a 10 Year Old's Stripping Schedule
I met Arielle during my MFA exhibit at Mills College in 1995 (yes, I’m part of that I-put-myself-through-grad-school-by-stripping statistic). Arielle was 10 years old. I was 27. I was screening my first documentary, Straight for the Money: Interviews with Queer Sex Workers. Arielle was a fellow artist's niece and snuck glances at my film as she wandered through the gallery space. She sent me her stripping schedule weeks later. My reaction was a mix of horror and amusement. My film had unintentionally influenced a kid to consider sex work!
I absolutely DON'T condone child sex work. It’s NOT OK. But the reality remains that girls are influenced by pop culture, inundated by sexual images, & music videos with sexy women--oftentimes strippers. Consenting adult sex workers are unapologetic about their right to exercise their sexuality. Maybe Arielle wanted to be a stripper so she didn't have to justify her pre-pubescent sexuality to anyone either.
Kids think about sex from a young age. I'm NOT saying that they should be sexual! But most parents don't feel comfortable talking about sex with kids that young. We asexualize them to downplay our own discomfort and act as if their sexuality only buds when they hit puberty. What Arielle did in reaching out to me was seek a sex positive person to share her sexual imagination. Someone who wouldn't freak out + shut her down or possibly even shame her about it. Did Arielle go on to be a stripper? No. But if she were 18 years old or older and told me she wanted to be stripper, I'd tell her about the labor realities in the strip clubs so that Arielle could make a more informed decision to strip. But the reality is there are underaged teens who work in the sex industry and they are also present in the strip clubs.
Using the language of video & audio, License to Pimp shows some of the realities that women & girls face in the strip clubs. It doesn’t glorify sex work nor does it denounce it. Sex work is legitimate labor and consenting adults should have the right to work if they choose so. My film is very critical of industry employment practices, which exploit women’s sexual labor. The strip clubs charge dancers anywhere from $100 to several hundred dollars for the privilege to work. You see how workers re-negotiate their sexual boundaries and some turn to prostitution to pay these illegal fees. Lola, Daisy, + Mariko take vastly different approaches to these violations by either adapting, fighting, & quitting the strip club system. There is no one path that’s right.
Lola began stripping as a 16 year old to help her mother get cancer treatment + lift her family out of poverty. The female manager who hired her fully well knew her age & instructed her to get fake ID so she could pass as an 18 year old. Lola worked for 10 years during which time she struggled with how far she’d sexually compromise herself in order to improve her & her family’s quality of life.
Within months of graduating from UC Berkeley, a young 20-something Mariko was on the stage at the Gold Club. In the film, you see her change from a whore-phobic stripper into a consensual, independent prostitute.
Daisy actually ran away from an abusive home and worked the streets as a 14 year old. She advocated decriminalizing prostitution so workers aren’t subject to violence and arrest. When she turned 18, Daisy started stripping—a relative sanctuary for street workers. I worked alongside Daisy & several other strippers in the mid 1990’s when strippers had to pay $25 stage fees. She’d bring her 5 yr old daughter to our organizing meetings at SEIU Local 790 (the Lusty Ladys union). When asked if it was appropriate to have her daughter there, Daisy said that it was important for young girls to see women empowered to take action against injustice. I agree.
Kids are sponges. Hopefully, girls will soak up that standing up for your sexual and labor rights is sexy & grow up to be empowered women who can advocate for themselves if and when their rights are violated.
Kickstarter is ALL-OR-NOTHING.
If we DON'T reach our GOAL, we LOSE it ALL.
We're at 32%, Need to raise 68%, + Have 7 days Left
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pledged of $30,000 goal
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Jun 18, 2012 - Jul 18, 2012
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(1) Thanks for helping to get our rough cut done! You have our eternal gratitude for helping to make this Film possible. We'll give a shout out to you on Twitter + Facebook. (2) You’ll receive a newsletter updates on our journey to complete LICENSE TO PIMP.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $25 or more
All the above PLUS (1) Digital WallPaper from LICENSE TO PIMP. Make it your computer or cellphone’s wallpaper; post it to Facebook; print it out and tack it to the wall. (2) Animatic from Lola’s story in LICENSE TO PIMPEstimated delivery: Sep 2012
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In Addition to the initial $25 pledge, you will also get the entire unedited 8 minute interview clip with Skylar as she talks about not being a prostitute, legal brothels in Nevada, Proposition K (a 2008 San Francisco ballot measure that tried to decriminalize prostitution) & why she'd never work for a pimp.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
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All the above PLUS (1) Thanks credited on the film’s website (2) Digital download of the filmmaker’s short documentary HOW DO YOU TELL SOMEBODY THAT YOU’RE HIV+?Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
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2 backers All gone!
Everyone who backs this film at $50 or more before the weekend ends (midnight Monday July 9, 2012) will be automatically invited to a private NYC screening after the film is completed. (this includes anyone who's already backed the film to date). After this weekend, invitations will be closed.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
Pledge $100 or more
All the above PLUS (1) Thanks credited in the Film (2) A naughty holographic photo of Mariko Passion that was art directed by her (this is limited the first 200 backers who pledge $100 or more) (3) Digital download of the filmmaker’s short fictional ENT-HOMO-PHILIA (not appropriate for minors—there’s some sexual content & nudity)Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $250 or more
All the above PLUS (1) Signed Limited Edition Movie Poster of LICENSE TO PIMP (2) Digital download of Lola’s story in LICENSE TO PIMP as a comic book (aka porno-novella aka historietta) (3) Digital download of the filmmaker’s short fictional film JIHAD FOR DEMOCRACYEstimated delivery: Dec 2013
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3 backers Limited (1 of 4 left)
NEW REWARD: Chriselda Pacheco has graciously donated 4 stunning photos from her photo series “Sex and Judgment” Limited Edition: $500 each (signed by the artist, unframed, black/white, 18” x 24’) See Update # 10 to see the photos + learn about the photographer who is a former stripper.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
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All the above PLUS (1) Signed Limited Edition printed Comic Book of Lola’s story in LICENSE TO PIMP (aka porno-novella aka historietta) (2) Limited Edition pre-Release DVD or BlueRay of LICENSE TO PIMP (3) Digital download of the filmmaker’s first documentary about lesbian and bisexual female sex workers of STRAIGHT FOR THE MONEY (59 minutes; 1994) which was in the 1995 Whitney BiennialEstimated delivery: Dec 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
All the above PLUS (1) Super Special Thanks credit in the Film (2) Ever wonder what you’d look like in an animation? Here’s your chance. Get your likeness inserted into Lola’s animation! It might be as a customer, a stripper, managers, her family or friends. It’ll be a surprise! You will need to provide us with some hi-resolution mugshots of yourself. (3) Skype with the FilmmakerEstimated delivery: Dec 2013
Pledge $2,500 or more
All the above PLUS Two tickets (for you and a guest) to attend the San Francisco, Los Angeles or NYC premiere screening of LICENSE TO PIMP plus an invite to the before & after party. Lodging & transportation are not included.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013
Pledge $5,000 or more
All the above PLUS (1) Associate Producer credit on the Film (2) Invite for you & a guest to the private Sneak Preview screening of LICENSE TO PIMP. (3) Party! Two tickets (for you and your guest) to attend the World Premiere screening plus an invite to the before & after parties. Lodging & transportation are not included.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
All the above PLUS (1) Executive Producer credit on the Film and in all promotional and educational outreach material. (2) Sit in on a day’s editing session. Lodging & transportation are not included. (3) Invite to the Fine Cut screening NYC. Lodging & transportation are not included. (4) Dinner with the Filmmaker & crew in NYC. Lodging & transportation are not included. (5) PARTY! Two tickets (for you and your guest) to attend the World Premiere screening of LICENSE TO PIMP plus an invite to the before & after parties. Lodging & transportation are not included.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013