Chances are, when you see the words philanthropy, nonprofit, and social good, strippers don’t immediately come to mind.
Our nation’s puritan attitude toward sex stigmatizes these women as something of a lost cause—after all, they’ve chosen a lifestyle not compatible with traditional, family-oriented values. The general unease between nonprofits and the sex industry has been causing its fair share of controversy over the past two years, starting with a $75,000 donation from Pornhub’s “Save the Boobs” campaign that was spurned by the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Pornhub tried again earlier this year with their “Give America Wood” campaign, which translated website clicks from adult videos into trees to be planted; in that case, the environmental organization that received the $15,000 to plant 15,473 new trees respectfully asked to remain anonymous.
Nonprofits like Cupcake Girls, which offers support to women in the adult entertainment and sex industries, are questioned about their work all the time. Joy Hoover, its founder, has repeatedly been asked, “Why Strippers?” the implication being that all adult entertainers make good money and don’t need help. Surely, there are causes more deserving of support. Joy’s answer is simple.
“Every living person is deserving of respect and dignity,” she says. “No community is better than another.”