Thursday, March 11, 2004


I was too tired to tell about the feminist argument anyway. It was practically two in the morning, and I couldn't stop yawning. The place was winding down. A lot of the girls had stopped dancing and were socializing instead. My friend was trying to locate the Korean stripper on account that she had disappeared. Instead, he found this other girl he was already friendly with named Money. Money had been holding his ornamental scarf when we came back. She wasn't very Korean--she was Italian--but there was no point arguing about it. That Korean girl had fled like a refugee, and the place was closing. Despite her unfortunate moniker, Money didn't know the exchange rate either--and so descended the hand of bitter reluctance upon my wallet. The going rate, Money said, was ten American dollars for the duration of one song. Every fiber of my feminist being grew suddenly taut--and I don't mean that in a good way.

While the kids were out I enjoyed a very brief opportunity to reflect on my experience that evening. I was still very critical about the stripping enterprise. I can't help it. Women should not have to take off their clothes for money--least of all at drafty warehouse spaces along I-95. Women should take off their clothes for free, at 1210 Ellsworth Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147. The road to equality is long--particularly if you are traveling from Northern New Jersey--but well worth the reward. Real intimacy begins where the conspicuous stain of monetary wealth will never be detected: I live on the third floor, to the rear.