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Diatribe: Mother Faces Prison After Hiring Strippers For Son’s 16th Birthday Party.

02/21/2013

LapDance2There are many ways to celebrate a child’s “coming of age”.  In the United States and Canada, young girls have a “Sweet Sixteen” party to celebrate their progress into womanhood.  In Latin cultures a girls fifteenth birthday is celebrated with a “Quinceanera”.  Jewish girls have a “Bat Mitzvah” at twelve and boys a “Bar Mitzvah” at thirteen.  Christian children, both boys and girls, celebrate when they reach the age of spiritual maturity (usually thirteen or fourteen) with the “Sacrament of Confirmation.  Young Filipino girls have a “Debut” at eighteen.  Chinese girls celebrate “Ji Li” at fifteen and boys a “Guan Li” at age twenty.  In many other countries it’s common to celebrate the eighteenth birthday of both boys and girls as this is the time when they become of “legal age”.

At each of these celebrations, parents use their judgment and a reliance on family history or tradition when deciding how to celebrate the passing of their child into adulthood.  Some have small family gatherings and others a formal ball.  The possibilities are endless.

New York mother, Judy Viger, chose to hire strippers for her son’s sixteenth birthday party last November.  Why she made this decision remains unclear but, four months later, she has been arrested and charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She now faces up to a year in prison if convicted.

Viger hired two strippers, who reportedly performed lap dances on the birthday boy and other underage guests, to entertain at the party which took place in a private room at a local bowling alley.  Approximately eighty people attended the party, including a thirteen-year-old and many adults who later said they were outraged at the sexually charged performances.

LapDanceNot surprisingly, photos from the party made their way online and the mother of a fifteen-year-old who attended the party saw them on her son’s Facebook page.  She contacted police who then interviewed guests of the party.

“The charges stem from an allegation that she endangered not only the welfare of her own child, but the welfare of the 14- and 15-year-old children that were at the birthday party as well.” – Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy

The company providing the “intimate dancers”, Tops In Bottoms, alleges that the dancers were unaware that the kids at the party were underage and that the incident was being blown out of proportion.  The company has cooperated fully with the investigation and does not face any charges.  The bowling alley, on the other hand, is being scrutinized by the state liquor authority for having alcohol on the premises during the party.

Personally, I think Viger used poor judgment when she included the underage children in her son’s celebration without their parents’ consent.  Charges of “endangering the welfare of a child”, however, are ludicrous.

What do you think about strippers at a sixteen-year-old’s birthday party?

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16 Comments
  1. Some parents forget that they are there to PARENT not to be their child’s best friend. I mean, honestly, some of those kids were thirteen and what parent–in their right mind–thinks a lap dance for a thirteen-year-old is acceptable?
    Ridiculous.

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    • Agreed. But prison?!

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      • If I were the parent of the 13 year old, I might think prison was too good for her. A stripper for her own 16 yo? Poor judgment. A stripper for somebody else’s 13 yo? “endangering the welfare of a child” is not an inappropriate charge.

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        • Good point. We should be able to assume that other parents will use better judgement than she did. We certainly shouldn’t have to ask “Will there be strippers at the bowling alley?”!

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  2. Would have been cooler than my 16th birthday.

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  3. So, as the mom of a boy, I see several problems here:

    1) When you send your child to another parent’s house, you ASSUME they will use good judgement. Not that this makes it ok, but if at least the other parents had known what was going on, they could have made their OWN choices about whether or not to send their kid. Honestly, my biggest problem here is that she took the parenting choices away from other parents…

    2) …and used that choice to potentially cause damage. Because let’s be fair: it takes a relatively mature adult to be able to look at a stripper and say, “this is a human being who is doing a job. She is more than the role she is playing right now, and she is not indicative of women IN GENERAL.” But a 16 year old can barely find his ass with both hands, let alone look at a stripper as anything more than a sex object. I know I sound like a whiny old woman, but this is DAMAGING. Not because stripping is BAD or WRONG, and I’m not shaming these women or the company; it’s wrong because these are CHILDREN. And it’s wrong because if any one of those boys felt uncomfortable or didn’t want to participate, I doubt it was a situation where he would feel comfortable tapping out. That’s a lot of social pressure, and sexually inappropriate experiences.

    Jail time? I don’t know. But certainly someone needs to have a talk with her about what she does around OTHER peoples’ kids. I don’t need her helping our society raise another group of misogynists, thanks.

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  4. I agree with your other commenters. Why should a parent have to ask if there will be strippers present at the party before agreeing to allow their son attend a birthday party for a teenager? I think a lot of community service working with the sex industry as well as intensive counselling is in order for this parent.

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  5. Not the best judgment. I would have her do community service, but not prison. As an aside, my wife and I attended a couple 40th birthday party at someone’s home and the hostess was ill-advised and invited a stripper for her husband. This was one of the most uncomfortable feelings I have ever had, as I kept thinking she is going to stop and she kept going. Mind you, I am a guy and have been with guys to these places for bachelor parties, but in someone’s home in front of unsuspecting wives, it was a very poor decision. BTG

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