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Dignity at Work

Hodson mentioned under the chapter “Four Faces of Working with Dignity” that meaningful work is essential for dignity. Considering the nature of work of the respondents in the reading by Rambo and Cross, is it possible to find meaning in a work that asks a person to strip their clothes off for other people’s pleasure? How can anyone who sells their body possibly earn and appreciate the respect of others? Does a person who strips his or her clothes off to make a living have very little to no self-respect?

Both men and women who engage in striptease work are subject to judgment by those who often know very little about the nature of the work they are doing. For most of us, striptease can be synonymous to prostitution and people who do this for a living are sleazy, uneducated, and undignified. What other people tend to overlook however, is that striptease dancer, like the rest of us, are more than just their occupation. For instance, a striptease dancer can be a mother striving to provide food on the table and to pay for her children’s education. Should this be the case, isn’t it just right to say that her work is, in fact, meaningful? It is meaningful for her and her children as her work is their bread and butter and without it, it’s impossible for them to get by. It is true that other people may scorn her for the kind of work she does to make money, but she will earn the respect of some, perhaps even her kids, as she is striving to the best of her ability to provide for them.

As far as self-worth is concerned, there are a lot of factors that affect how a person realizes his or her self-worth. Commonly it is based on whether or not they conform to the standards the society has set. It is worth noting, however, that the world we’re living in today undeniably has double standards. It is impossible to be absolutely right and be absolutely good these days. No matter how good or how bad someone behaves, there will always be naysayers. How do we know for sure how striptease dancers perceive their worth as a person? Is it enough to say that showing their body off to complete strangers gives us a message that these people have a low sense of self-worth?

When working as a striptease dancer, both men and women are always in danger of being abused and taken advantage of. While it can be relatively safe for striptease dancers to perform in strip clubs where there are security personnel, there is still a risk that their customers might follow them and sexually assault them while they’re making their way home. Nevertheless, these working conditions, most of us do not know that most striptease dancers opt not to go completely naked when performing as they more often than not choose to just strip some of their clothing off. According to the same chapter by Hodson, in the workplace, dignity is realized through countless small acts of resistance against abuse. Resisting the stigma that they are just objects of sexual pleasure that will bend to their customers’ will, striptease dancers choose to set a limit to their performances.

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