I live in Northern California. So it’s inevitable that I know someone who trims pot for a living. It’s how she pays her rent. Trimmers are exactly what the name implies. With a small pair of scissors they trim the buds to make them look pretty. Trimmers make decent money, $30 an hour or more depending on their speed. Please don’t quit your job and relocate with that figure beckoning. The market is saturated. And growers don’t offer a benefits package, unless you consider the medicinal qualities of weed advantageous.

English: Close up shot of some high quality ma...

Perfectly trimmed..

Trimming is generally accomplished on site. Is the reason obvious? Pot farms are well guarded. You don’t take your work home with you. Each trimmer is set up with their own station, and the necessary tools: a tiny pair of scissors, bowls, and plastic bags, maybe a lamp to see what you’re doing. My acquaintance works for a particular male grower who hires women trimmers exclusively. I’ll cut to the chase: he offers an additional $5 an hour for each hour the women work topless. $5 an hour extra! That’s substantial. No touching, no groping, just leering. He’s the perfect gentleman. Really? I didn’t just say that.

Can’t sue this guy for harassment. I find it disquieting. My acquaintance, on the other hand, thinks little of it. She shucks her shirt for the extra cash. What’s the difference, she says, centerfolds in Playboy earn much more. My point exactly, I respond, don’t you wish women would stop doing that?

Recently there was a kerfuffle with Danica Patrick, the racecar driver. She prefers that the press describe her as something other than sexy. Commendable, on the surface. Until you view her ads. Or worse, listen to her deliver a line about keeping her beaver safe and out of sight. What the? Ms. Patrick earns a pace car full of money strutting around in revealing attire uttering double entendres.

Danica!

Dressed for work (Photo credit: Tony Stork Photography)

Our interior lives are sometimes secret even to us. When we shuck our shirts for cash, and rationalize our decision all the way to the bank, that secret will gurgle to the surface eventually, and we will feel not only regret, but diminished. Maybe Danica’s inner life is no longer a secret to her.

Audrina Patridge, one of the young women depicted devouring a dripping Carl’s Jr hamburger wearing next to nothing is haunted by the ad. Instead of her name, her fans shout Carl’s Jr! Her family derides her. I can’t decide if I want to shake those women, or hug them, and assure them they have more to offer than what they portray.

The climate surrounding these ads seems more debased than ever. It’s like the scene out of the film It’s a Wonderful Life, where Bedford Falls degenerates into Pottersville.

It's a Wonderful Life

Parents raising daughters are well aware of the challenges of promoting self-esteem. What about parents raising boys? Isn’t that the greater challenge? Or at least an equal responsibility? Raising men who are not threatened by a woman’s intellect and strength, men whose agenda is not to diminish but to respect.

In Liza Mundy’s, The Richer Sex, we learn that forty percent of working wives earn more than their husbands. More than fifty percent of college and university students are women. Both those numbers will continue to rise, unless something drastic happens to alter our course. With all the toxic rhetoric that surrounds us in this political spectacle, we ought to be vigilant. Women are ascending. Shucking shirts for cash, literally and metaphorically, may at first feel liberating, until it doesn’t. It’s up to us. Confidence. Confidence is sexy.

Thanks for listening!