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 The feminists have withdrawn the Lilith report on which this claim was made as when examined closely the figures are discovered to be cherry picked.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.