Guest column: Dismayed by ‘go-go dancers’ story (opinion) |

Guest column: Dismayed by ‘go-go dancers’ story (opinion)

I am writing to express my dismay at Claire Cudahy’s Dec. 15 article on the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival’s (TAFF) and the presence of go-go dancers. From my understanding the author has never attended TAFF in any of its 15 years; which makes me question her qualifications to write a front page story on it.

Throughout TAFF’s history there have always been go-go dancers, break dancers, aerialists and other entertainers. Although Lara Miller says it is not her intention to put down the women dancers, clearly she is. The dancers work hard, have chosen their job, choose their own costumes and their style of dance. Dance has been a part of festivals and celebrations throughout history and is a wonderful form of expression.

It is too bad that this year there were only women dancers and no male dancers; hopefully that will change next year!

It’s also important to remember that TAFF takes place in a casino. This type of entertainment is not unusual in a casino venue. Personally, as a parent, discussing the potential hazards of gambling is just as important as discussing the pros and cons of go-go dancers.

I have been to every TAFF and, in the spirit of open disclosure, have been good friends with Todd Offenbacher and his family for many years. I’m a proud, long-time feminist. I worked for “reproductive rights” and “gender equality in the workplace“ for most of my career and have a good understanding of the difficulties and discrimination women encounter.

So I welcome Lara Miller wanting to open dialogue on the objectification and sexualization of women. But her continued attacks on Todd Offenbacher and his character, her involvement with Todd’s sponsors, and her attempts to hurt Todd financially are very disheartening.

Unfortunately it seems to me that Lara is acting more like a bully than someone trying to have constructive dialogue on an important issue.

Terry Lilienfield is recently retired and is a 25-year South Lake Tahoe resident.

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