Would You Hire Strippers for Your Teenager’s Birthday Party?

A New York mom has been arrested and charged with child endangerment for hiring strippers to perform at her 16-year-old son’s party.

33-year-old Judy Viger of Gansevoort, New York, has been arrested and charged with 5 counts of “endangering the welfare of a child,” according to the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office. The charges stem from a birthday party Viger threw for her 16-year-old son early last November, at a local bowling alley what involved two strippers that were allegedly hired by Viger for entertainment. district Attorney James Murphy said in a statement that “the parents of five teens who attended the party reported the presence of strippers to police,” after discovering photos of the party on Facebook. CNN reports that one of the photos shows Viger herself receiving a lap dance, and another which shows “a young male with another nearly nude dancer on top of him with her legs around his head.”

Murphy said, “As difficult as it may be for us to have to weigh in on these kinds of cases, certainly exposing the unsuspecting children to this sort of ‘entertainment’ goes beyond the pale when it comes to what is appropriate for 14, 15 and 16 year old child.” And difficult it is, considering the many different facets of a case such as this. Obviously the other parents were unaware of Viger’s plans for the party, and more than likely would not have allowed their children to attend if they had known. But in the comments section on the CNN report there are many who are lauding Viger as the “coolest mom ever.” What do you think?

When, if ever, is it appropriate for a parent to expose their teenage son to an overtly sexual situation such as this?

Do you think this qualifies as child endangerment? Why or why not?

How would you, as a parent, handle a situation such as this if your underage teenager had attended a party that was going to have strippers without your prior knowledge?

Photo: South Glens Falls Police Department

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Comments

  1. It is not surprising, given the politically corrected society we live in, that we have to pretend that this incident is ‘child endangerment’

    It is distasteful and might encourage not so nice attitutes in young men at worst, but its far from endangerment.

    Far from being endangered, most 16 yr old boys wouldve had the time of their lives and accumulated plenty of masturbatory insipiration for years to come.

    It is only parents, mothers in particular who would think this would ‘endanger’ their sons.
    That is just their perspective. Not the perspective of the boys, not the perspective of the majority of men.
    We just have to pretend to adopt womens sensitivities.


    • Far from being endangered, most 16 yr old boys wouldve had the time of their lives and accumulated plenty of masturbatory insipiration for years to come.

      But that shouldn’t mean that there should no consideration for the boys that wouldn’t want to be in that position and boys who may say they want to be in that position and then suffer effects that they didn’t anticipate.

      Which by the way is a consideration that is extended to girls. Why can’t boys get the same?

      • Danny, Maybe we are over protective of girls and mould them into more vulnerable beings than they naturally ought to be. That should be corrected instead of, for sake of equality, trying to make boys more delicate and vulnerable creatures.
        Female sexuality and sexual reponses shouldnt be the gold standard for humans.

        • Except, in this case, female sexuality is used to gratify a 16-year-old boy. What affect does this have on his view of women? Porn, strippers, hookers, sexuality in media etc. –most of the time the women expressing their sexuality are expressing it for a particularly male audience. This is dangerous for boys because it warps their perception of girls and women to “things that must gratify” rather than human beings. This is where the idea that women must cover up their chest or not go to parties or dress a certain way (like wearing yoga pants) or ear certain things (like hotdogs/ popcicles/ bananas) because they are seen as illiciting for sex (when on general terms they’re not). What is his perception of women versus a boy who is raised not to take part in a sexual act he might be unconfortabld with or raised not to sexually objectify women the way this mother is teaching her son to do?

          • Yaa, it can be damaging to the WOMEN he will come across in his life.

            Interestingly, whever a lucky teenage boy has sex with an adult woman, the main concern is how the women he will come across in life would be affected. And they are correct perhaps. They only pretend that the boy is traumatized and psychologically scarred for life.


            • Yaa, it can be damaging to the WOMEN he will come across in his life.

              Actually a lot of them dont even bother pretending. They just ignore the possibility of trauma in these young boys. I know there was a case in the UK a few weeks ago where a woman, while drunk, had sex with under age boys (and apparently got them drunk as well) and walked out of court with a suspended sentence.

              From what I could tell the judge’s rational was that the boys didn’t seem to be traumatized and that while what she did was bad it didn’t seem like something she would do again. I’m sure I’ve ever heard of a man getting a suspended sentence for having sex with an under age girl because he didn’t seem the type to do it again and the girl didn’t seem to be traumatized.

          • The issue isn’t about the women. The issue is whether or not these young boys were endangered. Please for a moment, stop worrying about adult women and think about the children involved in this situation and whether or not they were endangered.

            • I often seen conflicting tropes in threads like this and on GMP. One is that boys will be boys and benefit from this particular kind of encounter, though based on a mother arranging it (odd) and the older dancer pushing herself physically on the boy it might feel less than consensual. But I hear that boys like it and want it and that women are overprotecting.

              Then I also hear how men are sexually assaulted by women, for real. And they are. And that the trauma on a young boy with a developing sexuality from a somewhat non consensual (or feels like he has to say yes) encounter is big and real and should be respected and honored.

              So which is it?

              If the boys wanted the dancer and arranged for it and were legally of age, I’d not have much of a problem with it.

              If the boys wanted the dancer and convinced a parent to obtain one, still seems sketchy and in poor judgement from a parental place. Let an older friend get the stripper and excise the parental involvement. Seems incestuous (also traumatic).

              If the boys were being surprised and other parents had no clue…this is just a major weird boundary issue on the parent.

              Many of the boys may have had a good time (though still learning some interesting things about purchasing people, women as sex objects etc). Some of the boys may have felt really upset but couldn’t show it or share it and will be dealing with that.

              Better for a group of people to decide together what kind of entertainment they like, rather than risk all of it.

              Communication…it helps things.

            • Id say being a virgin at 26 is more traumatizing for a guy than having sex with an adult woman at 16, if at all.

            • Oh that’s cool as long as you’re applying that to yourself or even thinking that way. The problem is when that thought grows to the point that it actually shapes legislation and the very discussion of sex.

            • For me personally, yes I would rather have lost my virginity at 16 vs 25. Maybe even a lil bit younger though my sex drive didn’t really kick in till about 15ish anyway.


        • Danny, Maybe we are over protective of girls and mould them into more vulnerable beings than they naturally ought to be.

          I would agree with that.


          That should be corrected instead of, for sake of equality, trying to make boys more delicate and vulnerable creatures.

          It’s not about making them more delicate and vulnerable. It’s about giving boys a way to work with/work through any delicacies and vulnerabilities that come up, IF they feel as such.


          Female sexuality and sexual reponses shouldnt be the gold standard for humans.

          Agreed.

          Overall what I see now is girls are over protected to the point of suffication and boys are left out in the cold to freeze out.

          Both boys and girls need to be free to express, work with, work though, those things as they see fit rather than being told the must deal with them a certain way becasue of their gender. To use my example girls should be free to adjust the blanket as they wish and boys should be free to get some cold protection as they wish.

    • In fairness, it should probably be investigated. It isn’t normal for a parent to sexualize one of their own children this way. It could be indicative of deeper abuse.

      In all likelihood, though, this is just a single mother who wanted to prove that she was ‘cool’ to her son. Not that far off from the awkward father who tries to buy his son a hooker, really.

      • It actually used to be somewhat common to initiate adolescent boys into sex by either hiring a prostitute (I almost wrote Protestant) for them about this age or having them have sex with one of the maids, basically raping them. It wasn’t a universal practice but it was done in a lot of middle and upper class families in order to take away the virgin edge. Historically, there is nothing unusual about the situation.

        • mmm! Raping and buying the help! Lovely!

        • Hey LeeEsq, it was also one time perfectly normal to have African-Americans as slaves. Just because that’s how it was, doesn’t mean that’s how it should be. I don’t really care that much about what was historically acceptable. There was a lot of things historically acceptable by our society that were plain wrong and messed up.

  2. “Endangerment” is a bit of a stretch but I’d say the risk of leaving a teenage boy with this kind of view of women is potentially pretty harmful. This article states that some of these kids were as young as 14 – that makes them CHILDREN. If it been outside of a party setting this would have effectively been indecent exposure. Young people need guidance to help them understand the complexities of sexuality and to respect others. Just because the hormones and the desires are there does not mean that the maturity and understanding of sexual situations is also. This is why we have an age of consent – so young people have the chance to understand sexuality, gender and what is a healthy consensual experience and what isn’t. Just because a hormonal adolescent boy thinks the idea of a woman twice his age being paid to grind herself against his lap is a pleasurable experience does not mean it has a positive effect on his burgeoning sexuality. On this note the mother has failed hopelessly, not to the scale of “endangerment” but certainly in terms of responsibility and the legalities of consenting adult activities.

  3. I think that it is a mistake to assume ‘most boys would have had the time of their lives’ — I think that is a stereotype which doesn’t serve the masses very well.
    As the child (albeit girl child) of parents who were often exposing me to inappropriate things — and offering up elixirs older than my own means of procurement — I would offer that it can be much more complicated than simple indulgence.
    There are growing studies that show that exposure to sexually explicit material on the web can be wounding to kids — why would the real thing be less so…
    Among other things, the mother’s involvement changes the situation entirely — far different than if the boys had decided to go find a stripper on their own. The public nature, the community nature, the first exposure and the mixing of parental involvement could all, potentially be traumatic. My son is only 11, but I imagine it would be very difficult for him to have been there — particularly as I have talked about the effect on these types of professions on the women involved.
    Perhaps it is primarily mother’s who think about this sort of thing — but if that is true, perhaps more fathers should be taking the sensitivity of their sons into consideration…

    • Great comments Jennifer and I completely agree with you. I don’t htink it helps boys either to say that most boys would have a time of their lives or to say that teenage boys that sleep with adult women are “lucky”. I think these kind of thoughts are harmful to boys who might not emotionally be ready for how the world pushes male sexuality on them. And the world is pretty good as telling young boys that their sexuality should be consumer driven.

  4. Also — here is one definition of sexual abuse:
    sexual abuse
    n.
    1. The forcing of unwanted sexual activity by one person on another
    2. Sexual activity that is deemed improper or harmful, as between an adult and a minor

  5. I’ll reiterate that is distasteful, especially for the parents who were not in on the scheme. She was really irresponsible and inconsiderate of her guests. I can only imagine the embarrassment they had to go through in the process.
    The boys would be more liberal towards the idea, however, she imposed her ideals on them before they could afford a chance ( a legal age) to make their own choice. Personally, I think she didn’t consider her guests’ rights. And on that premise, she is wrong.

  6. alyiasimone says:

    Question: the reactions of those who think this is not a big deal feel differently if it was a party of teen girls getting lapdances from adult male strippers? Would that scenario be endangerment or a feel good time for the girls?

  7. alyiasimone says:

    Question: the reactions of those who think this is not a big deal feel differently if it was a party of teen girls getting lapdances from adult male strippers? Would that scenario be endangerment or just a feel good time for the girls?

  8. I think answering the last question — “How would you, as a parent, handle a situation such as this if your underage teenager had attended a party that was going to have strippers without your prior knowledge?” — could be illuminating. As a harsh reaction could make it more problematic for the child to choose between his hormones and his mother, while sitting will do the alleged damage. Whether or not the act of the mother is endangering, relies on parents’ reaction.


  9. How would you, as a parent, handle a situation such as this if your underage teenager had attended a party that was going to have strippers without your prior knowledge?

    If I wasn’t already talking to them about sex (which I would like to think I would) it would be the time to start.

  10. I agree, would this be accepted if the teens were girls? And how strange for a mother to hang out with 14, 15, and 16 yr Olds with strippers :/ I am under no illusion that boys think of these things but to welcome strippers into your party to make it seem like this behavior is ok is just wrong, not endangerment but wrong.

  11. Important question: did the partygoers know in advance what the entertainment would be?

    If so, then the mother’s action was not only NOT endangerment, it was appropriate and praiseworthy. Most teenage boys like strippers very much, and as long as they knew beforehand what the party would involve, they had a choice in whether to attend.

  12. I grew up in this town. It is unfortunately a lower middle class town that, in some circles, suffers from an epidemic of bad parenting. Parents doing drugs with their children, a football coach throwing a kegger for the high school team… Consequently, this news (while disappointing) was not altogether surprising to me when it broke locally late last year.

    However, I hate to see the area getting such bad publicity. Despite its problems, South Glens Falls has a number of great qualities – like this yearly marathon dance that has raised over $3 million for local charities and individuals in need over the past 35 years. It really is a great little town with a tremendous sense of community responsibility.

    To your questions: I am all for parents encouraging and discussing burgeoning sexuality with their child. The best way for a young person to develop a healthy sexual self-concept and a healthy view of consensual sexuality is to have accurate, age-appropriate information available to them throughout their development. Comprehensive sex education starts in school with “good touch/bad touch” education, then anatomy and puberty discussions, then how babies are made, then how to practice safe sex. But it doesn’t end in health class. Parents are responsible for being open to discussing sexual values and mores with their children at home, too. Unfortunately, this was not a case of healthy discussion for healthy development. This woman introduced her son to viewing women as paid-for objects. No doubt this will affect his sexuality and understanding of gendered sexual power – and not in a good way.

    Under New York State law, yes, this does count as child endangerment.

    A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when:
    1. He or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the
    physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen years
    old or directs or authorizes such child to engage in an occupation
    involving a substantial risk of danger to his or her life or health

    Injurious to the mental or moral welfare of a child under seventeen? Check.

    I don’t think this woman should receive the prison time she potentially faces if convicted. Her crime does not warrant us spending taxpayer money to keep her in a cell for a year. Rather, I’d like to see her have to attend one-on-one counseling sessions with a sex educator for a year, so she hopefully learns a healthy approach to encouraging her son’s sexuality. But then again, maybe it’s too late for that.

    • Oh? What was injurious to the child’s moral welfare about seeing a stripper? I’m curious what definition of ‘moral’ is being used by the law, and if that same interpretation could be used to justify shielding the child from exposure to, say, a homosexual couple. Or an atheist.

      • Well, would the homosexual couple be humping and faking sex acts on the child? Would the atheist? Or would the the homosexual couple be having sex in front of him? Or would the atheist be burning bibles and screaming in the face of the kid?
        The stripper was performing sexuality in a way (touching the child) that the child may or may not have been able to integrate, may or may not have been comfortable with, may or may not have wanted. I don’t see a comparison with exposing them to homosexuality unless they also were performing sexuality in front of kids.

        • For me it’s about parental judgement and involvement in a sexual act with a minor, something we should be concerned about whether it was a boy or girl child and whether other parents had given consent.

        • The stripper was performing sexuality in a way (touching the child) that the child may or may not have been able to integrate, may or may not have been comfortable with, may or may not have wanted. I don’t see a comparison with exposing them to homosexuality unless they also were performing sexuality in front of kids.

          Was the “performing sexuality” only problematic because the adult performer touched the child? Or would it still have been bad if the exhibiting adult performer stayed like 5 feet away from the minor person, but still did the sexually suggestive movements and gestures?

          At gay pride parades, the parade performers often wear sexual paraphernalia and are “performing sexuality” (mock humping, thrusting, gyrating, etc.)

          Should children be kept away from gay pride parades? Or does it only become problematic if the performing adult makes physical contact with the child?

          • What good interesting questions. I suppose it depends on context of the performance, history around who is viewing or being viewed, and consent of the people involved. If I took my child to a pride parade and he told me how upsetting it was, and I made him stay, I think that would be emotionally abusive. If I took him to a parade and asked a drag queen to perform fake sex acts on him for my own amusement, I think that would be quite wrong yes. If I hired a gay stripper to perform on a child I also think that could cause some issues. If I took my child and other people’s kids to a pride parade without asking with them (and not checking to find out if that political position would cause the child problems later, or my child problems with other parents being mad at me) that seems like a socially awkward decision to put the child through.

            If we go to a parade and he’s comfortable there and consenting watches floats and asks questions around why people are wearing types of clothes I can answer them and we can discuss what’s going on. We can also talk about the difference between a political parade where people who have been oppressed are showing pride in their bodies vs a party where women or men are being bought for the sexual gratification of others and that the dancer MIGHT be really into it and autonomous, but he/she might also not and is that problematic (depending on the age of the kid while we are discussing).

            We might also talk about erotic dance as a history. We do tend to have interesting discussions at my house.

            I can imagine my child getting invited to a shooting party and if it happened without my husband’s knowledge? He’d be pissed as bloody hell. So, there are a lot of things to take into consideration, regardless of sex, guns, pride etc.

            As for the current case: Do we know if the child in this case was consenting, how it was played (camp vs highly sexualized), what role the mother had in hanging out, were the other parents ok with it…all kinds of things are yellow flags to me, someone who is sex positive and supportive of erotic arts.

            My biggest beef with this thread is that I know how many commenters and readers GMP has that have been raped or abused by women and they want that taken seriously. As do I. So then turning and saying “All boys like this” is doing a huge disservice to those who are working hard to identify how and when men are abused and relying on stereotypes about male sexuality that might not always play out true in real life.

            If there was a young man in that group who had a history of assault, or felt assaulted…then what? I want him to be believed, personally. I think the mother didn’t act in the best interest of the group, which doesn’t mean that sexuality is the problem.

      • “Moral” is one of those terms that will have to be discussed among the jurors on the trial. It can’t be defined for everyone, as morals differ between cultures and individuals.

        I agree with Julie. Being gay is an identity. A gay person’s identity doesn’t affect others. Nor do an atheist’s beliefs. Just because their beliefs and identities may conflict with your morals doesn’t mean their mere existence is going to affect you in any way. Performing sexuality towards a not-necessarily-consenting minor is a totally different animal.

  13. ……

  14. It worries me whenever sexual situations involving teenagers get called things like “child endangerment;” teens and pre-teen children are different categories. It seems quite unproductive to try to completely protect teenagers from sex and deny them any right whatsoever to make choices in this area. I agree with Copyleft that it matters whether the kids knew what they were getting into, though I don’t know how bad I’d think it would be if they didn’t (it would depend on things like whether they were pressured to stay or participate if they didn’t want to, etc.) And personally I don’t think it really should matter whether it’s boys or girls who are involved.

  15. John Schtoll says:

    There are a couple of issues that I have with the actions taken by the local prosecutor and to some of the commentors here

    1) if this 16 year old boy committed a murder or rape, there would very well be a push to have him tried as an adult, so IMHO, if a 16 year old boy can be tried as an adult THEN HE IS AN ADULT.

    2) There seems to a couple of commentors who don’t really care about the possible damage to the boys but rather the possible damage to some future generic woman or women. Kinda reminds me of the headline (200 killed in gas explosion including 3 women).

  16. This story reminds me of a somewhat inconsequential happenstance that centered around my 11 year old son (29 years) ago. My wife and I had a house “Nanny” living in to help a family with two terribly busy adults..Anyway..she caught my son and one of his buddies perusing a couple of my “Playboy” magazines..
    Being the good HYPER Christian, the nanny had a rage, kept him in his room all afternoon till I returned home..I was advised to see my son in his room and met out swift and terrible vengeance..He was in tears as he recanted the story of peering into my girlie magazines..I bust out with riotous laughter, surprising and delighting my son. In the larger scope of the universe, having a healthy sexual proclivity for the opposite sex was perfectly fine with me . I hugged him and told him, that as the years progressed, he could always come to me for answers as best I could explain..I also explained that his mother was a “riot” in bed, and that I would never be drawn off by another woman..
    So I gave him a stack of my old “Playboys” With implicit instructions that he and his buddies only review them in off days for the Nanny..Now all these boys are tremendous grown men, with professional careers and wonderful families of their own..And they are all still best friends more than 30 years later..

    • Jim, I understand that Playboys are pretty normal among men and men seem them as being pretty harmless. But I think there is a fine line between going into a rage at discovering your son is looking at Playboy and handing him a stack of your own and telling him to have at it. Did you ever have any real discussions with him about sexuality and women and how the images in Playboy are rather unrealistic? And that women aren’t products to be consumed? I am surey our son and his friends are fine men, but the reality is that a large chunk of men do still consider women part of consumer products. They section of the women they marry and the women they use for sexual gratification. This doesn’t mean that these me nare terrible or don’t love their wives and family. But it does mean that alot of men still view some women products to be bought and used.

      I don’t think the way your Nanny reacted was well done of her. But I can’t say that your way was better either. I wish men would have more conversations with their sons and daughters about how women are marketed sexually. Instead of just telling their sons that the visual buying and objectification women is totally okay and natural. feeling attraction and lust for women is totally natural. Feeling strong sexual feelings is totally natural. But mediums like Playboy don’t really do women any favors and I don’t think they project positive ideals of sex or women. Unfortunetly, today, Playboy is light compared to what women are forced to contend with, with the way porn is now. I really wish men would try and help and be on women’s side. Instead of the side of Playboy. But your comments make me feel like men are still very much on the side of Playboy, and not real everyday women.

  17. I think it goes without saying that what the mother did was wrong. I don’t know if I agree that it was child endangerment, but it’s obviously an unhealthy situation.

    Unfortunately, while what this mother did is really poor, I don’t think it’s that more far off the mark with how most people teach their children to relate to sexuality (or don’t teach and let the world teach them instead.) This woman in the article did it more flagrantly then the general public would. But it does seems that we socially, whether it is conscious or not, believe sex should be presented as a commodity that can be bought. Especially if it’s a man (or boy) paying for a woman in some way. Men pay for women through strippers or through print or film. But even if it’s being done on the internet, and not with a stripper, it’s still paying for a woman on some scale. So while there is a difference between someone paying for their child to have a lap dance and someone that okays, or gives, or encourages their child to seek out sexual material, there is also a commonality there. The commonality is the purchasing of sex. Sex can be bought. Women especially can be bought. Women especially are to be bought for male sexual pleasure. Because lets be honest, women are most often the product being sold.

    I think we need a total overall in how we socially believe sex occurs between men and women. I think we need to stop making women the product and stop excusing women being the product simply because lots of men grow up to have successful careers and families that they love. At some point, we need to stop justifying using woman as a commodity for sex just because A) Boys and men have strong sexual desires and B) Some men turn out okay despite avid porn watching or stripper viewing. There is something very wrong with a society that still believes it’s okay for women to be a commodity to be purchased in sex.

    • “I think it goes without saying that what the mother did was wrong.”

      Actually, it doesn’t go without saying, as the comments above show. If the boy is old enough to like strippers, he’s old enough to see strippers (as long as he gives consent).

      Sex can indeed be bought; you equate that with ‘buying women,’ but that’s just your own (skewed) interpretation of it.

      • I do think it goes without saying that a mother or father purchasing sex for their child is wrong.

        I never said sex couldn’t be bought. Just that I think the idea that sex can be bought skews our human sexuality. And yes, that is my own interpretation. My belief isn’t any more “skewed” then yours.

        • “I do think it goes without saying that a mother or father purchasing sex for their child is wrong.”

          Arguable, but also irrelevant, since that’s not what happened here.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I wonder if there may be a bit of a cycle playing itself out in this family, because I just did the math.She’s a 33 year old mother with a 16 year old son, so that means she gave birth to him when she was 17, which maybe means she was pregnant at 16. I’m hoping he was her _first_ child and she didn’t have any kids before that. Maybe from her perspective 16 is the age you have to grow up fast and hit sexuality hard because you have to be prepared for it or some other kind of messed up life lesson she’s paying forward.

  18. Yikes. I thought the picture above was of the stripper, but it’s actually the mom! Nice looking woman and probably one that is in a heap of trouble now.

    I don’t think we know the details that could make an ethical difference in this particular case. But if I had to speculate, I’m guessing low-impact, much ado about nada – but that’s more my bias than much else.

    Interesting that she too took a lap dance – very campy!

  19. All this talk of people saying these boys would learn women are only for sexuality….seriously? Are you raising children with a very low understanding of the world and terrible level of intelligence? Seeing a female stripper should never make someone assume women are just for sexuality anymore than seeing a male soldier means men are just for killing n dying. Why do I feel like I am the only one here that is giving more credit to kids ability to understand the complexities of life? I saw hardcore porn at 15 years old, I didn’t magically think women are just good for sex n nothing more, I thought “Damn women are so beautiful”.

    If your child grows up seeing porn, a stripper, and thinks that women are just to be used then your child has major issues and I suggest counseling straight away because there obviously is something else leading them to that conclusion. There’s no logic to the idea of the existence of female sex workers meaning women are only good for sex when women have a wide variety of careers. I find some thought patterns in the some of the commenters here quite disturbing if that is the leap of logic they are forming from a boy seeing a stripper.

  20. wellokaythen says:

    In this case, we’re up against the unavoidable fact that the law is dependent on a specific age. In this case, we’re talking about something that seems pretty clearly illegal because of the age of the child (just turned 16), but we ought to be able to perceive some gray area here.

    One year later, and what she did is not child endangerment anymore. (Presumably 17 is the age of consent there.) If she hires strippers again for his 17th birthday, that may not be illegal, because by law he’s reached some sort of magical turning point.

    Poor kid. He’s a “child” endangered by a lap dance, but then after the party he can hop in his car, drive legally, and if he holds up a liquor store resulting in the death of an innocent victim, he could be tried and executed as an adult. Some real mixed messages out there about what it means to be 16.

    I’m super curious, and I know there’s no way to test this, but I wonder if the public reaction would be the same if she had hired a male stripper for her daughter, or if it was a man hiring the female stripper for his son. I’m guessing a sliding scale of public outrage….

  21. wellokaythen says:

    Am I just a jaded sexist jerk because I think this is a mountain made out of a molehill?

    Such an uncultured approach by both the mother and the police. Such a lack of imagination.

    Have the party at a gallery, and refer to the “strippers” as “interactive performance artists.” They are not officially sex workers, but are artists exhibiting their latest work, work which challenges the traditional distinction between subject and object through the use of human movement, inspired in part by a rich tradition of artistic portrayals of the human body. Watch as highly talented creative people challenge the bourgeois boundaries between viewer and participant. All culturally uplifting and with great expansion of the intellect. The community would be downright tumescent with the excitement of such creativity in their midst.

    Then you might be able to get away with it, and you’d get po-mo cred. You could make it into a free speech case. These are options we yuppies in the big city have that people in small towns often don’t. Anywhere but a bowling alley, for heaven’s sake.

    Apropos of nothing, but I didn’t see in the story if the dancers were also charged with a crime. If the mother committed a crime by hiring them, then they should be charged as well. Just in the spirit of fairness, if what she did really was an unpardonable offense, then they are accessories. They are not just sex workers, if they are paid to commit what turns out to be a crime. Unless the community is *selectively* sex positive….

    • If the mother committed a crime by hiring them, then they should be charged as well. Just in the spirit of fairness, if what she did really was an unpardonable offense, then they are accessories. They are not just sex workers, if they are paid to commit what turns out to be a crime. Unless the community is *selectively* sex positive….

      Oh, Wellokaythen, surely you know the default assumptions about most sex workers. Most members of the community would assume that these performers were grievously abused as children, that do this work to feed their raging drug addictions, that they have abusive, parasitic sexual partners who make them do this kind of work, and that their clients rape and assault them as a matter of course. And as you can see from the tenor of the comments, most people are not view the minor male person as the true “victim” of “endangerment.” Rather, the sex workers in this incident were the “victims” of the minor male person’s sense of sexual entitlement. The minor male person was only in danger of becoming a sexual predator, that is if he isn’t a predator already.

      And probably a lot of “sex positive” people hold a similar opinion. For some, “sex positive” does not apply if it conforms to heteronormativity and partriarchy and such. So regular run of the mill striptease may not always have “sex positive” credibility. To be definitely “sex positive,” the nude person would probably have to doing some kind of unpleasant postmodern performance artist spoken word poetry denouncing the hierarchies of the day.

  22. If they were at a BOWLING ALLEY, and the strippers weren’t NAKED, (because they’re in a BOWLING ALLEY), then there’s NOTHING WRONG with any of it.

  23. wellokaythen says:

    Perhaps the strippers were being degraded. I can’t help but notice the passive construction of this previous sentence. To be precise, if they were being degraded they were degrading themselves. (I assume they had free will in booking the gig.) If they were involved in a crime against women, in part they did it to themselves. Funny how it’s “society” degrading women when a woman makes a contract with other women, but it’s men degrading women when a man books them.

    To be blunt, not all things that are immoral should be illegal. Something should not be made illegal and prosecuted with jail time just because it is degrading in any way. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I see a very valid reason to persecute people for making sexual advances on people below the age of consent. For me the issue is that her son could not fully consent because he was under the age of consent. It doesn’t matter if a person enjoyed it or asked for it if that person is below the age of consent. Whether it’s degrading to the person who chooses to do it is a separate question, and not something that the police have to be involved with in every case.

    Maybe I’m just a libertine. I don’t think there should be laws enforcing a particular sexual morality, beyond protecting people’s rights or beyond ensuring that acts are consensual. I don’t think there should be laws enforcing moral virtue. There shouldn’t be laws protecting the social standing of a particular gender in someone else’s eyes.

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