Harrogate Feminists

Society and the sex industry

We are a new feminist group, set up in June 2010. We are based in Harrogate in North Yorkshire, UK.

Society is not something created by the political system, the law, the government or the media alone. All these institutions have a strong influence, but they themselves are constantly changing, mirroring the changing attitudes and beliefs of us all. By our attitudes, beliefs and finally our actions (or inaction) we all have our part to play in making society what it is.

But there is a lot that is still wrong with our society at the moment. As a group we are concerned about the inequalities that remain between women and men. Important foundations for a more equal society have already been laid thanks to the efforts of feminists who have gone before us, but change in law is not enough by itself. There are still too many asymmetries of power in favour of men, many of them based on unspoken assumptions which are internalised (by both sexes) but rarely questioned.

One example of the asymmetries present in society is in the sex industry – for example lap-dancing clubs. A lap-dancing club is purposely set up as a “buyer’s market”, with more women than customers in order to force the women to compete for the men’s attention. In this way men are the ones in control, the purchasers, the agents (in many senses of the word), and men are the ones who profit financially and/or psychologically. The women who work there are treated more as objects than as persons. We are currently campaigning to encourage Harrogate Borough Council to adopt the new licensing laws that allow better local regulation of lap-dancing venues.

It’s too easy to think “this is nothing to do with me”. It is to do with all of us. This is why we formed our group.

4 Comments so far
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Good to hear there is some action underway to tackle gender inequalities here in the North… I’ve primarily been involved with Object but it’s great this is closer to home.

I’m a sex industry survivor, I have spoken at a couple of events to tell my story about the reality of prostitution, pornography and domestic abuse. I also write a blog, the address of which is:

Might pop across if there are any events in Harrogate

Comment by Angel K

Hi there

Really pleased you got in touch. It sounds like you’ve got some experiences which could be very relevant and useful to share. We are having a meeting this Thursday if you are interested in coming along we’d be very happy to see you.

Comment by harrogatefeminists

Hi Laura,

thanks for your response and so sorry haven’t been in touch… I have 2 email accounts and haven’t checked the one you wrote to since June or July! Would be great to come to Harrogate if there’s another meeting soon, do let me know if this would be ok, cheers, Angel

Comment by Angel K

Hi Angel

Good to hear from you again. We are actually meeting up next Monday 8th November. It will probably be too short notice for you but if you can make it you will be very welcome. We are meeting at 7.30 at ‘the place’ bar which is part of the Crown Hotel. Let me know if you plan to join us. Otherwise I’ll let you know when we arrange our next meeting date.

Best wishes Laura

Comment by harrogatefeminists

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