Democratic NY Assemblyman Felix Ortiz has introduced a bill that would require the Labor Department to develop a “dance performer” permit and registry. Under the bill, “exotic dancers” would need to apply for employment permits using their real names every three years.
According to Ortiz, the purpose of the bill is to monitor “places where commercial sexual exploitation occurs” and to ensure that dance performers are of legal age, legally documented, and not victims of sex trafficking.
Sanctions for “un-permitted dancers” (other than victims of human trafficking) would face fines of up to $20 for a first-time violation and $50 for subsequent violations; however, the bill does not specify exactly what constitutes a violation. Exotic dancers who are found to be victims of human trafficking would not be fined for performing without a permit.
Check out more details of the bill here.
Why target the women and not those who employ them or patronize their performances? The bill hardly provides meaningful monitoring of “places where commercial sexual exploitation occurs.” And although there may be some women who strip because they choose to do so, let’s face it: women sell themselves in the absence of other meaningful economic opportunities. This bill does nothing to enhance women’s economic well-being.
-Bridget Crawford and Amanda Kissel