Houston Chronicle Wrong To Fire Part-Time Stripper
6:15 pm, March 30th | by Laura Donovan
I don’t know how familiar you are with journalism, but it’s a well known fact that the profession doesn’t lend itself to large paychecks. It’s a worthwhile sacrifice for me because I do what I enjoy most all day, but salaries in this industry can be difficult to survive on. That’s why I don’t understand why Sarah Tressler, a 29-year-old society columnist for the Houston Chronicle, is receiving backlash and lost her job for holding a side gig as a stripper.
In an article published earlier this week in the Houston Press, Richard Connelly outed her as a reporter by day, “stripper by night.” Connelly discovered her social media accounts that chronicle her nightly stripper activities and reveal that several people at her publication are “[f]urious because she barely bothers to conceal her identity” and “‘flaunts’ her ‘stripper money’ around the office in the form of expensive designer clothes and handbags.” And other people — like those with wealthy parents and/or spouses — aren’t sometimes showy also?
Though it would have demonstrated good form on Tressler’s part to notify the Chron of her other work, if anything to give higher-ups a sense of her availability and schedule, the other staffers have no business expressing outrage over another employee’s side gig. She’s clearly trying to earn more money, and, as Connelly suggested, perhaps score a book deal of some sort. But Jezebel nicely points out that this is a major goal of most scribes, particularly those in nonfiction writing.
No matter Tressler’s justification for working in adult entertainment and documenting it on the Internet under a pseudonym, she should not be looked down upon for dancing the night away at clubs. There’s a misguided notion that certain professions aren’t “respectable,” and while many would argue that writing is much more socially acceptable than taking one’s clothes off for pay, Tressler doesn’t deserve to be reprimanded for hustling to make a living. According to Connelly’s piece, Tressler is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, a stripper, and a freelancer for the Chron and Us Weekly, so if anything, we can learn a thing or two from her about time management and work ethic. Do I envy women who have the Benjamins to walk around in Louboutins and pricey attire? Absolutely, but I have a lot more respect for the folks who fund that wardrobe themselves than with the help of their mother and father or spouse.
More than anything else, there’s nothing wrong with being a stripper. For the most part, we live in a pro-women society — particularly with regards to the workforce — yet not all female-oriented jobs are viewed equally. We’re supposed to idolize the Meg Whitmans and Marissa Mayers of the world, and rightfully so, but told strippers are lesser members of society whose career path is frowned upon, even though many of these women are just trying to care for themselves and their families. Supporting oneself — regardless of means (unless illegal) — should never be a source of shame.