To paraphrase the excellent Caitlin Moran, it’s the year 2012, and strip clubs - for so long regarded as the holding pen for the last few sad sweaty fucks on earth - have become acceptable again. I don’t see strip clubs as glamorous and empowering for women, I find them offensive, unnecessary and sexist. I think more women need to stand up and say this; that actually, they are uncomfortable with them, rather than letting it slide for fear of being called a kill-joy. Strip clubs entrench detrimental ideas about women into society’s way of thinking - nobody would put up with it in any other setting, so why are we supposed to accept it purely because it’s happening in a purpose built club?
If my boyfriend was to go to one, my main objection isn’t that he’ll be looking at other women (although, to be honest, I think that if anyone is paying someone to dance for them in underwear then it basically counts as a sexual encounter, and thus infidelity, albeit on a lesser scale). I just don’t understand why men, perfectly decent, bloody funny, thoughtful young men, who would never dream of harassing a women on the street, or shouting racist behaviour at a football match, no matter what anybody else is doing, would think nothing of engaging in sexist behaviour because “that’s what happens on stag nights” or on a lads night out. Why is sexism and treating women as commodities okay whereas other forms of discrimination are utterly unacceptable? It royally pisses me off that this sort of sexism is seen as not that big a deal.
Strip clubs defended as a sort of ‘female empowerment’, as if stripping down to your thong in front of some fat pervy geezer is empowering. I refuse to accept this as an argument, stripping for payment will never be the way I choose to get my kicks, nor should it have to be. The line of defence “it helps women funding their way through education” is so utterly redundant it makes me want to cry whilst raging, in order to save time by combining my stages of grief. IF WOMEN ARE HAVING TO STRIP IN ORDER TO GET AN EDUCATION, THEN WE ARE UTTERLY FUCKED.
The entire culture makes me sad for men and women. I hate the macho, laddish stereotype and think it disempowers men just as much. The fact that strip clubs have somehow become an acceptable everyday thing is an example of how much the attitude still prevails that women are primarily there to be looked at. When can we, as a society, collectively get past the idea that women aren’t there to be looked at?
In short, it’s a commodification I won’t support.
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