Monday, 16 July 2012

"Feminists" at it again

So, some women in Oxford are desperately fighting for gender equality via actively campaigning to put some other women out of a job. Because that's what feminism is, apparently.

Let's ignore the fact that the country is in a pretty shitty situation economically, that there are no jobs around and that just about everyone apart from the extremely wealthy is struggling financially, let's ignore that and try to put some women out of a job. Yeah. Let's do that. Why?

Because these women take off their clothes for a living. And we disapprove of this. And we know best, because we are feminists and we use words like 'patriarchy' all the time, because saying this word makes us look clever.

People claiming to be feminists who try to ruin the lives of sex workers need to reconsider their opinions. They are hypocrites.

Let's consider for a second the issue of abortion. Feminists have generally won the argument, that a woman should have the right to abort, regardless of the fact that some people disapprove of this. They can disapprove all they want but the woman whose pregnancy it is gets the final say.

Or let's take the case of the sex act known as fisting, in which someone inserts their whole hand into someone else. I disapprove of this. It sounds incredibly painful and unimaginably horrible, and I have no idea why some people apparently like doing it. I cannot see the appeal at all, and actually thinking about it for more than a few seconds starts to make me feel physically sick. But that doesn't mean I think it should be banned.

Now let's consider a woman who wants to work in a lap-dancing club. No. No fucking way. You might want to work in a lap-dancing club, but we know best and we're going to do everything we can to get that place shut down. Why can't you do a nice job that we approve of huh? Dancing like that you're objectifying yourself and this is wrong and we know best and how dare you do that you slut.

This is nothing less than a puritanical crusade. These women think that they have the moral authority to tell consenting adults what they can or can't do for a living. They think to themselves "I wouldn't want to be a stripper" and use this as the basis for which they reason that all women who work as strippers must hate it, and need saving from themselves. They infer that making the decision to become a stripper cannot be the right one no matter what the circumstances. They say it is degrading, they make the dubious claim that strip clubs encourage men to become rapists, and they contribute to the culture of stigmatisation experienced by strippers and other sex workers. 

What they don't do for one second is think about what they are doing to the lives of the women who work in these clubs. (Or for that matter the men who work there, not that this would matter very much to these "feminists" who are intent on waging all-out gender war). They hypothesise that every woman working as a stripper is 'vulnerable', that she was abused as a child or stuck in an abusive relationship, that she's desperate for money, that she's addicted to drugs.

Now I'm not a stripper (apart from this one time, but that's a story for a later date) and I can't claim to speak on behalf of strippers, but there are a number of very obvious reasons why working in a lap-dancing club might be preferable to another job. It's probably better paid than other jobs on offer, it might allow them to care for their children during the day, some women might even actually enjoy it.

But rather than listen to these women, and respect that they are just as capable of making informed decisions as any other adult, the feminists appeal instead to nimbyism.

Look at this ridiculous survey they've made, which they want to present to the council.

Do you feel it is appropriate or inappropriate to site a lap dancing club within sightline of or within 500m of the following places?
College with students under 18
College with classes in the evening
Public car park
Leisure facility (e.g. swimming pool)
Doctors/dentist surgery

And there was silly old me thinking "Won't somebody please think of the children?" was a tactic used only by the religious right. Oh and God forbid there be a lewd establishment half a kilometre away from a church. Have we no shame? And near the doctors. Think of all the old ladies who die every year because they can't face the embarrassment of walking past a strip club to go get a flu jab. And just think, the obesity crisis in this country could be solved in no time at all if there were no strip clubs putting people off going swimming.

Would a nearby lap dancing club put you off using such facilities (assuming you had a choice of a differently located facility)? 

Now that you mention it, I might stop playing ice hockey at the Oxford ice rink, what with the fact there's a strip club next door. Birmingham University has an ice hockey team and it's only an hour away on the train, and I'm sure they'd let me join their team if I explain the circumstances.

Most laughable though is the final question:

Should Oxford have a lap-dancing venue? 

I mean how in God's name are you supposed to answer this? You're given the options of No, Yes, or Undecided/Other. I am curious, how many people would say 'Yes' to this question? Other than people who actually go lap-dancing clubs on a regular basis. I know I've just expended over 800 words arguing in favour of having a laissez-faire attitude to this sort of thing, but supposing Oxford didn't have a strip club then I'm not sure how much work I'd be putting in to banging on about how it's time there was a venue catering for those of us who want to gawp at naked women. Should Oxford have a lap-dancing venue? Not particularly. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't.

Anyway: if you sort of agree with me then I'd like to encourage you to let the "feminists" (Or as I like to think of them, "'Put your clothes back on you filthy whore' feminists") know via filling out their survey. Obviously if you disagree with me then fill out their stupid survey anyway as it's not as if anyone's going to take it at all seriously as a genuinely unbiased bit of research.

But come on let's beat them at their own game.


  1. What do you think about people who lose job-seekers allowance if they refuse to go for an interview for this kind of job?

    The existence of such premises has an impact on women whether they work there or not.

    It seems to me that the increasing normalisation of lap-dancing clubs is an issue for all women, whether they are expected to go to such places to bond with work colleagues, or whether they are expected to perform for partners because lap-dancing is now the norm, or as mothers needing to convince children that there are better occupations than being a sex worker. And for some reason some warped men seem to be provoked by images of sexually available women, into regarding all women as sexually available and there for the taking/raping.

    So if people want to work there fine, but let's not pretend they're wholesome. So good on the feminists for reminding us that they are shameful. And don't get me onto page 3 models.

    1. We obviously have totally opposing views on this, but regarding your first point is that something you're hypothesising or does that actually happen?

      Because that's clearly not something that anyone should see as ok, in much the same way that I think we should respect someone's choice to dance naked for money I think if someone makes the choice not to dance naked for money then that's a choice we should respect in a way that perhaps we wouldn't respect someone's choice not to take a job as a cleaner.

      If you've got no qualifications and there are cleaning jobs available but you think it's beneath you then there is a case for you losing your job-seekers allowance. Stripping is a bit different though.

      Otherwise: making a link between commercial sex and non-consensual sex is a massive red herring. If men are paying for sex then it's pretty obvious that not all women are sexually available, and only specific women who choose to do it for a living are in fact.

      Men who pay for sex are not all rapists.

      And as for page 3, I disagree with the idea of it but not for the same reason you do. I think it's unfair gender discrimination that the model in the picture is always female. Or supposing they reckoned a topless female on page 3 was needed every day to help sell the paper, then the least they could do would be to put a topless man on page 4 every day as well.

  2. Sorry Tom my response to you blog won't fit as comment - I've posted it in the Facebook OUSU Women's Campaign page. Warning, it's long but it's certainly "considered"

  3. Seems like Nicola has done a very good job of demolishing your blog post. I don't have the time or energy to express myself as well as she has, but I think she has written a very well considered piece. Yours is amusing and entertaining, but not really well considered.

    And yes people have lost job-seekers allowance for refusing to attend interviews working for this kind of business (not necessarily stripping but wearing skimpy clothes and waitressing or other work).

  4. feminists are stupid

  5. Thanks Julie, I appreciate that :) And as for you "Anonymous"......what a good point well made, I like your brilliant use of the English language and how wonderfully you illustrate your point with poise and grace. Well WOW and OMG us feminists will like totally pack up and go home now. Thanks for bringing our stupidity to our attention. When you're done with slamming doors, telling your parents "I hate you" , "it's not fair" and "I wish I was adopted" and when you grow tired of making your mates smell your farts and following whatever bullshit is trendy this week, perhaps we can meet for a beer or indeed warm milk and choccy biccy...your choice x

    1. Nicola - how annoying is this, your own mother doesn't want to defend you to the hilt about every outlandish statement you make, adulthood totally sucks. But yah i'm unimpressed by this anonymous commenter as I consider myself a feminist so I totally agree with the idea of all of being stupid. Anon: don't be fucking stupid. Feminism is a broad church, you might think some feminist ideas are stupid but feminism itself at its most basic level is not "stupid". Don't be ridiculous.

    2. Feminists also have a sense of humour..... :) My post was supposed to be funny - honest! I was gently ribbing Mr Anonymous and his "kevin" like behavious - you've just gotta have a giggle sometimes after the seriousness of yesterdays debate on the OUSU site and as an antidote to your original blog post against our "puritanical crusade." I thought we needed a giggle :) xx

  6. If a woman, of her own free will, elects to work in a lap-dancing club on a self-employed basis (for the beneficial tax arrangements), and earns good money enabling her to live independently and happily - is this a problem to your average feminist?

    Just curious.

  7. I have just installed iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.


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