'Y'all Like Strip Clubs So I Don't Understand!': Stripper Age Will be Raised to 21

'Y'all Like Strip Clubs So I Don't Understand!': Stripper Age Will be Raised to 21

Strip clubs will no longer be able to employ dancers under the age of 21 due to a new bill passed by the Legislature

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
March 9, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—On the last day of the Florida Session, the Legislature has decreed that strip clubs can no longer employ dancers under 21, due to a Republican-led bill that passed Friday morning. Democrats, however, claimed legislative inconsistencies: why should an 18-year-old be able to buy a gun, but not become a stripper?

"We have to change the way that we view strip clubs and adult theatres because what we are regulating isn't just sexual conduct, it's trafficking," Republican Rep. David Borrero said on the House Floor Friday.

"The FBI has reported that strip clubs are safe havens for sex trafficking...it's no secret that pimps and traffickers will go to strip clubs to try to find girls to traffic...or compel them into prostitution."

Sponsored by Republican Rep. Toby Overdorf, HB 7063 originally required human trafficking public awareness signs and the immediate reporting of suspected human trafficking. Due to a new Senate amendment, however, the measure also bans strip clubs from employing individuals under the age of 21, for fear of increased trafficking at these establishments.

According to a 2013 statement by the non-profit Breaking Free, the organization reported seeing between 300-400 girls a year—most of which were trafficked through strip clubs.

Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner raised concerns about legislative inconsistencies and claimed government overreach into women's business and abilities, questioning why Republicans want to lower the gun-buying age to 18, but raise the stripper age to 21.

"If we have filed bills that say that folks can have guns at 18 and that they're able to use guns at 18, I'm not understanding why a young woman [wouldn't] be able to make a choice to go...be an exotic dancer or stripper. That may not be your value, but we're not here to legislate values, we are here to make laws," Rayner said.

"This is just another way for women to be controlled...Once again, this House—this body—is trying to legislate what women can and cannot do with their bodies, and it's overwhelmingly a lot of men who are trying to do that, and some of y'all like strip clubs so I don't understand!"

In his close on his bill, Rep. Overdorf stressed the importance of passing the legislation, explaining the crucial role it holds in combatting human trafficking, saying, "The mission of this organization is to educate the public about the signs and the indications of human trafficking and to report suspicious activity,"

"If this bill does not pass, statewide coordination of anti-human trafficking education will severely decrease, and law enforcement will lose the opportunity to receive grant funding to identify and rescue human trafficking victims," he added.

In a 104-3 vote, the bill passed the House Floor. It passed the Senate on Tuesday, meaning it will now go to the Governor to be signed into law. If done, it will go into effect on July 1.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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