Anti strip clubs - feminist arguments(29 Posts)
I have been trying to explain to DP why I disagree with strip clubs from a feminist point of view and I am struggling to put a coherent argument together so that he understands my point properly. I just feeling myself going in circles and getting wound up by it all and forgetting everything that I read here and agree with.
Please can you help me explain to him why it is so wrong and the wide ranging negative effects it has upon women. any links, blogs etc are also most appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Because strip clubs normalise the objectification of women, seeing them as consumables and whose bodies can be bought for sexual gratification/titillation. If this becomes an acceptable pastime, just a bit of fun, it feeds into a culture where women can be divided into two kinds: the ones that we are allowed to objectify, and our mothers/sisters/wives/daughters, who deserve respect. However, the ones we are "allowed" to objectify are of course worth less, as they are not seen as fully human, as persons, which makes it much easier to treat them badly, should a need or opportunity arise, and easier to deem maltreatment by others acceptable behaviour.
The unequal relationship between the client and the stripper is part of what is gratifying for the client, as it is the woman's job to please him, thereby confirming his authority as a man. Perhaps as a result of this, interviews with clients have shown that men who frequent strip clubs become less sensitive to the needs of women, and less tolerant of women's expectations for equality in the workplace and at home. It feeds into an attitude of entitlement and a culture that make rape myths possible, domestic violence not taken seriously etc etc.
It is in the interest of the strip clubs that they are seen as normal. So they try to get us to fall for the idea that strippers are empowered, and that those being against it are old fashioned, prudish, killjoy, uncool, and sexually repressed. Strippers themselves may claim they feel empowered, because that offers a way of self-justification. Ex-strippers however, often have a different story about how they felt stripping for strangers.
I think objectification of women means that women are regarded as objects and are not appreciated as individual people with personality. They are seen as interchangeable, e.g. if a man who objectifies women happens to like breasts of a particular size or shape, then any woman with such breasts is as acceptable to him as any other. He doesn't care if it's woman A or woman B.
Why would a woman want to be regarded as an interchangeable object rather than a unique person, even for a short time e.g. during a striptease, a lapdance or during sex?
How is that a good thing for women?
How is that a good thing for personal relationships?
Does a person who objectifies women turn that objectification on or off at will?
I'm all for free choice (even though I've written stuff that argues it doesn't really exist!) and I don't mind that most humans seem to enjoy looking at other attractive humans. I don't mind nudity or sex, and think that actually the widespread violence that we seem to celebrate in popular culture is worse for society than showing consensual sex (outcry about accidental nipple exposure anyone?) and would much prefer the latter than the former.
What is increasingly bothering me is the inequality of objectification. If there was equal representation of men and women politically, in the media etc, and men were equally subjected to sexual objectification and all its associated consequences by women, then I'd see the "choice" of young women to become strippers as more "free".
Sausage, I understand what you mean about your DH objectifying you and that being an expression of sexuality, but I'm sure he doesn't entirely eg he wouldn't if you were a bit ill or knackered or in the mood for something more "connected". It feels like that's at a different level because it's within your ongoing relationship and you both have power to put whatever boundaries on it work for you.
OP, Strip clubs are about paying for a sexual experience. Yes, it's a "lesser" sexual experience than going to a prostitute or paying for web cam interactive porn, but it's still on that spectrum. What does your DP argue that you are struggling with?
I guess I always see the reduction of a human being to a series of body parts for for sale for the use of the sexual gratification of the powerful part of society as something to be avoided.
Call me old fashioned.
I have a dancer for a neighbour and having spoken to her my view has changed over the last 18 months from being anti to supporting women making free choices. It comes down to if you see objectification as always bad or my point of view that it is an expression of sexuality. DH desires me and at times he will objectify me.
If you are totally against objectification then attacking striptease will not actually make any difference as the pop videos and the internet still be there. Peoples perspective changes due to influences in life and meeting a dancer who took some time to explain things to me changed mine.
I dislike strip clubs for the same reason I dislike Page 3 i.e. it normalises the notion that women are bodies not people. That our bodies are there for sale and purely for the sexual gratification of men. They don't actually belong to a thinking, feeling person.
Objectification of women into bodies rather than people allows (mostly) men to dehumanise women and, without wanting to go all Godwin's law on this thread, we all know of a very good example of what happens when this is taken to the extreme.
My problem with it is that it encourages an idea that all women are sexually available to them - especially the young pretty ones. It undercuts the natural rules of sexual communication.
As a young woman, I feel that their nudity is my own nudity, living in a society where men can easily pay women to take their clothes off and flirt with them makes for an uncomfortable and unbalanced world for all women - and so contributes to the grotesque level of sexual violence in our society.
I've had this discussion with my own husband and he agrees that neither of us want our daughter to grow up in a world where she is leered at my men twice her age, stalked in the street, gropped on the tube or abused at home. Strip clubs only perpetuate these problems by twisting the male view of the female.
I'd say a trill of trolls, but Trills would be unhappy.
GB9K, it's been a while.
Gigabot I think the OP is just starting with a supposition and wants to be able to reasonably follow that through with valid logical statements to back that up, and I think her presence here is part of a process to do that. There is nothing wrong with starting with a bias when you start an enquiry into something, (as its almost impossible not to), but be honest about that bias and be willing to change it if need be as more is learned.
I'm not sure I can write with any authority on stripping itself per se, but I've been more than a little bit disheartened with human sexuality as a whole, and I think there may be some common ground. There maybe nothing inherently wrong with a woman dancing naked, but I think more often than not there is something wrong with us men in our attitude to it, and that is where the problem lies. Which I think is summed up perfectly in trekkie's post. For us men we trap ourselves in a predatory attitude towards women's bodies, and I'm hardly surprised that makes a lot of women feel uncomfortable.
Maybe if our attraction became more holistic, it wouldn't seem so demeaning. Then again if we did that maybe there would no longer be any need for strip clubs?
However the best way to disarm a guy who defends strip clubs is simply ask "If strip clubs are fine, you would be presumably supportive if your daughter, wife, mother or sister took it up as a career choice?"
...I forgot to add the onto my last post.
I dislike strip clubs for the same reason I dislike page 3, the star and some adverts.
They encourage and normalise an attitude towards females, that makes life often uncomfortable for girls and women.
Simple as that for me.
Indeed. That's one way of looking at it.
What a very interesting collection of first time posters.
So what you are saying OP is that you disagree with stripping, but you don't have an argument as to why, but you'd like one...
That is a logical fallacy, as you are building an argument around a conclusion, when you should be building an argument in order to to arrive at a conclusion. That is why you are getting tongue tied.
I suggest you erase any preconceptions you have about stripping, do some research of your own, and come to your own conclusion. Don't just peddle the conclusion of your peers when you can't even fully understand how and why they came to that conclusion.
This is a great place to start. This woman is an intellectual power house.
But again, don't just agree or disagree with her based on a knee jerk reaction or a wish to peddle to your peers. Figure out what YOU think... Take opposing views and compare them. Read around your subject if it interests you that much.
I vote for 'a pity'. I think 'a pity of trolls' has a ring to it.
OP - Assuming you were genuine in your post, background reading on feminism generally and the issues with 'choice feminism' might help. Authors like Kat Banyard are an easy read.
Unusual response here
I wasn't aware that the FWR section on MN was generally so full of strippers who were keen to say how fab a job it is, while also presumably weighing into threads about FGM and DV.
OP there have been a lot of threads in the past a search might help?
Generally the arguments against fall into a "harm to society" argument, with a range from harm to the immediate people involved to harm to women and girls on a much wider scale due to confirming what a female's place is.
If I had some more time I would look up some links, may be able to later
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