show on VH1 and—once again—saw a commercial for an exercise video that is all about stripper moves, including spanking yourself on the ass because that will tone you up. As a free bonus you also get a lap-dancing exercise video. Yes, this is exactly what we should all want our teenage daughters to see if they happen to be watching music videos. Encouragement to lap dance! We want our sons to see it too so they can expect this is what all teenage girls will do for them. Perfect. This is on a channel that is geared toward a young audience. Maybe Nickelodeon could promote a junior version for toddlers. Is it considered child abuse if your children spank themselves?

I keep waiting for the backlash against this trend, but I fear it may never come. I just read a Washington Post review of a new book called Pornland, about how pornography is hijacking traditional views of sexuality. This is absolutely what I think is happening. Internet and media keep rapidly pushing what was once considered fringe or even taboo into the mainstream. Porn stars are now featured in US and People magazines. Kids are having sex younger and expected to engage in more high-risk behavior. More and more seems to get added to the sexual menu. Internet porn is so commonplace, even senior SEC employees, including lawyers, were caught logging onto porn at work up to eight hours a day. Gee, I wonder how they missed Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme for so long?

I have to wonder if we’re all on autopilot, just accepting these things as they’re thrown at us at warp speed. A lot of these changes in mores have happened in the last decade. Think about that. This is not meant to condemn things like Sex and the City, which obviously has played a role in bringing some things into the mainstream, but it’s disturbing when I hear young teenagers talking about how much they love that show. It seems to me that many of the show’s themes can’t be properly absorbed and incorporated into your life until you know who you are and what you believe in. If you’re exposed to these things at 14 or 15, they’ll seem so normal that you’ll have to go further and further to find unusual. Especially when you see your mom’s Facebook pictures of her and her friends on the stripper pole. I’m not sure even professional exotic dancers would recommend that. Instead of leaving feedback, please slide a bill in my G-string if you like this post.