Monday, February 27, 2012

2000 Page Views - Thank You For Your Time

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time - Steven Wright

So we started this blog in early January and as of today we hit our 2000th page view and I am delighted to say that we now have a world wide audience....

So I would like to say a big thank you to readers from...

United Kingdom,
United States of America,
The Phillipines,
and Croatia.

We average 52 page views a day and the visitor volume is increasing. I like the idea that Objects antics are becoming known on a global basis and we have just so much more to share with you with you all.

Its been worth the walk so far and I hope that all of you will stay with me on the journey...


Object and Female Unemployment Rates

“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.”
― Henry Steele Commager

I was browsing through some frame grabs of Mrs Clowns Harrogate thread and I saw something that didn't involve Mrs Clown, but something that made me quite frankly furious. Check out this thread excerpt....

Everyone seems to forget that when a club is closed down, its staff will have to look for other jobs. Its not just dancers, its the bar staff, it the cleaners and anyone else that is involved. People being made unemployed as a result of Objects campaigning is one of a number of things they remain curiously silent about.

Of course Object could say that they are fighting objectification and that women being unemployed isn't an issue for them, just as long as they're not being objectified.

So anyway back to the thread.....

'AhyesIseeyouvepoopedonyourfoot' (great username), is an actual employee of one of the clubs that Harrogate Feminists and Object and Mrs Clown are trying to close down. Her contribution brings an unwelcome dose of reality to the situation when she asks that people think about their campaign to close the venues, because she and others need the income to help support their families.

Lets divert for a minute...

Did you know that more than one million women are now jobless in Britain, an increase on 91,000 from last year?

Did you know that the North West was the worst hit region in last quarter with 26,000 more women losing their jobs?

Did you know that the number of female jobseekers has leapt to its highest rate in 23 years?

Please also consider that young workers have also been hit hard by unemployment, with over million aged 16-24 now jobless and nearly 250,000 unemployed for more than a year.

Sobering stuff and all that  'AhyesIseeyouvepoopedonyourfoot' is asking for is a fair chance not join the jobless.

Kritiq has an answer or course and that is to get another job, because actually when she was in Harrogate she saw some jobs in shops that would certainly be suitable for someone that works in a lapdancing club. The point that is simply not considered is that the money may not be enough and the hours may not suit either and if 'Poopedonyourfoot' wanted shopwork she would be doing it. In other words, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem and don't matter. 

Someone else even makes the point that Kritiq doesn't have to go into the clubs, but that brings a predictable rebuttal and a referral to Objects website and lapdancing stats. There is a lesson here, never ask anyone from Object to think too hard about what they are saying or the consequences of their campaigns. Given the slightest resistance, they always scarper back to the website and quote The Lillith Report, largely because it save them having to think too much and take some responsibility.

So if your are employed by a club that is closing, the answer from Object is simple, get another job, maybe one in a shop or maybe a fast food outlet or a supermarket because at least you won't be exploited by the patriachy.

Back to the unemployment statistics....

Anna Bird, acting chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: 'These new figures must act as a wake-up call to Government - we are in a time of crisis. Cuts are threatening women's equality as jobs dry up, benefits are slashed and vital public services disappear.'

Anna, is this some kind of joke that the rest of us don't get? 

The Fawcett Society along with Object made a significant contribution in ensuring the SEV legislation was adopted and enshrined in law. I agree that we are in a time of crisis but its one that you helped bring about, at least in terms of female unemployment rates. 

It is a fact  that Object have created more unemployment than than they have jobs, so I have to ask some very pertinent question to anyone from Object that is reading this post....

Just how many households must lose their income as a result of your campaign to close lapdancing clubs.. 

When you were planning your campaign, how did you measure its potential economic impact?

How many impoverished households did you decide was an acceptable figure as long as you all felt empowered?

This is why designer feminists annoy me. Its not about society, its not about feminism, its not about choice or discretion, its all about designer feminists and if you lose out as a result....tough.

Why This Blog Exists...

“[Lighting a cigarette] Well, I'm not here to impinge on anybody else's lifestyle. If I'm in a place where I know I'm going to harm somebody's health or somebody asks me to please not smoke, I just go outside and smoke. But I do resent the way the nonsmoking mentality has been imposed on the smoking minority. Because, first of all, in a democracy, minorities do have rights. And, second, the whole pitch about smoking has gone from being a health issue to a moral issue, and when they reduce something to a moral issue, it has no place in any kind of legislation, as far as I'm concerned.”
― Frank Zappa

I enjoy writing this blog, but at the same time I am conscious of how much time it takes to produce and I there have been times when I ask if it is really worth it. The answer is of course 'Yes'.

Striptease has been a lawful activity in this country for almost as long as I have been alive. Quietly and without fuss everyone involved with the scene got on with their lives until Object and their friends and allies decided  that we were the cause of just about every challenge facing women today...

If you listen to Object and unquestioningly believe them, strip clubs cause huge localised spikes in violent crime rates, are centres of sexual abuse, are pivotal components in the human trafficking chain, cause women to lose out on promotion at work, a full of gender traitors, populated by rapists and as a result should all be closed forthwith.

The lies and hysteria that populate the media about the scene remind me somewhat of the anti-smoking campaign conducted some years ago. So when I saw the Frank Zappa quote it had a great deal of resonance with me. As a smoker I can accept that my habit may affect other people in a closed environment and therefore I am happy to smoke outside or away from those that object to smoking.

Strip clubs operate indoors, away from the prying eyes of those that would be offended by female nudity. So the Object campaign against something that happens away from the public arena strikes me as being analogous to a non smoker following me outside the pub and complaining about me lighting up.

Despite the weasel wording adopted by certain borough councils to justify their 'Nil Policies', it is clear that the prohibitionist campaign is based upon morality. If the general public could see a stripper on stage through the pub windows, we could accept that it would cause offence, but the public cannot see what happens.Soon the  prohibitionist stance changed and it was about people being offended by what they felt went on inside. 
Emboldened, the  feminist tack evolved and it was then time to accuse the clubs customers of harassing passers by. We saw that Object became somewhat careless with the phrasing of their standard letters to borough councils as they became more desperate to impose their views on society.

Objects arguments are a house of cards and they only take the merest critical examination to collapse. Why does no one ever find it amazing that so many of these apparently abusive customers spend time outside strip clubs, when the the reason for going there is what goes on inside. Why are the cases of harassment and abuse never reported to the police?

In the end it always was and always will be about morality and it is the dancers who are the minority that are being abused, not by men but by a feminist movement whose behaviour and tactics are as deplorable as the patriachy that they rail against. When I see people on the Object Yahoo group denounce someone as a 'DD Bimbo', when I see someone on Mumsnet express the view that anyone from Eastern Europe was probably trafficked, I know who the abusers are.

As Frank Zappa said, when something is reduced to a morality issue, it has no place in any kind of legislation.

So for me, this blog is worth every minute and every hour that I spend on it.

Oh and finally, I have another quote for you.....

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952

Mrs Clown - You CAN Go To Town!!!!

Conservatives define themselves in terms of what they oppose. ~George Will

It all started last week on MumsNet which as you know has no position on lapdancing clubs and have never taken part or supported any localised Object campaign to have clubs closed down.

The issue was that Mrs Clown wanted to go to the theatre in Harrogate and somehow in the process of booking the tickets discovered that the self same theatre was 'practically next door to a strip club'. Mrs Clown was beside herself with shock and was deeply concerned that the presence of the clubs would spoil the proposed family day trip. We at StrippingTheIllusion decided that we want the Clown family to have a lovely trip out to Harrogate and so to help ensure that this takes place, please let us present......

Mrs Clown, we hope that you receive this information in time.

We spent a lot of time working out the best way to the theatre for you and your family. Of course it depends if you are travelling by car or train, but as you can see we have positioned some car parks, the theatre and safe routes for you to take. Please note that the exploding star logo represents a lapdancing club, but as you can see if you follow our map carefully, you will not even have to go near the offending venues....

Now lets analyse the key issue.  Lets have a look your postings on Mumsnet, Mrs Clown.  I have to say that we have a few custard pies for you as well....

Mrs Clown, I would hardly say that Wildcats is 'practically next door' to the theatre, from the map it looks like its about 300 feet, which is a considerable distance. Out of interest, how did you find out about the clubs and where they are, given that you are not a resident of Harrogate? Did the theatre staff mention the clubs when you asked for directions? I somehow doubt that actually, I really cannot imagine the ticket sales people saying  the theatre was.....

'On the left, just past Wildcats Lapdancing Club, a place that I so wish didn't exist'.

Lets see what else there is for us look at....

Well for someone that doesn't live in Harrogate, Mrs Clown is certainly on the case, she knows where the clubs are and notes that one is close to the council offices. Mrs Clown, why is it unbelievable that there is club close to the council offices? Despite what you may wish the businesses are undertaking a legal activity, so maybe you are worried that the council staff may be affected by being so close. I mean , I know that council workers don't get out much, but I think they can handle the places from the outside.

Two hours later we see that Mrs Clown has done an internet recce of the area and found out about the Early Learning Centre. And she can't get her breath!!! The drama of it all....

Shortly after we see that  Harrogate Feminists have made a timely contribution and thanked Mrs Clown for her support. Good for them. But finally at least we see that Mrs Clown is still going to the theatre but is worried about 'dickheads'. Mrs Clown, if you are worried about dickheads, you had better stay indoors and even if you are unfortunate to run into some, how will be able to tell which venue they come from? You get dickheads coming out of pubs and clubs as well as lapdancing venues.

So Mrs Clown has seen the contracts that the dancers have to sign and states that men wouldn't put up with such onerous terms and conditions. What are the things that men wouldn't put up with? Are you implying that women are weak? I thought you was a feminist, so that's a custard pie for you Mrs Clown. 


Then comes the good bit...

'.......the girls are mainly East European and we all know what that means........'

What does it mean Mrs Clown? Need a good answer because we have a second custard tart ready and waiting for you...

Out of interest, do you notice that posting from 'WellThen'. What a well balanced person, one that explains about the practicalities of the journey and even better still, how no one even really knows about the club and just pass it by without a second glance. Sensible stuff, but a complete waste of time for reasons that I will explain later. 

Also its worth noting that Mrs Clown is 'disgusted that everyone is not up in arms about it'. 'Wellthen' makes a good point though, the thing is that no one really knew the place existed before Harrogate Feminists started screaming about it.

Mrs Clown, that is very naughty and here comes that custard pie. 


Just because someone comes from a particular location, you cannot ascribe detrimental characteristics to them. You can of course, because it adds drama to your postings and you probably couldn't care less if the girls you are writing about are probably mortally offended by your idea that they may have been trafficked. 

You may or may not be aware that a number of east european countries have been member of the EU since 2004, so the girls in the clubs are probably students or just people hoping to earn better money for a better life. By the way the countries that joined the EU were as follows, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Please note that in 2007, the community was joined by Bulgaria and Romania.

Hang on a minute Mrs Clown! You said you had seen the contracts the girls have to sign and shortly afterwards you speculated that they may be trafficked. Do you think signing contracts with employers is a typical part of the experience of trafficked people? All club employees must be registered with photocopies of their passports so as to prove that they can work in the UK. Licensing authorities check this documentation quite frequently, so I guess that puts pay to the trafficked people issue because if I am correct trafficking victims tend to not to be wandering around with their passports.

Please note the mention of Object as well in Mrs Clowns posting. And there is something else that I noticed as well.....Mrs Clown became Mrs Clown 1, because she was posting from home. Doesn't make sense actually, Mumnset is a web based application and all you need is pc and browser to make a contribution to it. Unless of course it was Mrs Clowns first posting and she got her credentials emailed to her work computer and the email was stored on her work machine.

Hang on!!! Mrs Clown does your employer know that you spend all of your time doing feminist activism while you are at work? That's another custard pie for you.


Mrs Clown got into a row with a poster called TonyN and as you can see she lets slip that she is volunteer for Object. Mrs Clown, I would like to point out that no one in a lapdancing club 'buys a women', they buy a performance. Let me quote from an article on the subject from the Workers Liberty website...

'As Marxists we know that a consenting sex worker sells her labour power to provide a sexual service – she does not sell her person. The client does not own him or her after the work has been performed. As Marx put it: “Prostitution is only a specific expression of the general prostitution of the labourer”.' 

Two hours later, Mrs Clown is no longer a volunteer, she is now a full member of Object.

This is a brilliant posting. Mrs Clown makes the point that has 'not become offensive' or patronising.

'........You are typical of the type of man that I have been dealing with for years and years......'
'........You will never change.........'
'........You just can't help yourself can you.......'
'........The old, old male way.......'
'........I guess it would be easier for you if I just sat and smiled........'

Wow Mrs Clown, if that's your idea of not being patronising, I cannot wait to find out what your idea of not being insulting is. Look out Mrs Clown, here we go........Damn out of custard pies.

You can find a definition of 'designer feminist' here.

So this has been a long posting and where did it all begin? Well it started on January 18th at 11.18, when Mrs Clown, an avowed non Harrogate resident told everyone about her theatre booking and her horror that there are two lapdancing clubs within a 200 foot radius of the theatre.

She is also horrified that the venues 'may have trafficked girls' in them , because the girls come from eastern europe, but stay cool everyone, Mrs Clown is not a racist.

Later we learned that Mrs Clown is however an Object member. Amazing coincidence, that a member of an organisation that is fighting to ensure that every club in the country is closed down, books theatre tickets in a town that she does not live in and finds out about two clubs that previously didn't know existed and starts to leverage a campaign to get them closed down as well.

There is another amazing coincidence for you to consider as well.

Well isn't that amazing? Just over an hour before Mrs Clowns first posting on the issue on Mumsnet, Harrogate Feminists post (January 18th 10.04pm) about the same clubs that Mrs Clown (who does not live in Harrogate) wants to have closed.

Finally, Mrs Clown....your car, is it the kind that clowns drive in the circus, the ones where the doors fall off and the engine explodes? If it is, better to walk to the theatre, given that you probably live so close to it anyway....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Defining Designer Feminism

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.”  - Frank Zappa

This blog coined the phrase ‘designer feminist’ and a number of people have questioned its actual meaning. 

Let me explain…

The phrase was created to refer to certain self appointed 'elite' of third wave feminists that choose to focus on issues that are relatively unimportant on the landscape of feminist struggle, but are nonetheless worthy of favourable media publicity that can be later harnessed for the benefit of the activist(s) in question. 

Designer feminists tend to be drawn from relatively privileged backgrounds and are very well educated and see themselves as a moral template that should be followed by everyone else without question.

“….At an event here Object members were present, I voiced my concerns about university educated women essentially telling other – often working class women – that stripping (for example) is wrong. This didn’t go down particularly well and I felt like I was being lectured….”  See the full article here.

Designer feminists obsess about female exploitation, but choose lap dancing clubs as their battleground and ignore anything that isn’t media friendly, such as the hundreds of office cleaners that almost certainly are exploited on a daily basis. The issue here is that there is no public outrage or concern about office cleaners, they are invisible and how many of them clean floors and tidy the offices of Object activists?

Designer feminists tackle female genital mutilation as long as it’s a labioplasty undertaken in a clinic and choose to ignore the plight of close on 2000 girls a year who are mutilated by and in the presence of other women.

Designer feminists choose safe targets such as lapdancing clubs that they accuse being full of trafficked sex slaves and ignore the brothels in every town and city that are full of trafficked people. Its easier to take on a club with a law abiding owner than a gangster run brothel.

Designer feminists probably think that Elizabeth Cady Stanton is an expensive knitwear designer and therefore do not know that she said...

‘Human beings lose their logic in their vindictiveness’. 
'Were you paid by your pimps?' - Object activist (and don't we just know who it was) to pro stripper speaker.

'Woman will always be dependent until she holds a purse of her own'.
So forgive me if I observe that Objects most high profile campaign so far aims to make thousands of women redundant.

Women have crucified the Mary Wollstonecrafts, the Fanny Wrights, and the George Sands of all ages. Men mock us with the fact and say we are ever cruel to each other.
Mumsnet contributor 'KristineRackabusi' referring to strippers as being 'gender traitors of the highest order....second only to prostitutes'

The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation.
Objects alliance of convenience with islamic conservatives in Tower Hamlets comes to mind here

Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.

Designer feminists are opposed to the patriachy, but in reality they are no different, they practice a form of oppression that they find advantages their cause and if it means lives ruined, then so be it.

But most of all Designer Feminists are just so bourgeois.

Object Activist Needs to Outsource Criminal Damage Activity

I must admit that the film 'Pimp' has not crossed my path, so I cannot say if it was a 'hatefest' or not. But we see again the willingness of Object activists to indulge in criminal damage. Happily for all of us, Object do not have access to flamethrowers (they are  rather dangerous and very unpredictable) and you certainly wouldn't want to use one while out with the children. Still domestic considerations intervened and it was good that the writer felt able to outsource the criminal damage that she didn't have time to do herself...

Object Activist Needs Criminal Damage Ideas

So in 2008 an Object activist asked for support and ideas to help counter the presence of 'For Your Eyes Only' in Islington, London. the posting is really quite ridiculous, but nonetheless I have some observations to make...

'....scowling and quietly heckling the meathead bouncers outside....'

I appreciated the posters bigoted views towards club security staff and lets face it they work for a lapdancing club, so they must be scummy people. What is 'quiet heckling'?

'.....vowing to heckle any men I see entering or leaving the club....'

May I point the writer toward the Public Order Act 1986, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

'.......stickering I could put on club doors........'

Doesn't this kind of thing come under the Criminal Damage Act 1971?

The issue that concerns me with these kind of postings, is the willingness of the writers to break the law. it always starts small, but where does it end up?

In this case there were no replies to the request  for help and I imagine if any activity was discussed it took place e-mail. Still, if any branch of 'For Your Eyes Only' has suffered any acts vandalism, I will happily pass over any details I have to their legal representatives.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Object and Anna Span

In 2010 something really marvellous could have happened in Gravesham in Kent. The Liberal Democrats selected Anna Span as their local candidate. I have copied some information about Anna from her campaign website and you can see, she would have made a great local MP.
Anna’s father comes from Greenhithe and attended Gravesend Grammar and both he and Anna’s grandfather worked at Darenth Park Hospital. Anna has fond memories of time spent as a child in the Gravesend and Greenhithe areas.
Anna is a graduate from Central St Martin’s School of Art with a BA (Hons) Fine Art (Film and Video.) She has run her company Easy on the Eye Productions for twelve years producing over 250 professionally released programmes and managing hundreds of staff in this time. Anna became Britain’s first female adult film director upon graduating when she felt that her strong interest in women’s rights was best served changing the adult industry from within and proving women with examples of female and couple friendly films and by campaigning for women’s rights within the industry.  She has gone on to win Best Director in the UK twice, Indie Pioneer at the international Good For Her Feminist Awards, Best British Film Brand, among other awards.  Last year Anna was voted in as the Chair of the Adult Industry Trade Association.
Anna also has an MA in Philosophy from Birkbeck (majoring in Philosophy of Gender), which she uses to give talks and take part in debates on her work, feminism and film theory at universities and film festivals internationally.  She has spoken at St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, Dublin and Malmo (Sweden) among others.
Anna is a member of Feminists Against Censorship and has been interviewed nationally and internationally about her work on Woman’s Hour (twice) The Times, The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Observer, Cosmopolitan, This Morning and Lorraine Kelly’s Breakfast show, among others. She has had two documentaries made about her work for Channels 4 and 5.
In her own words.....
I have fought long and hard for women’s right to sexual expression and consumption, as well as for freedom of speech. I have long since felt vindicated about my choices back at college and know my pro-sex feminist argument is based on sound principles and logic.
So why don’t I stay in my industry and continue to reap the rewards of my efforts? Because I am the type of person who needs a challenge. I achieved much in my last career and now I want to broaden my campaign to other pressing issues such as why this or previous governments don’t think they have a responsibility to give young people something productive and engaging to do with their spare time. I lived on a council estate in Bermondsey and saw first hand why the kids were taking drugs, fighting and committing crimes.
Sadly the only words in the above profile that mattered to Team Object were 'adult film' and 'adult industry' and Annas' commitment to feminism and social justice was considered irrelevant. We are fortunate to be able to see what was on Objects minds when they learned of Annas campaign...

Thats right, how could anyone that Object disapprove of stand for Parliament?...

So as we can see, yet another campaign was born, this time it was aimed at undermining local democracy, which is a surprise given how keen Object are on the people having their say when it comes to closing down strip clubs...

Team Object swung into action a delivered a lecture on liberal values to Nick Clegg, with an extra helping of how certain people should be denied freedom of expression, unless of course they are approved by Object. 

You see the problem is that Anna was the wrong kind of feminist...

Happily, the Liberal Democrats had other ideas and explained that it is the candidates suitability for the post that is critical, not what they do for a living. They also point out that Annas business is not illegal. The Liberal Democrats embrace diversity, Object on the hand embrace a form of social Stalinism...

A predictable response, as you can see not a single reasoned argument was considered.

Above we can see Team Object sinking to the level of those they campaign against. If referring to someone as a 'bimbo' is not misogynistic, what is? But of course it doesn't count when Team Object use the phrase, because their understanding of feminism is so more well developed than that of anyone else and lets face it, they earned the right to comment as they see fit...

No, the sad thing is that the reason that Anna was not successful was the third form of misogyny, the misogyny that Object embraces with such relish. I find it deeply disturbing that an organisation that has received public funds should seek to interfere in the political process on the grounds of their personal bigotry. If for example BNP mounted a campaign against the selection of an MP on the basis that they worked with people from another country, the race hate laws would be justifiably applied. 
I do not know what kind of MP Anna Span would have made, but I hope that she tries again because I for one would be on her campaign team.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Team Object - Saving you from Someone - Just Not Sure Who.

Some time ago Team Object were wandering around Victoria Station and wandered into Paperchase. I am sure you know Paperchase, they sell really high quality stationery and lots of other nice things. While perusing the goods, Team Object saw something that horrified them, badges marked 'Cum Queen, Bitch, Slut and I Crew For Cock' nestling among the displays for Filofax, Moleskine and Pilot Pens.

Team Object swung into action with a cutting edge campaign that employed the latest communications technology and they let Paperchase have it with both barrels....

But there was only one problem....

......Yes that right, Team Object became so incensed when they saw the badges marked 'Cum Queen, Bitch, Slut and I Crew For Cock' that they forgot where they saw them and attacked the wrong retailer.

I think Team Object contacted Scribbler and were more or less told where to get off.

Not sure if they apologised to Paperchase or not....

Object - Then and Now

Digging aimlessly through the internet, I found this document which must one of the earliest instances of Object and their lapdancing campaign. Its a .pdf that encourages people to sign up to a petition to change the licensing conditions of lapdancing and strip clubs..

Its a pity they did not see fit to include a link to the 'academic research' so that we could make up our minds for ourselves. Its interesting to note that both Jeremy Coutinho and Sasha Rakoff signed the document as well and as you can see, they obtained 58 signatures, less than that if you exclude people from Object and trolls.

Interesting how Sasha Rakof calls for clubs to no longer be licensed like pubs, I thought the issue was that they were licensed like 'coffee shops' or 'karaoke bars'. Aside from the fact that lap dancing clubs were never licensed like pubs anyway. Love it when people feel the need to write in CAPITALS to make their point.

Anyway, something struck me about the document, nowhere does it mention a wholesale campaign to close every club in the country. In fact if you look at Objects ' Frequently Asked Questions about Lapdancing' document, you see that Question 8 raises the issue of civil liberties....

If I read that first sentence correctly, it says that Object are not calling for lap dancing clubs to be banned. So it is not unreasonable for me to ask how did things go from there to here.....

The above frame grab was taken from Mumsnet, who as you know have never ever supported Objects localised campaigns to close strip clubs...

So when did Object change their minds? When was the press released that said....

'Actually we have changed our minds and want all of the clubs shut.....I know we didn't mention that in the start, but its what we think now'.

Notice that responses were encouraged from anyone that could read the webpage, irrespective of where they lived. This is just one of the issues with Object, they say one thing and mean another and as result nothing they say has any real credibility any more. My best guess is that prohibition has been their objective all along and that their justification is that it is members of the public that are agitating for mass closures and that all Object are doing is providing the means.

'Prohibition? Nothing to do with us guv...its the public innit'.

Although to be fair I am fairly certain that no one from Object really talks like that...

Lets Close Every Club in Tower Hamlets - Part 2

Tower Hamlets Councils attempt to close every club in the borough is finding itself bedevilled by all sorts of complications…

First we had the Public Consultation which closed in early October 2011, the results of which still have not been released and the latest position is that it is ‘hoped’ that the final result will be made known by April 2012.

This blog revealed that Michael Collins (Chair of CAPE) has previously unrevealed property interests that could be affected by the councils decision to adopt to the nil policy.

Now we have The White Swan campaigning to have themselves exempted from the scope of the proposed legislation. In fact Tower Hamlets Council were presented with a 600 signature petition on November 29th 2011 by Daryl Stafford, a DJ at the venue.

What is the background to the issue and why does it make things complicated for the Council?

The White Swn is one of the oldest venues that caters for the LGBT community in the East End and every Wednesday it has a comedy amateur strip night. This alone places it within the scope of the boroughs nil policy and quite rightly many people are fighting on the side of the venue.

Tower Hamlets has something of a reputation for homophobic behaviour. This posting from Andrew Gilligans blog details many disturbing acts of quite frankly appalling behaviour, some which took place within the Council Chamber itself.

Let me make it clear that we support the right of The White Swan to exist, if it loses its Wednesday Comedy Strip Night it will be a disaster for the venue. As Daryl Stafford himself said.,,

"…Wednesday is our only busy weeknight. If they kill off our Wednesday nights, we'll be threatened with closure..."

That said, Daryl Stafford said some other things that show that he is misinformed on the striptease industry.

"The legislation was originally set up to stop women being exploited and coerced into the sex trade”.

This is an unfair point of differentiation. To my knowledge there has never been a case of a stripper in Tower Hamlets being either ‘exploited’ or ‘coerced into the sex trade’.

"But there are no women involved in this. It's a men only night and stripping is voluntary."

Daryl seems not to understand how other strip venues work. Stripping is entirely voluntary because female strippers choose to follow that profession and choose to work in particular club. Also to say that The White Swan runs a ‘men only night’ is also ill judged. Is Daryl saying that women are not allowed to attend, because I think that is against the law or is Daryl saying that the only dancers are men.

Sorry? ..........Run that past me again.

So having naked women dancers is bad thing, but naked men dancers are cool and should be exempt. 

Really......don't think so actually......

Cllr Peter Golds has also weighed in with his viewpoint…

"I, like most reasonably minded people, have concerns about scantily clad women being exploited”.

Cllr Golds, please explain what is reasonably minded about being concerned about exploitation when there is not a single shred of evidence that it has happened in any Tower Hamlets strip club.

"But consenting adults looking for a laugh, a joke and comedy is not exploitation."

If that is the case, there is no exploitation in Tower Hamlets strip clubs, because the dancers actually get paid for their trouble and the crowd are also consenting adults look for a laugh...

"It's fun. It's introduced by drag artists. It could probably be at any hen night in the country," he added.

So Cllr Golds, on the basis of your comments, if I was to open a pub, that every Wednesday night that featured comedians and volunteer female strippers, would you support my venues exemption from the ‘Nil Policy’? I think Object would go absolutely crazy and I do not think Cllr Rania Khan would be entirely happy with the idea either....

Cllr Golds what are you saying? That women in strip clubs that are licensed and supervised by doormen are at greater risk that the men that turn up at the White Swan and volunteer to strip on stage? Is it because women maybe are naive and need protecting whereas gay men are cool and streetwise and can look after themselves? It is because the women are paid to do what they do and the gay men are not? Is it because that exploitation and coercion into the sex industry is not an issue within the gay community?

It should be clear to any reasonably minded person that if Tower Hamlets Council close every strip club, but let the one venue that feature male performers stay open, then they are asking for what will be an amazingly expensive dose of court action. In fact the idea is so rooted in discriminatory practice that it is laughable...

Finally, a message for Daryl Stafford. I note that when you presented your petition to the council, it was received by Rania Khan. You may wish to follow this link and see what The Daily Telegraph had to say about her last year.

If you all stick together, you will all survive...

Some Feedback

This was blog was first posted on 6th January 2012. Since that time it has had over 1500 page views from across the globe. 'OBJECTionable Behaviour' had just short of 400 page views by itself at the time of this posting. There have been many comments, only two of which were negative, but I note that Object themselves have not seen fit to respond to anything that has been written here...

Two comments were posted by 'Clare', who referred me to a study undertaken by Avon & Somerset Police that explored the link between SEVs and violent assaults on women in Bristol. I stated at the time that I would look into this study in some detail and that process has started.

The document that 'Clare' linked to was a simple one page Word doc. but I have requested the background data from the documents original author, and although I am still waiting for a response, I am sure one will be forthcoming soon.

Feminist Objectification

Lets strip away (no pun intended) some jargon. Am I right in thinking that 'Objectification' is essentially about men making prejudicial value judgements about women. I think that I am am and value judgements lie at the root of many evils. The central issue that this post addresses is that in my view, feminists such as Object themselves objectify people and do so in a manner that is just as bad as those that they campaign against...

I want to look at a few examples and we will start by reproducing a posting from Mumsnet. You should know that Mumsnet have never supported a campaign to close strip clubs they particularly never supported the campaign to close clubs in Tower Hamlets....

From a previous posting, you will be familiar with 'KristineRackabusi' and her sense free rantings, that even other Mumsnet contributors find hard to deal with. 'Betternextlife' also takes issue with Kristine and quite rightly chides her for objectifying dancers as 'gender traitors'. So when the comment started out so right, it is a pity that it then went onto to go so wrong....

Dancers dance for a number of reasons, but the reasons outlined in the post in question are a form of objectification, stating that they (dancers) are poor, desperate and socially unsophisticated victims of abuse. I have met many dancers and can without reservation say that I never met one to which the postings description even begins to apply to. Furthermore, I could begin to accept the argument if any study had ever been undertaken into dancers backgrounds, which as far as I am aware has never happened. So in summary 'Beternextlife's comments are value judgements and therefore another example of feminist objectification.

Can someone please explain to me why so many third wave feminists see dancers as either gender traitors or abused simpletons that know no better and must be rescued? 

There is another group on the club scene that are victims of feminist objectification and they are the customers of the venues...

'.......Dismissing them as worthless objects is what the punters do......'

Another sweeping comment that owes little to reality and is deeply insulting to the people that I have met and know on the club scene. Speak to some customers directly and then judge. That said in any customer facing situation you will encounter morons, but there is more chance of that for the average office worker than a dancer, who at least has recourse to a bouncer.

Below we have another Object Yahoo Group frame grab. As is usual, the posters details have been redacted, but her comment is to say the least disturbing...

We can see that the lady is working hard to impose her value judgements on delegates at the courses she runs. Although it seems that the students are more world aware than the trainer. As someone who has in the past visited lap dancing clubs, I take issue with the fact that someone who never met me can decide that I am an abusive man.

The question presupposes to the answer, 'Would a non abusive man go to a lapdancing club?' is a closed question. A better better way of phrasing the question would have been 'Why would a non abusive man go to a lapdancing club?'. The nature of the question opens it to a greater range of responses, but that clearly was not the trainers intention, whose only goal seems to be as I said before, the imposing her value judgements on her delegates.

If anyone was to publish a comment that stated that anyone that went into a mosque was a terrorist, they would quite rightly be prosecuted under any one of a variety of race hate laws. If I was to state that all feminists are fundamentally misandric, I would be guilty of a crass and sweeping value judgement. On that basis, the statement that only abusive men go into lap dancing clubs is as misguided as any other form of propaganda.

Finally I note that Tony N posted on Mumsnet  and I have included his posting. I dropped by the chat session that he was participating in about feminist attitudes to strip clubs. I only wish I had thought to frame grab the chat thread, that way you could see for yourself some of the abusive comments that were made to and about him.

Object - 'Fighting Talk - Good'

As you know I have been fortunate to be able to acquire frame grabs from Objects Yahoo Message Board. Last week I posted about a template letter that Object urged their activists to bombard Hackney Council with in order to ensure the licences for the boroughs strip clubs were revoked. This week we shall look at another issue, which is Objects views on the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

You may be aware that last year, 'Grace and Dee' two teenagers from Leicester vandalised a poster advertising the local Spearmint Rhino, by writing 'Women Not Objects' over it. The issue is that they were caught and fined £80. The press coverage soon caught the attention of Object and I present the message thread where the issue was discussed below....

To save anyone embarrassment, I have redacted the names of the posters, apart from the usernames for those that commented from Mumsnet, because that information is in the public domain already.

Its an interesting thread and sees activists contemplating a campaign of civil disobedience and criminal damage.

Lets look at some of the best comments......

'......a campaign of civil disobedience around defacing strip clubs advertising and trying to get caught so we have a mouthpiece in the media.....'

Absolutely right! What a great idea, lets tie up police resources that could be better used from keeping streets safe for women.

'.......I get a little sick of the line that is drawn regarding legality.........sometimes the law does not adequately protect the vulnerable so why should it be respected above all else.....'

The above comment is really quite amazing. An Object activist expresses disatisfaction with the fact that if they do something illegal, they may have to face the consequences of the their behaviour. Furthermore, which vulnerable people are not being protected?

The Object Moderator decided that it was time to step in.......

'........any actions that break the law, must be carried out in an individuals own name, at their own risk and organised outside Objects activist groups.......'

What an outrageously stupid comment. Basically they seem to be saying 'do what you want, but if you get caught its nothing to do with us'. I really think that the moderators comments should have been focussed on the issue that the law exists for a very good reason and under no circumstances should it be broken.

Mumsnet, an organisation that have never, ever, ever supported the view that strip clubs be closed, expressed the view that 'criminal damage is always to be applauded'. Cool

Finally, we have this comment.....

'.......So its not a good idea to plan any illegal actions on this forum and put it at risk.......'

Actually its not a good idea to plan any illegal actions anywhere, because its not a good idea to break the law.  Anyone that even begins to suggest that illegal activity, such as vandalism is an acceptable channel for expressing an argument is a moron. It starts with vandalism, but where does it end? Covering an advert or even a clubs premises with stickers is one thing, but where to go next when the tactic fails?

Object worry me and if they don't worry you, they should.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Team Object - Saving you from Sport Relief

Welcome to a new spot - 'Team Object - Feminist Police' where we highlight an area of concern for Object as culled from their Yahoo Message Board. In this posting we learn how upset Object are about Sport Relief. 

But before we examine exactly what has upset them, lets find out a bit more about Sport Relief...

Sport Relief is a biennial charity event from Comic Relief, in association with BBC Sport, which brings together the worlds of sport and entertainment to raise money to help vulnerable people in both the UK and the world's poorest countries. 

So we can see that Sport Relief is a good thing and like all charities, Sports Relief has a range of donation building activities. But there is a problem and they're in big trouble now...

For the sake of anyones embarrassment, we redacted the message posters personal details....
Yes, someone called Amy Childs (sorry I am not that media aware so unsure of who she is or what she does) dared to publicise Sport Relief by being photographed not wearing a lot of clothing. Clearly this is a case for Team Object and who must be planning their campaign now. But lets see the offending photograph....

Just cannot believe the objectification....
Its understandable why Team Object were so upset and any reasonable person would surely agree with them. Amy Childs was almost certainly naked behind the T-shirt and that is unacceptable. The lady in question is also attractive and that is a big no no for Team Object.

So let this be a learning point for everyone, if you are attractive and photographed in a state of nudity behind or under your clothing, you will earn the wrath of Team Object. 

So a big thank you Team Object for being on the case....

OBJECTionable Behaviour

Some weeks ago you will recall that I was in possession of information about Object that required me to take legal advice before sharing it with you. I have now taken that advice and this article is the result.

This posting is the most probably the important that this blog will ever make. It proves that Object are prepared to engage in underhand and deceitful activity to achieve their aims.

This posting is relevant to any club that is fighting for their SEV license that find themselves confronted by a stream of letters written by ‘concerned members of the public’ that contain a raft of previously unknown, unreported allegations.

Without wishing to sound too dramatic, this posting proves that Object lie.

What you are about to read is quite frankly shocking, but to those of us that are familiar with Object, it should come as no surprise.

In May 2010, Object discovered that the four Hackney strip venues they had targeted for closure were reapplying for their licenses. So on Sunday May 23rd (at 18.29) the page framed grabbed below appeared on Object website.

As you can see it urges any like minded members of the public to write into councils and object to any presence of any clubs in their borough. You will also see that is has a link to a standard letter (Appendix 1: Template Letter to councillors). The letter has been reproduced below for you to read.

Apart from being misguided, it is essentially standard fare, is written using reasonable language and is essentially uncontroversial in content.

What makes this post so important is that the above letter was not the only one that Object were urging people to write.

On Sunday May 23rd (at 12.37am) the posting below appeared on the Object Activist Yahoo Message Board, which is a members only forum where Object communicate with their supporters. It is not viewable by members of the public. The posting was made by Katie Toms, a senior Object member and freelance journalist that has written many articles about Object and third wave feminist issues. She also interviewed Cllr Rania Khan for The Observer.

The posting is huge and for the sake of space I have only reproduced its key element…

The key paragraph (highlighted above in a red box) that is so damning is reproduced again below.

"I live and work in the borough or Hackney and as woman I feel particularly concerned about my personal safety when passing this club on foot or pushbike. I am worried about rape, sexual violence and harassment from male customers entering and leaving this club. When passing this club I have been verbally abused and harassed by male customers on several occasions outside this club".

Let me be clear here, because this is a very serious matter....

Object, in a private members only forum urged their activists to write to Hackney Council and state that the customers of The Axe, Browns, The White Horse and The Sports Bar….

  • Verbally abuse and harass female passers by,
  • Behave in such a way as to make female passers by feel they were at risk of rape, sexual violence and   harassment,
  • That worse still, Object encouraged their activists by default to lie and state that they had been the victims of this behaviour.

It seems that they wished their activists to write these letters irrespective of any factual background. Please note that at no point in the message board posting does it urge activists to ensure their letters are factual...

I wish to make this point entirely clear to Object, its Board Members and activists…

  • Incidences of rape and abuse are terrible crimes (second only to murder) that destroy lives and leave their victims with both emotional and physical scars. The public perception of rape victims is quite frankly terrible, the response of the police is at best variable and victim support resources are scarce and under funded.

  • Incidences of rape and abuse are not convenient ammunition for supporting ill founded and woefully misguided Object campaigns.  

This Object message board posting is in fact a betrayal of the victims of sexual assault. Object sell their campaign by linking the existence of clubs to incidences of rape and abuse, they repeatedly trot out The Lillith Report and the  Holsopple Report to support this view.

The Lillith Report is at best mathematically inaccurate and at worst wilfully misleading. The Holsopple Report was conducted almost twenty years ago in the USA, so I cast doubt on its relevance to clubs in Britain in 2012. Let me reframe my point, if a pressure group wanted to close every karaoke bar in Britain on the basis that people died of food poisoning in similar venues in New York in 1996, they would be laughed out of town.

Closing clubs will not reduce the incidence of rape and sexual assault and to imply that there is a causal link where none exists is a truly terrible thing.

I have to say that rarely have I encountered anything as childish, revolting and spiteful as this standard letter and I say now that Object knew they were engaging in legally dubious behaviour. If their Board thought this letter was legitimate, it would have been linked to on the public facing website and not restricted to a members only forum, viewable only by hard core activists…

We also ask that of the letters sent to Hackney Council, how many were written by actual Hackney residents given that I Objects membership is almost certainly UK wide?

We know that Object failed in their attempt to wipe out clubs in Hackney (and make 300 women redundant in the process), but it is easy to imagine that this letter has been been used again and again in local campaigns across the United Kingdom...

A hard copy dossier is available for any organisation or club that is campaigning against Object and it is my sincerest wish that the venues in Hackney whose reputations have been smeared choose at least to take legal advice on this matter. If you wish to see a copy, please contact me by e-mail at .

I wish to thank the Object activists that provided me with this information, people that have become increasingly disturbed by what they read on message board and that understand that the true challenges for feminism are broader and more important than what a group of socially alienated individuals imagine happens in strip clubs.

Finally a message to Katie Toms…

In case you are unclear, please be assured that we are not ‘propagandists for the sex industry’ and that this posting was not ‘paid for by our pimps’.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Did I Mention That We Have Some Supporters in Object?....

......Well we do and they are very nice people that became disillusioned by what they read on Objects Yahoo Message Board and over the past year have been sending me stuff to read. I have quite a treasure trove of material to choose from, but I thought I would start with the a Word document that contained the lyrics for Object members and supporters to sing on the annual 'Reclaim The Night' march. 

The route for the London March passes Spearmint Rhinos in Tottenham Court Road and when Object reached that point, everyone was to sing the version of 'The 12 Days if Christmas' as copied to you below...

The first day of Christmas (sing when marching past Spearmint Rhino’s)

On the first day of Christmas, Spearmint Rhino gave to me
A dollar for misogyny

On the 2nd day of Christmas, Spearmint Rhino gave to me
Sexual exploitation, and a dollar for misogyny

On the 3rd day of Christmas, Spearmint Rhino gave to me
Poor body image, sexual exploitation, and a dollar for misogyny

On the 4th day of Christmas, Spearmint Rhino gave to me
Gender inequality, poor body image, sexual exploitation, and a dollar for misogyny

On the 5th day of Christmas, Spearmint Rhino gave to me
gender inequality, poor body image, sexual exploitation, and a dollar for misogyny...

Great stuff! I do not know what happened to days 6 to 12, probably couldn't think of any more objectification issues that Spearmint Rhino is responsible for. Interesting to note how the lyrics mention 'poor body image' and so once again we see dancers being blamed for the psychological issues of other people. I wonder who wrote the lyrics, probably 'KristineRackabusi', its certainly pitched at her level.....

Haters Just Keep Hating - Mumsnet

Mumsnet has always been supportive of any localised Object campaign to close strip clubs and Tower Hamlets has been no exception. Like many forums, Mumsnet actively encouraged their readers to complete Tower Hamlets Council on line 'survey' but not everyone has been in agreement with the plan. 'Fibble80' was quite indignant about the idea of women being told what to do and how to earn a living, predictably this earned a rebuke and what it rebuke it was...

At least 'KristineRackabusi' was honest enough to state publicly what Object prefer to keep to their private Yahoo Group. Kristine accuses Fibble of having no idea about the 'violence and abuse that occurs behind the scenes' and condemns dancers as being 'gender traitors of the highest degree'...

StrippingtheIllusion challenges 'KristineRackabusi' to provide details of the 'violence and abuse that occurs behind the scenes' in clubs in Tower Hamlets. Obviously 'KristineRackabusi' will not be able to do this, because there is only one person that 'has no idea' and that is KristineRackabusi'.

Interesting that 'Kristine' blames dancers for offering women an 'unrealistic standard' to live up to which  leaves them 'in spirals of depression'. I doubt that stripper comparisons and body image issues are at the forefront on many womens minds at the moment, unless of course they have the luxury of that problem being the biggest one that they face.

Once again we see a disturbing trend emerging, that is the identification of a group in society that others view as being a problem by virtue of its very existence. If Object achieve their aim and close every club in the land, will the women living in 'spirals of depression' make a recovery? Somehow I doubt it because strippers are not the cause if their problems and so a new hate target will have to be found. Probably underwear models whose photographs appear in shop windows and maybe after that, anyone who is viewed as being attractive...

Hate is what motivates campaigns such as the ones run by Object and it also inspires comments like 'KristineRackabusi's'.

'Gender traitors second only to prostitutes'?

As I said, haters just keep hating.....