By Jo Bartosch – first published on Gloucestershire Live
Sometimes I yearn for some more interesting insults, I am genuinely bored of being called ugly, prudish, man-hating and jealous. As a vocal critic of the sex industry, not to mention a woman with the temerity to express an opinion, I have learnt that angry trolls are, like stains in a toilet, as dull as they are persistent.
Being criticised for denying women the choice to make a living by feigning sexual interest in men is a least bit more interesting. What such arguments miss, is that as a feminist my issue is with the sexism in society that informs such ‘choices.’ It has been estimated that 75 per cent of government cuts have come directly from the pockets of women, women still bear the brunt of caring responsibilities and comprise the majority of those in poorly paying part-time jobs. Furthermore, the images we consume everyday teach us that our worth as women is based upon our attractiveness to men. This is why rich young men aren’t finding ’empowerment’ through sliding semi-naked round poles while having sweaty notes pushed into their jockstraps by women old enough to be their mothers.
This is the basis from which Chelt Fems will be asking the council to reject the application from the Two Pigs for a licence to allow sexual entertainment from 5pm during race week and at other times throughout the year.
The manager of the Two Pigs said “I personally do not think that it is degrading to women, no-one is being forced to do it.” A growing body of research into the industry itself and the attitudes of those who use lap-dancing clubs belies this. The sex industry gross parody of sexual freedom. Lap dancing clubs are where men go to turn the clock back to a time when women were chattels that did not need to be treated as human. There is nothing progressive or liberal about supporting sexism.
A layer of poignancy is added when you consider the timing of this application; the period from is 25th November until 10th December as been designated by the UN as 16 Days to End Violence Against Women.
If, as a result of this piece, you feel inclined to tell me why I’m wrong, you’ll find me combing my ample leg hair before returning to sharpen my nut-crackers.