Ah, Outreach day.

It’s Saturday afternoon on the first relaxed weekend I’ve had in about a month, and I could not be happier. Better yet, Outreach arrived in my mailbox today, along with a fascinating book that I can hardly wait to read: A Tragic Legacy: How a Good Vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency. But I’ll focus on the Outreach issue, because of what’s on page 120.

If you haven’t read it, it’s about a young woman who left her job as a stripper. Her name is Harmony Star Dust, and the first few paragraphs are fantastic, because they explain how she ended up as a stripper in the first place. She was sexually abused repeatedly, had an abusive boyfriend and was putting herself through school.

That’s the kind of thing that so often gets left out of these “how I left the profession and found Jesus” stories, and it’s a terrible shame. The sex industry is legitimately a flashpoint for society and for religion, but almost never for the right reasons. And this is where we link up to the book I mentioned, actually. Too narrow a focus on the sin involved completely blinds many people to the real issue: what leads to the situation in the first place. Not everything is clear-cut, but women don’t go into the sex industry because they’re evil. Some claim that the job is fantastic for them, that they make a lot of money and that they feel powerful in their sexality because of it. Whether or not that’s true, strip clubs and the oldest profession would never be able to get enough labor if women were truly valued in our society.

I have two dear friends who went through nightmares of abuse when they were kids, and their stories are shot through with the way their trust was broken and the people who should have taken care of them let them down. This is the real sin. The sex industry holds up a mirror to us and when we don’t like what we see, we want to break the mirror instead of do something to change ourselves.

This is why I wish the noisy types in religion, the ones who use their fame and supporters to hold forth on society’s ills, ever had anything to say about the real sins in our society. Not the evil of the sex industry, which we could debate all day; but the cruelties that  often drive women into the sex industry, which are unmistakably evil. How many times have televangelists or professional religious folks condemned the sex industry as though it came out of nowhere? How many times have they held forth about sex and failed to utter a peep about sexual abuse?

I’m glad Star Dust’s organization (www.iamatreasure.com) is out there. I just wish more people cared about the folks in the sex industry as people, and wanted to change the world that was cruel to them before they were big enough to fight back.

5 Responses to “Ah, Outreach day.”

  1. 1 Glenn June 30, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Great point, Holly. Bad choices (sin) often victimizes people who in one way or another continue the cycle. I was just thinking about what Christ’s response might be. He forgave an adulterous woman and essentially passed judgment on her accusers. It’s the old curse the darkness / light a candle debate. There is too much cursing the darkness which comes across as judgmental and not enough candle lighting. God bless Star Dust!

    You are probably familiar with http://xxxchurch.com

  2. 2 dean July 6, 2007 at 3:06 pm


    I agree – I wish all people cared more about all people – if we would all do more of that then things would start changing. God wants us to protect those that can not protect themselves, like the sexually abused women and children.

    And I second Glenn’s suggestion of http://xxxchurch.com – they are doing what most of “the church” refuses to do.

  3. 3 hdolezalek July 12, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for commenting, Dean. I forgot to check out xxxchurch.com, but I’m on my way there now!

  4. 4 harmony dust November 12, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Thank you for raising awareness regarding the issue impacting women in the sex industry! And if you know of any industry girls, please tell them that if they sign up at http://www.iamatreasure.com on our dancers/exdancers page, we will send them a free care package with materials to encourage and inspire them! Love, Harmony

  5. 5 hdolezalek November 15, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Thanks, Harmony, will do!

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