Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Get Out Your Scissors

Back in October 2013 (here) I wrote an open letter to councillors about the usual misconceptions they have/had about SEVs and how they are portrayed. After a discussion on twitter with a dancer about the fact dancers and customers need to mobilise and write in when licenses are being renewed rather than the usual apathy that is shown I have decided to bring up to date the arguments and suggest how dancers could word things for themselves along with customers. Clubs and dancers may not always agree but the one thing that you do both agree on is that clubs should not be targets for a moral minority. As an example Wrexham turned down a new venue after a petition of over 100 names signed against the club. In favour 1 e-mail of support and the person who wrote it did not come from Wrexham. Local press piece here but you see from the arguments there is nothing new against the clubs. Fact there are already two is the given reason and that is the limit that was set but lack of support is a killer of clubs.

So this will be long winded but I don't intend to write a template that the brain dead can just cut and paste. I have no doubt some people will but the intention is to make people think so when they write in they can personalise their arguments. Some of the research has been done by myself so no peer review as such but all my claims are backed either by the police.uk database of crime or freedom of information requests. Anything I claim in terms of mathematics can be tested, and I am sure some feminists have looked at my figures because I know that Object at least will look at this blog. Guess everyone checks what the opposition is up to.

I want to discuss the claims that use to be made by many feminist groups that there is a link between SEVs and rape. The feminists have withdrawn the Lilith report on which this claim was made as when examined closely the figures are discovered to be cherry picked. This blog obtained the raw data for Camden and also for Wandsworth to use as a control, the Chelsea Reach was closed in Wandsworth in 1997 so a 12 year review was done based on this and in Camden the figures show a fall in rape whilst in the control where the SEV was closed rape increased. Add to this the claim made by Inspector Drummond about SEVs in Newquay where he claimed rape had increased because of the clubs. Instead under a freedom of information request by a local paper the figures show a 50% fall in rape and Inspector Drummond admitted he had just made an assumption without checking the facts. Finally Leeds recently closed 3 clubs, 2 were very close together. Since the closure sexual and violent crimes have increase 200%. Now none of these figures are claimed as causal effects but it does show that there is absolutely no link to rape or sexual crime because of clubs and it seems in fact the opposite could be true.

Of course there are claims of an increase in general crimes especially drunken and insulting behaviour. Whilst no one would ever claim this does not happen it is between 5 and 10 times less likely than outside an ordinary night club. The research done by Kent and Loughborough Universities show that people do not see clubs as causing a disturbance and they are much more likely to indicate a pub or restaurant as a nuisance than a SEV. It is noticeable how rarely the police raise issues with clubs when they apply for a license or a renewal, this should indicate to any right minded individual that SEVs do not cause issues in the way a nightclub might.

You often hear the ill informed make claims about SEVs and trafficking. This shows the person raising the issue has done no research and hasn't even thought it through. When you consider that both high profile investigations into Trafficking Pentameter I and II did not bring one charge against the clubs you realise just how stupid the claim of trafficking sounds. And into that the fact that the council can investigate dancers and clubs paperwork at any time and you realise that the claims sound more ridiculous than ever yet people will make this claim. And to add if I was a dancer writing a letter/e-mail I would add in here the years danced and the fact you have never seen a trafficked dancer.

And of course there is always the classic that dancers offer sex in the clubs. Now I will not claim that this has never taken place but the impression is that every dancer is offering services, part of the fault for this concept is the misuse of the words Lap Dancing? It implies grinding which under the current licensing regulations doesn't happen but because those people who make moral judgements want to close the clubs the use stigmatising language to create a web of deceit about what goes on in the clubs. Councils impose distances between customers and dancers and clubs have rules against dancers meeting customers outside of work which would be a pretty good reason why services don't occur. Of course dancers use suggestive language to encourage customers to have private dances which to the uninformed could sound like offers but this is a marketing ploy and not a reality.

Now everyone's favourite issue is the effect clubs will have on children, because people naturally want to protect children they assume the worst without performing any critical thinking. Children have no idea what goes on in the clubs up to a certain age and the fears that parents have that the clubs will corrupt the children are just superimposed issues from the parents own impression of the clubs. The statement how do I explain the SEV to my child makes an assumption the child will look at blacked out windows with x ray eyes because kids couldn't see in and wonder what is going on. Club operating hours are not exactly open during school hours. Kids can't get in either so the whole issue is down to the parent and their imaginary fears. Parents will imprint their moral views and judgements and use a statement that is in no way related to reality so councillors should realise the truth about these claims.

The press often create fears due to using the sexualisation of the clubs to sell papers or increase page clicks. Photos of scantily clad women will draw men to view the page and feminists to police the page. There are often no issues with license renewals from the police but a little scaremongering by the press can create issues that shouldn't exist. Millions of visits happen to clubs every year without any issues but that wouldn't sell anything so the press will often manipulate stories to create an image that can generate traffic to the web articles.  This is a deliberate scaremongering ploy but people will be suckered into it. hopefully sensible councillors will realise this.

And now I want to tackle objectification, this is messy at best because I am male and I can't answer for how dancers feel, certainly I have known dancers who have revelled in the attention, but I don't speak for the dancers, in any letter a dancer writes she will have to decide what she wants to include or not. Yesterday I wasted several hours of my life reading scholarly papers about Sexual Objectification and in my humble opinion a lot of it is dressing up natural reactions with big words to make it sound bad when in reality it is someone applying their moral standards to other people. I am personally use to being objectified, not in the same way but judged by others for my looks and also being judged for the size of my wallet, I accept it because human beings do these things subconsciously. As to the claim about objectification about policing women's bodies I would suggest those making those claims remember that dancers can work 4-6 hours a shift and with several shifts a week doing a very physically demanding job you will get a lot of exercise especially when working on the pole. I doubt that many other jobs are as physically demanding. Yet if you look at other jobs when body image is policed no one complains about that! Ballet dancers have to monitor their weight, sportswomen have to watch what their eat, drink and social activities. No one suggests that this is bad it only happens when people see the word sex and the dirty image it creates.

Finally there is the claims of exploitation and here is where the clubs may not be too pleased with what I am saying but yes we accept there are some exploitative practices in the industry but rather than just closing clubs and making lives difficult for those who people are talking about being exploited the councils should be working with clubs and dancers to create a better working experience, certainly this would make for a better experience all round and the customers would benefit from dancers that are even more happy. Leeds University research in 2009 showed that dancers enjoyed their worked and 87% had some form of higher education so we are talking about intelligent women making free choices and enjoying their work being policed by a moral minority. The research by Kent and Loughborough Universities showed only 3% of people felt there was no place for clubs so any claims of exploitation come from a small minority of people using terms to create a negative image. No job is perfect and many jobs are exploitative but the 2009 study showed that most dancers are satisfied or better with their work. Once again what we have is the use of language to conceal the moral outrage. If these people were truly concerned with exploitation they would be working with the dancers to improve conditions not shut down clubs.

I did say this would be a lot of verbal, but most of the answers to the objections that I could think of are here. If people want ideas of things that could be brought up when councils meet then this isn't a bad starting place. But we need dancers and customers writing in about every license renewal and if we hear of a new club then we should be supporting it. If clubs close it is not because the moral minority are write but the majority of us are lazy.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chester and the Rise of the Prickademics

There are a couple of things that have come up that I want to talk about. It has been a quiet time and all of a sudden you get hit by stupidity right in the face and you go just what the f***

So firstly I want to talk about Chester and the issues raised by the Council refusing to renew the license after 9 years of operating without any issues. Now I do find it strange that a handful of people managed to shut down a club the way it happened in Chester but you do feel that everything was being judged on moral standards rather than if the business was a problem. Certainly the police raised no issues and that to me is always a clue when an existing club is up for it's license renewal. Really you have to question what is behind this awful decision by the council. I hate to see this, where councillors morals creep into their representation of the public. I firmly believe that unless you can get 3% of the population of a borough or city council against a club you can't really feel that people are even bothered. And there in lies the problem, apathy by customers not to stand up for their clubs assuming the council will approve venues. We need to be active in the defence of the clubs, dancers you need to be pushing customers to write in. So long as you state that you do not want your details released the council cannot publish your details just a redacted print out of the letter/e-mail.

The local online paper (here) has noted the club intends to operate as a Burlesque bar with 11 full nude nights every year under the TENs regulations. Whilst reading the article I noticed that Debbie Lomas of the Rainforest Shop who has been at the forefront of trying to close the club pretend that her heart goes out to the "girls". No it doesn't you are busy applying your moral standards to other people and that is just wrong. And I would say that the dancers are no girls, you belittle them Ms Lomas while portray them as infantile and unable to make decisions. Now if a man calls gown women girls he is a misogynist so I can only assume that most feminists will see Ms Lomas's statement as Misogynistic.
Nice to see that personal attacks are a thing of the past.
Now onto twitter which I continue to have a love/hate relationship with. But I did spot an absolute classic in a snippet between our statistics heroine Julie Bindel and Gail Dines. In the photo you will see the lovely terminology that is being used by these two lovely ladies to judge others just because the research done by these "Prickdemics" (had to add that to the dictionary) shows that the views held by radical feminists may not be as accurate as they would hope. It sort of shows that blanket ad hominem attacks can and will be used when any research dares challenge the articles of faith of radical feminism. Now if I was to attack the two ladies using this language I would no doubt be called troll or even accused of using threatening behaviour which I have never and in now way ever condone. I would challenge Ms Bindel on her "research" for her report for Glasgow council which I have done in the past and to Ms Dines I have read your thesis and sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon. But I would never consider attacking their personalities or who they are, I just challenge the facts as they see them.

I was going to come up with amusing words to describe radical feminist journalists and academics but this would be sinking to their level and I have no need to do that as the facts are the facts and insulting those who produce them via peer reviewed research does not change the end results.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Seeing the Same Old Same Old

Sorry people been quiet and distracted, I would say also there hasn't been much going on so it wasn't much to write about. However I do have a couple of things that are now doing the rounds. Object have been been quiet just the odd tweet or retweet, they have become a bit of a non entity.

So first I want to talk about a consultation being done in York about should they take a nil policy stance and if not how many venues should the clubs be limited to. If you live in York or the surrounding area you can complete the consultation here. Having looked at how the consultation is structured anyone with half a brain cell would question the bias of the questionnaire, I am going to do a FoI about how the questionnaire was put together as I am thinking whoever wrote the questions and structured the choices in the response options was just a tiny bit biased.

I would say if I didn't know better I would assume that someone had taken the last SEV consultation in Leeds and just changed the locations. I mean no one would be that lazy and biased would they? Any just so people who are not filling it in have some idea the questions are put together in such a way that it assumes the person filling the consultation is against the SEVs and really wants none. Now I understand that consultations are hard work but really this one just says we hate clubs.

Over in Chester the Platinum lounge is back up for license renewal, which means after all the issues previously I am not holding out much hope for a fair decision, more a case of bias by the council. What I do wonder is of the people who are objecting just how many are working on the basis of a moral opinion? I expect that this will require another FoI to find out just what was said, obviously don't care about the who unless they are not locals. The whole business has been complete but nothing like a council to create a situation that no one can get their head round. Of course nothing ois ever simple as apparently the local residents sent in secret shoppers who got all sorts of offers that are not with in the bounds of the club license. Now I am not sure how much I would trust an observer who has an agenda to give an honest an accurate report and they may have just misunderstood the marketing tactics of the dancers to get more dances.

However given the fact the council had already tried to close the lounge I fear that moral watchdogs will once again succeed to express their beliefs in getting the venue closed. I hope I am wrong and I am happy that are people standing up for the club, maybe common sense will prevail but I am not holding my breath.

Finally as a quick aside Magic Mike XXL is doing the rounds now and I hear that many female friends have enjoyed  what was on offer. Could you imagine the outrage if the film was Magic Mary? Of course there would be the usually issues and cries of sexism and objectification but guess most feminists will not watch this film and will decry it for perpetuating the gender stereotypes? When will some people realise people enjoy imagery and there is nothing wrong or unnatural about it? Time to move on and let adults make money how they want. Live and let live!

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)