Well as everyone knows we have hit the 50,000 hit landmark. Something I am sure Chasmal wasn't expecting when he set out on this journey and I just hope I can keep up his standards in producing material that challenges perceptions and hopefully keep a lot of people in jobs. For fools to triumph it just takes knowledgeable people to do nothing. Paraphrasing but under the circumstances I thought I could get away with it.
Professor Phil Hubbard has produce a chapter suburban sexscapes and although not the final product by any means (book due out 2014?) it does discuss the issue that seems to be the one that generates the widest reaction. He has also done presentations to various organisations and I want to look at one thing that was standard across them.
Children, yes those innocents that shouldn't be wandering city centres late at night or be able to look through closed doors. Considering the layout of clubs and security outside kids are not going to see naked women. So the difficulty is? It is stated in the chapter the dominant consensus of the study is removing clubs from the sight of children is a sensible precautionary step to take. The question then arises in my mind what a closed door and passive signage would do to a child? My guess is nothing, we are saddling children with our own hang ups. If a person dislikes clubs their perception is it will affect kids.
And yet in the study people walked past clubs without even noticing them. Clubs are perceived as less of a nuisance than bars and restaurants Only 3% of people were of the opinion clubs had no place in the boroughs. So with so much saying okay NIMBY but okay elsewhere what do you do? Obviously if your a feminist you shut the lot? Actually no, not every feminist is against the clubs it is just a small and very vocal minority. The problem has been and is that they are darlings of the press, those white middle class female journalists with university education who want to impose their will on everyone else.
So we move on to the gendered exploitation, of the clubs on the dancers and the dancers on the customers and the customers on the dancers. There has been a work on finance modelling of the clubs by Tyke of the strip community. It is well thought out and does show that the clubs are maximising their money with the dancers being self employed. Perhaps if unionisation expands the model may change or if the clubs standardise the charges and fines so everyone is on a level footing? This is something that needs to be done at some point. However gendered exploitation? Is this by customers who (according to that vocal minority) see dancers as lumps of meat? Actually I will offer you odds customers do not see dancers as anything other than people.
I think the key point in the chapter is about the clubs, council and locals working to make sure that the licensing conditions are sensible like naming clubs and use on external advertising (signage). Maybe stopping overt advertising before 9pm (tv watershed) would be sensible?
As Professor Hubbard points out the challenges to clubs suggest that although moral judgements are not suppose to be passed there in are and those people against the clubs are stereotyping the customers to be loud, obnoxious, sexually violent men (gender stereotyping of the highest order without any proof). I personally am not noisy, violent although one or two people might see me as obnoxious. There is the good, the bad and stag groups. But seriously this belief that seeing a dancer perform will turn us into sex beasts that will rape constantly? If that was so my study last year would have shown a much greater incidence of violence around venues remembering all sexual crimes show as violence on the police web database. And those venues that had "violence" issues all seemed to be located close to nightclubs. And night clubs have been identified as much more likely to be a nuisance than strip clubs. When the 1413 objection letters made against strip clubs reveals the way that moralistic view infuse the letters and yet the councils accepted them as legitimate. Now we know councils shouldn't allow moral views to affect judgements and yet it has been cleared identified that they do.
Now one thing I will challenge on the information produced by Professor Hubbard is the constant quoting of the Eden report. We know that the Eden report was a second generation of Lilith and in fact is not a report it is a subjective point of view with no empirical data to back it up. Lets look at a couple of the issues I have with Eden 2007
Talks about trafficking even though there has never been any links to clubs.
Talks about dancers being prostitutes, whilst in the past some clubs had these issues due to the licensing changes I don't believe it is true any more I wouldn't say that it will never happen just that any club with an ounce of sense will not let it happen.
Refers to Bindel 2004 and the Lilith report 2003. Makes it trustworthy doesn't it ;)
The hyperbole and constant discussion is about violence against women. BUT we have seen Lilith was wrong and research of crime around all venues in the UK (TonyN 2012) shows no links between sexual violence and clubs.
So lets be honest about Eden it was the follow up to Lilith but does not provide any real data. What it does do is make the authors money as to pad out the report the authors cleverly put in pieces about each borough and what their position is. Also includes suggestions on how to challenge strip clubs under the 2003 legislation. So out of date as well. And as a former consultant I see a lovely amount of padding to make the report look good. I once produced a report that was 5 pages long and got told by business partners to make it longer as the customer wants to feel they are getting value for money. That is exactly what Eden feels like except is was a waste of money in my humble opinion.
So my Easter has been spent reading reports, reviews and trying to get an understanding of what has been put out and what is likely.
Now this bit is for the clubs, your objectors are going to constantly raise issues around children. Use discreet naming and signage. Ensure you highlight to the council that you understand the risks to peoples perceptions and will work with the council to minimise and mitigate risk. Shutters, neon siganage only after 10pm it is small but sensible precautions like this that will show you have an understanding of the risks in peoples minds.
So I did mention a challenge and it is one I would have liked to have done but I have issues getting enough data to make the report fair. Wandsworth had striptease up to the late 90s', is roughly the same size as Camden and the population isn't too different. So did the end of striptease in Wandsworth reduce sexual crime? No matter what the data says one way or the other it will not prove a point as it is a single sample but I would be interested in the result.
Okay this is TonyN wondering what he did today, signing off.