Lead us not into temptation

Cllr Anne Jones, Roz Hardie, Natalie Collins, Cllr Julian Ware-Lane

Cllr Anne Jones, Roz Hardie, Natalie Collins, Cllr Julian Ware-Lane

It was a reasonably well attended meeting, although not huge number to be fair; on a bitterly cold evening I would not expected otherwise. But it was a very good meeting.

I refer to the Stripping The Illusion meeting in Clarence Road last night.

The main speaker was Roz Hardie from Object. She spoke about the process of objecting to licensing applications and how people power works best.

The issue is not about nudity being wrong (it isn’t). Feminist are not anti-sex or against erotic imagery. It is all about exploitation.

Lap dancing is not a career; the short shelf life and uncertain employment status guarantee that. Lap dancers (and pole dancers, and the like) usually have to pay for their pitch in the clubs, they are frequently fined, are self-employed, are encouraged to push the limits of what they are prepared to do, and have to psychologically distance themselves from what they are engaged in – putting on a mask of indifference, so to speak. Many suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

The need to earn leads to incremental coercion, and girls end up going beyond what the initially wanted to do when becoming thus employed.

It is an ugly picture, and one that local authorities can help put an end to. I will be looking at our licensing policy.

Roz was followed by Natalie Collins who runs a social media campaign highlighting the abuse that is pervasive, and legitimised, in the Fifty Shades of Grey book series (and now a film).

I was joined by fellow Labour councillors Anne Jones and Cheryl Nevin, and we had some great chatter after the speeches. The meeting was organised by the Essex Feminist Collective, and I am grateful to them for a couple of hours well spent.

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2 Responses to Lead us not into temptation

  1. therealslavel says:

    I don’t wish to seem antagonistic, but how many current and ex-dancers were there at the meeting for you to talk with? Will you be planning to meet any current workers before reviewing your licensing please?

  2. I do not find you antagonistic. The honest answer is that I do not know; I did not inquire of those in attendance what their job was.

    I should point out that this was a public meeting, and that anyone could have attended.

    Were you there?

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