Strippers celebrate after council rejects plans to ban new strip clubs
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People who work in strip clubs are celebrating after Bristol councillors rejected a proposed ban of sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) in the city.
Last year, officials carried out a 12-week public consultation on the suggested nil-cap, which would have led to the closure of the only two existing SEVs in Bristol if it had gone ahead.
However, with backing from women's rights groups and unions, councillors voted 10-1 in favour of rejecting the ban and retaining the current system.
Dancers and sex worker union campaigners were seen outside City Hall celebrating the ruling last month.
Author and former stripper Stacey Clare took to today's (9 August) episode of Good Morning Britain to discuss the news, saying that it's essential for empowering women in the industry.
In response to host Richard Madeley asking about her feminist viewpoint, Clare said: "I tend not to get too hung up on this right and wrong, whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.
"The fact is that women do do sex work, people do sex work, and the real conversation should be, as far as I'm concerned, about safety.
"We have to have regulated workplaces, and we need to basically recognise that our jobs are jobs and that we're workers and we're entitled to workers' rights.
"And that's how we empower workers."
On other side of the debate was former Edinburgh Councillor Susan Dalgety, who believes women are being exploited by the stripping industry.
Last month, Edinburgh Council voted in favour of a ban, with the city's SEVs being ordered to shut down from April 2023.
Speaking about why she supports the move, Dalgety told host Charlotte Hawkins: "I think it's really important that we build a society where young women and girls feel that they are not forced into the sexual exploitation, which is lap dancing.
"It's sexual entertainment, it's living pornography, it's for the titillation of men.
"This morning, thousands of young women got their exam results in Scotland. I want a country, a city in Edinburgh, where those young women aspire to be the best they can be and don't feel that they are forced into work such as stripping."
However, Clare later explained that she never felt sexually exploited or forced into the job.
"Unfortunately, the feminist perspective tends to conflate things and say, well, all of it's the same thing," she said.
"But actually, you know, coercion and things like trafficking - that's violence against women. But stripping? I never saw any evidence of trafficking in all the years that I worked in the industry, and it's just not the same thing."
Featured Image Credit: Commission Air/Alamy EyeEm/Alamy
Topics: Sex and Relationships, Good Morning Britain, UK News