Strippers Are People Too

Following on from my recent post, Feminists Or Fascists?, this episode features in-depth interviews with two London strippers who have become political activists in order to protect their workplaces, jobs and incomes. In the boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, “feminist” anti-sex campaigners have teamed up with conservative Muslims to drive legal striptease venues (serving both gay and straight audiences) out  of the area. Gentrification and property prices also play a part, as newly-arrived middle-class residents move in to these formerly working class areas.

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Further reading related to this podcast:

Research on lap dancing in England by Dr Teela Sanders & Kate Hardy of the University of Leeds.

Analysis of rapes in Camden by Brooke L Magnati (aka Belle de Jour).

Article providing a historical view on why striptease is under threat in Tower Hamlets.

Article about the mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, and his alleged links to extreme Islamic groups.

15 thoughts on “Strippers Are People Too”

  1. Good podcast. It was interesting to hear from women who’ve actually been involved in the industry.

    One thing I remember about Object’s campaign in Hackney was that early on they claimed to represent the majority of local people, simply giving them a voice against the proliferation of the sex industry. I remember them arguing that most locals wanted the strip clubs and sex shops closed, that women in the area felt unsafe because of them, and that they merely wanted the Council to respect the will of the people, rather than the interests of businessmen “exploiting women for profit”.

    All this disappeared from their activism as soon as a consultation showed that most people didn’t want a total ban. The whole democratic “power to the people” thing stopped being so appealing when it turned out that they were in the minority. After that they went back to focusing on the misleading rape statistics that Brooke Magnanti refuted so comprehensively.

    http://hackneycitizen.co.uk/2011/01/10/sex-establishments-consultation-majority-say-no-to-hackney-councils-nil-policy/

  2. Fantastic podcast I just hope we can get this out further. The fact that Tower Hamlets have been delaying the publishing of their consultation results. With them calling in data forensics it does worry me that they are going to lie and cheat to get their own way.

    1. If they attempt that, I suspect that it will backfire in a way that will not only affect current plans to implement a ‘nil’ policy in the borough, but also bring the general business of Tower Hamlets Council and the activities of Mayor Lutfur Rahman to the attention of the wider public, warts and all.

      1. Brute I shouldn’t hope for that but in some ways I do, with religious groups funding politicians and expecting them to get policies in place that back the moral views of those religions we should be highlighting this.

        1. The Evening Standard has been putting the spotlight on various ‘irregular’ practices in Tower Hamlets this week, which is great news!

  3. We here in Atlantic Canada are definitely more strait laced than what I thought we were. There certainly is not a proliferation of strip clubs here and most strippers are transient, often coming from Quebec.
    Unfortunately, stripping is not an “art” here. From my work I know a number of young girls who are forced into the sex trade industry, many for drugs.
    It was interesting to here from women who have chosen stripping as a career.
    I look forward to the podcast re: sluts. Maybe cause I’ve been called that once or twice…..;)

  4. Great start to what I hope will be a long series. An interesting and controversial topic very well handled. Loved the interviews with the women involved in the industry, they are so articulate and well informed.

    Would have been interesting to confront the “antis” with this info, but perhaps that could be for later 🙂

    Well done

    Warwick
    Canberra, Aust

  5. Nice podcast! I look forward to hearing more on this subject. I think the positive side of groups such as these is that it is a sure sign that a more equal and diverse society is emerging. The religious and moral right are simply going down swinging in a desperate and sad manner. Thankfully, blogs such as this one exist to link like-minded people and stop the misconceptions that are circulating.

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