PITTSBURGH -- Council President Doug Shields introduced legislation yesterday calling for a study of the earnings gap between male and female strippers working at city clubs.

“Female strippers have always made more than their male counterparts - we need to know the reasons for this earnings gap,” Shields explained, using the index and middle fingers of both his hands to form quotation marks in the air as he spoke the words “earnings gap.”

The resolution asks Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to solicit firms with experience evaluating wage disparities of exotic dancers. “I’m thinking Luke just needs to call a local university and get some names from someone in its Women Studies Department,” Shield said, again gesturing quotation marks.

The resolution is based on research by Mr. Ravenstahl's chief of staff, Yarone Zober, finding that "the Chippendales, for example, earn just 70 cents for every dollar female strippers earn for similar work," Zober said, gesturing quotation marks around the word "work."

"It's an economic development issue. It's a discriminatory issue," said Mr. Shields, who worked with the Men Rule Foundation to craft the legislation. "Besides, we got to get as many of these initiatives started as possible before some new mayor gets in and puts the clamps down.”