Former Stripper Tells Easthampton Hearing about the Life: It Stinks

Some of our opponents have claimed that life in the sex industry is liberating and empowering for women. That didn’t prove to be the case for Karen Harrison, who share her experience at a public hearing in Easthampton. The Union-News reports…

About 200 opponents turned out in opposition to nude dancing last night at a hearing on a request from the Eight Ball Lounge to expand its entertainment license. Residents crowded into the auditorium at the White Brook Middle School and spoke against the request from Jeremy Hewat, manager and co-owner of the 73-76 Cottage St. bar…

The first speaker was Karen Harrison, who said she was a strip-dancer for eight years and is now a teacher. Harrison, who did not say where she is from, predicted sexual disease, violence, rape, murder of women and drunk driving would increase if the nude dancing comes to Easthampton.

“I’m not a psychic, but I predict local prostitution and drug dealing will flourish and get bolder,” Harrison said.

Harrison then told the story of her eight years working in strip bars in four states, including Massachusetts. Her story, which she said was not for the “squeamish,” included harassment by clients and management and the prevalence of venereal disease in strip bars.

“If you vote for this, you will regret it when you see your wives and daughters dancing up there, hooked on drugs,” Harrison said to a standing ovation from the crowd…

Gail Bennett, of 6 Fairfield Ave., who has led the opposition to the request from the bar three blocks from her home, backed up Harrison’s predictions with a series of studies she cited, which showed increased crime in “pornographic districts.”

She cited statistics indicating that pornography leads to increased child abuse, molestation, abduction, domestic violence and rape.

Bennett also cited a series of court decisions which she said show that government can regulate nude dancing…

Even before the hearing, selectmen had seen an outpouring of protest over the request from the Eight Ball’s owner. An opposition petition had been received as well as letters of protest from local clergy and a representative of The Williston Northampton School.

“Nude dancing opposed: 200 urge town to deny permit”, Union-News, 11/5/92

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.