RICHMOND, Va. -- Club Rouge, a strip club in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom, boasts the hottest bottoms in the Bottom, so a group of men standing across the street normally does not raise eyebrows. But a group of 10 men wearing crosses and carrying signs outside the club Friday night aren’t trying to go inside, they want the club shut down.
"We’re praying about the strip club," protester Lance Johnson said. "The Devil is real and we really want to fight the devil here."
The men belong to a local Catholic men’s group and said they decided to protest area strip clubs because the clubs objectify women.
"When we start to focus on just their body parts and if that’s all they can do for us that devalues them," Mario Dance, a member of the men’s group, said.
The men hope they can change the minds of their fellow gentlemen.
"The only reason clubs like this exist is because men, especially, want clubs like this around," Johnson said.
But, Club Rouge DJ Jason Keating called the men’s protest pointless.
"Men are going to be men. You can’t tell men what they can and cannot do," Keating said.
He pointed to his cup that read: Jesus Loves Strippers.
He said the women who dance here love what they do.
"All the girls who come here, they want to come here, they want to dance, they want to support their family," Keating said."We got a lot of single mothers."
Several dancers, who spoke with Melissa Hipolit off camera, said they danced to help pay for college and support their children.
"Sex sells and we do pretty good with business," Keating said.
Johnson said he had never been to Club Rouge, but admitted to visiting a strip club in the past.
"I don’t want to come off as holier than thou because I’ve been there," he said.
He said he has since seen the light since and believed other men could overcome their lust too.
"Even if it seems like a fun thing to do my lust really hurt people," Johnson said.