Katie Roiphe analyses stripper memoirs:
“Our heroine has a feminist interpretation of the strip club world that she would like to share. This feminist interpretation may be hopelessly confused, often contradictory, and sometimes incoherent, but the author will nonetheless drape her experiences with women’s studies jargon….It is puzzling that such promising and prurient subject matter would lead to such flat books.”
That’s because her subjects forgot Rita Hayworth, who said it much better than any of the memoirists could in Zip!, from Pal Joey:
“You’re looking at a former stripper,
But before I unzip one zipper,
I want it known that I was quite the artiste,
But… the intellectual kind.
What was I thinking while I worked to my lines
While I worked these thoughts kept crossing my mind:
Zip! Walter Lippman wasn’t brilliant today.
Zip! Will Saroyan ever write a great play?
Zip! I was reading Schopenhauer last night.
Zip! And I think that Schopenhauer was right.”