Sex workers In Edinburgh Protest Council’s Ban On Strip Clubs; Says “Feminists Can’t Tell Us What To Do With Our Bodies”

Sex workers In Edinburgh Protest Council's Ban On Strip Clubs; Says "Feminists Can't Tell Us What To Do With Our Bodies"

Dancer Sasha, who works in Edinburgh, told Sky News that the job’s compensation and flexibility are beneficial to her as a mother. However, Edinburgh City Council is working to effectively outlaw all establishments that offer sexual entertainment as of April 2023.

In Edinburgh, strippers have told Sky News that the council’s decision to outlaw sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) will financially ruin them. The clubs and the union have now filed a judicial review petition to overturn the council’s decision to close the city’s nightclubs.

The United Sex Workers (USW) union and three clubs in Edinburgh claim that the council’s decision to reduce the number of licensed establishments to zero starting in April 2023 will drive the industry underground and make it more dangerous for women.

“It ought to be my decision.”

Sasha, an Edinburgh dancer, told Sky News that she should have the freedom to choose.

I don’t think it’s right for feminists to tell women what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their bodies, or what jobs they should and shouldn’t do, she said, adding that it is our right to make that decision.

Sasha said that having flexible shifts and decent pay come with being a dancer, which benefits her as a mother.

“It checks a lot of my boxes as a parent since I find it to be highly flexible and has the potential to be well paid. especially the flexibility, even though financial security is never assured.”

Sasha doesn’t think it’s possible to alter what she does.

It’s not that simple; the majority of us have been doing what we do for years; it’s our craft, it’s our industry, and it’s what we want to keep doing to make money.

“The epitome of patriarchy”

However, those pushing for the outlawing of strip clubs contend that such employment shouldn’t be an option.

Susan Dalgety, a former Labour councilor, thinks the council made the best choice for women.

As a feminist, she believed that males paying us for sexual favors was the worst form of body exploitation.

“The fact that males are socially more powerful than women and that we exist solely to provide his sex pleasure or to procreate the next generation is the pinnacle of patriarchy.

“All Edinburgh is saying is that we don’t want to legalize sexual entertainment in our city. Living pornography, that is.

Young girls are stripping off and engaging in sexual dancing for men’s enjoyment.

The ideas of Ms. Dalgety have evolved. She thought such clubs should exist and be carefully regulated as a young counselor to ensure the protection of women.

She voted in favor of licensing saunas in the 1990s “knowing well well that they were brothels.”

The epicenter of the UK’s AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s was Edinburgh, she added, and it was disseminated by the drug-using population.

Sex workers In Edinburgh Protest Council's Ban On Strip Clubs; Says "Feminists Can't Tell Us What To Do With Our Bodies"
Former Edinburgh Labour councilor Susan Dalgety

According to Ms. Dalgety, “so it was in the heterosexual community and sex workers, unfortunately, were at a much higher risk of it,” adding that the policy choice at the time was “a public health decision.” However, she now believes that the very existence of any location for sexual entertainment is problematic.

Forcing women into risky situations

According to Mina from the USW union, putting women into minimum wage jobs is where exploitation occurs more than at nightclubs.

“All facets of society are characterized by patriarchy, thus it is obvious that stripping is not exempt from this. However, choosing that line of employment is entirely up to the dancer; they are not being exploited “She spoke.

Sex workers In Edinburgh Protest Council's Ban On Strip Clubs; Says "Feminists Can't Tell Us What To Do With Our Bodies"
Mina from the United Sex Workers union

The majority of dancers are women, therefore closing down a legal, regulated place of employment for them would force them into riskier working conditions, according to United Sex Workers, especially given the current state of the economy.

“Sex workers are not to be condemned for the actual violence’s exploitation because it separates women into good and bad components. Additionally, it’s never that easy and unfair.

In the past, sex workers have told Sky News that the rising cost of living crisis makes it impossible for them to turn away risky clients.

The purpose of the decision is to “avoid crime and disturbance.”

The decision to shut down the strip clubs was made for the “preservation of public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder,” according to a statement from Edinburgh City Council. The council also noted that “SEVs can still apply for a license and a committee would consider them against the agreed policy.”

The outcome of the judicial review is anticipated to take several weeks or even months.

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