Naked Truth: Strip Clubs, Democracy, and a Christian Right.

Author:Klein, Marty
Position:Book review

Naked Truth: Strip Clubs, Democracy, and a Christian Right

Judith Lynne Hanna

2012, University of Texas Press

Let me tell you why you should care about strip clubs.

Or rather, let me tell you about Judy Hanna's new book about why should care about strip clubs.

Anthropologist Dr. Judith Hanna is the country's expert on strip clubs and exotic dance. A tremendous researcher, observer, and writer, she has served as an expert witness in over one hundred cases across the U.S.

Naked Truth is a riveting combination of news stories, fascinating anecdote, articulate analysis, and lessons in our living Constitution. It's also a chilling expose of exactly how Christian Right activists are using the issue of sexual regulation to undermine democracy and the separation of church and state.

This parallels the very point of my 2006 book America's War On Sex (2nd edition now available). My book does have a few pages on exotic dance, along with swing clubs and adult bookstores. Indeed, I consulted Hanna while writing the book's first edition in 2006. She was a gracious, expert source.

Naked Truth focuses entirely on strip clubs. And with good reason: with few exceptions, just about every American lives within 100 miles of a club. Millions of men spend millions of hours and tens of millions of dollars at such clubs. Some spend the rent money there.

Cities and counties also spend tens of millions of dollars attempting to shut such clubs. Sometimes they're successful; sometimes they aren't. But win or lose, these cases are never cheap, in effect spending taxpayer money on attorneys instead of schools and hospitals.

And these cases are rarely wholesome. As Hanna documents, attempts to constrain, close, or prevent strip clubs are typically part of a religiously-based campaign to minimize sexual expression in a community. And that campaign, in turn, is typically part of a broader national movement--supposedly about enhancing morality, or protecting women, or...

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