Why strippers strip (5×8 – 6/20/11)

Elizabeth Mills has suggested today’s Monday Morning Rouser. She knows her Rousers!


What makes women become strippers in the Fargo-Moorhead area? “The kids,” the Fargo Forum reveals in a profile today of a woman who gives lap dances out of her home. The woman is married, her husband knows what her wife is doing, and the money allows the kids to go to private school. Still, it doesn’t sound like a happy life and the woman seems to still harbor a dream of becoming a cop.

The longer C.C. dances, the harder she finds it to bounce back emotionally. “When I worked in the clubs, I used to drink, just to get the courage to get up there and do what I had to do,” she says.

Now, C.C. adds, she has to take a day or two off if a client acts especially “gross and degrading.”

“Once in a while, I’ll meet the wrong guy, and he’ll make me feel like (expletive), but I’ll bite my tongue and do it because I know the kids need this or that,” she says.


Last Wednesday, a man walked into a courthouse in Keene, New Hampshire and set himself on fire. A day later, the local newspaper received his “last statement.” The newspaper decided to print the letter, which detailed the man’s unhappiness over the amount of child support he was (not) paying and his consternation that slapping his child was considered domestic violence. Minnesota made the letter...

The idea for these arrests came from something called the Minneapolis Police Experiment (MPE) of 1981-82. In the experiment police offices were given pads with one of three words written on them; counsel, send or arrest. Counsel meant the officer was to try to mediate the couple’s spat. Send was to send one of the spouses out of the house for eight hours as a cooling off period. Arrest was arrest one of the two spouses. The officer was to do as the top paper on the pad said to do. The experiment was set up by the Police Foundation and Lawrence W. Sherman was the lead researcher. The results show counseling resulted in a future assault in 24% cases, send was 19%, and the arrest option resulted in a future assault in only 10% of the cases. Perhaps a cheap way of cutting down future domestic violence.

In 1984 The U. S. Attorney General’s Task Force of Domestic Violence recommended arrest as the primary weapon in domestic violence assault. Lawrence W. Sherman recommend not using the arrests because the MPE was just one study and it could be wrong. They ignored him. And by 1992, 93% of the police departments in the nation had adopted some form of mandatory arrest in domestic violence cases.

But by 1992 five more addition studies similar to the MPE became available. Lawrence W. Sherman reviewed all five studies. Then once again he wrote that the police should not use arrest. In two of the five studies, they found the same result as they did in the MPE, that an arrest cut down the odds of a future assault. But in the other three studies an arrest actually increase the odds of a future assault. So arresting someone in a domestic violence situation to cut down on future assaults did not work any better than just flipping a coin. I do not know if Lawrence W. Sherman is still alive. But fortunately he wrote a book call Policing Domestic Violence that was published in 1992.

So we have 800,000 American police officers arresting one in every six adults in the country and throwing 25% of the men, women and children out on the streets in an effort to enforce a policy that they knew did not work back in1992. And I had always assumed that you needed a man to really screw something up. Oh well, there goes another glass ceiling.

Here’s the 1984 article on the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment.

(h/t: Patrick Steele)


The Economist’s Gulliver blog has sampled the light-rail fare of Minneapolis. It — he? — likes us…

And it strikes me that airport links may also have a significant positive externality for American cities struggling to make the case for their own light rail systems–which is to say, a lot of them. This is because they are, by design, highly accessible to travellers. They’re likely to be a traveller’s first experience of a city’s public-transport system. And so a pleasant airport link can be an effective ambassador for light rail systems in general. This is especially true in cities like Minneapolis, where the corralling of visitors into close contact with locals gives the former a quick sense of the virtues of the latter. After one stranger had given me a free ticket, another carried my bag, and a whole cluster held the door so I could disembark after a throng of baseball fans had surged on board. All part of the American axis of niceness: Minnesotans, Mormons and Muppets.

Minnesota, Mormons, and Muppets? I don’t really get it. (h/t: Matt Wells)


Comedian — or is he a journalist? — Jon Stewart was on FoxNews Sunday, taking on Chris Wallace’s assertion that the network is not fair and balanced.


It’s quite a controversy in Wadena County they’ve got going. At the the Wadena County Humane Society Pet Expo a week ago Saturday, a woman’s service dog was minding its own service-dog business when a pit bull attacked it. That’s one story. The other story is the service dog was sniffing around the pit bull and the pit bull got fed up and attacked. The pit bull is either going to be destroyed or adopted; it depends on which story ends up being believed more.

A woman is demanding an apology and some help paying a vet’s bill.

Bonus: The true story of the Traveling Wilburys. It’s going to be taken down in a few hours.

Weekend postscript: It’s back to the ’10s after a weekend in the ’50s.


Today’s “Midmorning” looks at a controversy surrounding fiction for young adults. Critics say too much of it is dark, disturbing and violent. Today’s Question: Should books cater to a taste for violence, if that’s what teens want to read?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: ADHD and substance abuse: Ten years later

Second hour: A recent Wall Street Journal article that criticized young adult fiction for being rife with violence and depravity has raised hackles among readers, novelists, and the publishing industry. Midmorning speaks with an author and a librarian about the controversy.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Four Minnesota economists discuss whether raising taxes or cutting spending is more harmful to the Minnesota economy.

Second hour: A documentary from the America Abroad series, “The Roots of Arab Spring.”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: TBA

Second hour: Jorge Castaneda describes his fellow Mexicans as a people of paradox: Avoiding conflict, yet faced with daily violence. Supportive of immigrant’s rights, but often not in Mexico.

  • Alison

    \\ It’s back to the ’10s after a weekend in the ’50s.

    At first glance I wondered if you were talking about the temperature!

  • BJ

    Sounds like Roy Orbison was the one everyone kind of thought was the best among them.

  • lucy
  • boB from WA

    Thanks for the 50’s. That’s one of my fave memories from my time in the Cities.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Regarding -For The Kids

    I’m not sure what is the most absurd part of this post: The fact that the woman allows herself to feel “gross and degraded” in order to be able to put her kids in private school (?!?!?)

    or the fact that you chose to post it at all, Bob. Your own bio pieces are so powerful.

    What of value can be learned from reading this piece?

    Is it a commentary on Fargo? The Coens already did that, and there was humor along with the pathos.

    Or what becomes of some girls who are raised in a strict Catholic environment?

    Or what kind of damaged people want to be cops?

    Or the destruction caused by deadbeat dads?

    Or perhaps we’re supposed to realize that we’re all whores for something, and only the why and how we sell ourselves differs.

  • Bob Collins

    //What of value can be learned from reading this piece? Is it a commentary on Fargo? The Coens already did that, and there was humor along with the pathos. Or what becomes of some girls who are raised in a strict Catholic environment? Or what kind of damaged people want to be cops? Or the destruction caused by deadbeat dads? Or perhaps we’re supposed to realize that we’re all whores for something, and only the why and how we sell ourselves differs.

    Out of five potential items — actually more than five — you found one interesting enough to comment on one. So at least one of your questions was answered. What you took away from the article is entirely up to you.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Bob – my anger and sadness over the stupidity and suffering depicted in the lap dance piece led me to shoot from the hip rather than take better aim, and I hit the messenger.

    I should have edited my comment when I realized the true value that I took from the post.

    Mea culpa. ( That’s “sorry” in strict catholic upbringing.)

  • lucy

    @ Jim

    I thought the same things but held from comment. I got through the first paragraph or two in the link and than quit. I couldn’t get past the idea that this woman had such a low opinion of herself-the part where she submits herself to feeling degraded inorder to send her children to a private school. I didn’t read further and did not know that it was a Catholic school. I would think that if it is a Catholic school they will find a better way for this couple to supplement their income so that their children can take part in the ‘valuable’ education.

    I struggle here with the lessons being taught to these children and the fact that it is public knowledge that mom dances for education. Post that one on Catholic Schools Week.

    It IS sad. I don’t understand the point of it being posted but that maybe someone will use this as a tool to help this woman out rather than use her as subject matter at the Women’s Catholic Knitting circle.

  • Bob Collins

    //I don’t understand the point of it being posted

    You deny yourself the data if you stop at two paragraphs. Why was it posted? Because it’s interesting. It reveals a side of life that — clearly — some people don’t want to know about.

    You may not like it, and yet — as I said before — it touched a nerve for some reason. Why?

  • lucy

    / — it touched a nerve for some reason. Why?


    This woman is confused about her own rights as an individual,boundaries and self esteem, and the lesson she is portraying to her children just to rattle off a few of the more obvious.

    The message my mother stripped so I could get a Catholic education is a problem. I am not judging this woman, I just do not understand why? Somebody needs to help this woman get affordable healthcare, and a regular job that doesn’t endanger her life or her families.

    That’s the nerve it struck Bob.