Job shaming is sadly very common in the United States. In a society that criminalizes some forms of sex work, what else would you expect to happen?
Strippers in particular—a legal form of sex work—are subject to a lot of negative talk, often from their own conservative families.
However, sex work can be extremely lucrative. And sometimes the people who mocked and shamed suddenly find themselves wanting a piece of the profits.
That’s what Reddit user stripper_girly was coming up against. She went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for clarification on her answer.
“AITA for not giving my family any money after they insulted me for my job?”
Our original poster, or OP, described the finer details of her job.
“I am a stripper and I go on dates with men for fun so they can practice (no sex during the dates, the most I do is hugging).”
She also described her better-than-average financial situation and how her family hasn’t taken too kindly to her chosen line of work.
“I make the most out of anyone in my family, I have never been ashamed to be a stripper and it’s not a secret.”
“I bought a good house a few miles away from the club and I tried to still talk to my family frequently, till they started talking more and more crap about my job; calling me a slut, saying I’m stupid, that I have no life goals.”
After a forceful and difficult decision, OP was then approached by her family.
“So I cut them off, my parents, everything. A month or so later they call me up, telling me they need money to fix their car.”
OP asked for an apology before loaning them any money.
“I told them, ‘Sorry you don’t want my money, it’s slut money remember? Apologize and I will give you the money.'”
“They said they won’t be apologetic, so I told them that’s their choice and hung up.”
After that, OP started receiving rather unkind messages from her family.
“Now I’m getting texts from my family and posts on Facebook saying I should have just given them the money and saying that it’s not a big deal.”
Redditors gave OP perspective on where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
All agreed OP has the right to decide whom she should give money to.
“NTA. You’re a consenting adult making money off of other consenting adults.”
“It’s slut money until the family needs something and realizes it. Then it’s all ‘but we r famiwy'”
“Good job holding your ground.”~DwightDEisenhowitzer
“There’s no such thing as a ‘slut.’ A ‘slut’ is any woman that people – usually men – have decided is not behaving the way they want her to.”
“And so that word is used to denigrate her, to destroy her reputation, to make people lose respect for her because ‘sluts’ are impure, and women who are ‘impure’ are worthless in the eyes of society.”
“It doesn’t matter if she’s had sex with five hundred guys or never had sex, if she wears baggy clothing from head to toe or tight clothing that shows skin, if she works in the sex industry or is a nun, she’ll be called a slut if she gets out of line in the eyes of the person branding her such.”
“These people have decided she is out of line and are calling her a slut to get her in line and make her family lose respect and it’s worked.”
“Her family sees her as lesser now which is why they think it’s ok for them to call her a slut then think she owes them money because family. They’ve lost respect and think it’s ok to use her for money.”~cinderchild
“They don’t get it both ways. You deserve an apology. If they don’t want to give it then they made that choice.”
“Bet the other family members just don’t want to lend them money, so they’re putting pressure on you.”
And folks also agreed OP has the right to assert boundaries against those who don’t respect her, even if they are “family.”
“NTA. It is fair to put conditions on money.”
“Some people say, ‘I need 5 post-dated checks so that I can cash them every two weeks until it’s paid off.’ Others say, ‘you need to show me a budget.'”
“You asked for an apology.”
“They said they could not meet your conditions, so you did not release the funds.”~Aja444
“NTA – f**k that. Your money wasn’t good before they didn’t need it, and now it is?? You are not the a**hole here.”
“Do I think the best revenge is a life well lived? Absolutely. In that case, I may suggest taking the high road and giving the money because you are the better person, and can help when people need help.”
“I’d tell them that though as I handed money over: ‘Remember when you pay for this that this is a stripper’s money. One you treated like shit but who is helping you when you need it. Don’t forget that.’”~BigMangLittleWang
“I mean NTA but this is has to be a troll right? This seems to hit everything. My family hated me already? I got a job that a lot of conservative people would have an issue with?”
“Now that same family needs things from me…so I said no? Asked them for super easy compromise and they called me ridiculous and wouldn’t agree?”
“Now you’re expected to apologize for everything ever and give them the money? Family says you can afford it anyway so who cares? This exact situation is on here every two days, right? Can we, like, get a sticky?”
“NTA, you are a strong, successful independent woman making bank, and there is no shame in what you do.”
“And you’re right, either they sincerely apologise or they don’t get anything, people don’t get to choose to be in your life simply because it’s convenient or they need something, and if they can’t be supportive of your choices so be it.”~DogBreathologist
Shaming anybody for their job certainly did not sit well with Reddit.
“NTA, I had friends that stripped when their spouses or boyfriends left them with the kids, bills and no child support. I would babysit for them when others couldn’t.”
“Some even were in premed because they came from poor families, their families didn’t approve.”
“They made money at stripping that they couldn’t do working fast food or until after they graduated.”
“So yeah your family is out of line as are your parents. You don’t badmouth someone than turn around and go we need money to do x,y and z while using the word Family!”~okileggs1992
“NTA. An old friend of mine was most likely saved by services like yours.”
“Years and years of therapy did go nowhere in that regard, but to pay someone that he could get over the initial panic of having someone close to him physically?”
“It gave him the confidence of knowing that he would be able to hug someone, curl up with a movie, and not freak out. The rest? It fell into place by itself.”
“Live your life, stay safe, and hold your ground.”~MistressLyda
“I echo ‘Good job standing your ground.’ They shame you until they want something from you, and then they continue to shame you? There is someone stupid in this equation but it sure is not you.”
“They don’t respect or honor you. You do not owe them anything. If it is not a big deal, then why can’t they apologize instead of trying to shame you into complying with them? Why are they blasting you on social media? Block that and move on.”
“You have done nothing shameful, of course you know that. Stick to your guns. I believe that even if you gave them the money after an apology, they would just start in on you again.”
“NTA at all.”~tphatmcgee
“NTA – I find it odd that your family tells you that you have no life goals. Yet your family seems to have none considering they haven’t saved any money for that unexpected emergency.”
“And one thing that comes to mind about their attitude about your work, are they upset at the stripping or the dates? If it’s the dates, try to find a way to explain that you are actually providing a service to help the men who need practice.”
“Maybe they might see how someone out of the dating world, or who has never really entered it, could need that kind of help and think differently of what you are doing.”
“Whatever the case, don’t give them the money. They need to learn that life is hard and they should really focus on themselves on not what others are doing.”~meted
Kindness is a pre-requisite for respect, which in turn is a pre-requisite for doing anybody a favor.
When OP was not afforded respect and met with demands from her family, they lost their ability to call her disrespectful. Reddit very clearly took OP’s side.
Hopefully OP’s family will find it in their hearts to be kinder to their daughter going forward.