Ted Burton (egburton@VALINT.NET)
Tue, 25 Aug 1998 09:47:29 -0700
Another member of the list reminds me that, now the my buttons are back up
<g>, there was a question before the list which is a real question. Is it
OK for a stripper to be a Scout leader?
The question is not whether it is OK for a stripper -- whom I will call
Jane for the rest of this letter -- to be a stripper. It is not a question
whether Jane's activities are moral within the religious beliefs of
particular sects. It is a complexity which must be dealt with in the
context of Scouting.
As a soldier, and as a private attorney, and as a prosecutor, I have met
any number of young women whose occupation in some way is related to their
physical beauty. I came to the realization that they are not all alike, any
more than all preachers are alike. The range of occupations which trade in
whole or part on physical beauty include such things as being an actress
(whether on Broadway or in Hollywood), being a fashion model, being an
advertising worker, -- all the way to being a streetwalker. For that
matter, there are handsome men whose occupations run the same gamut.
I have met go-go dancers whose self-image is that of actress or
professional dancer, who attend churches with fundamental leanings
(including one who danced with such charm and grace that the whole place
grew virtually silent and she got major applause). I have met go-go dancers
who have that same self-image and are atheists. I have met go-go dancers
who are using the dance as an advertising mechanism for their other
occupation performed after hours. I have met go-go dancers who are college
students who find the income very useful for their future education. They
are simply not all alike. Some were borderline mental cases. Some were
well-organized aerobic exercisers and skilled dancers. Some were no more
interested in dating customers than your local nun. Others made it very
plain that anything like that would be vertical and clothed and no closer
than held hands, unless and until something developed as might develop
between a soldier and a store clerk.
The only place that a friend of mine who had come home from Viet Nam a
Major at 35, and I a First Lieutenant commissioned up from the enlised
ranks, ever walked into in the United States in uniform complete with 25th
Infantry patche on the right shoulder and got a standing ovation (1969),
was a go-go bar in Anchorage, Alaska. We were not permitted to buy our own
drinks. The welcome and friendliness was impressive from staff and from
Beat the reaction we got on the street, I'll tell you. Now who was
supporting 'our men in uniform?' Where was the old fashioned patriotism
found? Where is the morality in that issue?
The bottom line is that Jane is an individual human being, with her own
entire psychological make-up, emotional baggage or lack of same (not that
I've met too many people without baggage), and perfectly capable of having
a life apart from her job.
Thus there is only a need to speak with her and with the folks who 'hired'
her as an adult leader, to determine why she is there, what her own view of
the issue is, how good she is as a leader, etc. etc. etc.
If they've been dumb enough to hire a hooker who's after a clean clientelle
among the daddies, she should go. If they been smart enough to hire someone
who relates well to small children, and is interested in encouraging them
not to become customers of businesses which encourage intoxication and
wrong attitudes toward the female half of the race, that's good. She is
likely an expert on the mental state of the difficult patron.
I would ask her (if I were on her unit committee) how she views what some
parents may regard as a real issue, what she would have me say to such a
parent, what she would say to a child who asked her what she does for a
living, and I would then think over what she said with great care. How
mature were her answers? How effective were her answers? How well does she
interact with the boys?
You know, no Cub Scout ever asked me what I did for a living, that I can
mailto:email@example.com Do I have a Y2K Problem? No,
I've got a Mac. I've got a Year 29,940 A.D. Problem!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City