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Women’s group protests outside uptown strip club

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Nearly a dozen sopping-wet women’s rights advocates protested the adult entertainment industry in the rain Saturday night outside Uptown Cabaret, the strip club at the corner of Morehead and South Tryon streets that bills itself as “official party headquarters.”

The national group – “End Pornography and Patriarchy: the Enslavement and Degradation of Women,” is dedicated to fighting laws and practices that members believe objectify women and stigmatize abortion.

Demonstrator Jenny Stevens, 34, said she spent more than two years as a cocktail waitress at a strip club. Most of the strippers, she said, were single parents with families and no education, who saw stripping as a necessary evil to make a living, Stevens said. A cocktail waitress would make $400 to $800 a night, she said, and strippers would make $700 to $3,000.

But it came at a price: “You give up a little bit of your humanity,” said Stevens. “You don’t look at your body as anything other than something to make money.”

Recent Winthrop University graduate Lorena Hildebrandt, 21, said that among her peers,, strips clubs are accepted as no-harm-done entertainment.

“It’s a space that’s not usually contested,” Hildebrandt said. “But we’re saying, ‘No, it’s not OK to be objectified.’ ”

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