Kelly Holsopple, Plaintiff, vs. WHISPER, Inc., Evelina Giobbe, and Mary Madden, Defendants; complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court June 26, 1997. Plaintiff states and alleges as follows:
Defendant WHISPER [Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt] provides community education on prostitution as a form of systematic violence against women and children, and assists women in escaping systems of prostitution by providing social services to them.
Plaintiff Kelly Holsopple is a former prostitute and stripper. She first became a client of WHISPER when she attended a Radical Education and Support Group facilitated by Evelina Giobbe in the fall of 1992.
Plaintiff, Kelly Holsopple, quit stripping on Sept. 21, 1994. Her motivation to quit included her admiration of Defendant Giobbe’s work for prostitutes, her desire to do similar work, and Defendant Giobbe’s promise
STRIP CLUB TESTIMONY by Kelly Holsopple a stripper and former prostitute who makes good, changes her name and she is now an attorney for one of the largest Foreclosure mills in Plantation Florida, how about that !
The Freedom and Justice Center for Prostitution Resources: A Program of the Volunteers of America of Minnesota 2825 East Lake Street, Minneapolis MN 55406
The purpose of this paper is to investigate women's experiences in stripclubs and to describe the activities in stripclubs from the women's point of view. The format approach is collective story narrative with the author as part of the collective voice. The research was inspired by the author’s (Kelly Holsopple) experiences in stripping over the course of thirteen years. The author’s intention is to examine the conditions of stripclubs by describing the fundamental way stripclubs are organized. The description features bar activities focused on stripper-customer interactions; survey data on sexual violence in stripclubs; and women's thoughts on stripping.
Stripclubs are popularly promoted as providing harmless entertainment and as places where respectful men go to watch and talk to women (Reed 1997). Stripclub customers are described as normal men who use stripclubs to avoid adultery and therefore find a safe outlet for their sexual desires in balance with their marital commitments (Reed 1997). In contrast, stripclubs are criticized for being environments where men exercise their social, sexual, and economic authority over women who are dependent on them and as places where women are treated as things to perform sex acts and take commands from men (Ciriello 1993).
Stripclubs are organized according to gender and reflect gender power dynamics in greater society. "Gendered spaces are social arenas in which a person’s gender shapes the roles, statuses, and interpersonal dynamics and generates differential political and economic outcomes and interaction expectations and practices" (Ronai, Zsembik, and Feagin 1997:6). Stripclubs are more specifically organized according to gender inequality, which is perpetuated by gendered spaces and consequently sexualized (Ronai, et al 1997). The typical stripclub scenario displays young, nude or partially nude women for fully clothed male customers (Thompson and Harred 1992).
The entire analysis of stripclubs is located within the context of men’s domination over women. When organizations are produced in the context of the structural relations of domination, control, and violence, they reproduce those relations (Hearn 1994). These organizations may also make explicit use of gendered forms of authority with unaccountable and unjustifiable authority belonging to men (Hearn 1994). The stripclub elicits and requires direct expressions of male domination and control over women (Prewitt 1989).
In order to dominate or control and secure men’s domestic, emotional and sexual service interests, male dominated institutions and individual men utilize violence (Hanmer 1989). Violence against women is identified as physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, and representational, but all violence from men against women should be understood as sexual violence (Hearn 1994). The concept of a continuum is useful when discussing sexual violence, especially in stripclubs. Continuum is defined as a basic characteristic underlying many different events and as a series of elements or events that pass into one another (Kelly 1987). The common underlying element in stripclubs is that male customers, managers, staff, and owners use diverse methods of harassment, manipulation, exploitation, and abuse to control female strippers.
Data for this research was obtained through interviews, a survey, and the researcher’s (Kelly Holsopple) participant observation while involved in stripping (Hamel 1993). Women in this study stripped in the local stripclubs in the Midwest metropolitan area where the researcher lives, in local nightclubs in the same area, in metropolitan and rural stripclubs and nightclubs across the United States, at private parties, in peep shows, and in saunas. The stripclubs featured a variety of attractions including topless dancing, nude dancing, table dancing, couch dancing, lap dancing, wall dancing, shower dancing, and bed dancing. In addition, some clubs had peepshows, female boxing and wrestling with customers, offered photographs of the dancers, or hired pornography models and actresses as headliners.
The study was conducted in two phases. In 1994, I, (Kelly Holsopple), conducted free-flowing qualitative interviews for one to four hours each with forty-one women while I was still involved in stripping and compiled participant observer notes about the activities in stripclubs. The women ranged in age from nineteen to forty years old and were involved in stripping from three months to eighteen years. All of the women identified themselves as Caucasian.
In 1996, I, (Kelly Holsopple), proceeded to design a twenty-six question survey according to themes derived from the interviews to investigate sexual violence in stripclubs. My long-time involvement in the strip industry allowed an association with strippers that was invaluable for administering in-depth surveys regarding sensitive issues. The surveys were administered face-to-face to insure the information was indeed from the women in stripping. Again, the surveys and consequent discussions lasted from one to four hours. Many women explained that they had never talked about their experiences so extensively because no one had ever asked them the right questions. Participants were asked to say whether they had experienced different abusive and violent actions in the stripclub, to estimate how often each action happened, and then to identify which men associated with the stripclub perpetrated the action. The categories of men were defined as customer, owner, staff, and manager. Since I exited stripping, snowball sampling was employed to recruit the eighteen participants for the survey. Participants in the survey were asked to pass on postcards to other women. The range of ages was eighteen to thirty-five years old. The age of entry into stripping ranged from fifteen to twenty-three years old, with a mean age of eighteen years and ten months. The length of time the women in this study were involved in stripping ranged from three months to eighteen years with an average length of six years and seven months.
Women predominantly identified themselves as Caucasian. Only one woman identified herself as Hispanic. Twelve of the women described their sexual orientation as heterosexual, two as lesbian, and four as bisexual. The survey data was analyzed on the Statistical Program for Social Sciences. After the data was compiled, a focus group of 4 women currently in stripping and with no prior association with the study positively evaluated the relevancy of the study and approved the collective story, more form this sourse (Kelly Holsopple)..........