Monday, August 02, 2010

The Sex Appeal of a Bed Full of Baked Beans

I find it distinctly odd that the government has banned job centres from displaying adverts for jobs in companies associated with the 'sex industry'. Apparently it's OK to be a cleaner in a lapdancing club but not a dancer. It's OK to work in an underwear shop, but not an Ann Summers store.

Ridiculous.

The ban will only affect jobs which could lead to exploitation, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said.

Er, well if that's the worry, why not be consistent and ban Lapdancing clubs altogether. Surely if you feel that 'exploitation' is the issue, that would be the logical thing to do.

I was dragged along to a lapdancing club while on a stag night in Detroit once. It was called the Landing Strip. It had all the erotic appeal of a bed full of baked beans. I got talking to one of the dancers, who happened to hail from Rochdale. I remember asking her if she, as a woman, felt she was exploited. She replied. "At $1,000 a night, love, it's not me who's being exploited".

Obviously a Job Centre shouldn't be able to force anyone to go for a job interview in a Lapdancing club, but surely there's nothing wrong with allowing people to be made aware that the jobs exist?

All this has set me thinking, perhaps there's a gap in the market here for a male lap dancing club for women!

I've always wondered why it is that people feel females stripping is a problem, and yet male strippers like the Chippendale's aren't. Double standards at play?

21 comments:

James said...

The double standards at play are due to the generally different attitudes to sex exhibited by each gender. I'm not sure lowering to the common denominator is the best solution.

Bugger said...

I thought the Landing Strip was in Toronto?

trevorsden said...

yes, I could broadly agree, but on the other hand ... (there's always another hand) ...

We are expecting Job Centres to be somewhat pushy in offering jobs and the govt will no doubt be saying that if you do not take a legitimate job you will lose benefit.

So should we be expecting the govt (on everyone's behalf) to push people into being strippers?

noirterre said...

Bed full of baked beans... mmm, remembers Ann-Margret in Tommy.

Josher said...

The complaint of double standards is a bit lazy. While there is a gap between attitudes towards male vs. female stripping, it's not based on prudishness or prurience, nor differentiated sexual mores between the genders, nor the overpaternalism of the nanny state towards its female citizens. In fact, it's based mostly on the fact that male strippers tend not to be people-trafficked, nor forced into the role through economic coercion. (Your Landing Strip anecdote aside, most female strippers earn below subsistence wages. The ones who get to strip through choice are - like porn stars - the lucky few.)

Peter said...

This is something that should be left to the dissection of local Job Centre managers.
The Government should not fall into Labour's trap of trying to micro manage everything.

Roger Thornhill said...

...and people said all would change under the Coalition?

The State in its laziness to attack the disease, punishes everyone with collectivism.

Poor show, Grayling.

Tony_E said...

This is entirely the correct decision because in future if an applicant refuses to take a job advertised n a job centre they will be punished by restriction of benefit.

For that to be unchallengable in the courts as a policy then certain jobs must be removed. If the jobs are not removed wholesale then discretion would need to be applied at a local level which would cause chaos.

Alex said...

"Obviously a Job Centre shouldn't be able to force anyone to go for a job interview in a Lapdancing club, but surely there's nothing wrong with allowing people to be made aware that the jobs exist?"

Anybody who couldn't figure out that the jobs existed probably couldn't handle working in a lapdancing club.

The whole point of Job Centres is that it is a prerequisite for benefits that job seekers allowance applicants should apply for all suitable jobs on offer. Nobody should be obliged to apply for a job that a reasonable person might consider degrading.

Gallimaufry said...

I was a Personal Advisor in a Jobcentre and during an interview did a vacancy search for flying instructor jobs as the client had a PPL and wanted to see the career opportunies in flying. We were both amazed when an internet stripping job (part-time) came up on screen. At least it made a change from the Picker/Packer vacancies.

Gareth said...

"The ban will only affect jobs which could lead to exploitation, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said.

Er, well if that's the worry, why not be consistent and ban Lapdancing clubs altogether. Surely if you feel that 'exploitation' is the issue, that would be the logical thing to do."

Illogical, Captain. That would be draconian and authoritarian. The State not wishing to advertise particular jobs (and perhaps as a consequence poke jobless folk into taking them) is a world away from the State deciding to arbitrarily prohibit certain jobs in particular industries. It is not even the thin end of the wedge but another wedge entirely.(Does the State have the authority to decide what line of work you can be in?)

The State is applying *some* values rather than tending along an amoral line. It is not even prohibiting the advertising of such jobs either, just choosing not to advertise them in taxpayer funded job centres. The State in this instance is trying to be consistent. It is recognising that there is a legitimate 'sex' industry which people can choose to work in whilst at the same time puting a limit on what the State is prepared to get involved with.

At its core this is the State recognising where authority starts and stops. The Government is banning these ads in government run job centres. It is not seeking to tell recruitment agencies and newspapers what they can and can't advertise nor preventing 'sex' industry employers from advertising elsewhere.

David Lindsay said...

This may wildly overrate Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. But it is good to see Attlee at the top. And the sixth place for Churchill is a step in the right direction. After all, this is about since the War. By the time that the War ended, the electorate had already ejected Churchill. He lost the popular vote in 1950, and was only able to return to office in 1951 with the support of the National Liberals. During the course of that Parliament, he had to be removed by his own party. It then comfortably won the 1955 Election.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Do we want job Centres advertising sleezy jobs like this. I think not. We should not be promoting the sex industy in any way.

longrun2 said...

OMG - New Labour rules would disqualify a 55-year-old from benefit if he/she decided not to apply for a job in a lapdancing club and someone on Iain's blog thinks that this is tolerable?
NO, NO, NO, NO
How about requiring the manager of the Job Centre to have an IQ at least equal to his/her shoe size when deciding whether someone was turning down a "suitable job"?
James, trevorsden, Roger Thornhill, Tony E - you don't have to accept New Labour's dogma

Annabel Herriott said...

Male lap dancing club for ladies?? Mmmm. Have to have own teeth and hair, no knobbly knees, nice six pack, further description could be considered indelicate. Would they feel exploited though, if the audience consisted of over sixties?

Roger Thornhill said...

"perhaps there's a gap in the market here for a male lap dancing club for women!"


Well, it would certainly result in a new definition of the term "slapper"...

MikeyP said...

I think we detect the dead hand of LibDem Wimmin here.

Hey said...

Iain, not to be crude or anything, but the fact that you didn't find a strip club full of girls very sexy isn't exactly surprising. I can't see the appeal of a bunch of large hairy men in leather, but I'm not going to deny that some people would find it quite arousing.

No sex work should be in job centres. Though I am surprised that any is, since most of the workers and employers are highly motivated to keep it a cash business.

Richard said...

"Male lap dancing club for ladies?? Mmmm. Have to have own teeth and hair, no knobbly knees, nice six pack, further description could be considered indelicate. Would they feel exploited though, if the audience consisted of over sixties?"

What if the dancers were over sixties? They're not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of age any more.

For $1,000 a night I might just come out of retirement and drive my mobility scooter round to the stage door at Spearmint Rhino.

Roger Thornhill said...

@Richard,

Don't you mean "Steradent Rhino"?

davidmorris said...

"Er, well if that's the worry, why not be consistent and ban Lapdancing clubs altogether"

The lapdancing clubs could still advertise the job vacancies via websites, posters in windows, etc.

This story about government-linked organisations not advertising them, which I can understand.