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Guest blog: Lapdancing - time to disparage the Farage?

(115 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 26-Apr-13 12:34:57

This week, UKIP leader Nigel Farage admitted visiting a lap-dancing club; according to the Guardian, he told journalists "I thought bloody hell, this is really good". Mumsnet blogger and author Rosie Fiore, who blogs over at Wordmonkey, is under-impressed.

"So this image popped up on Facebook yesterday, complete with a plethora of LOLs and likes. It seems loads of women think stripping would be a fun lifestyle choice, if only their boobies were perky enough.

And then a few hours later, I read that Nigel Farage, UKIP leader, ex-City metals trader and the UK's 'least unpopular political leader' (!?) has come under fire for admitting that he has visited lap-dancing clubs in the past and enjoyed it. He says it"s because he's honest and, unlike other political leaders, is not living in a 'PC world'. He insists that this admission is not evidence that he is anti-women.

When the accusation was put to him, he apparently laughed it off. 'That's really rather silly,' he said. 'I have to tell you, if I'd been anti-women, then the whole of my adult life would have been just that much simpler.' Don't know how to tell you, Nige, but gay and anti-women - not the same.

So both things got me thinking about strip clubs and lap-dancing clubs, possibly one of the oddest cultural phenomena I can think of. After all, the notion that a group of people of one gender goes to sit in a room, while members of the other gender take off their clothes to display their secondary sex characteristics - well, it's a bit damned odd, is it not? Here's what Camille Paglia, the redoubtable post-feminist theorist had to say about it.

'That's what the strip clubs are about; not woman as victim, not woman as slave, but woman as goddess.'

While I've always been fascinated by Ms Paglia and think a lot of what she has to say is ground-breaking, this one has never rung true for me. This is why. In 1991, when I was fresh out of university, I worked in a strip club in my home town of Johannesburg, South Africa.

I had graduated with a drama degree and every expectation of a glittering career on the stage and screen, but six months later I was working in a restaurant, and the stage and screen seemed to be getting along just fine without me. I rang my agent and expressed my frustration, and, probably just to get me off the line, he made a suggestion which changed my life forever. 'Write a play about out-of-work actresses working as strippers,' he said. The idea caught flame, and I decided to do just that. But in order to write, I needed to experience, so aged 21, I took a job as a food and beverage manager in one of Johannesburg's most notorious strip clubs.

In the few weeks that I worked here, these are some of the examples of 'goddess worship' I experienced in that fine emporium.

- Girls as young as 17 stripping completely naked (then illegal in South Africa, still allegedly illegal in the UK)
- Women stepping offstage and being paid their fee in cash, then instantly spending the same money in the club on food, alcohol and drugs
- Women working the lunchtime shift and then leaving to work as prostitutes in nearby hotels
- The manager threatening both strippers and patrons with a gun on more than one occasion
- A girl who worked in the club fell pregnant by the owner's son. He procured her an (illegal) abortion, and then insisted she go straight back to work. I saw her pack her vagina with tampons and cotton wool, swallow painkillers, then go on and dance. In between dances, she would curl up on the sofa and read comic books and giggle. She was eighteen years old.

So, not so much with the Goddess worship. While clubs vehemently deny that they encourage prostitution, a report commissioned by London Metropolitan University found that alcohol, drug addiction and pressure from punters mean that women often need to offer sexual favours to make the work pay.

It's not as lucrative as you might think, either - and there is zero job security. Generally, the girls pay a fee to the clubs in order to work, and only get paid if they are hired to dance. If there are too many girls (as there frequently are), they may earn nothing - but must still pay to be there. A study by the University of Leeds found that 70% of women had left a shift without any money because of the fees and fines they had had to pay the club.

So call me judgmental, but it seems to me that the very notion of the strip club or lap-dance club as it currently exists is anti-women, and that men that visit them and perpetuate the set-up are condoning it.

And even if you leave the whole sex industry thing aside, where does Mrs Farage come into the whole equation? There is a Mrs Farage by the way - a second wife, Kirsten, mother of Farage's two young daughters. Her views on the issue are not recorded, but I know I'd be less than thrilled if my husband's night out included a little light crotch-grinding with a woman he'd paid for. On the continuum of infidelity, that's pretty damned close to the danger zone.

So let's go back to Farage's assertion that he is not 'anti-women'. The accusation that he was sexist was levelled by ex-UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen, who left the party two months ago, citing Farage's gender discrimination and bullying. She has since joined the Conservatives. Her stance is particularly notable because she was the only female MEP UKIP had, since Nikki Sinclaire was expelled from the party in 2010. Even David 'Calm Down Dear' Cameron can boast a few women in his cabinet. UKIP now has precisely zero.

It seems to me, Mr Farage, that you're okay with the exploitation of women, you're happy to visit a 'sex encounter establishment' even when you're married, and your party can't field a single candidate who represents 52% of the population. And in my view, if a man's idea of a fun night out is paying £20 to stare at the vulva of a young woman who has no job security, no employment rights and the constant threat of sexual harassment, he's certainly not pro-women. Just saying."

Rosie Fiore's new novel Wonder Women is available in eBook for the special price of £1.39, till May 1st. The paperback version will be out on 20th June.

wem Fri 26-Apr-13 13:27:11

Good post. The one thing I'd add is regarding his defence of being anti-women - 'I have to tell you, if I'd been anti-women, then the whole of my adult life would have been just that much simpler.' Now, there may be some context that I'm unaware of, but as it is, it reads to me like he's suggesting that if he had no sexual interest in women then he wouldn't have to bother having the irritating creatures in his life. A pretty anti-women stance!

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 26-Apr-13 14:01:09

I'm not sure we should disparage someone who is clearly to be pitied ... if his life is so short of sexual excitement he needs to visit strippers (and I must say it's entirely clear why that might be the case) it feels a bit mean to put the hob-nailed boots on, I do beg your pardon, the platform fetish stilettos because I'm not an uptight DM wearing feminist, and kick the living shit out of the man.
however much fun it might be ....

AmberLeaf Fri 26-Apr-13 14:26:04


No one needs to visit strippers.

Good pot from the blogger.

LazarussLozenge Fri 26-Apr-13 14:28:00

One persons experience in one establishment, 22 years ago, located in a foreign country? And which is described as 'notorious'.

That is what we should use as a basis for why something is so wrong?

I've never actually been in a strip joint, doesn't interest me and (tbh) I can think of better thinks to spend my cash on, but I can't help thinking this is a rather narrow field of experience to base such weighty pronouncements upon.

AmberLeaf Fri 26-Apr-13 14:31:09

She isn't the first to say such things Lazaruss.

LazarussLozenge Fri 26-Apr-13 14:51:36

I don't doubt she is will not be the last.

Not saying she didn't see what she says, just pointing out it is one experience, 22 years ago in a known 'notorious' establishment.

What does 'notorious' mean in this case?

Can we draw parallels to other clubs? Are there clubs that treat their employees better?

Are there differences between female strip clubs and male strip clubs?

Is the Chipendales a celebration of manhood as a god (as per Paglia) or an exploitation of men?

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 26-Apr-13 14:55:46

The exploitation of women working in these establishments has been documented on numerous occasions.
The whole existence of a strip club is based on the premise that women are commodities. The fact they are treated as such by them is disgusting, but hardly surprising.

timidviper Fri 26-Apr-13 17:00:18

Who ever exected to agree with Nigel Farage anyway????

every study i've seen has shown similar (re: frequently the women owe the club rather than vice versa at the end of the night, pressure to prostitute oneself further , bullying, harrassment etc etc).

UKIP has not one single female? so racist, misogynist, call benefit claimants parasitic, is there anything good about them?

Sausageeggbacon Fri 26-Apr-13 18:08:23

Interesting cherry picking on the stats. I have read the Leeds Uni report and although dancers can lose money on a shift they average between £200 and £250 for a shift (5 hours or so). So 4 shifts a week sees dancers earn between £800 and £1000 per week. The unionisation of dancers I think in the long term will help. My neighbour has joined Equity although more seem to be joining the GMB.

Any the only job where you can put all your clothes through as tax deductibles.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 26-Apr-13 20:30:16

I agree that "Nigel Farage talks shit" is on a par with "bear shits in woods" as a headline, timidviper.

FasterStronger Fri 26-Apr-13 21:05:12

He really is an odeous little man isn't he?

Corygal Fri 26-Apr-13 21:18:46

Smart post.

I can see people saying that anything about Nigel Farage is writing of the sledgehammer/nut variety, but sadly I don't think it is - there are an awful lot of other thickos out there.

Kiriwawa Fri 26-Apr-13 22:00:09

It's one of the 5 key findings of the report Sausageeggsbacon. Seems fair to mention it.

Frankly whether someone earns £200/hour or £20, it's a bit fucking shit that any workers have reported not getting paid at all for their work, no?

I find it interesting that you've chosen to mention the fact that clothes for strippers are tax deductible. What does that say about you I wonder?

sadly cocaine and vodka habits are not deductible and the women i've known who've done this kind of work have needed lots of both.

not much career longevity either obviously but no pensions, sick pay, holiday pay, minimum wage etc etc.

BasilBabyEater Fri 26-Apr-13 23:05:09

People are always so desperate to say how great it is to be a lapdancer because it's so well paid yada yada, but they're not keen for the women they love to do it are they.

That obviously excludes those who don't love any women.

Great blog post,.

vesuvia Fri 26-Apr-13 23:13:04

Sausageeggbacon wrote - "although dancers can lose money on a shift they average between £200 and £250 for a shift (5 hours or so). So 4 shifts a week sees dancers earn between £800 and £1000 per week... the only job where you can put all your clothes through as tax deductibles."

Although male footballers can lose money on a shift, they average between £20,000 and £25,000 for a shift (2 hours or so). So 1 shift a week sees footballers earn between £20,000 and £25,000 per week... As the male footballers only wear their football strips for work, their work clothing is probably tax-deductable (or, more likely, free).

Why are boys wanting to be footballers and girls wanting to be lapdancers? Lapdancing should not be as good as it gets for young women.

Vizzage Sat 27-Apr-13 08:01:50

The whole industry is horrid, but I expect there are many reasons why men go to strip clubs - maybe they're on a stag night, or been taken there by a work supplier, or just want to ogle girls; maybe they have a healthy attitude towards women, maybe they don't. Remember women also go to male strip events and we don't think of the women as being perverts who hate men, though we might disagree with the concept, dependent on our principles. But one thing's for sure, it's a horrid industry because it's dangerous, un-policed, it exploits women and it turns them into objects. Simple.

so let's say a woman did average £900 a week. no sick pay or holiday obviously and i wouldn't want to be girating naked on my first couple of days of my period so lets say she manages 40 weeks a year. that's 40k a year minus tax obviously.

and how many years do you think she can be a lap dancer for? what is the career longevity of gyrating near naked for men in competition with all the other girls there to get the dances or make no money? i'm thinking not long.

even if you take the optimistic view of her earnings (and ignore how much many of these women spend on drugs and alcohol to get through the work, and ignore the dangers and psychological damage) it's hardly a great career plan is it? in reality they won't hit that 1k a week every week and they won't hit it for long - only at the prime of being the newest/youngest/prettiest 'pick' of the bunch she's competing against.

for those who think it's all wonderfully paid and no harm done and women do very well out of it is it in that case something you'd advise your daughters to do? would you want the school's careers advisor to say to your daughter try the pussy cat club down the road the pay is excellent or would you think that inappropriate somehow? is it well paid and ok for some girls, 'those' girls, but not your girls?

sorry it's clearly not 40k - i forgot i went for the mean of the 800-1k a week figure given.

LazarussLozenge Sat 27-Apr-13 08:51:48

A footballers 'shift' isn't two hours. That is a game. Their time training is also recompensed.

I haven't met a single lass who wanted to be a stripper, and I assume those who are have the choice to work elsewhere. They aren't forced on to the stage are they?

Snorbs Sat 27-Apr-13 10:56:22

They're not forced at gun-point, no. But a lack of opportunity to do anything else plays a very big role. Arguably what plays an even bigger rile is the societal expectation that a young woman's prime reason for existence is to be a sexual object for men.

BasilBabyEater Sat 27-Apr-13 11:09:43

Also who cares whether they're forced or not.

Everyone always wants to talk about the women's behaviour "they aren't forced", "they earn xyz" etc. , but no-one wants to talk about the behaviour of the men aren't forced to go and watch them but make the choice to. We need to look at why men (and Nigel Farrage) have a view of women which sees them as pretty objects who are there to give them hard-ons and they have the right to go and pay for that.

What is wrong with men's view of women in this? Let's stop talking about the women and talk about the men. Why does Nigel Farrage think it's OK to go and watch a much better looking woman than him, cavort half naked around his lap for money and what does it say about what he thinks of women? Would he be happy for his wife or daughter to be a lapdancer, cavorting around the crotches of other ugly old men like him for money? If not why not?

Indeed. I've no doubt that some of these clubs are seedy, badly run, and at the worst, are fronts for other illegal activities.

However. May I dare suggest that it's the men that are being exploited by lap dancing clubs.

Now obviously it would be wrong of me to make such comments without having actually experienced these places. And I'll admit that I've probably been three or four times over the last 10 years. Each time was with a group of friends on a night out.

These places aren't cheap, and if you pay by card, there's a 25% charge for using it!! A dance is a tenner, and it only lasts a few minutes. The drinks aren't cheap either. Though on the plus side, it has to be one of the most relaxing and less threatening places to go and have a drink.

The other surprising thing is how many straight couples appear at these places as customers.

These places aren't always about seedy old men in macs, and under age girls. The good ones are pleasant places to unwind, and if you're careful, needn't be a rip off.

BasilBabyEater Sat 27-Apr-13 11:17:36

Well you can dare to suggest it, but it's a pretty stupid argument.

The idea that men are poor, helpless idiots led by their dicks, suits men who are into the idea of exploiting women, but intelligent people don't buy it.

If it were true, men wouldn't have managed to rule the world for the last six millenia or so. Women could have simply led them by their dicks and built societies based on the idea either that women are the default human beings and men exist to serve them (as men did to women) or that men and women are equal and ensured that men never attacked that equilibrium by giving them a wank for good behaviour.

That hasn't happened because men are not in fact, led by their dicks.

GeekLove Sat 27-Apr-13 11:51:45

If Nigel Farrage thinks lapdancing is so great for women why doesn't he strip off, shake that ass and wiggle them titties?
I'd stick a fiver in his g-string.

I'd have less ideological objection to lapdancing clubs if the condition for entry for men is if they have to strip off get up and dance.

LazarussLozenge Sat 27-Apr-13 12:01:17

Basil, men haven't ruled the world for six millenia or so...

It may suit the 'sisterhood', but there is no 'brotherhood' holding women in thrall.

Or if there is, they haven't asked me to join.

Plenty of woman leaders appear throughout those 6,000 years.

Now strip clubs.

Men look at women, a sexual woman excites a man, releases all kinds of good chemicals in their brain and they enjoy the experience.

That isn't a oppressing campaign. Just natural. I imagine women at a male strip show feel exactly the same.

If they enjoy it, they will go to where they can enjoy it.

It is all normal, and good fun (I imagine, I've never actually been to strip club).

The strip club, lap dancing club or what ever appears to be the actual problem. Some seem to be quite seedy, some may be quite respectable (regardless of your opinons on the commodity which they trade (that would be the patrons enjoyment by the way)).

And again, no-one male or female is forced in to being either a customer or a service provider.

The dancers/strippers make a choice to work there, rather in a fast food outlet or similar.

If the establishment is seedy and exploiting people (on or off the stage) maybe a guild, union or similar sign of endorsement should be brought in.

BasilBabyEater Sat 27-Apr-13 12:11:55

a) There you go trying to move the subject on to the motives of the women again, instead of the motives of the men/ Nigel Farrage

b) If you're going to claim that societies haven't been organised by men for men with a deliberate exclusion of women from social, economic and political power, you're going to look fairly stupid.

if you're being ripped off in a club it's not by women it's by men who run and market them.

unsurprisingly some girls can be tempted by making a lot of money quickly and are prepared to pay the price to do so. and? the issue is that this way of making money exists. that we have a society that sees women as titilating objects for men that can be bought.

what is sad is to be in a world where the power conditions exist that make getting paid for the indignity of wiggling around near naked for paying customers an actual job. a world with more dignity and respect for women wouldn't have such a thing.

you know the fact that some women are prepared to do it doesn't make it ok! it makes it even sadder that we're raising people with so little respect for themselves that they're ok with wiggling their naked butt in someone's face for a tenner.

Question though.

Why do you think men go to such places? Perhaps if, as a couple, your own 'lives' were more interesting shall we say, then your man wouldn't be tempted to go to these places. After all, a business survives on demand for it's services. And there's obviously a demand.

ah so now it's the fault of women who should be gyrating on their laps of their husbands for free at home to save them from going out and paying for it hmm

This isn't about 'fault' or blame. Far too much of that happens.

The only 'hidden' point in my last post was that perhaps some couples just have very different ideas on what is acceptable at home. It works both ways. It's not always the men that have the highest 'drive' in a relationship.

It's interesting reading through these posts, and how 'blame' is apportioned. Why are people so quick to blame others. My post above has nothing to do with blame.

I remember just how popular male strippers were. I've forgotten some of the troupes names now. But they were big (no pun intended!). So don't give me the holier than thou' malarky. Unless of course you are. And if you are, then please. Just live and let live.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 27-Apr-13 13:41:17

I usually say ces't le vie, whatever you are into and of course if nobody is getting hurt.
However, your post has really opened my eyes, the exploitation of these girls is terrible and anybody who does attend them is condoning the behaviour we heard above.
I used to think at least the girls would be earning a lot of money and although not for me, could see why so many were attracted to the lifestyle. Without the huge amount of money I thought existed, it is hardly worth them doing it. Which means it is probably to fund alcohol and drugs which they wouldn't need if they didn't have that lifestyle. I have been conformed grin thanks

BasilBabyEater Sat 27-Apr-13 14:01:14

Whenever the subject turns to men's motivation in going to these sordid places, the usual explanation is that they're not getting it at home.

So again, it's turned round to men not being responsible for their behaviour, but women being responsible for men's behaviour. It's got nothing to do with men's attitudes, nothing to do with their beliefs, it's all about whether the women at home are doing what they want. hmm

It's such a useful narrative for supporting misogyny.

I accept full responsibility for going on the few times I've been in the last 10 years. It wasn't because of lack of anything at home, it was 2 stag nights, a works party, and a friends night out.

I can understand that some men might because of the lack of 'attention' at home. But I'd rather not be in a relationship that had no love. Been there done that. And fully accept that it takes two people to have an unhappy relationship.

Basil. You obviously have a low opinion of men. Which is your prerogative. But don't think that all men are irresponsible, sex crazed manics. Perhaps you have just been with or met the wrong men for you. But once again, the 'blame' card is being played and you reading incorrectly what I have said.

Sorry. I can't debate with someone that reads what they want from my posts and twists it to their own agenda. Are you my ex wife by any chance? smile

We all need to take responsibility for what happens in our own relationships.


I totally agree that some of these places are not good, and are run badly, use illegal immigrants, a front for drug pushing etc.

I don't doubt that some of the dancers use the money from this to obtain drugs. But then again, I knew some city banking types that also took drugs. Drugs effect more people than just those in 'sorbid' industries.

LazarussLozenge Sat 27-Apr-13 14:40:37

At a guess they go in to these places because they enjoy what goes on in there...

If the business is as sordid as people say, maybe it should e regulated better.

But I doubt there is a compelling reason to outlaw it altogether.

I do agree that the 'they are not getting at home' explanation is hackneyed, but then so is the 'sad old men supporting misogyny' explanation...

Are you paid a £1 every time you say that by the way Basil? You seem to slide it in to every post.

lapdancing clubs aren't about sex anyway - they have a no touch policy so realistically it's about power and being able to buy women/pay them to do something demeaning rather than any kind of sexual gratification. it certainly has nothing to do with satisfying 'needs' as all it would do is arouse men not get them off.

total lack of logic in those posts.

LineRunner Sat 27-Apr-13 16:53:47

Just going back to Farage, he did come across as quite dim on Questiontime last Thursday and many of the current crop of UKIP candidates for May's local elections are appearing especially bonkers, racist and sexist.

BasilBabyEater Sat 27-Apr-13 18:52:25

Actually Haplesshacker, I don't have a low opinion of men, I have a low opinion of men who go to lapdancing clubs and in particular I have a low opinion of Nigel Farrage. To be fair I had a low opinion of him before I knew he'd been to a lapdancing club, but this revelation has done nothing to make me re-think my low opinion of him.

I don't know why you're asking me if I get paid £1 every time I say post a " 'sad old men supporting misogyny' explanation..." LL - I haven't posted that, that's a bit too pat and simplistic for me, but I accept that you might have a slight difficulty following my arguments. I have posted that I would like men's motivations and behaviour to be examined on this sort of issue instead of all the focus always being on women, when it's the men who use these clubs, who create the demand.

I disagree with your simple-minded idea that it's "natural" for men to have women displayed and paraded so that they can get hard-ons - I don't know of any species in nature where this happens, on the contrary, throughout nature males display to females, not the other way round. I suspect it is not natural, it is in fact the result of a society where females have been designated the sex-caste and many men feel entitled to be sexually aroused by women who aren't arousing them because they want to (which would be natural), but because they're being paid to, which is not "natural" at all, it's socialised behaviour and I'd like people to think about why women have been socialised to do that and why some men have been socialised to think it's reasonable and normal.

Sausageeggbacon Sat 27-Apr-13 20:28:55

Okay here is a real easy question that has had me scratching my head...

Striptease is being attacked by two main groups. These are part of the feminist moment and religion. I just wonder why feminist are siding with religious groups that want to control woman's bodies? A dancer has pointed out to me that in Tower Hamlets feminists shared a platform with Sharia Clerics who believe domestic violence is okay so long as it is done with a cane less than a thumb wide.

These feminists are also partnering with Christian groups that believe a woman has no right to decide what to do with her body especially in terms of reproductive rights along with some other wacky ideas including creationists.

So we have fought these religions for the rights we have now and then turn around and start working with them. Seems mighty fucked up a bit strange.

LazarussLozenge Sat 27-Apr-13 20:39:37

Basil, You disagree with a completely different point, infact you have invented the point yourself.

I didn't say anything about it being natural for med to have women displayed and paraded so that they can get hard ons.

Some species display both ways, and some go female to male. It just suits your purpose to not know of any females who compete for male attention. FYI those species who display both ways are usually the ones who develop longer partnerships.

Live and learn, eh.

To recap.

I said, men (or women) probably feel quite good when they see a person they find attractive cavorting sexilly in front of them. If they feel good they will go to where they can get that feeling. That is natural.

A smoker feels good after having a fag, hence they will go bck to a fag in order to feel good. It is natural.

If a strip joint is NOT exploiting its workers or clients, and the workers are there by choice... is it really a problem? Regardless of you liking the idea or not.

FloraFox Sat 27-Apr-13 20:50:35

Sausage which group of feminists was that? In what way are they "partnering" with these groups?

BasilBabyEater Sun 28-Apr-13 01:35:04

Yes you did say it was natural LL, here: "Men look at women, a sexual woman excites a man, releases all kinds of good chemicals in their brain and they enjoy the experience.

That isn't a oppressing campaign. Just natural."

I'm interested - tell me more about the species who display both ways. Also tell me about the species who display not in order to attract a mate, but to attract food - because that would be the nearest equivalent to lap dancing and again, I'm not sure how common it is in nature.

"I said, men (or women) probably feel quite good when they see a person they find attractive cavorting sexilly in front of them. If they feel good they will go to where they can get that feeling. That is natural."

Really, you think it's natural that a man should feel good about a woman who finds him disgusting, cavorting sexily in front of him? When he knows she's there to get money and she despises him and thinks he's a total tosser? It's natural for men to feel good about that is it? I don't think so. I think that's socialised behaviour, not natural at all. We're not inherently programmed to want contempt from the other sex and feel good about it, we learn that.

"If a strip joint is NOT exploiting its workers or clients, and the workers are there by choice... is it really a problem? Regardless of you liking the idea or not."

Yes, it's still a problem a) you won't find a strip joint in the land that isn't exploiting its workers and clients and b) choice shmoice - you need to look at the context of the choices people make and find out what other choices are available to them, before you can decide whether the choice is free or not. c) People's choices don't take place in a vacuum, their choices have an impact on other people. It's well established that in areas where there are lap-dancing clubs, women in those areas will be more likely to be harassed and/ or sexually assaulted on the streets - guess why.

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 08:50:47

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Kiriwawa Sun 28-Apr-13 09:17:09

You are coming across as entirely unhinged Lazarus. Basil was responding to points you made and you appear not to have noticed that she was disagreeing with you either - there's nothing natural about lap dancing clubs.

As for sexual assaults increasing in areas where there are lap dancing clubs, have a look at the Lilith report. This was the first reference I came across on line:

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 10:08:33

Kiria, Basil focuses in on small parts of an arguement which usually have no bearing on the overall discussion.

It doesn't matter if strip clubs re not representative of the animal kingdom or are un-natural.

Thankyou for the link, I had a read and your article is merely the locals 'fearing' an increase based on the Lilith report.

Thus I read that report instead. I have to admit the name of the report raises eyebrows (google who Lilith actually was) and the organisation that published it have a vested interest in showing a particular trend.

The report stated that rape increased n Camden after the introduction of strip joints. Fair enough.

Shame a re-analysis of the report shows that the ncrease of rape instances in surrounding boroughs that have less strip clubs is actually higher, in fact a borough near by with NO strip joints show's the highest increase.

So we could probably assume from the two reports that over the last 10 years either rapes were reported more, or they really did occur more often and that the instances of rape was inversely proportionate to the number of strip joints in the area...

Not quite what you want to here assume.

The lilith report re-anylis is here

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 10:14:40

' The impact of adult entertainment on rape statistics in Camden:a re-analysis.
Brooke L Magnanti, PhD.


A 2003 report on the impact of lap-dancing clubs on sexual assault in Camden,London had significant influence on the perception of the contribution of adultentertainment to crime statistics. In spite of mathematical corrections to thestatistics in the report, its original conclusions are still widely reported in bothacademic and mass media. This paper presents a broader analysis of the impactof lap-dancing clubs by calculating accurate rates of incidence, analysingstatistics from a longer time period, and comparing the results with crime rates inneighbouring boroughs of London. The rate of rape in Camden is lower than thatin comparable boroughs, including ones with no such clubs. The overall trend for London boroughs, while higher than the national average, shows a decreasewhere national statistics are on the increase.'

From the above link.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 28-Apr-13 10:29:13

Flora Object partnered with the Muslim cleric in Tower Hamlets and the Solent Feminist network have connections with Christian Concern although the Portsmouth campaign was a flop. I am sure more will come out later.

lazarus you are just being attacking and nasty. basil debated the points you raised and looked in detail at them to challenge them. that is debate. if you wish to debate with her you then look at what she said and disprove or explain why you disagree - that's normal debating form. instead you call her an imbecile and just attack.

for people reading it appears you are unable to counter her arguments so stoop to being insulting. tbh it also looks like you're giving us a prime example of men who feel contempt to women who don't conform to their desires.

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 11:58:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

clearly it is relevant as you said that the behaviour was natural - it is entirely standard to look wider animal world to ascertain if something is natural or socially conditioned. she was answering your point which i agree was irrelevant but once it was out there it needed to be rebutted. the need to rebut the idea, which you proposed, of this being 'natural' (albeit you later denied saying it and didn't have the curtesy to apologise when your words quoted back proved you did say it TWICE) is entirely relevant.

if behaviour is socially constructed - re a result of conditioning then it is contingent upon social structures and would change if social conditions changed. often people try to defend things such as social inequality or brutality by saying, 'it's natural' - the obvious thing the person debating them has to do is show that it isn't natural actually.

so it is relevant in as far as you used it as an argument and it has been countered. you'd then need, in an intelligent discussion, to say ok i concede it isn't natural but (insert new argument). i get the impression that admitting when you're wrong isn't an option though so instead you go on the attack. the impression comes from how you've been on here btw - your wife doesn't come into it.

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 12:46:28

swallowed I said it was natural to return to something that made you feel good.

Specifically, the patron views the dancer, they feel good about, they will thus return to that establishment.

I used the smoking analogy.

If we must use similar acts in the natural world, animals (other than human) masterbate. Probably because it feels good, so they do it again... and again.

Now, what we don't know is what they are thinking about or what causes them to masterbate. It could be a physical thing, ie they enjoy the actual physical act, or is Mr Walrus thnking of Mrs Walrus stripping off a penguin fur bikini for him?

Does this have any bearing on the status of strip joints? Probably not.

yes it's natural to masterbate based on the natural positive reward it gives the animal - re: we have the capacity to orgasm and that releases all sorts of feel good endorphines etc.

what's the natural reward for paying a woman who is likely disgusted by you a tenner to gyrate in front of you? what natural reward system is in place for that?

not a very good analogy is it. if it 'feels good' it is because of social conditioning and social conditions such as power rather than any natural reward we are driven to seek. which returns to my point it has fuck all to do with sex - sex is a red herring.

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 13:35:29

Again you are bringing up the 'disgusted' angle.

The payer is not likely to be thinking of that, be taht a bloke paying a woman or a woman paying a bloke... do you think the Chippendales think their female viewers are all goddesses?

It is possible to feel good without the actual ejaculation part (or female equiv).

If the person is sat there with an erection their body is already flowing with the feel good chemicals and what not.

The 'hard on' is the result of becoming aroused, not the other way around.

There is your reward.

Also, the memories of the dance can be used later, should the watcher decide to play 'solitaire'.

unless he is somehow seriously sub average cognition he will know that she is doing it for money and would rather be at home watching eastenders. or are you suggesting men really are that stupid that can't distinguish their fantasies from reality?

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 13:52:22

I doubt there is any difference in the ability of a man to distinguish fantasy from reality, and a woman's ability.

And I'd imagine the more intelligent the person the more able they are to immerse themselves in their fantasy.

grimbletart Sun 28-Apr-13 14:21:52

I used the smoking analogy.

Lazaruss: are you sure that is the analogy you want? People return to smoking because they are, for the main part, physically addicted. Are people who go to lap dancing clubs addicts?

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 15:05:27

Possibly grimbletart.

But not in the way that you perhaps thinking.

I am addicted to running and phys. I exercise, those endorphins get pumping, I feel good so I go again the next day.

Look through your life, there is something you do (drink a morning coffee for example) that you do because you are 'addicted' to it. I don't mean you would kill a granny for the change in her purse to buy a cup of joe though.

well then if there is no difference between a woman's and a man's ability to distinguish reality from fantasy then clearly yes those men do know she is only do it for the money and she is probably disgusted by them. because i'd know it, most women know it so if as you say (and i agree) men are as capable as women of seeing reality then they must know it too.

so it's about power, not sex.

look at the fact that men go to these places in groups - to celebrate their maleness and bond - and what are they bonding over? their shared male status which in this society equates to being able to buy women. or do you think they all go together so they can have wank material later? they go to enjoy their maleness which is defined by their position vis a vis the female class.

and before you start on the chippendales again that works because it is a power reversal. much like carnival worked by letting the slaves dress up as kings and queens and everything be inverted on carnival day. it released the pressure of the oppression state with a novelty release.

no interest in seeing male strippers myself.

Mugofteaforme Sun 28-Apr-13 15:57:58

"As for sexual assaults increasing in areas where there are lap dancing clubs, have a look at the Lilith report. "

Whatever you view this is a very poor analysis. Simply to imply that the raise in sexual violence is down to the introduction of lap dancing without accounting for other variables e.g. demography is a faux pas in any analysis. Correlation does not equation causation.

In my opinion (and as a bar worker for many years ) I've seen more anger and pent up sexual frustration (often presenting as random violence) emulating from the local night club come chucking out time then from any lap dancing club.

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 16:39:11


You are seriously suggesting that a female strip show is bad due to 'maleness' but a male strip show is 'ok' because it celebrates a reversal of roles?

Where do couples visiting strip joints fit in to your view? That would be a male and female visiting either show, together?

I think the simple fact that you are clearly disgusted by the practice means that you will never be able to discuss it rationally or objectively.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 28-Apr-13 17:20:22

Actually I want to come back to crime to after the fact I have read

Lilith isn't worth the paper it is printed on the errors are so bad.

Bristol, the clubs are in the middle of the crime impact zone which is shared with night clubs. The council has never assigned blame to the clubs.

Inspector Drummond of Cornwall made claims which the police force had no data to support for the BBC and local online news actually show a decrease of sexual crimes since the first club was introduced.

And the Nottingham ADC who made claims based on Lilith without checking if the data was accurate.

Okay now looking for where the crimes are. I have been swapping mails with that blog at the suggestion of my neighbour as they seem to have information on crime.

FloraFox Sun 28-Apr-13 18:12:33

Sausage in what way did Object partner with a Muslim cleric? If interested, not because it might change my views on stripping (I'm not sure if you were arguing that it should).

Nomnew Sun 28-Apr-13 19:43:01

I once visited a lap dancing club in central Europe with my partner. I suppose I was interested and scared at seeing what went on in them. I did a bit of writing at the time and thought I might write an article about the experience( I did but I don't think I ever tried to get it published). We went in at about 8 o'clock (it was completely empty) with an open mind. We weren't going in to pay for dances(or so we thought), we would order a couple of drinks, see what it was like and come out.

We were asked if we wanted to buy a drink. We ordered a couple of drinks and immediately two girls came to sit with us. I chatted to them for a little while ( how long had they been working there, how old they were, where they were from etc). I remember one had been a nurse and I think the other was a student. I asked them about the people who came in and their nationalities. They said a lot of women came in too which surprised me.

They then got up and danced in front of us inches away. I didn't know where to look. They asked us if we wanted to touch them. We didn't. The music stopped and they sat down again. We chatted a little more. They then asked if we wanted another drink and before we knew it we were ordering a drink for all of us.

What we didn't know is that each time you bought a drink, you in effect bought a private dance. They danced again. It was awkward but we knew not to buy any more drinks.

We then said we had to go, at which point they brought out a drinks menu. To all intents and purposes this was a drinks menu but in reality it was a list of other services they could provide.

They pointed to the sexe drink- that was a night back at our hotel two girls, massage and whatever else we wanted. I was shocked. I thought lap dancing clubs were little more than cabaret/burlesque, the reality was something a lot darker. We asked for the bill but when we got it, it was huge. I can't remember how much it was but it was over £100. My ex had to go to the cashpoint escorted by two men to get the money whilst I stayed in the club with the women.

We paid and left immediately. I did feel guilty that I had gone to a place where women were obviously being exploited by men for sex but it did give me an insight into an industry that I had previously regarded as something altogether more innocuous.

I realise that many clubs (esp in UK) don't allow touching and probably don't offer sex behind the scenes but it's the thin end of the wedge isn't it?

Sausageeggbacon Sun 28-Apr-13 19:46:04

There was a talk organised by a female councillor who is Muslim. She invited several muslim clerics to speak and Object. They shared a platform, now it was easy to know the opinions of one of the clerics about how wives should be treated but Object decided to either put their head in the sand or share that platform knowing what the cleric was like. Neither option impresses me.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 28-Apr-13 19:54:39

Nomnew as you said nothing like the UK as there are no unions and there are no council regulations which protect the dancers. The dancers in the UK dance by choice as my neighbour has pointed out several times when I was all up in arms. I have met her and one or two of her friends who perform and I have no doubt that they dance because they want to either because of the flexibility of hours or they just could not stomach a 9 to 5. Nice to know the UK is nothing like Central Europe.

sorry how was it easy to know? because all muslims are the same and you know exactly what they are? or because you have evidence that these muslims sanctioned wife beating?

if you're going purely on the qu'ran you'll have to assume all christian men are wife beaters too given you'll find more license for the maltreatment of women in the bible than the qu'ran.

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 19:55:18

I think you were rather silly to try such a thing in such a country.

Did you not have google or local contacts back then?

silly, prudish, imbecilic. you have such a cute way of trying to dismiss the women who disagree with you lazarus.

FloraFox Sun 28-Apr-13 20:05:39

I think "partnering" is a bit strong in that context. It's not at all clear from that what who the cleric was, what his views on women are or to what extent there was any discussion, let alone agreement, between Object and the cleric. This sounds a bit of a stretch to try to discredit Object.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 28-Apr-13 20:12:22

Object knew who was due to speak, they could have googled his name and found out his stance. It would seem common sense you know about the other speakers. So either Lazy or just didn't care. As I said not something that would impress me either way. But I can see people will look for excuses for them.

FloraFox Sun 28-Apr-13 20:12:31

sausage the friends of mine who have been dancers said such things when they were doing it. Now they (for the most part) can't bear to talk about it.

FloraFox Sun 28-Apr-13 20:13:59

I haven't made any excuses for them. You still haven't given enough information for me to actually come to a view about it.

LazarussLozenge Sun 28-Apr-13 21:19:48

SwallowedAFly... I believe I seem to have also called a male 'silly' in that post.

And the situation that nomnew described does not conflict with anything I have said. Just that they seem to have put themselves in a rather silly position.

Approx 20 years ago, when I was younger, two lads knew did exactly the same in London. One was kept at teh club, whilst one was escorted to the cash point... no women involved, other than the dancers, and I still thought they were silly. In fact I may have used stronger terms.

My only comment on your opinion is that you can't take yourself out of your own opinions (ie the bit where you think the clients sit watching whilst feeling self-loathing/dancer-loathing). My comment may mply your are a prude, but taht wasn't my intention. Just that your obvious dislike of the practice is unduly colouring your opinion.

As I have stated, I am in no way tempted to visit such a club but that doesn't mean I will dismiss the reasoning behind the visits of those who do.

BasilBabyEater Sun 28-Apr-13 22:45:32

"I think the simple fact that you are clearly disgusted by the practice means that you will never be able to discuss it rationally or objectively."

Whereas of course, those in favour own rational, objective, considered debate. They're neutral, default, commonsense. And they get to define what's rational, objective, considered and they get to define the parameters of reasonableness.

For some reason.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 29-Apr-13 10:04:04

Flora okay maybe it is just me that thinks sharing a platform at a rally with a muslim cleric who preaches using a cane or a rod on a wife is okay is something no feminist would want to be seen doing. The case that they didn't know seems unlikely as the speakers were announced in advance. So the options are they didn't want to know about the other speakers or they couldn't care about anything the other speakers stood for.

Saying that it is not the only thing Object are being "lazy" on. They have on their resources page about striptease the Lilith Report which was shown to be wrong in 2009. So really lazy not to remove it or they feel that having an inaccurate report is worth it as people won't check. Scaremongering on something that is proven inaccurate, there are a lot of names I could call people who do that.

So two cases where sorry but to me (and it is only my opinion of course) where they are either incredibly lazy or they only care about their opinions and nothing else.

Nomnew Mon 29-Apr-13 11:09:55

"I think you were rather silly to try such a thing in such a country.

Did you not have google or local contacts back then?"

This was about 15 years ago. We were in the centre of town, it was an upmarket looking nightclub with dancing girls. We were sober. We may have been naive but I don't think we were silly.

We didn't have the language to really understand how the whole thing worked and how much the drinks cost.We never felt unsafe just ripped off.

Have you never been caught out abroad because you didn't understand the prices or the menu?

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 11:42:31

sausage I assume you don't actually know any more details and you are simply parroting something you have read somewhere else to discredit Object. Similarly, you think just because Brooke Magnanti writes something everyone should immediately accept what she says, that she is somehow the final word in the topic?

Sausageeggbacon Mon 29-Apr-13 12:29:33

Actually Flora I think the mathematics proves the point on the second one don't you. The figures do not take in population growth not compare to any other borough without striptease so there was no control. Just two of the errors. Limiting of sample size is another. Doesn't matter who proved the maths wrong the fact is they are wrong.

As to the other one yes second hand. But then so it a lot of stuff people spout about striptease as is a lot of it people's personal beliefs.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 29-Apr-13 14:01:35

Flora it might be worth your while looking at this video here which is Dr Magnanti talking about the mathematics. As she points out the first errors in the report were shown in 2008 so does really ask why 5 years later the report is still quoted as a resource. It is longish the talk lasts 23 minutes or so before a Q&A

Trigger warning it does discuss rape and it is the hand maiden of the sex trade as so many people call her. However the maths are what they are.

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 17:39:25

sausage Brooke Magnanti is not a particularly reliable source:

Also she has incorrectly represented statements made by Rhoda Grant and the Guardian had to retract the statements and print a clarification.

I'd need to see a response from the authors before I would conclude anything about the mathematics. Surveys are notoriously difficult to get right and usually can't simply be taken at face value.

People's views about stripping may be personal if they are involved in it (as dancers or punters) or may be moral, ethical, religious or political. My views are political but just because other people have views that are founded in other beliefs does not negate either their views nor mine. One thing for sure, this issue is not about maths.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 29-Apr-13 18:39:30

Flora I take it you sat through the maths and can discard the fact the first error was not found by Magnanti. We were not discussing the personal opinions but if Object should have a mathematically incorrect report as one of its key resources.

DD has sat and watch the video and she agrees with Magnanti in terms of the errors in the Maths. Forgetting the opinions of people about striptease legislation has been drawn up based on the report, councils have set guidelines based on the report. The mathematics on this subject and the zombie statistics in Lilith (which the guardian and Newstatesman didn't question) have no relation to the errors made in her on work. The piece from the newstatesman which seems most relevant "Magnanti is not as careful in deploying research to advance her arguments as she is in debunking the statistical sleight of hand of others"

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 18:53:38

Sausage the discussion was not as narrow as whether Object should be using that report as a resource.

Brooke Magnanti is consistently put forward by sex industry lobbyists as the last word on anything she discusses. She totally undermines herself by misrepresenting the statements of others and also other research.

There's a lot more to the legislative process and council guidelines than this one report. I don't believe the various studies that have been produced across the board on any aspect of the sex industry in the past 20 years have particularly advanced the discussion on the principles nor how we as a society should legislate for these issues. Whenever a study is brought up, it just leads to data wars over surveys and statistics, which, in this area, are inherently unreliable.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 29-Apr-13 19:30:26

Flora bottom line is the Lilith report is used by so many people as a reference and it is wrong. So as obviously the data is unreliable as you point out people especially Object should stop basing arguments on the report.

And yes people tend to make opinions based on points of view but mine were shaped by spending time with a dancer who took time to explain things for me. Shock horror, intelligent, articulate woman dances by choice. Two years ago I would have been very much like you but I realised that taking jobs away from 10,000 women would be more wrong.

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 19:49:28

sausage - this is the problem with surveys - most people do not understand how to use them. You have said about the Lilith Report:

The figures do not take in population growth not compare to any other borough without striptease so there was no control. Just two of the errors. Limiting of sample size is another.

If this is correct, it does not mean the report is wrong, it means it is unreliable. There is a very important difference.

Your entire view is shaped by discussions with one individual? hmm I think you need a bigger sample size and perhaps some broader political thought.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 29-Apr-13 20:18:44

Flora I see you decided not to watch the video so you really haven't grasped how badly flawed the Lilith report is. Fact is you are basing your stance on how you feel about a person not the figures. Still I can see that the facts hold no place in your opinion.

As to my sample size of one actually it is 5 as I have met a few of her friends when they have come round but what would people who actually work in the industry know?

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 20:29:38

Sausage I have no intention of spending 23 minutes listening to Brooke Magnanti, particularly given her record for inconsistency. You brought her views into the argument and you summarised her position. It's not on to bring this up then expect people to go off and listen to 23 minutes of something. At the end of the day, if what you are saying she said is true, it still doesn't make the original report wrong but unreliable.

Maybe try speaking to some women who have been dancers and have stopped?

My opinion is not based on the Lilith Report. When you say "I can see that the facts hold no place in your opinion" you are being needlessly personal because you are not able to put forward an argument.

ibio Mon 29-Apr-13 20:56:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 20:58:06

As above.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Mon 29-Apr-13 21:10:21

' The impact of adult entertainment on rape statistics in Camden:a re-analysis.
Brooke L Magnanti, PhD.

Brooke L Magnanti aka Belle de Jour. Isn't this a bit like a manufacturer of cigarettes coming out with research that shows that smoking is perfectly safe and may even have health benefits?

BasilBabyEater Mon 29-Apr-13 21:26:40

Er, yes.


As long as women allow themselves seen as sexual OBJECTS and not as lovers, wives, mothers, sisters and friends we will never be equal to men. sad

BasilBabyEater Mon 29-Apr-13 21:52:39

As long as men permit themselves to see us like this, we'll never be equal.

It's not just about women's choices and what they permit, it's also about men's choices and what they permit.

Why are they going to these clubs in the first place? We need to put much more spotlight on men's choices because that answers more questions. Accepting that men will go to these clubs, while condemning or excusing or critiquing or analysing women's choices, accepts that there's no point in analysing men's behaviour because somehow objectifying half the human race is not worthy of remark.

Good point well made basil!

DulyElected Mon 29-Apr-13 22:10:58

Council policies on Sexual Entertainment Venues are set by Licensing Policy Committees and these committees are often divided as to which way they they want to push the policy within the available legislation. Hence it goes to the vote and a simple majority wins.

It is common for deputations and consultations to make claims that the councillors would very much like to see substantiated at the meetings, but which aren't, for all sorts of reasons.

FloraFox Mon 29-Apr-13 22:36:25

I've now read the report written by Brooke Magnanti and it seems to me that it asks more questions than it answers. I'm not defending the Lilith Report (which I have not read) but I can see from Magnanti's paper:

- On her numbers, over the time period covered by the Lilith report there was a 26.9% increase in the number of rapes in Camden, that still seems a statistically significant increase
- She gets to her figure by recalculating the rapes numbers on a per head of population basis. However she includes rapes of both men and women on the basis that Lilith Report included both. I don't see the point of including rapes of men in this report - it would make a significant difference to the per head of population numbers as there is a much higher rate of rapes against women than men. It's not possible to see from her data whether this would affect the trend over time.
- She makes a statement that the Lilith Report did not distinguish between stranger and non-stranger rape but stated there is an assumption that the clubs would impact stranger rape more. She doesn't split the numbers to see whether they show any trends.
- She does acknowledge that a lot of rapes go unreported, which to my mind is a flaw inherent in any attempt to produce statistics in the area.
- She makes a number of sweeping policy related statements at the end about the causes of rapes. It's clear she has an agenda.

As I said, I'm not defending the Lilith Report but I am massively sceptical about anything purporting to be balanced from Brooke Magnanti in particular and studies on the sex industry in general.

Sausageeggbacon Tue 30-Apr-13 06:33:38


-So the report was cherry picked over 3 years and did not include the first 2 years as it would not have given the same impact in increases. Would you not assume that any report would start from before the first year so there is some idea on what happened before?
-Lilith used data including male rapes, Magnanti is not writing a new report therefore to be consistant is seem obvious she would use the same data.
- Once again she is not rewriting the report just showing how flawed it is. For me the key is this Zombie statistic continually being paraded round like some ultimate truth.
- It is an inherent flaw, one which Poppy and Eaves ignored in the first place to try and prove a point. One which looks foolish all things considered. But there has been no answer so far to under reporting
- Yes her agenda is selling her books. Almost as bad as the people who want to make decisions for 10,000 women that they should not have jobs based on their agenda.

So long as people stop quoting the Lilith report as though it is a bible I am with you Flora. The recent researches by Leeds and Kent Universities were not agenda driven and I would suggest if people want to use studies those would be better.

Interesting though that when a wider data set is used with Camden and taking into account the figures for Newquay (which Magnanti does in the video) the number of reported rapes for both go down. Doesn't prove anything but sort of shows Lilith really is a Zombie stat.

FloraFox Tue 30-Apr-13 06:55:53

Sausage I would have assumed that if Brooke Magnanti was so keen on getting to the bottom of the numbers she would have reported male and female numbers separately and she would have identified stranger and non-stranger rapes. She also does a false comparison with Lambeth borough figures on the basis that there are no clubs in Lambeth. However, as far as I know, one does not need to be a resident of Camden to be allowed entry to a strip club and Tottenham Court Road (part of Camden) is the same distance from Hampstead (part of Camden) as it is from Lambeth. The distinction between the Boroughs is flawed.

Magnanti's report is so flawed and her agenda so palpable, that I'd need to hear a response from the authors of Lilith before accepting it is a zombie. If the numbers in Lilith are correct or incorrect but still meaningful, that supports a ban on strip clubs but that report is far from the only reason for a ban and therefore even if they are wrong, that is not the end of the story. There are other reasons to ban strip clubs as already pointed out in the thread.

Sausageeggbacon Tue 30-Apr-13 08:55:22

Flora I would love for the report writers to answer the questions as well. Strangely when asked there has never been a reply. So guess it will never happen. And yes the distinction of boroughs is flawed would like to ask the authors about that as well as it was a key argument in writing the report.

So we can take the issue about rape out of the equation as Lilith holds no value as you have pointed out. So we then get to the other issues.

Objectification as it is called or sexual desire as the average person would view it is fairly natural and occurs with or without clothes and will remain so as long as human beings choose mates for reproduction. Our whole lives we are viewed as objects... titles like employee, wife, mother these are all labels that take away from our individuality (and for the men yes the labels can apply to both sexes). Throughout life we will be objects it is part of how the world is. Sexual object just relates to the desire to reproduce.

Dancers are trafficked. Well no strip club was raided during Pentameter or Pentameter II so guessing that statement is inaccurate.

The dancers do it as they can't do anything else. Actually 87% of dancers have some form of higher education and around one third of dancers are funding their way through university rather than end up with crippling debts.

The dancers are exploited. In the same way that anyone earning a living is exploited, unfortunately to earn money people work and most jobs cause exploitation of some sort. The dancers now have the option though of joining either Equity or the GMB so at least there is representation. Plus the councils issue guidelines that clubs need to follow to look after the dancers.

The strippers are prostitutes grinding on men's laps. This fallacy is one that occurs because of the word lapdance, in the past it was true but now the guidelines say that dancers can't touch the customer and obviously the customer can't touch the dancer so quite how something sexual happens with no contact I am not sure.

Thank you TonyN for the information from the blog I have borrowed a lot of your arguments. And at this point I will stop with one last question to everyone who is commenting about wanting to close the clubs

Why do you believe you have the right to decide for 10,000 women their choice is wrong and yours is right.

FloraFox Tue 30-Apr-13 18:20:33

No we can't take the rape / sexual assault issue out. Just because the Lilith report may be flawed or even if it is flawed does not mean the problem does not exist.

I would dispute most of your other "evidence" on the points but getting to your last point, all legislation is a removal of choice to some extent. This is very nature of a society governed by the rule of law. There are a number of theories around why we legislate including prevention of harm (either to individuals, particular groups or to general society) and to create the type of society that we want to live in. All of these decisions affect or remove choice from some or all of us, including in the way we work.

Some of these laws recognise that consent or choice is not straightforward and can be flawed by other pressures. For example, we recognise that poverty and an imbalance of power in an employment situation are more important than the "rights" of individuals to choose to work for less than the minimum wage or to work without minimum safety requirements or for a pregnant woman to work up to her due date. You and I cannot agree that I will remove your kidney because I am not a surgeon but even if I was the most skilled surgeon in America, I could not remove your kidney in the UK.

In other situations, we don't allow people to make choices we think might be harmful to them, such as wearing seatbelts or taking illegal drugs or harmful to society in general, such as drink driving.

We also create a society we want to live in e.g. broadcasting and advertising standards, fair trading standards, competition laws.

Advertising laws already recognise that sexual and objectified images of women demean women in general:

Some of these laws affect some people disproportionately. For example, a large man with a tolerance for alcohol might be a safe driver even with a few drinks over the limit whereas someone like me would not be a safe driver even a little below the limit. So laws can have disproportionate effects on some people.

There are lots of reasons why some people oppose stripping - some believe that the women themselves are harmed or a significant number of them are harmed though perhaps not all, some believe women in general are harmed, some believe society is better without it. In any event, we live in a democracy and we are entitled to make decisions that affect other people's (and our own) choices where we believe this is the right thing to do.

DutyElected Tue 30-Apr-13 18:41:11

That's a very thoughful post, FloraFox.

My minor contribution is to try to answer the question about 'who gets to decide' another way.

Perhaps, just perhaps, I campaigned hard and got democratically elected as a local politician and was then voted on my city's Licensing Committee and am thus able to vote on SEV policy and applications.

Perhaps I read threads like this and see the SEV apologists twist and turn and I wonder how the industry really works and is constructed and who is making the real money.

I have looked at the stats for two unitary authorities including my own with regard to SEV policies and the numbers of women sitting on Licensing Committees and the voting patterns; and it does seem that women who have the power to vote do not want to vote for SEVs as much as the men with the power to vote want to vote for them.

err objectification is not sexual desire.

how could anyone think that objectification and sexual desire are the same thing unless they have a very warped sexuality which is indeed synonymous with objectifying the opposite sex and then projects that peculiarity onto the rest of us.

emcwill74 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:12:05

What Flora says! Bear in mind that TonyN and the other contributors to that blog have an agenda of their own (and they really hate posters on MN who disagree with them!) When they claim it is all about the dancers and how they are protecting their choice, they are not simply doing that. They are protecting what they see as their 'right' to commodify a woman's body and [a narrow, male-defined version of] sexuality (basically, to see tits'n'arse when they fancy it). To ignore the wider effects on society by reducing it to the dancers' choice alone is to grossly simply the issue.

BasilBabyEater Tue 30-Apr-13 20:56:12

Also they frame it as if having laptops is a default and not having them is some kind of militant censorship, talking about taking away women's choices, when what they mean is that we'd take away men's choices to go to places where their desire to objectify women is validated.

What about the fact that by having these places, our choice to live in a society where we are considered full human beings, is taken away? Why do they feel so strongly, that we need clubs where women are objectified, that somehow freedom would be taken away if we stood up and said "actually, women are human beings, not masturbatory aids and we're going to take away one of the places which encourage men to forget that"?

The cleverest thing oppressors do, is to re-frame their oppression as the choice of the oppressed. Remember that editorial in the Times in c19 about how every man has the right to starve in the street if he wants to? They weren't keen on any other right for homeless men, but the right to starve in the street - ooh yes, they were very keen on that one. Pah.

Sausageeggbacon Tue 30-Apr-13 21:28:45

Flora So there is no proof of rape/sexual assault being linked to striptease without the Lilith report so it becomes a point of view and if you look at say Newquay where rape halved after the introduction of a club I certainly can't see any correlation. So okay point of view with nothing to validate it.

As you point out legislation can limit choice, however striptease is not illegal in this Country so the choice is valid legally. If the law changes then fine but till then a valid legal choice.

So your point of view is stripping will be negative on women, that is your point of view and while I don't agree I can respect it. However I would suggest you take time to talk to a dancer or two to find out what they think.

Still I doubt that people will talk to dancers, they will judge from the comfort of their own chairs.

Best view on Objectification I have seen is GirlWritesWhat on youtube. She can exlain it better than I can.

At this point we are going to talk in circles so going to bail out as we are now just locked on points of view. So long as Lilith isn't pointed at as a valid argument I am happy just letting everyone have their points of view as I have made mine.

FloraFox Tue 30-Apr-13 21:53:21

Sausage I have friends who were strippers and prostitutes, one of whom stayed with me for a while at the time she was dancing. I realise you may want to think of yourself as edgy and open-minded because you have a friend who is a stripper but don't assume those of us who are against it are sitting at home clutching our pearls.

I suggest you check back with your friend after she stops dancing and ask her what she thinks looking back on it. Ask her how empowered she felt when a guy told her her arse was too fat for him or her tits were too small. Ask her how much money she had to pay the club for the privilege of being allowed to work and how often she went home with fuck all to show for her efforts. Ask her if she had to pay tax and NI on her earnings would she still have done it. That is, if she can even bear to talk about it.

Sausageeggbacon Wed 01-May-13 06:39:51

Flora I will. Considering though there are 10,000 women estimated dancing at the moment as you said one or or two opinions would not even be a statistical bump either way. Although considering striptease has been going since 1958 I would have thought any issue with dancers would have shown by now if there was something major.

What I do want to do is kill the other Zombie stat that pops up about Bristol. There is a report that was produced by Bristol Fawcett that showed a high number of sexual crimes occurred in the vicinity of of 3 strip clubs. What the people who got the report neglected to do was point out that the clubs were in the same area as all the major night clubs in what the council and police call a crime impact zone. In the 2011 review of licenses whilst the location was acknowledged NO BLAME was assigned to the strip clubs.

Think the issues with assigning blame to clubs when they are located in the same area as nightclubs, bars and restaurants is difficult unless there is some sort of bench mark. Got a good example of this with the clubs in Stockport. One is deep in the heart of the night time economy and another is less than a mile away. Not surprisingly the one in the night club area is surrounded by violent crime (rape and sexual crimes are listed as violent when using the website). However the other one has practically nothing based on the figures for 2011. These figures are based on the same research principles as the Bristol Fawcett figures.

Anyway I must stay away unless I see the Zombies rearing their heads and munching into peoples brains.

FloraFox Wed 01-May-13 08:25:03

Have you actually read this one or is this another re-spout from a punter's blog?

Still, keep up the good work, eh? hmm

Sausageeggbacon Wed 01-May-13 09:12:58

Actually I read the council minutes which I was sent a link to.

Zombies are out there.

LazarussLozenge Wed 01-May-13 20:10:02

Having read through Lilith these past few days, I feel any report that has such 'shock factor' trigger words embedded deserves naught but the shredder.

'‘performances in which the breasts, genitalia and excretory organs are exposed’'

How strip dances are described within the opening pages. Excretory organs... really?

I believe the writer got a bit carried away in trying to stir up outrage.

What is more of shame is that she used the name Lilith, arguably a fine example for feminists everywhere (if you miss out the baby snatching, which was probably only put in to demonise her).

BasilBabyEater Wed 01-May-13 21:55:04

Isn't the arse part of the excretory organs then?

Oops, sorry, it's the bit Nigel Farrage talks through, forgot.

<Boom, boom>

Sorry, I'll get me coat.

LazarussLozenge Thu 02-May-13 15:28:48

If you're lucky a gentleman will hold it for you.

Most 'excretory' organs are well hidden. Unless she's deliberately exposing them... whch I don't think is really part of most dances.... unless you pay more perhaps.

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