Stripper arrested for subway pole dances (from Reuters)

Stripper arrested for subway pole dances

By Pav Jordan

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – A stripper who danced on the poles of Santiago subway trains to challenge the prudishness of Chilean society was arrested on Thursday during one of her lightning performances.

Monserrat Morilles, 26, surprised subway riders all week stripping to skimpy underwear, but she refused tips.

She said she was protesting a lack of tolerance in Chile, one of Latin America’s most conservative societies where the first generation since the Pinochet dictatorship is reaching adulthood.

“This is just a beginning. We are starting an idea here that will grow and be developed further,” she told Reuters as police and subway guards surrounded her.

The professional pole dancer worked quickly all week to avoid arrest, getting on at one station, finding a subway car with no children on it and stripping in time to exit at the next station.

Chilean media dubbed her “La Diosa del Metro” or Subway Goddess. She called her performances “happy minutes.”

“Chile is still a pretty timid country,” said her manager Gustavo Pradenas. “People aren’t very extroverted and we want to take aim at that and make Chile a happier country.”


Additional video of this news here.



  1. Wow. You totally missed the point of what she is doing and why I put the article here. You have taken a piece of social commentary and reduced it to a comment that serves but only to objectify and further misogynist views and beauty standards.

  2. Oh come on now! You can’t be serious. What reason could she possibly have for taking her clothes off in front of people except exhibitionism? Is she a champion for women’s rights by disrobing and flaunting her assets to folks who did not go into a titty bar for the purpose of getting turned on? If so, that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen since a documentary where a stripper stated that she and her fellow dancers were “artists.” They took pride and went to great pains to learn to dance and the aesthetic pleasure of their symmetry and fluidic movements were the height of the experience. Crap. Men are pigs, me too. And all in the heck we wanted was for them to bend over and spread their cheeks.
    Men are visual creatures. All you have to do to evoke friendly fraternization from us is to “be there.” That’s why you see some stone cold “babes” with ugly guys. Women are attracted to romance, closeness and intellectual and spiritual connections.

  3. I think that there are lots of reasons that women get involved in stripping that have nothing to do with exhibitionism. Reasons can range from: economic need, force, past trauma including but not limited to childhood sexual abuse and/or child pornography, lack of other options, or, in some cases, because they enjoy it, either from exhibitionism or simply enjoying as so nicely said by the woman in the documentary the pride in being an artist.

    Still, Chile´s culture is incredible macho and undeniably an unhospitable place for women. Sexuality in women is defined very ridgedly, mostly by the church and follows the whore or virgin mother dichotomy. While prostitution is legal for adults, up until a few years ago divorce was not and abortion still is illegal in all cases (including when the mother or child´s life is in danger).

    I don´t necessarily approve of Ms. Morilles methods, but I do understand her message and what statement she was trying to make.

    And the statement, most certainly, was not “come here and objectify me”.

  4. Clare, I’m curious. Why, in your opinion, do women wear mini skirts and high heels? short shorts? Halter tops?

  5. Okay. I’ll fess up. My initial response was an attempt to be funny. I know very well why you posted this article. If I had to guess I would say that you (and probably travelchile) are college students. You are passionate and have a burning desire to right societal wrongs and stamp out inequality and “bullies” from any and all walks of life. You are committed to liberalism and fighting for women’s rights? Close? In the ballpark? Belong to the ACLU? What is amusing is that you are young enough and militant enough to believe that people will one day “see the light” and give everybody an even break. That’s NOT going to happen. Really. It’s not. I really did see that documentary. And, the stripper really did “state” what I said or something close. I can guarentee you that I am right, men are simply there because there are naked women there. Men that are interested in “art” or social statements are not going to be found at a strip club. The opera and the ballet but not a strip club. The “ONLY” thing this woman is accomplishing is to give a free show to some guys who were congratulating themselves on having a “lucky” day.

  6. At least on me you are wrong. I am long out of college, and out of grad school, and if you read some of the rest of the blog you will learn that I have been working in the counter-trafficking movement for over 6 years. I have worked with prostitutes and strippers. I have worked with, met, studied their johns and their pimps. In some cases I have known their traffickers.

    I also know the situation here in Chile and the culture. I have been back and forth numerous times over the past dozen or so years.

    I do no deny that most/all men are in strip clubs for the ass and not for the dance. That said, I do understand that this is the “male” perspective and may not be the reason the performer chose to be there. I have listed reasons in other responses.

    Ms. Morilles, note: she has a name, has done more than just give a couple men a free show. She has actually started a conversation. She has been on the news. She has been on the national news. She has been on international news. She made a statement of why she did what she chose to do and what methodology she used to avoid children witnessing her show. She has talked about how women in Chile are categorized and how the push for “purity” is harmful in the country. This conversation has been further fueled by the recent debates that this country has been having about the morning after pill, if the IUD should be made illegal, and abortion.

    There is a context to what she is saying with her stripping. It is a context where in the last few months women´s right to the morning after pill has been stripped away. Well, at least for middle class and poor women (it is still available through prescriptions from expensive clinics).

    I can see how you thought you were being fully with the first comment. And I posted it and didn´t delete it. On the other hand, and yes, this is the feminist in me, I do feel the need to point out that it is inappropriate. It would have been much easier to let it slide. There was a time when blackface was funny. Probably there were people who saw the implicit racism in it, but let it slide. And then people came who didn´t let it slide. And now, I believe, the majority would say that it is not funny and would commend those who spoke up. What I did was nothing as dramatic. I do believe in my life it is necessary to name things as they are and say when things are inappropriate. I know people who have finishing their careers, are retired, raising grandchildren and would say the same. I respect that and hope I can be that in some years.

    I am currently living in a culture where male and female role models are even stronger than back in the states. Where macho comments and objectification of women are commonplace. I work in a field where most of the girls and women I meet in the brothels, strip clubs, half way homes, jails, and NGOs are their in part because they have believed these misogynist statements. Where the internalized oppression has led them to a place where they too base their worth on how quickly they can get a man off and how much he would pay for her. I hope I never think that is right.

  7. Misogyny? Internalized oppression? Or is it simply a case of people being judgmental as they invariably tend to be?

    Let’s not mix apples and oranges. The exploitation of women and children is something the overwhelming majority of us (yes that means men as well) find utterly reprehensible. That includes child labor, forced prostitution, organ and human trafficking, and other unpalatable deeds. These are crimes, plain and simple.

    But what about sex between consenting adults where money is exchanged? I’m talking about non-forced prostitution. Do you want women to be free to choose or would you prefer to do the choosing for them?

    Let’s be realistic here: the vast majority of people in this world won’t be getting aboard the gravy train or taking the Harvard fast track. The privileged are quick to demonize those who are less fortunate.

    Don’t women have the right to do as they wish with their bodies? Shouldn’t a woman be free to choose to work as a prostitute because, after all, it’s a far more lucrative endeavor that say flipping burgers? Here’s a provocative question: would you allow them to take pride in their job or is that off limits?

    The main problem with prostitution is the fact that it’s criminalized. That puts the women in a very vulnerable position as they can’t call the police if a problem arises, such as a john getting violent.

    The solution: legalize it.

    As the late Carlin once said: “Selling is legal; fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal?!”

  8. C, I am not talking about prostitution here, we were talking about stripping. And talking about how one woman in Chile used it on a metro to make a statement about the prudish nature of Chilean society and women’s position in it.

    If you want my thoughts on prostitution please go here:
    and here:
    It is a 5 part series I wrote a while back where I talk about the pros and cons of legalizing prostitution and I also talk about one really creative solution that I like: make selling one’s body legal, make buying another person’s illegal.

  9. Hello Clare:
    Thank you for your insightful article on the blog.

    I have created some videos online which might shed some light from a new perspective.

    And my website is:

    The trend for younger and younger prostitutes, in my opinion, has to do with harvesting energy (life force) by the john from the prostitute. A lot of the sex that is going on is one sided in the sense that the male is not giving energy (usually the energy a woman needs is love), back to the prostitute, but sucking from her like a mosquito sucks blood. When the prostitutes get older and “used up” from the perspective of the male customer, he needs a new younger one with a full tank of energy to suck from.

    This energetic container has a name in Oriental Medicine (The Dan Tien or Tan Tien) and that is why I’m producing these videos to explain what is going on, which is a type of sexual vampirism. The johns suck the life out of the prostitute and leave behind empty shells.

    An older prostitute to a John is like PacMan feeding on the small pellets, and the younger ones are like when PacMan eats the BIG PELLET.

    It’s extremely shocking and depressing to be aware of this, but it’s important to keep shedding light on the issue.

    I hope you have a chance to see my videos where I try to explain this.

    It is also important to note that it was under Bill Clinton’s administration that pornography was basically decriminalized and reclassified as “free speech”. This decision came about in the fervor of the Lewinski scandal and hardly anyone noticed it, but I did. I think there are a couple of motives here. One, it’s big money. At the top of the power pyramid, I am confident that the good guys and bad guys are very chummy indeed. Sometimes it feels as if the big players at the top of the social hierarchy look at the peasants like sheep and are always trying to find new ways to make money off of them. Sex is popular, and turning it into a commercial commodity has financial payoffs. Secondly, I think it’s also an attempt to get the global population growth under control. With access to “buying” whatever kind of sex a man could want, many men will be less likely to seek monogamous, committed relationships for their sexual needs, which are the ideal social unit for having children. Perhaps these ideas sound radical to you, but I gently ask that you mull them over a bit to see if they make sense.

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