Sunday, April 7, 2013

Open Letter to Politicians

This is an open letter to councillors and MPs who believe that Striptease venues are a risk to society.

Dear Politician

I am writing to you to express my concern in your beliefs about striptease venues or SEVs as they are branded by the councils. I have several issues about the beliefs that people have expressed and want to be sure you understand the opposing point of view. Obviously there is only so much that can be expressed in this format but if you open your mind and research further you may be surprised.

Firstly I want to pick up on the claims made by many feminist groups that there is a correlation between striptease venues and rape. This claim is made based on a couple of fallacies. One the Lilith Report commissioned by the EAVES group, the mathematics used in this report was not examined properly and checked. When it was it was shown to contain errors that meant the data could not be trusted. There is a full systematic tearing apart of the report by Dr Brooke Magnanti if you want to find out how badly wrong the report was. Also claims have been made by a member of police in Cornwall that clubs would increase rape. This was later shown to be inaccurate and an online regional newspaper showed that the area concerned had seen a downturn in sexual crime since the introduction of Striptease.

Then there is the claim of increased crime in general around striptease venues, this again is a fallacy and if investigated you will find that nightclubs are between 5 and and 10 times more likely to have crime in comparison to strip venues.  The obvious reasoning behind this is security inside and outside the SEVs and CCTV covering the area around the venue. The clubs want to continue trading and will be very aware of the issues of crime and do what they can to minimise anything associated with themselves.

Occasionally you will hear people claim that the dancers must be trafficked. As you will know there have been no links to clubs found during both Pentameter and Pentameter 2 and this is just a desperate smear attempt to create fears in people who have no knowledge of the industry.

So there is the suggestion that dancers offer sex in these venues. Since the regulations have been introduced by the councils about minimum distance, no contact and the risk of clubs losing their license if anything was to happen then you can see that nothing is likely to happen. Once again it is a smear tactic by people opposed to striptease who wish to create fears. The campaigners against clubs uses smears and fears as they have no evidence to back their suggestions and need to play on people's lack of knowledge. This is true in the fact that they constantly use the term lap dance even though it is physically impossible with the no contact rule. Still the truth seems to have no place in the arguments used by people challenging clubs.

Now we come onto the biggest issue (apart from NIMBY) that children are going to be corrupted or that churches and schools are at risk. Clubs that open during the day should use discrete signage and the fact that it is behind closed doors means children can't actually see anything. And I have yet to see a school or church that is open when clubs are open and busy. If you feel that neon signs should remain off until after the watershed and the club names need to be subtle then you will receive no argument but to claim that children are at risk from these clubs make no sense when sensible precautions are taken.

Many feminists will claim objectification and to some extent that is true, objectification is natural and about sexual desire. However the feminists are objectifying the dancers by denial of autonomy  and inertness  by denying their agency and giving no value to their opinions. This also creates silencing as it treats the dancers like they are unable to speak. Find it strange that people can claim objectification while objectifying the dancers by their claims.

Finally there is the issue of exploitation, and rather than a long winded discussion I would just point out that all people working are exploited in one fashion or another.

So when deciding to challenge a club please consider the above and also remember the number of people employed in the industry and the suppliers of clubs who will lose business and/or jobs.

Yours sincerely

A strip fan.


  1. Loving the letter Tony, think you have got all angles covered there. One thing i wondered, does anyone ever post this blog to Councillors on licensing panels? I think it could be a real eye opener for a lot of them, and highlight issues they may not have considered previously.

  2. John, tried to pick up on the key arguments I have heard over the years. The idea here being that if a council starts down the consultation process I can use this to send to the licensing department and councillors. More than happy if other people point people to this.