Costigan Quist has taken issue with a report I referred to in this posting the other day.
My main issue was with reality show Britain's Got Talent including an act at the very end which was to all intents and purposes a striptease - and one which got through the audition stage, too. Children are not normally permitted to view such material. Lapdancing clubs are open to adults only, yet this show brought what I feel is an inappropriate environment for children into our living room. For those who say that it was all good harmless fun and it was after the watershed, well, frankly, I would never have expected a programme which started at 7:45 pm, which is clearly aimed at families to contain such material. It was obvious that children would be watching and given that we were given no warning of what was about to take place, I could hardly get my daughter out of the room before it was shown.
Costigan's issue is with the Lilith Report's evidence about increase in reports of rapes and sexual assaults near lapdancing clubs. I take on board what he's saying that you can't prove cause and effect - but nor can you say that it is insignificant. I don't think you can dispute that these clubs do not help to reinforce the idea that women are equal members of society.
I found this study of lapdancing clubs in Glasgow and London interesting. It has no hesitation in concluding that lapdancing is a part of the sex industry and recommending that there should be much greater regulation of the industry with greater power to local authorities to restrict them.
Of concern was the way in which dancers reported harassment and pressure by both clients and management, and are the fall guys when the authorities discover breaches of conditions, which has also been documented here and powerfully here and here. What is particularly interesting about the last report is that it mentions a study of men in East London who paid for sex and who basically didn't even recognise the women who provided these services as human beings.
As well as all this, the office trip out to the lapdancing club with a client is seen as the norm. I actually know straight, male friends of mine who have felt pressure to participate in this type of outing and if it's bad for them, how on earth must it feel for their female colleagues? Have a read of this account of one woman's experience. I wonder what happened to the colleague who paid for this humiliating experience for her "as a joke."
I think there's enough evidence out there to make the case for proper regulation of lapdancing clubs and a recognition that they are part of the sex industry. I don't think it's healthy or appropriate for them to be seen as mainstream entertainment, either and I hope that the producers of Britain's Got Talent take note.