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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Why does DH get angry when I explain why Lap Dancing is wrong?

31 replies

MumblingRagDoll · 18/08/2011 10:54

I should first tell you that he has never been to one....I know him very well and I know this to be fact. He has always been entirely honest wth me.

I used to think they were fine...these clubs...because I assumed the women had chosen this life for themseves...but since I have read so much about extraneous cicumstnces and learned a lot on MN, I am very angry that so many clubs have opened in recent years. DH feels that the women are putting themselves in the way of exploitation and that nobody HAS to strip....I told him about how women are conditioned to feel that their sexuality is their only currency and about how the girls are exploited ad pressured by club owners and he STILL thinks it's their own fault.

He did go Shock when I told him how many of these women are pressured into allowing men to touch them in private rooms and how the mangagment fine them heavIly for being late or sick and he was a bit more understanding but he still feels they're stupid for going into that business.

I have become involved in a project aimed throwing some light on the situation....with the aim of getting attention and creating some protection for the women...better working conditions and he said "You can't DO anything...the sort of men who run those places are scum and gangsters and you have delusions of grandeur" Angry

Is it because he REALLY thinks the women are stupid and the men dangerous or is it because he doesn't like to think of me touching on a sleazy world like this?

OP posts:
Prolesworth · 18/08/2011 11:01

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MumblingRagDoll · 18/08/2011 11:07

It's actually upset me. He tried to bring me down....almost like saying "Why pick this issue to get angry about"

I have 2 DDs....WE have 2 DDs.

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scurryfunge · 18/08/2011 11:12

Does he feel he is the only person in the relationship entitled to views?

VictorGollancz · 18/08/2011 11:13

Good on you for getting involved! Sadly anyone who tries to change a status quo is going to get this sort of stuff - rise above and feel secure that you're in the right here.

He might not have been to a club but I bet he knows men who have, plus society tells men that it's fine to go to these places, the women all love it, it's their dream job, etc etc. People often get arsey when confronted with an uncomfortable truth that can bring about a seismic change in their world view (or an even more seismic burying-of-their-head-in-the-sand...). If they can shout at you it stops them having to confront where their money has been going, and what exactly it is that they have paid for.

CRIKRI · 18/08/2011 11:16

MRD, really sorry to hear this. It sounds like there are two linked issues - one that you are disappointed that your DH is prepared to defend something you find so abhorrent and that he rubbished the fact that this is something you think is important.

I mean, you have a right to be angry about what you want to be angry about, whether it's the rising price of eggs or the mainstreaming of raunch culture and worries about the impact of sexualisation on your daughter. I'd be very angry if my DH thought it appropriate to diminish my views in that way.

It's good to hear that you have found a constructive way of addressing the issue through the project you mention. It's quite likely that you will encounter even more stories, more evidence that will make you more worried, angry and concerned about the issue.

Just a thought, but might that be part of the "problem" with your DH? Is he resentful of the fact that you are involved in the project, that you are learning and doing new things that don't necessarily involve him or his interests? Might it be that he resents you having other interests, regardless of the subject matter (but the subject matter gives him plenty of fodder for having a pop at you?)

MumblingRagDoll · 18/08/2011 11:26

Victor his best friend and his wife go to them sometimes. They asked us years back and we both had no interest.

CRIKRI I don't think it's my involvment in an outside prject...I've always been very active within the arts and have travelled away quite often due to various projects...he's totally fine with that...he's quite a spiritual person..into meditation and I can't understand this. He isn't usually close minded

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CRIKRI · 18/08/2011 11:29

Okay, if his response doesn't sound typical of him, and he's been open to new perspectives on issues before, it's worth having a sit down talk with him about the situ. It sounds though like there are two issues running through it:

  • His views that lapdancing is okay, not a problem, not sexist, etc.
  • The fact that he had a pop at you for expressing a view on something that is very important to you.
VictorGollancz · 18/08/2011 11:34

It's a hard truth to face: that your friend and his wife are complicit in exploitation, trafficking, and abuse. My partner had visited a strip-club once and decided never to go again, way before he met me. He's obviously heard me talk about many feminist issues, but the lapdancing one will be the one to cause him to shuffle awkwardly, because he knows what he did and what his money is likely to have paid for.

It's like those (awful) programmes in which privileged Western teens go off to Africa, or Thailand, or an Indian factory which uses child labour, in order for them to 'truly see' what their consumption means for other cultures. The first twenty minutes are always them losing their shit as they scrabble desperately to marry their perception of themselves as a decent person with the poverty and exploitation that they have caused. I think all of us would probably do something similar.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't face it though!

LRDTheFeministDragon · 18/08/2011 11:37

I think CRIKRI is spot on.

I wonder if he's worried about your safety? He doesn't need to be, but I would be worried (couldn't help it) if my DH suddenly got interested in activism and I thought it might lead him into dangerous situations. It wouldn't make me less supportive I hope, but it might be worth asking if this is a concern of his.

MumblingRagDoll · 18/08/2011 11:40

That's a good way to think about it victor...the fact is, that I have to do SOMETHING about it all...sexism and abuse....and this is's already underway and I want to change things.

Maybe I should give him somehing to read...I have lots of stuff. Thanks people for helping me.

OP posts:
CRIKRI · 19/08/2011 11:34

Hey, keep us posted how it goes. There could be some useful tips in there for other women facing similar situations. Best of luck!

startAfire · 20/08/2011 09:13

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MumblingRagDoll · 21/08/2011 21:48

Thanks again. After I posted this, I lost my mojo a bit...reading it back has made it return! So thanks a lot...just what I needed!

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AnyFucker · 21/08/2011 21:58

I think he gets angry because you are questioning his safe world view

Many people do

Especially uneducated people

He needs to educate himself a bit more about the issues here

Has he ever seen that channel 4 documentary "Hardcore" about Felicity's experience within the sex industry ?

I defy any man, and especally any man with daughters, to watch that and still think any branch of the sex industry is ok and not damaging to women

AnyFucker · 21/08/2011 21:59

oops, here is a link to it

sniffy · 21/08/2011 22:08

because he doesn't agree with you and is pissed off you are insisting he does.

( you are right and he's wrong but that's not the point Grin)

OneMoreChap · 28/08/2011 14:56

You can't DO anything...the sort of men who run those places are scum and gangsters

He might genuinely be worried for you.

I'd be concerned if a friend was making stand against organised crime.

I'd probably be more concerned if it was my partner, or the mother of our children.

I think many people that haven't dealt with organised crime need to educate themselves a bit more about the issues. Mess with criminals and you - and your family - may very well get hurt.

I've never been to a "lap-dancing" club, nor can I envisage circumstances in which I might. Are all of them run by criminals? Are all of the women who frequent them abusers? Are all of the performers "conditioned" into thinking that their sexuality?

I haven't read widely on this - as my interest is limited - but suggested economic choices were at the forefront.

preliminary data here :

It does seem a distasteful career choice...

HereBeBolloX · 28/08/2011 21:42

I don't think it matters if all 100% of lapdancing clubs are xyz, if the OP doesn't agree with them in principle, then the fact that a handful might offer better working conditions than the average, is simply not relevant.

I agree that he may be worried about your safety but I also agree with SAF, that when you get interested in feminism, many men feel it as a direct threat to them. Because they know that it will impact on their relationship with you, your attitudes, etc. And even though that shouldn't be a problem (because after all, most men nowadays profess to believe in equality so there's no reason why feminism should be a threat to them), for some reason, it is...

ElephantsAndMiasmas · 30/08/2011 01:04

It sounds to me like he thinks that there are two kinds of women: stupid, silly women who are idiotic enough to think that their worth is dictacted by how much men are prepared to pay to see their tits, and OTHER nice women like you who are clever, good mothers etc. Might he think that lapdancers are somehow less than human, so it's illogical of you to lower yourself to dealing with such matters?

Also love the doublethink that enables him to realise that organised gangs run lapdancing clubs etc and could therefore be a danger to YOU, but not to see how that could mean women/girls being intimidated into working there.

HereBeBolloX · 30/08/2011 08:10

Yes v. good point Elephants - if the dangerous gangs are dangerous to you, how come they're not dangerous to the women who work there?

Because the women who work there, deserve the treatment they get - unlike you. It's the virgin/ whore view of women deep down subconsciously isn't it? He'll be very uncomfortable if you tell him that, but that's what it is...

ElephantsAndMiasmas · 30/08/2011 11:32

Yeah exactly HerB, I was trying to avoid directly saying "madonna/whore" dichotomy as that can sound sort of alienating if people aren't ready to admit that that's how they see women.

He is probably going to be unmoved by the "what if I/our daughters went into that line of work?" line, because he sees you and his children as Good Girls and wouldn't be able to believe that you could become Bad Lapdancing Girls.

I am Shock at "you have delusions of grandeur" though - the thing here is that he wants lapdancing clubs to remain open, thinks that men should have access to women's bodies for money, and thinks you've got a damn cheek trying to stop them having this access.


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sunshineandbooks · 01/09/2011 20:39

Branching off from the madonna/whore dichotomy, it's possible that his reaction is less about sexism and more to do with the just world hypothesis. To really face up to the fact that many of the girls exploited in these clubs are normal, decent human beings who have simply had terrible experiences and been horrifically abused through no fault of their own, he has to recognise that the same could happen to anyone. Life can turn to shit for a lot of people even when they do everything right. That's an uncomfortable feeling. Far better to blame the victims as somehow complicit so that you can remain secure in your knowledge that it will never happen to you or anyone you care about. By becoming involved you are forcing him out of his comfortable illusion, which may explain his reaction.


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Vixaxn · 06/09/2011 12:16

"He might not have been to a club but I bet he knows men who have"

Really? They are not that popular really. And so what if he does?

'plus society tells men that it's fine to go to these places'

I think society says the men that go these places are pretty sad.

"the women all love it, it's their dream job, etc etc."

I don't think society says this.

I think a single man, or one who has permission to go to these places is not doing anything immoral. It's sleazy though. But adult women are responsible for their choices. If strip clubs and lap-dancing is 'wrong' so is male stripping/Chippendales, etc.

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