Posts Tagged ‘Today Show’

My family still teases me for getting a tear in my eye at some commercials (yes, guilty), and my niece still remembers how I cried when I took her to see the dinosaur flick, Land Before Time, years ago. So it was no wonder that it was a Kleenex moment when I watched the Elizabeth Edwards interview on the Today Show this morning as Matt Lauer talked with her about the publication of her new book Resilience.  

The book focuses on her continuing experience as a cancer survivor and of course, being the wife of former N.C. Senator & VP Candidate, John Edwards, most recently known for his admitted affair.  Others will talk about the “affair”, it was her own story that caught my eye. It was the story of the loss of her father, of her 16 year old son, of her battle with cancer, of the joys of her other children, that made me bring out the Kleenex brigade.

And it was the story of how she wants to take her youngest daughter on a trip with her (her daughter’s one wish). Knowing she can’t “handle luggage and an 11 year old” on her own now, Elizabeth said she was thinking of taking a tour. Hearing that, off popped the memory lightbulb as I remember my own sister in the same cancer battle, trying to set up a tour so that she might take her young daughter on a trip as well. 

The final “big” trip didn’t happen, but my sister did create many loving memories that will carry through the years and listening to the interview this morning, I applaud Elizabeth Edwards and all like her who are making the effort to do the same for their child. It’s off to the bookstore at lunch today to get Resilience and to get inspired — inspired with tissues in hand admittedly.


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As I watched Maria’s story on the Today Show this morning, I couldn’t help but remember other stories where bystanders did just that, stand by and watch someone get hurt without helping. In Maria’s case the “bystanders” were professionals, transit workers who did call whomever for help, but who did nothing else as she was grabbed and forced back down the NY subway steps to be raped on the platform.

Maria took the case to court and this week lost in trial. Yes, the transit workers did what was in the “manual”, but no, I have to agree with Maria, they didn’t do all they could have to help, at least from the description presented via her story. She wasn’t looking for the attendant in the booth to actually leave and help, but if they could have at least used the loud speaker  to let the guy known he was spotted and help was on the way!

It was heartbreaking to listen to her story. At one point she had made it to the top of the steps, saw the attendent and thought help and the end of her terror was in sight. Unless we’ve experienced this ourselves, how can we even imagine how it felt to have hope leave as quickly as it came, as you are once again dragged down and assaulted?

There was another show on recently (can’t remember which one) that did an experiment, showing an Hispanic man being “beaten” and as the camera’s rolled we watched who did or didn’t help. Most didn’t help, but a few did (including a petite woman!), so maybe there is a ray of hope in all that “can’t believe they didn’t help” reaction.

I wish I could expect that the NY Transit Authority takes another look at their procedures, even though they won this case. And not only NY, but any and all public entities throughout the country. We can at least attempt to improve that, everyone’s personal conscious as to what they would do is up to them. Thanks Maria, for sharing your story, it took guts and did indeed make an impact.

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A story making the headlines (“From jobless to topless” ) the other day focused on women who were turning to stripping as a profession, making as much as a six figure salary. The example in the story I heard indicated the woman had her MBA and just couldn’t find a job that paid her on that same scale in the “real world”.

We got to talking about it at work and we actually talked about the short shelf life of a stripper. What if they were treated like a pro in the sports world who also tend to have short shelf lives? What about contract negotiations, health care, investment planning, retirement coverage, etc. As I read more about it, I ran across a very interesting blog post by Christinathestripper, entitled, “Rich Stripper, Poor Stripper“.  She talks about stripping from a job perspective and details the four major “types” of strippers – and no, she doesn’t focus on methodology, but rather from the financial goals of the women. The range goes from the Investment Stripper who pays taxes and makes investments toward fiscal responsibility and security, to the Subsistence Stripper who tends to blow any salary on immediate gratification.

After our conversation, a friend sent the following link to a blog post talking about the possible benefits of making pole dancing an official Olympic sport.  The blogger, Samhita, brings up a good point, “I guess my question would be, would making pole-dancing an Olympic sport bring to light some of the horrible treatment of exotic dancers and give them a standard wage with some worker rights?”

Of course the difference between stripping and pole dancing and other professions or sports is the seamy side, the abuse by “customers”, the abuse by the participants themselves. There are also ethical questions by some, legal issues by others.  I tend to think that as it has for centuries, so too will these professions continue forward, so let’s think about protection. Just as regular professions and sports are regulated to protect the employee or player, so too should we look at doing the same for the stripper or pole dancer, or at least strengthening any regs that may be in place.

As to the question, “doesn’t this always lead to prostitution?”, I think Christinathestripper gave an interesting perspective when she described the financial choices that can be made among the different areas of her profession:

“Of course, in any club there is always the possibility for exchanging contact info and meeting a customer outside the club. You’re right that a Subsistence Stripper is most likely to end up performing “extras” as we call activities that are outside club norms, often when she comes in needing to make a certain amount of money and isn’t making it doing normal, “clean” dances. Investment Strippers never face this problem because we always have money put away. However, the biggest reason you won’t find Investment Strippers offering outcall or extras is because if they’re open to prostitution they’ll leave stripping and escort. Classy, clean escorts have significantly higher earning potential than strippers for a lot less work. The amounts I’ve been offered for sex by club customers is ridiculously low – never more than a good day’s take. If I wanted to prostitute I would go to a legal Nevada brothel and make more than I do stripping in a safe environment. But I don’t choose to do it for more money legally, so I’m certainly not going to do it for less money illegally.”

For those who can make it a business, who are strong enough to take care of themselves, more power to you.   But no matter the financial gain of some, we need to focus on the victims here, the individuals whose backgrounds led to such low self-esteem that they consider their life  in these circles as “survival” not “investment”.  Just as bailout money is being given those who took advantage of others, let’s put more resources toward helping those in need now, to those who young lives may lead them down this path in the future if they don’t receive intervention. I think that type of “bailout” may be one of the best investments yet.

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