Anyone who says there is no poetic justice in the world has obviously never been trapped half-naked in a suburban nightclub with one of the Miss Swimsuit Canada contestants a mere two weeks after dissing both the pageant and its participants in print. Relax, I keep telling myself. There's no way she'll know it was you. She probably didn't even read the article. But I still find myself guesstimating the size of her biceps and the odds of getting beat up as I sit in a makeup chair set up in the kitchen.
I'm starting to realize that my job for this evening is, if not substantially more ridiculous than any bikini contest could ever be, certainly on par. Myself, the bikini girl and 14 others have been hired to dance in "peepshows" (well, some were on speakers) erected on the dance floor of the palladium- sized club, which is densely populated by jockstraps and arm candy.
I was largely unaware of the logistics of the gig before my arrival, and had I known I never would have accepted it. (I was asked because I do a little burlesque now and then with a local bunch of girls.)
But now I'm here and I don't want to leave the woman who invited me in the lurch. This isn't actually her fault. So I sit complacently as the makeup artist tarts me up.
I want to shriek in horror when I see my image in the mirror but I smile and thank her instead. "It's great!" I gush. Well, what am I supposed to say?
Dixie, a young woman of about 20, marches in, immediately whips off her pants and spends the next hour flouncing around in a G-string. This is noticeable even though we are all in various states of undress because Dixie might as well be screaming "Hey! Look at me! I'm flouncing around in a G-string!" I've met people who can hang around in nothing but shoes and look completely natural. Dixie just doesn't make it work.
Eventually I'm rounded up by a snarky queen wearing what looks to me like pre shit-stained jeans and sent out into a "booth" on the dance floor, actually a little rise with curtains. My lights don't work so I'm sent to dance with another girl in her booth. We have about 1 square metre of space.
I shake my ass in a mildly seductive manner and strip off my dress to reveal pasties and frilly shorts. The crowd on the floor looks bewildered.
Most of them ignore us, but a few mouth breathers part the curtains and encourage me to shake it harder. I pretend not to see them. Melanie, the tall buxom blond I am dancing with, runs her hands seductively along my back. A few women in the audience stare at me with "What the fuck is going on?" looks on their faces.
I smile sheepishly and shrug. Two of them nod and start to laugh. Fifteen minutes later I am back in the kitchen.
"The girls are so bitchy!" one dancer exclaims.
Gee, I think, I wonder why? Could it be because they weren't expecting to find nearly naked chicks prancing around and maybe you're shaking your tits in their boyfriends' faces?
My colleagues choose to chalk the resentment up to jealousy.
I notice that Dixie is sitting in a corner, bravado completely disintegrated, her eyes brimming with tears as she stares unseeing into space. Something terrible had obviously happened. I am about to go to her when someone else gets there first and asks what's wrong.
"Some guy," she says, then pauses, and sniffs, "grabbed my ass!"
Well! Geez! My lack of shock and indignation knows no bounds!
Does she mean to say that she went out onto a dance floor dressed like a tart and danced around for a bunch of drunk guys and somebody grabbed her ass? I stifle a giggle. I seem to be pretty much alone. Everyone else is appropriately outraged.
Is this what we've come to? Has the sexual empowerment movement brought us to the point where women are unable to comprehend the consequences of their actions?
It seems logical to me that if you parade a bare ass around in an environment where the parameters are not necessarily set (as opposed to, say, in a strip club), you run the risk of somebody grabbing it.
Not everyone is going to behave by your rules. If you're going to go clamouring for attention, don't start shrieking when something happens.
After two more rounds, my night is over. I have spent the evening carefully avoiding eye contact with patrons and making sure not to be so overtly sexual as to elicit unwanted contact. This is hard work. I'm tired.
Melanie, on the other hand, I've noticed, is squatting down and gyrating . (We've been assigned separate booths.) So it doesn't surprise me when, as we're getting dressed to leave, she complains that "some guy did this," making a motion with her finger to indicate that he ran his along her crotch, "when I did this," demonstrating squatting down.
"So what?" I sigh, finally at the end of my patience. "What do you expect?"
"Well," she sniffs, taken aback at my response, "it's rude!"
"Yeah, I agree. It's rude. And rudeness surprises you?" She turns away from me.
Well, Jesus Christ, get a grip. Yes, it was wrong for some guy to grope her snatch and, yes, it was wrong for some guy to grab Dixie's ass. And one day we may live in a world where this sort of thing doesn't happen. Men will be smart and sensitive and women will no longer be raped and you can squat over some guys face and he won't stick his tongue out until you give the official go-ahead. But that's not the world we live in now. So, if you can't handle it, put some fucking pants on.