• Sweden edition
 

Suspended student stripper reports school for discrimination

Published: 19 May 2011 15:49 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 May 2011 15:49 GMT+02:00

After being forced to find a way of paying her bills, the student started working at a Stockholm strip club and also worked part-time as a prostitute to make ends meet.

In Sweden, there is no prohibition against selling sexual services, however the purchase of sexual services is a crime.

In February, she found herself called in to a meeting with a teacher and the dean of her college, where she was surprised to find them asking her about her job.

“They said that it goes against the school’s values and that students had been harmed by me being so open about what I do,” she wrote in the report.

The dean and the teacher told her that what she did outside of school hours helped to support the view of women as sexual objects.

“I said I have never felt like an object but rather found the whole experience pleasurable,” the student wrote in her report.

According to the student, the teacher and dean were horrified with this statement and said that she had caused the whole class to go through a crisis by being so open with her choice of career.

“You must have a problem if you think like that,” they said according to the student.

Despite the student’s apologies and a willingness to give up her job to stay on at the college, the dean said that it was obvious she wasn’t feeling well, and that she therefore would not be allowed to continue.

“I said ‘But I feel healthy’ and ‘I am passionate about this course’. Then the dean said ‘you seem passionate about a lot of things’ and looked me up and down,” the student wrote.

After leaving the school she was told by fellow students that meetings had been taking place about her behind her back, and that the dean said that she had chosen to leave due to not feeling well.

The student was allowed to come back and say goodbye to her friends. At the meeting she was allegedly told by the principal that she was not to mention anything about her suspension. Instead she sang a song for the school.

“I tried to sing between the lines,” she wrote.

Feeling badly treated the student tried to speak to several teachers, but was told by the dean to leave school premises as she wasn’t a student there any more.

Since the suspension the student has given up her stripping job but has decided to report the school to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen - DO).

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:39 May 19, 2011 by Rishonim
What's sick about stripping and selling a piece of the action to make ends meet? Women do it all the time by marrying guys with money. Also if the definition of college is after high school then she is allowed to do as she wishes.
17:05 May 19, 2011 by Playmaker
She broke no crime so to speak. i guess as long as she pays taxes on the money she makes. it seems like she wants to better herself thats why she is there. right? i hopes she wins and can go back to school and rub it in offering blowjobs for 1000:- to the staff. oh funny
17:26 May 19, 2011 by StuartM
The buying and selling of human beings is indeed sick but provided no laws have been broken I really don't see what grounds they have for suspending her. Anyway I thought women in prostitution were officially defined as victims in Sweden so surely the actions of the college amount to punishing the victim. The college should perhaps instead be pushing for tougher laws against strip clubs and against men who pay for sex.
17:48 May 19, 2011 by luke123
@stuartM,i

People who work in strip clubs or sell sex are not victims, and they are not 'sick', and neither are there clients.

Do you think homosexuality is 'sick' too ?
17:49 May 19, 2011 by J Jack
Who cares in a country where actors can get paid to get drunk on vodka and fall asleep on stage? I'd rather watch a student stripper make some honest tips.
17:49 May 19, 2011 by Swedesmith
Meanwhile a "suspected" molester is still out picking up women passengers....go figure.
17:50 May 19, 2011 by johnny1939
What college is this anyway? If it is private I guess they have the right to get rid of people they do not approve of. She should have kept her mouth shut and all skulle ha varit frid o fröjd.
17:59 May 19, 2011 by StuartM
Why would I think there was anything wrong with homosexuality luke123? All I said was that I am against the buying and selling of human beings so unless you're talking about gay prostitution or gay strip clubs I don't see what the connection is. You're also misquoting me by claiming that I described individuals who sell sex or work in strip clubs as 'sick'. I do however agree with the Swedish law which states that women in prostitution should be looked upon as victims and I feel the same about anyone else forced to work in the sex industry in order to get by financially.
18:24 May 19, 2011 by luke123
@stuartM

The bigotry against homosexuality a few decades ago is exactly the same as that against sex workers and their clients today. They have the wrong kind of sexuality. As hating homosexuals is politically incorrect nodadays, the sex-phobes redirect their hatred to another minority.

What's the difference between calling them sick and calling them victims who don't know what they are doing and are in need of reeducation to see the error of their ways ?
18:40 May 19, 2011 by StuartM
The comparison is absurd luke123. Being a 'sex worker' is not a sexual orientation, it is something people are forced into due to a broad range of social, personal and economic circumstances. We know for a fact that the vast majority of women in prostitution and the sex industry want out and are often subjected to appalling levels of violence and abuse. Prostitution is moreover far from an exchange between equals, it involves a huge power imbalance in favour of the male client who is able to buy access to women's bodies. If you can read Swedish I recommend you buy a copy of 'Varat och varan' by Kajsa Ekis Ekman. An excellent book which exposes and critiques the idiocy behind this pro-prostitution 'sex worker' ideology.
18:52 May 19, 2011 by Cloggie
Supposing she is a "victim", does she need to be victimised more be being expelled?

If the law and the college see this as "her problem" perhaps one should look at the reasons of "the problem" instead of removing the thorn in their eyes. How does that help her as a "victim"?
18:53 May 19, 2011 by luke123
@stuartM,

Everyone, unless they are independently wealthy, is 'forced due to a broad range of social, personal and economic circumstances' to find a way to make money. Some choose to sell sex, and some choose something else. Who are you to judge the choice people make to make money ? And who are you to advocate laws that make their work circumstances worse ?

Do you ever buy anything ? Are you exploiting the people you buy services from ?
20:09 May 19, 2011 by Tanskalainen
I will personally tutor her (no charge).
20:27 May 19, 2011 by Swedesmith
What an unselfish gesture.
20:32 May 19, 2011 by Twiceshy
i thought college was free in sweden paid for with the 75% tax rate you all pay?

so can she get a refund and study in say england?
20:47 May 19, 2011 by peno
She needed to do what she had to do but I don't think this was a honourable way to make a living. Afterall, educating is not just about books. It is about affecting how you comport yourself.
21:07 May 19, 2011 by Species125
The student should contact anthropologist Dr. Laura Agustín who, to my understanding, moved to Malmö some time ago and who is an internationally recognised and respected researcher and authority regarding sex workers. I've only read a short bit about her, but I believe she advocates rights for sex workers and discounts the view that all sex workers are victims or "not well" as mentioned in the above article. Agustin's blog is The Naked Anthropologist: lauraagustin.com/
21:12 May 19, 2011 by countrysidedrive
Personally I would never want a prostitute. I feel they are gross. Just thinking of all those butt ugly men on her is a complete turnoff. But the school had absolutely no right to kick her out. The school can not kick gross people out.
21:22 May 19, 2011 by Michael84
What about choosing the way we want to live?! Strippers can't study?!!! stupid principal.
21:32 May 19, 2011 by GLO
Just look at This Weekends Finest, mostly Hookers. What do you think they are doing dressed like Houres. Buy them a few drinks and wham off with the shorts. So, why pick on a girl with the balls to tell it like it is.........
21:34 May 19, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
If she was just stripping that would be one thing, that is "adult entertainment." But actual prostitution is against the law. So she's a criminal. What if she was selling heroin or stolen cars? You can't fault the school for kicking someone out who is a scofflaw.
21:38 May 19, 2011 by wxman
If this is a private institution, they can damned well choose who they admit as a student. No one has the right to go to any school they wish.
21:49 May 19, 2011 by dratman
"They said that it goes against the school's values and that students had been harmed by me being so open about what I do."

From the account as presented here, it seems that if this woman had never spoken about her off-campus activities, there would have been no objection. In other words, she was actually kicked out of the school for what she said--not for what she did.

Let us consider some possible variations of the reported events.

1) Suppose the student had told her friends some false stories about what she did for a living. It wouldn't be the first time someone has ever exaggerated her life! The friends believe her, and then the events proceed just as in this account. The woman appears before the school authorities, finds herself accused, and so says, no, I just made that story up. What is their reaction? Were the other students still harmed just as badly?

2) The student actually engages in sex work as reported, but says nothing about it at school. Later one of her acquaintances happens to spot her shedding her clothes in a club or offering herself for hire. The acquaintance reports her to the school authorities. What action, if any, do they take? In this case, is it a point in favor of the student that she never told anyone?

3) The student has never done any sex work, but someone who claims to know her makes up a false story about having seen her engaged in such activities and makes a false report to the school. The student naturally comes before the school administration and denies she ever did anything wrong. What should the authorities do then? Do they believe her?
22:09 May 19, 2011 by Keith #5083
#6 Swedesmith

Clearly the 'molester' in question is not a college type. But your point about absurdities and contradictory standards is well taken.

errrmmm.. anyone willing to bet that one of the teachers at the college visited the strip club.....and is afraid they were spotted ?
22:10 May 19, 2011 by muscle
well you guys are earning here, rather than commenting here you may try giving her some kind of scholarship , so that she can continue her studies without any stress. but no .. that would be actual action rather than just words and comments! right?
22:52 May 19, 2011 by kenny8076
I have never understood the facination people have with worrying about what people choose to do with THEIR lives. I have also never understood why people feel that women charging for sex is "sick". You know what, some women just LOVE having sex, some are not capable nor have the motivation to do anything else in life. So why can't they have the right to get paid for something that makes them happy and feels good to them?

I would much rather men have the opportunity to pay someone for sex than run around town raping people because they have this urge or desire to fulfill a fantasy. But no, we allow these prude soccer moms to run around judging women, while clearly not being able to fulfill their own husbands fantasy's and desires.

I have paid quite a few times for drinks at bars for women who i eventually slept with that night, usually never speaking to them again, is that also prostitution? NO, but if i would have given them the $50 in cash in hand instead of by drinks it would be.......... Point being is quit worrying about other people all the time, and step your OWN level of play in bed up with your hubby, or you might just fall victim to one of these "sick" people!!!
23:33 May 19, 2011 by Swedesmith
You first, Muscle, pony up.
00:50 May 20, 2011 by jackx123
standard ops procedure for females at american colleges.
01:30 May 20, 2011 by philster61
Yet another example of the archaic view Sweden has towards the sale of sex in any shape or form.And yet again they blatantly feel the need to impose themselves upon individual private lives. Sweden may look good on the outside but is corrupt to the core....
06:09 May 20, 2011 by canuk
is noone curious who this person actually is?? a name perhaps? maybe we should support her choice and pay a visit to the club.
07:23 May 20, 2011 by karex
@twiceshy, while college may be free here, the surrounding expenses are not. Like in the US, studying is a full-time activity meaning, if you study, it is very hard to find and keep a full-time job to support yourself. One of the two: the studies or the job will suffer.
12:51 May 20, 2011 by Rebel
Perfect example of Swedish hypocracy and dishonesty. Sweden is a culture that simulaniously supports open sexuality and yet looks down on people who engage in this behavior. At least the Americans may allow such things to exist in society, but the culture does not see it as some sort of human right -- and no state college or institution of education would expell a student for stripping.

Also, you have the typical "The person we are punishing is not feeling well" which implies a mental condition even though it likely does not exist. At least be honest and tell the truth about why someone is punished.
15:17 May 20, 2011 by ghhugh
What she has done takes courage. The school would like her to slink away but, she is right in challenging them.

Did she sign a document that said she would not seek employment outside the school or enter into relationships that she found pleasurable?

They school will end up with black licorice on their lips when this is over.
15:41 May 20, 2011 by MarshaLynn
To those discussing homosexuality: The consideration of homosexuality should be strictly fact based rather than emotional. The western world is now normalizing homosexuality, but based on emotion rather than fact. This is foolhardy, but again it is how liberals think. They are not fact based. They are strictly emotional. Everything is about how they "feel" and whether we are being "fair." So tell me, where is the wisdom in validating and encouraging the following lifestyle: Scientific studies have demonstrated that male homosexuals in general do not practice sexual fidelity even in committed relationships, and generally do not expect it of their partners. It is not uncommon for a homosexual male to have hundreds of sex partners in a lifetime. Additional, the medical data shows that male homosexuals are prone to HIV and to other kinds of serious medical problems that often lead to an early death. Now, there is nothing emotional about that. It is fact in the real world. Why is society condoning this? I'll tell you why -- because society "feels" like being "fair" and stopping the "bigotry" against homosexuals. But why would an intelligent society NOT be against behaviors that are so seriously medically unsound? I don't expect an answer, because I realize liberals will have to consult their feelings rather than the facts to deal with this.
15:47 May 20, 2011 by zoroastrina
luke123 and StuartM are quite right. Ger off this poor girl's back, Pharisees!

Luke 6:41-42 (King James Version)

41And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

Luke 6:41-42 (New International Version)

41 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

The so-called authorized version is better.
18:00 May 20, 2011 by nocdib
So all this talk about Sweden being "sex-positive" and pro-woman is a complete joke.

Funny how Swedes see it as an "empowering" personal choice if a woman chooses to have a one-night stand every day of the year but the minute she decides to make money from her sexual activity she is a hapless victim of the men she sells her services to and the men who pay for her services are criminals.

Real sexual liberation would allow for consenting adults to do whatsoever they consent to behind closed doors. Even here in the largely religious United States we can generally see that. As long a woman sells her sexual services through a licensed vendor who pays taxes then it is a personal issue. The only time it becomes illegal is when women to it independently to avoid taxes and create a create a black market that cloaks human trafficking. Just about every major newspaper and phone book over here has ads that sell sexual services legally. On top of that, there's even a well-know archetype of a woman who strip just to pay for college. It's nothing new here.
22:58 May 20, 2011 by muscle
@swedsmith:

"well you guys are earning here" . with this i meant i am not earning ok?
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