346 internautes sur 389 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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I never worked with Diablo Cody (she was before my time), but I know someone who did. She was the one who suggested I read the book. Afterwards, we both talked about how we want to write the anti-Diablo Cody strip-club book. This book is like A Million Little Pieces, but because of the veiled nature of the industry, the facts are harder to check. I think the book is disgraceful, but the fallacies and exaggerations are mostly hidden to those who have never worked in the industry.
For the record, for six months she worked in the Dollhouse in Sexworld, which is a peepshow. While that is part of the sex industry, it is a very different job from dancing. In fact, as she points out in the book, anything involving penetration is illegal in MN, yet the Dolls could get away with doing it. Because of this, I find her attitude of being "above" the "dirtiness" of certain clubs disingenuous, and her condescending description of dancers an insult to any woman in that occupation. Her sudden vague-ness when describing what occurred in the Loft at Deja Vu also begs the question of how candid she really is. The few things she actually mentions are blatantly illegal, things that many dancers never do, yet despite this lack of willpower in the face of a generous and pushy client, she still expresses her belief in her own mental superiority to other strippers. I guess she didn't see the irony.
For the most part, her book revealed a few important things about the industry (club fees, work expenses, irritating customers) but did little to explain stereotypes, or even debunk them. Instead, her patronizing descriptions of dancers (either blond fake-titted bimbos at Sheiks, or drug-addicted boorish wrecks at Skyway) simply echoed the two most common stereotypes of strippers. For someone whose writing exposes their obvious belief in their own superior intellect, she was far less observant than most "dumb dancers" I know.
I think one reason is because she went into the job from a research angle. Most of us get into the industry (as staff or entertainers) because of a financial need it would fulfill, like supporting kids, paying for school, getting out of debt, etc. It is an industry that can open doors for women (and men) and give us opportunities we may not have had otherwise. The sense of solidarity between individuals can be quite strong, although it was notably absent in Cody's case.
The title really says it all: "A Year in the Life of an UNLIKELY Stripper". Her assumption, (obviously supported by many people, much to my chagrin), that a nerd, educated woman, geek, etc etc simply doesn't fit the mold of "stripper". My friend who worked with her (call her B) said that, when Cody expressed surprise that B was going to college, B pointed out that most of the dancers at the Choice were in school. Cody responded with disbelief and dismissal "No they don't"*eye roll*. I think that pretty much sums up Cody's attitude towards the people in the sex industry, and explains why she felt girls were "mean" at the Choice. I currently work with many of the former staff from Sheiks, and they complained that she turned the club into a generic, faceless place when there was so much personality and dynamics to be explored in both the customers and the dancers/staff.
I think that the 6 months she spent as a DANCER is very significant. Most strip club workers (dancers and staff) are excited at the money, the change in lifestyle, the flexible schedules, and the newness when we first start the job. I also think that most of us, after the first year, are more reserved and realistic in our enthusiasm because we've had plenty of time to reflect on how the industry has changed us, and we have seen plenty of men and women go through a less than desirable change. Perhaps, with a more empathetic attitude, Cody would have had a more realistic view of the industry, one focusing on individual change beyond her own self-centered story. Somehow, after speaking to B and others who remember her, I think I'm being a bit optimistic.
Diablo Cody held herself aloof out of a sense of intellectual superiority, and thus blinded herself to the wealth of information and reality that she could have revealed to an (obviously) captive audience. It's a shame.
116 internautes sur 136 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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Diablo Cody, blogger of distinction and soon to be "in demand" screenwriter, is kind of an odd choice to be a memoirist. After all, she's young, not a drug addict or a habitual liar, and has not survived years of horrible abuse. From what I can tell, her family isn't even all that eccentric. Of course, when you factor in that "Candy Girl" chronicles the year and a half she spent as a stripper/sex worker, the response for a lot of people (namely yours truly) is an immediate "best. Memoir. Ever!" After all, I'm not a big customer of strip clubs (the whole scene, in particular the crowd they seem to attract, just seems...I dunno...icky), but I'm fascinated nonetheless. What kind of girl would want to work at a job where they have to be naked in public and pretend to like guys they would normally avoid? What actually goes on behind those velvet ropes? Well, you may not find all the answers you're searching for here, but with a guide like Ms. Cody, you won't mind a bit.
Not only is she an unlikely choice as a memoirist, as it turns out she was an even more unlikely choice as a stripper. A self confessed geek with pale skin and a non-surgically enhanced body, she was well into living the life of a faceless cubicle slave when she got the sudden urge to do something radically different with her life. From tryout night at the seediest strip joint in Minneapolis to the grungy booths of Sex World and a couple of other stops along the way, she soon sheds her naivete and becomes a seasoned pro in a matter of months. How she shed her inhibitions is one of those questions left unanswered, although it seems she didn't really have any to begin with. Getting work as a "dancer" is surprisingly easy (basically, being a woman with a pulse is the only real requirement), but how to avoid burning out is much trickier. Also tricky is learning to deal with the pole, which is something one has to learn by doing, while everyone watches. It also turns out that stripping is harder work than you would think. Since the clubs generally take a sizeable cut of what the girls earn, and most expect a certain minimum, they really have to sell themselves aggressively, even desperately, all the while appearing as cheery and mindless as Ashton Kutcher. It's even possible for a stripper, on a bad night, to end up owing the club more money than they earned. Of course, it's also very possible to make amounts that can only be described as obscene. In any case, it takes the kind of people skills and stamina that the average office drone couldn't dream of.
The real draw in this book, as it turns out, is Diablo herself. Possessed of a witty, sardonic attitude that sizes up any situation with a healthy sneer, she can turn even the most squalid environment into an absurdist Gen X anthropological study. She's also capable of genuine warmth toward her unbelievably supportive boyfriend and his cute-as-a-button daughter from a previous relationship. There's even some pathos, as when she relates the tale of one of her Sex World co-workers. She's also capable, on the other hand, of some real metaphorical groaners, even if they're delivered with a deliberate wink: "...the world around me looked like a blank answer bubble on a standardized test. I didn't know I was destined to make my mark heavy and dark, and that Satan was my exam proctor."
I first heard of this book when Diablo made a promotional appearance on David Letterman's show (it can be found on the web if you look around), where even a couple of years removed from her life as a slut-for-hire, I thought "I'd definitely buy a lap dance from her!" It wasn't just her more than acceptable body, but her intelligence. If you're the type of person who refuses to turn off your brain even when one of your hands is otherwise occupied, this is definitely the book for you. Even though a lot of the language is as salty as you would expect, and sometimes even more so, "Candy Girl" is not smut. It's about the business of smut, which as it turns out is a lot like plain old business. Just more fun.