Remember the Alamo, but don't forget Poleland
April 3, 2008 1:17 AM   Subscribe

Texan judge rules $5 "pole tax" violates First Amendment rights. Further, Judge Scott Jenkins found no evidence to justify the purpose of HB 1751 (PDF), finding the anecdotal link of the patronage of strip clubs with a lack of health insurance and increased sexual assault rates for dancers insufficient, and ordered the state to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees. Activists are already looking to appeal Jenkins' ruling and reenact the tax. (Previously on Metafilter.)
posted by Blazecock Pileon (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The fees would have created the first stable source of state money for the prevention and treatment of sexual violence, Cohen, D-Houston, said. The ruling by Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins disappointed advocates who say Texas must find a way to provide more money for rape victims, because federal funds are diminishing.

The goals are laudable, but if there was any correlation between pole dancing and sexual assault a "pole tax" would not really be the appropriate solution would it?

It appears to be just another (sin) tax (on someone else) that the lawmakers think they can sell to their otherwise anti-tax constituents.

"This has a huge impact on victim services, because they're already on a shoestring," said Annette Burrhus-Clay, executive director of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, or TAASA.

Obviously, the compassionate taxpayers of Texas don't want their tax dollars to be spent on victim services. Democracy is a bitch sometimes.
posted by three blind mice at 2:59 AM on April 3, 2008


Citing reports that a Dallas strip club had illegally allowed a 12-year-old to dance, Strickland said Abbott's office will "vigorously appeal the trial court's ruling and remains committed to sexual assault awareness and prevention."

So a "pole-tax" will prevent this ? Why not heavily fine that strip club for letting a 12-year-old dance ?
posted by Pendragon at 3:11 AM on April 3, 2008


mmmmmmmmmmtax
posted by basicchannel at 3:31 AM on April 3, 2008


I'd be cool with this if they also taxed other places of worship.
posted by srboisvert at 4:27 AM on April 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


There was a place in Texas recently which had a 12-year old stripper. After she had been there for a period of days or weeks (I forget which), somebody eventually called the police. It was in the news, so you can google for it if you want more info.

Last year a British Council proposed pole-dancing lessons for young girls, but I think that was stopped. That neither the manager of the strip club nor the Council members saw anything wrong is the bigger concern. I used to think denial of these meat-grooming scenarios was mere ignorance, and in some cases it may be, but now I think it's more akin to the denial of the german citizens during the holocaust.

godwin! lol
posted by bravelittletoaster at 8:04 AM on April 3, 2008


There was a place in Texas recently which had a 12-year old stripper.

She supposedly has the body of a 20-year-old, mind you, but I don't think the club owners will get far with that old excuse.

I'm for taxing everyone to fund programs against sexual (and all other kinds of) violence at home and abroad, assuming such programs actually work and aren't loony, but the number of programs that meet both of those criteria isn't large. You'd pretty much have to eliminate poverty, put everyone through college, and stop sending soldiers into other countries when they could be paid to stay in their own country and do good for people. (Detroit has school trouble? Send in the 7th Teaching Brigade.) It takes more than a little punitive fee to fix anything.

we should be bombing those Tex-an fuckers back to the stone age.

In some areas, you'd have to bomb them forward to get them there.
posted by pracowity at 10:18 AM on April 3, 2008


Blazecock Pileon said: "Activists are already looking to appeal Jenkins' ruling and reenact the tax."

Doesn't look like "activists" so much as one of the bill's original sponsors. And she can certainly file a slightly varied version of the bill again and again... but like a lot of these similar pet pieces of legislation that get filed every two years and never make it past first reading, I don't imagine that Rep. Cohen is going to see this get very far. It just opens the state up for additional lawsuits.
posted by pineapple at 1:28 PM on April 3, 2008


There was a place in Texas recently which had a 12-year old stripper.

As religious minded as I am, I probably should be stereotypically indignant about this, but... so?

There are 13-14-15 year old girls working the main drag a few blocks from my house. Most of these girls are exploited, often runaways, almost all addicted to one chemical or another, turning tricks for money their pimps will beat out of them, all to score more meth.

Honestly, a 12 year old working the pole is having a better time of it than those girls. Sure, she's being exploited, but she's probably having a better time of it than the drug-addled shells of young girls I drive by every night (and she's probably keeping her share of tips).

I find the sex industry repugnant and exploitive, but this pole tax is crap, and there's virtually no correlation between strip clubs and sexual violence. Honestly, you want a tax to fund these programs to target the worst catalyst of domestic violence? Put the tax on alcohol.
posted by dw at 4:29 PM on April 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


dw said: "Honestly, you want a tax to fund these programs to target the worst catalyst of domestic violence? Put the tax on alcohol."

Or on marriage.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:22 PM on April 3, 2008


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