Public Figures Are Still People – 15.7.19

Good Evening all, I hope you had a lovely weekend. I managed to catch a little too much sun and have a tiny bit of sun burn which is making me sad but I’ll survive it haha.

Over the weekend there was an article published by the Daily Record (read it here) which featured some comments from Megara Furie – one of the main faces of the AskThe700 campaign – in regards to the possible future of the dancers if the clubs were to be shut down.

askthe700 cover pic
Description: Banner image with pink top and bottom and white centre along with the text “#AskThe700 save Glasgow Strip Clubs”

The basic point Megara is making in the article is that dancers are being propositioned by escorting agencies that are aware they may be losing their jobs in the future which shows that if the clubs are closed people could be pressured into working for the agencies despite not really wanting to and that lap dancing clubs/strip clubs should be treated as separate from other parts of the sex work industry.

So what’s wrong with that?

I understood the need to separate strip clubs from other sex work for the sake of the campaign – considering that the campaign was started as a reaction to the consultation which is only regarding strip clubs (sexual entertainment venues) – however the persistence outside of the campaign to separate strip clubs from other sex work gives off some very clear warning signs. It suggests that other areas of sex work shouldn’t get the same protection because they are “less valid” or more likely less legal. By saying that strip clubs are separate it says to me that any other sex work industry is fair game for political attack and that any of the people working in those industries are going to be left to fend for themselves. Which is not at all what I support or what I thought AskThe700 would support.

Now of course I don’t want anyone to be pressured into doing any type of sex work, that’s not what I’m saying.

I’m saying that the narrative Megara has presented has painted those that choose to do full service sex work/escorting as not being in control of their own lives and somehow lesser. Which is upsetting to hear from someone you thought was a sex worker activist fighting to protect all sex workers.

Which brings me to today’s title – public figures are still people – and people have their own views and opinions which can sometimes seem at odds with what they are representing. People can also be misconstrued or misspeak, it can be really hard to get across the message you want people to take away. However if Megara is truly meaning to drive a wedge between dancers and all other sex workers then I can’t explain how upsetting that is. As an industry we stand the best chance by uniting and working together, not drawing lines around which work should be protected and which should be left for the prudish vultures to pick at.

We’ve already seen the Glasgow SEV consultation inspire Edinburgh to run a similar consultation (which you can read and reply to here) which got a brief mention on the BBC news (here). It’s important to get the word out about these consultations now whilst there’s still a chance for us to have a positive impact. Once the consultation is over and the decisions are made it will be a much harder fight to get the council to listen to us not to mention that the damage will have already been done.

 

 

I will continue to support the AskThe700 campaign in any way I can, spreading awareness as best I can and just generally not letting this topic go by without a fuss. I believe that all workers that are part of the sex work industry deserve protection and deserve to have someone fighting in their corner so that’s what I’ll be doing – as best I can. I don’t think we should be separating dancers from other sex workers, I think we should all be banding together to take down the stigma and policies that never once asked what we wanted.

I know today’s blog turned into a bit of a rant (no real change there haha) but thank you for taking the time to read it ^_^

Stay safe and be happy x