Texas State Rep. Bill Zedler has an idea to discourage strippers. He wants them to apply for a license — and wear it.
Zedler’s goal is fewer strippers.
“They won’t want to get a license as a stripper from the state of Texas,” Zedler said of his legislation. “I think it would keep a lot of girls from getting involved in that lifestyle and basically wrecking their lives.”
Being an exotic dancer is not a preferred lifestyle. That’s something that just about everyone can agree upon. Those who take jobs as strippers may have low self-esteem or been victims of sexual violence. They may also be facing severe money problems and trying to find a way to survive because they have few marketable skills. Zedler’s bill is not going to discourage any of these women. If it does discourage a woman from being a stripper, then what is the alternative profession for a woman with low self-worth who needs money?
Considering the alternative, maybe being a stripper is not the worst thing in the world.
There is a practical problem to this bill too. Most licenses have names, addresses and other personal information on them. Zelder is aware that this is an invitation to stalking, threats and violence towards women. His bill states that the license “may not contain any personally identifiable information about the individual.” That’s good, but it then leaves the question of what the purpose is for the license?
If inspectors are the only ones who are going to know the names and addresses of the strippers, how is that going to discourage women from entering this occupation?
One thing this will do is create an overwhelming interest in acquiring an official stripper inspector job.
Having a stripper wear something is an oxymoron. They are shedding clothes so where will the license be worn? Zedler has some ideas.
“They could wear it around the neck … or on their shoes … or attached to a head band,” Zedler suggested.
Those who violate the law face misdemeanor charges. Police and court time is going to be spent prosecuting women who don’t wear a piece of paper around their neck while publicly taking their clothes off. This is a fine idea to fill Texas jails. And to think that Zelder believes this is going to keep women from “wrecking their lives.”
If this becomes law, it will only be a matter of time before someone amends the bill to include models in porn magazines and actors in porn movies.
There is a half-decent idea in Zelder’s bill. He wants to require those involved in sexually oriented businesses to take a class in human trafficking. There might be something to that. Someone might recognize an unhealthy situation that she or a friend is involved in. Those instances are apt to be few and far between. More than likely, it will just generate another form of income for some quasi-government group to charge for classes.
Zelder has had a long-term interest in this issue. About a decade ago, he formed a group to halt a Hooters restaurant from opening near his neighborhood. With his personal interest in this issue, I have a hunch that when Zelder leaves office he might be interested in one of those state stripper inspection jobs that he is trying to create.