Sorry I’m a couple of days late on this one, but thank god for More 4, because I’m still without laptop. This episode of Dispatches followed a poor beleaguered reporter who was forced to go undercover in lap dancing clubs (it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it). He discovered sometimes the lap dancers get a bit close (no shit) and occasionally, with the emphasis on occasionally, sex is offered.
Firstly, as a feminist, let me say I have massively mixed feelings about lap dancing. I completely agree that they should be licensed as sexual entertainment; not dancing. It IS sexual entertainment, and the law around them seems very ropey, and to have been designed with deliberate loop-holes. It does seem wrong. So I totally agree with that side of it.
BUT there is another side of it I just can't get excited about. I do not CARE if men want to go and watch women rub their fannies in their faces. I think the men are fools; they are paying mega bucks for what is essentially a load of hot air. I am also quite happy for women to make their money that way. It’s not what I want to do, but I am not going to deny others their liberty. Women are objectified everywhere you look, and it is depressing, but I can’t get excited about it when there are so much bigger issues facing women. To change the way magazines/ society sees women will take a hundred years, in my opinion. There are other fights we can win much sooner.
As for Mr and Mrs Jones going 'I hate the thought of what goes on in there' well, don't think about it! There is massively fucked-up stuff going on behind closed doors EVERYWHERE, but it’s none of your business. Part of it is just about one section of society trying to assert their moral values on another. One woman was like ‘we have to walk past it every day’, so what? It’s just like walking past a shop. It’s just a shop with a picture of a woman outside.
I understand to an extent why you’d be annoyed if there was a lapdancing club right beneath your block of flats because you might get comments from men/ a bit of hassle, but that is a problem with MEN, not lap dancing. And again, the licensing should be changed. That has nothing to do with what actually goes on inside the clubs, and the morality of it.
There is an odd group of people against lapdancing, and it seems a strange marriage between the very conservative and the feminists opposing the clubs. I want to really distance myself as much from the highly conservative people as possible; and I think feminists have a danger of looking po-faced and even anti-women in this debate. BUT porn and sex work is always something that divides feminists, and always will. I personally think prostitution should be legalised; and made safer. You can’t stop it. So make it safer for the women.
Personally I wanted to see more of the reporter’s FACE when he was getting the lapdances! I wonder if he got excited? Haha. Also, what amazing bodies the women had! Bloody hell. And how funny was that councillor bloke they interviewed for about 30 seconds? He was a comedy character in waiting!
So, licensing laws bad, busy-bodies bad, feminism doing it’s best and lap dancing not bad. That’s my position on it.