Advanced search

‘Feminist’ Strippers Keep Bristol Strip Club Open

(73 Posts)
Thesepreciousthings Fri 18-Jan-19 10:59:40

Can’t link to any of the articles as they are all subject to subscription. Can anyone find one? It was just discussed on Jeremy Vine.

Campaigners fought for the club not to renew it’s license. The feminist strippers who work at the club maintain that by working as a stripper they are earning so well that they are, in fact, exploiting the men who frequent the joint.

My argument is that by working in the industry their ‘choice’ is reinforced by a society that measures women based on their sexual appeal, body shape and general objectification. That one of the ways a woman can earn good money is through sex work as opposed to working their way up in a city bank (for example). I believe that the money they are paid reinforces the idea that a woman’s work is defined by her physical sex instead of her intellectual capability.


WhatToDoAboutWailmerGoneRogue Fri 18-Jan-19 11:04:15

Everyone should have the right to do whatever they wish (within the law, obviously).

Stop trying to take women’s choices away from them because you don’t agree.

Jsmith99 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:09:26

I agree with the strippers. I support female entrepreneurs who choose to take responsibility for their financial independence by running their own business and providing goods and services for which the market is prepared to pay.

Maggie would be proud of these businesswoman.

Thesepreciousthings Fri 18-Jan-19 11:49:30

Don’t know how to quote or tag people. Techphobe!

While I support individual choice, I cannot support an industry that measures women by their sexual worth, especially when it is deemed an attractive financial prospect because it can be very difficult to attain financial security as a young woman.

Perhaps I am swayed by experience. I had a friend who, at 17 was headhunted while dancing in a nightclub by a national strip club. She started working there at 18 and felt empowered and financially independent. She turned down a place at a Russell Group university as the thought of financial freedom seemed more appealing. She was ‘let go’ at the age of 20 after gaining weight due to antidepressant medication. She struggled to find work after her savings ran out at 21 as she had a gap on her CV which couldn’t be accounted for and she didn’t feel like she could write her actual experience on said CV. She struggled to find a relationship as she had always been open about her choice of work and while many of the men had encouraged her to continue dancing, none were willing to foster any involvement with her as they viewed her (in her words) as a ‘slut’ (not something I agree with btw). She maintains now, at the age of 30, that while she thought she felt empowered at the time and enjoyed the relative financial freedom, she actually felt degraded and just a sum of her parts.

In happier news, she did eventually move back in with her parents and went to university. She also came off the antidepressants and feels that she needed them due to the way she felt about herself while dancing. She actively campaigns now about sex work legislation.

Jsmith - many dancers are not ‘female entrepreneurs’ (perhaps I could support the industry more if that were true). Certainly in my area, the strip clubs are run exclusively by very wealthy men who ‘recruit’ young women by scouring nightclubs. Yes, there are some, possibly a lot of women who feel they choose to work in the industry because it fits round university hours, offers relatively good pay but I am yet to meet one (and I have met a fair few), who retains their feelings of empowerment and freedom almost a decade later. They feel like they were sold a lie. Sexual agency turned on it’s head.

Misteryise Fri 18-Jan-19 11:56:33

With regards to stripping as an empowering choice, I always ask myself who's wearing a suit, and who's next to naked in this situation. Call me old fashioned but serving yourself up for the sexual titillation of the dominant sex class is not empowering, even if it is a "choice". This extends beyond sex work into our daily lives, but the power imbalance is surely obvious here. And no, getting paid in exchange doesn't erase this.

BernardBlacksWineIcelolly Fri 18-Jan-19 12:03:10

yeah, why not get empowered by reading the economist?

why does it have to be shaking your tits in someone's face that's so fucking empowering?

I hate walking past those places with my sons (4 and 8). 'That's where women go to be objectified, boys - it's perfectly normal. Maybe your hobby when you're a man will be stuffing money in someone's knickers and paying to have someone rub their groin in your lap?'

Oxytocindeficient Fri 18-Jan-19 12:14:48

I’m tired of people dressing up the sex industry as ‘empowering’ and telling us to support their personal choice. We don’t live in our own bubbles. What we do affects others. Further, my sister and two very close friends were strippers. They all claimed to feel empowered etc etc etc until they didn’t. Every single one has later regretted it, acknowledged it changed their attitude and opinion of other women in an unhealthy way and made them feel worthless and disgusting- particularly when they got older and men walked past them to younger women. My sister has turned into a different person. A drug addict, a violent and dangerous person who said so many times she was too stupid to do anything else- she never was, she’s highly intelligent. She moved onto prostitution. None could ever say while doing it that it wasn’t what they wanted because they had to convince themselves it was or their situation would of been far more miserable. Obviously I can’t literally speak for every woman in that industry, I’m just saying these are abused and mistreated individuals who mostly get into it young when they have little option. Ask yourselves why it’s predominantly women getting naked and predominantly men fully clothed paying pennies for it ( the money is nowhere near as good as you think ). Given an actual choice, every one of the women I know chose to leave when they finally had another option.

JoanSummers Fri 18-Jan-19 12:15:29

What about the impact on the women and girls who live nearby?

Perhaps only the people making money from the club matter?

Dragon3 Fri 18-Jan-19 12:18:25

Stripping feminists don't empower me. Or any other women who resist emboldening those entitled men who see women as sex objects.

BernardBlacksWineIcelolly Fri 18-Jan-19 12:19:24

not every choice a woman makes is fucking 'feminist' just because a woman made it

RussellSprout Fri 18-Jan-19 12:19:48

If people want to do it, let them.

If they later decide it wasn't the right choice, they can make another choice.

Glad we don't live in a nanny state!

Dragon3 Fri 18-Jan-19 12:19:59

Good question JoanSummers. And what about the impact on the women who live and work with men who objectify women?

MagicMix Fri 18-Jan-19 12:26:40

First of all, feminism isn't about making decisions that benefit you as an individual woman whilst damaging women as a class. Women are quite capable of making anti-feminist decisions and promoting the idea that female bodies are commodities for sale is most definitely not a feminist choice, even if we imagine that these choices are made in a vacuum and completely freely.

Second, no they are not empowered and they are not exploiting the men. I understand the psychological reasons they tell themselves and others this, but come on we all know that isn't true.

Oxytocindeficient Fri 18-Jan-19 12:29:01

feminism isn't about making decisions that benefit you as an individual woman whilst damaging women as a class.

This can never be repeated too much. I know it’s hard to have to think about how your actions might be affecting an entire oppressed class, but come on, this is affecting us all.

NotTerfNorCis Fri 18-Jan-19 12:40:13

With regards to stripping as an empowering choice, I always ask myself who's wearing a suit, and who's next to naked in this situation

Yep. No one thinks male strippers are empowered. If the roles were reversed and those highly paid blokes were on stage semi naked, trying to be seductive, having money stuffed in their g strings and faking sexual interest in the audience members, no matter how repulsive, it'd be pretty obvious who was 'empowered' then.

QuietContraryMary Fri 18-Jan-19 12:46:23


The key points:

"A lap dancing venue that was threatened with closure by equality groups has had its license renewed after its dancers insisted they were feminists too.

Urban Tiger, a gentleman's club located in Bristol City’s Centre, received its annual permit despite objections from women’s rights groups who called for the “sexist” venue to be closed."

"They also argued that the venue, which hires 37 dancers and seven bar staff, is located too close to residential apartments and areas frequently used by families with young children.

But after hearing that the lap-dancers were “strong, independent feminists” working in a safe environment, Bristol City Council’s licensing sub-committee approved the Broad Quay venue’s sex entertainment licence application."

"The club’s barrister, Philip Kolvin QC, told the hearing on Wednesday that Urban Tiger was an established and responsible club, in which customers and dancers adhered to the appropriate codes of conduct.

Mr Kolin said: “They regard themselves as feminists.

“They have generated a family atmosphere among club workers. The dancers are an integral part of the team. They are valued and protected.”"

"A spokesperson for Bristol Fawcett women’s rights organisation said they opposed the licence renewal because violence against women was linked to a sexist culture encouraged by lap-dancing clubs, which she branded “sexist and harmful”."

So essentially what has happened is that an actual feminist group campaigned to remove the licence. Then the owner of the nightclub, Bob Hale (who owns 1/6 of the shares directly, and 2/3 of the company that owns 51% of the shares), employed Philip Kolvin QC to tell the licensing committee that the strippers are actually feminists and say the exact opposite of what the feminist society says.

There is no evidence that the strippers sincerely believed they were feminists, it just seems to be an argument that Mr Philip Kolvin QC has come up with to make Mr Bob Hale some more money.


"Avon and Somerset Police also cited 11 incidents at the club and 40 "reported sexual offences" in the area over the past 12 months, and said it did not support the licence renewal."

KatesMott Fri 18-Jan-19 12:47:46

@Thesepreciousthings I attended a Russel Group university while I was stripping and they were very accommodating of that. Your friend made her own choice, somewhat foolishly, to turn down the opportunity of further education which could enhance her future, the club didn’t make her. It’s not exactly an industry in which people work until retirement- it’s an opportunity to quickly amass money.

Also have worked with dancers of all shapes sizes and colours as clubs cater for all preferences.

I still feel empowered by my choice to strip over a decade later

AbsintheFriends Fri 18-Jan-19 12:57:19

But after hearing that the lap-dancers were “strong, independent feminists” working in a safe environment, Bristol City Council’s licensing sub-committee approved the Broad Quay venue’s sex entertainment licence application.

Wokeness is misogyny's latest disguise.

AntiSocialInjusticePacifist Fri 18-Jan-19 12:59:53

I game online with an American who is an ex-stripper, she’s a lovely woman, but not very well placed financially. You hear all these stories of sex work leading to future financial independence, but honestly what percentage actually manage to achieve it?

Beerflavourednipples Fri 18-Jan-19 14:03:30

When was the last time you heard a bloke say that taking his clothes off for money made him feel 'empowered'.

And all of these things go back to the same idea, which is that men will inevitably treat women as inhuman fuck objects, so women might as well get paid for it.

Beerflavourednipples Fri 18-Jan-19 14:08:02

And the idea that strippers are exploiting men is laughable. No one is forcing blokes to go into these clubs and part with their money.

Melroses Fri 18-Jan-19 14:10:13

TBH, it looks like the male owner and the male QC get the last laugh, empowerment and moneywise.

vesuvia Fri 18-Jan-19 14:22:44

Jsmith99 wrote - "Maggie would be proud of these businesswoman."

If you mean Margaret Thatcher, I disagree with you. I think she would have hated these strippers and treated them with contempt.

ChewyLouie Fri 18-Jan-19 14:31:53

KatesMott I’m genuinely trying to understand how some women find stripping empowering.
I can relate to how funding yourself through Uni is empowering but the method, stripping, can you explain what it is that you still find empowering?

R0wantrees Fri 18-Jan-19 14:44:19

Nordic Model Now website has important testimonies from women with first hand experiences:
'The Lost Soul: Elle Elizabeth’s journey through lap dancing'

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »