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Campaign against lap-dancing club in York


licensing York lap dancing club‘Lap dancing clubs normalise the sexual objectification of women’.

Members of the York Feminist Network (YFN) have started a petition urging the City of York Council to reject an application for a renewal of licence from a lap-dancing club in the city.

The licence for the club ‘Upstairs’,  which is part of The Mansion, on the city’s Micklegate, expired on 30 November 2013, and the 28-day objection period concludes at midnight on 24 December 2013.

Please help us object.

As well as the petition, three members of the YFN team are currently compiling a brief report and letter of objection to be submitted by the deadline.

Rachel from YFN has outlined the main objections to the presence of Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) which are centred on four key arguments – arguments informed by guidance from Object and the Women’s National Commission:

Lap-dancing clubs such as this serve to normalise the sexual objectification of women.

The club creates a ‘no go’ area for women and local residents on and around the Micklegate area.

The club is located near premises of ‘sensitive use’ which include two churches, a school, Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS), York Women’s Counselling Service, Reflect (counselling for pregnancy crisis), Priory Street Nursery, Mainstay (supporting people with mental health difficulties), the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASCPAN) and Survive (supporting survivors of rape and sexual abuse).

The club also has a  negative impact on York’s welcoming and family-friendly reputation.

For Rachel though, the objections should be placed within a much wider context – the oppression of women.

“As a feminist group our primary objective is a struggle against the continuing oppression of women within our patriarchal system; a system where women face systematic violence, are treated as sexual objects for the male gaze, and are valued according to a dehumanised vision of womanhood.

“Our objection is not to sex workers but to the sex industry as a whole, and the inequality in our society which it encourages and allows to flourish.

“In our campaign, we focus on the broader gender power imbalances and the societal impact of lap dancing clubs encouraging the widespread idea that women’s bodies are available for male consumption.”

If you want to get involved, you can contact the York Feminist Network or sign the petition. Or both.


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