What about the children?
No. Seriously. What about them?
It wasn’t long ago when a segment of Chula Vista’s populace were clutching pearls and gasping in between tut-tutting as they fretted over the effects an all nude strip club had on the city’s children.
About seven years ago when gentlemen’s club EyeCandy busted onto the local scene there were the usual complaints and arguments against having a strip club on Chula Vista’s Bay Boulevard — the quasi-industrial area would see an uptick in crime and strain police resources, the venue would attract the wrong element to the area, having a strip club and its signage prominently displayed at the doorstep to the city’s bayfront where residents and regional leaders are betting on a redevelopment project that will provide a financial makeover to the city was a bad look, and the business permit was acquired under false pretenses.
There also, not surprisingly, where cries of “What about the children?” Given that the strip club was located near the entrance to the Living Coast Discovery Center where families and students go to learn about marine life, the concern was that passing the club’s marquee on the way into the nature center would prompt uncomfortable questions: “Mommy, what’s EyeCandy Showgirls?” resulting in awkward conversations: “Go ask your father.”
Business as usual carried on during the three or four years the nudie bar was in business.
Presumably parents and teachers continued taking youngsters to the center during that time.
Now, nearly a decade after the strip club opened and about four years after EyeCandy shuttered, I’m wondering how the kids are doing.
Kindergartners at the time would be close to being in middle school or junior high by now.
High school seniors (the center also offers programs for seniors) would be on the verge of graduating college or already toiling away in the workforce.
Are any of those preteens in counseling because they happened to glimpse a sign that could have been mistaken for a candy store or a Las Vegas lounge?
Did any of those then-teenagers choose a life as a strip club manager because the nondescript concrete building presented such a glamorous work environment?
I have not seen any studies addressing the effects EyeCandy had on area youths but if anyone knows of any, please send them along.
During the three or so years EyeCandy was open did the community do more harm to students than gun violence in schools, fast food, food insecurity, climate change, income inequality, homelessness, inadequate healthcare, abuse, bullying, discrimination, harassment, or any of the other problems that are still with us today?
What about the children?