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Can someone help me explain what's questionable about women going to stripclubs for a night out?

(14 Posts)
WildhoodChunder Thu 07-Jul-11 16:51:05

Some female friends want to go to a lapdancing club. I don't want to so I am labelled "boring" as it's "just a bit of fun". Can anyone help me explain why it's not just "fun", as I failed to put my point across in any way...

This is also in the context of a wider argument about the detrimental effect of porn on wider society which I am also losing, but other threads on here have been a great help in marshalling my points!

vigglewiggle Thu 07-Jul-11 17:01:19

My personal objection would be that it condones the exploitation and sexual objectification of women by men. In fact it is taking an active part in that process.

My personal experience of dealings with women who work in these clubs flies in the face of the argument that these are adult women making a free choice as to how they want to use their bodies. They were poorly paid, working in dreadful conditions and often 'encouraged' into drug use if not already addicted. Pressure was put upon them to offer 'additional services' to further degrade them.

Why on earth a group of women would want to go to such a place is beyond me shock.

SybilBeddows Thu 07-Jul-11 18:14:02

aside from the objectification argument, I think the widespread existence of trafficked women (together with women who are abuse victims or have drug problems) in these places makes it ethically very dodgy. It's similar to the problem I have with porn.
To put it simply, there may well be some women working in these places who are doing it of their own free will with no underlying issues BUT given that you don't have the option of saying 'I'd like a dance from a happy woman who has not been trafficked and does not have a drugs problem please' you can't guarantee that you are not taking part in the exploitation.

I mean, honestly, how would you feel if you had watched someone lapdance and then discovered afterwards she had been kidnapped and threatened with violence if she didn't do it? shock

HerBeX Thu 07-Jul-11 19:11:02

Why the fuck do they want to go?

I'm slightly bewildered.

I thought this was going to be a thread about going to some sort of Chippendales type show. I wouldn't approve of that, but I can understand the logic.

But women going to see other women strip? What kind of shit is that? Why do you have to explain why you don't want to go, why can't they explain why they do? What's fun about watching another woman lap dance?

Do your friends watch lots of porn with their DP's WC? Because it sounds as though they just see their own and other women's sexuality through the eyes of woman-hating pornographers.

Malificence Thu 07-Jul-11 19:24:18

That's almost, but not quite, as bad as a woman accompanying her partner and paying for a lapdance for him/them.
I find it bizarre and very wrong and can't understand why they would want to do that or even think of it as a fun idea.

I wouldn't personally want to go and see a male strip show either but I don't think they are anywhere near as exploitative as a lap dancing club, I think the two things are poles apart, perhaps that makes me a hypocrite but it's how I feel.

WildhoodChunder Thu 07-Jul-11 20:50:53

Thanks for the replies. I don't know why they want to go, apart from the novelty factor. (It's a new bar and the first one in our area. It's supposed to be "classy"). I suppose, on the one hand, it's not that different from watching music videos (of certain artists, but then don't get me started on that) but the exploitative aspect is what I can't explain in a way that they see as anything other than over-reaction. To me, it normalises something that has its roots in very nasty places, and enables that by accepting a "lite" version into the mainstream - and it's a supply and demand relationship, if there is demand then someone will always supply. They see it as totally distinct and separate from sex-trafficking (and I do believe that the girls working there are mostly students and not shipped in against their will. But then that you should fund your education by dancing topless doesn't sit well with me either.)

But then the argument got about "oh, well everyone who does anything for money is exploited" and the insistence that because the women choose to do it, it's okay. And the "empowerment" thing about it being okay because the women get paid, so it's them taking advantage of the men rather than the other way around. And I simply couldn't think of anything to say to that.

I think also, as this was said in front of a group of men, there is that going on as well - not exactly snogging each other exhibitionism, but a sort of exhibitionism nonetheless, iyswim.

HandDivedScallopsrgreat Thu 07-Jul-11 21:04:42

If it is so "empowering" why aren't your friends not doing it? Is that, maybe, because they are in a position to make different choices in their life for how they earn a pay packet. They probably earn more, have a better education, better support at home, not addicted to drugs, not been abused as children etc. Their position in society allows them to not have to make that choice. The vast vast majority of women working in lapdancing clubs are not in that position.

Tbh it is a very priveleged point of view to look at lapdancing as empowering, exploiting men rather than recognising the exploitation of women. It really shows a lack of empathy and a disconnection from women in these positions.

forkful Thu 07-Jul-11 21:09:44

Have a look at Object's campaign against lapdancing clubs.

Btw did you know that they've been banned by Iceland's feminist Government? grin

WildhoodChunder Thu 07-Jul-11 21:10:30

Are there any hard stats I can point to, on the majority who 'choose' to do it not having a proper choice? It is a good point on better education as most of them are of an age where they would have got grants, and not be in debt to student loans etc.

One girl kept banging on about how it was a "continuum" and some people were okay with it and some people weren't, but really I don't think you can pick and choose which bits you are okay with. But then again I couldn't really explain why, made a vague point about the wider effect on the mainstream and normalisation, but got shouted down. (Am bit crap at arguing, tbh!)

WildhoodChunder Thu 07-Jul-11 21:16:25

Forkful, that website is great, thanks - and the FAQs has one on the empowering thing, and the "prudish" thing too! Basically all the stuff my friends were saying... I now have my ammo!

AliceTwirled Thu 07-Jul-11 21:20:13

Re the continuum thing, I agree and that is why it is wrong. There is a continuum with women's sexuality being seen as something to be bought and sold. Lap dancing is on it, as it trafficking, porn, prostitution etc. They are different degrees but the normalisation at one end of the spectrum facilitates the rest.

forkful Thu 07-Jul-11 21:30:02

Very good report commissioned by Glasgow City Council - Stripping the Illusion

PurpleStrawberryGuava Thu 07-Jul-11 21:41:30

My DH's sister arranged a trip to a pole dancing club for her hen night. They were to watch for a bit, have a few drinks, and then there was a pole dancing lesson afterwards. [Usually you get one bad apple in a family, in my DH's case, he's the only good apple in his].

I declined my invitation, and as in our case Wildhood, I was labelled boring.

If sticking to your principles and standing up against the objectification of women is boring, then I'm proud to be boring.

HandDivedScallopsrgreat Thu 07-Jul-11 21:47:41

I imagine that hard stats on "choice" would be difficult to gather as many people don't recognise themselves whether they have made a free choice. That's why I thought maybe asking them whether they would choose to do lapdancing over their current job and if not, why not. Getting them to think about the reasons why they wouldn't choose it as a career option.

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