Wavell Starr Column

When I was breaking into the wrestling business in Calgary, the veterans explained how pro wrestlers and strippers have a lot in common. This applies not just to the similarities visible on the surface, such as the requirement of superior physical aesthetics and the use of self-tanner, but in a broader sense as well.

At its primitive carnival roots, pro wrestling was about making money from the fans, or “marks” as referred to by those inside the business, by drawing their interest to your story in the ring (or in this case, on the pole).

I am intrigued by the controversy surrounding the application made by an entrepreneur to open a strip club in Regina, which city council voted against in overwhelming fashion. While Mayor Michael Fougere declares that it was a business-based decision (security concerns, parking issues), it is hard not to get the impression that it was a decision based on morality.

The high volume of emails and phone calls received at City Hall in opposition to the venture was indicated as reason enough to consider halting the project. When the issue was discussed and came up for decision, the vocal non-supporters of the strip club broke out in a round of applause.

Phew! That was close. Now we are all safe (sarcasm intended).

This decision is a bit alarming to me. All other pertinent points aside, at the end of the day government is defining what is best for us according to western religion-based values. (Sound familiar?)

One of the main points raised against the proposed project is the objectification of women in such establishments. Though that point may be valid, such a stance disregards the women that choose to pursue this career as a means to provide a living for themselves and their families.

By condemning the strip clubs, you are condemning the women that are employed by these clubs in the first place in accordance with your own values and beliefs. In today’s day and age, social efforts have escalated from notions of “tolerance” of individual differences to that of “acceptance and inclusion”. Who is to say that what you believe to be right and just for you has to be for everyone else?

Further to that, we have all been in restaurants that have waitresses and other staff that were chosen for their jobs due to their physical attributes and potential to draw interest over other candidates that lacked that particular “skill” because doing so translates to increased revenue.

You know – the restaurants that ask for a picture with a resume in their job ads. Are we going to shut these places down? Of course not – people love these restaurants. I would bet money that many of the same people that are staunchly against the strip club project frequent these popular and trendy restaurants regularly with their families. The establishments are usually full which demonstrates community support for the businesses, but that’s different right?

For what it’s worth, I am not necessarily an advocate for strip clubs opening in Saskatchewan. I spend enough time working events in Alberta and Manitoba that if ever I felt compelled to hang out at the “peelers” I could easily do so on any given road trip on any given weekend.

Having said that, pro wrestlers are rarely fascinated with magicians and magic because we know how and why the tricks work. I am however an advocate for free will and the right to live one’s life as one sees fit. By stopping the recent proposal to open a strip club in Regina, which was recommended by City Administration, City Council has obliged the vocal minority and by doing so has not only put up a barrier to progress, they have taken the community a step back.

Keep up with the latest news from Wavell Starr on twitter @wavellstarr and “like” his page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheWavellStarrShow

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