Why a Sheffield Grannie is Taking Legal Action vs Strip Clubs

Sheffield Grandma, Irene Gladdison, is fundraising now to initiate a court case against her Council after it decided that there should be no limit on strip club numbers. Why? “Because we will never have #Times Up or an end to ‘President’s Club’ attitudes when men can buy women as sexual entertainment at Strip Clubs” as the proud Sheffielder puts it.

The law is likely to be on her side too as, legally, Councils must consider how they can promote equality in all of their policies. In fact, the law goes further than this. Councils are legally bound to look at how they can eliminate harassment, discrimination and victimisation against women in all of their policies and decision-making.

“So how can it possibly be OK to have no limit whatsoever on strip clubs which are the very definition of harassment — and worse?”

Research has already indicated the high level of harassment lap dancers experience (even research carried out by pro-sex industry academics!). And a quick press scan reveals at least a dozen clubs have had their licenses suspended in the last 2 years alone because of harassment or worse of performers — including full out assaults on lap dancers.”

And it’s not just about the treatment of performers in clubs that is a problem. What about the effect on the local community? It is well known that strip clubs can create no go-zones for women and others in their vicinity. And Irene’s Council is a case in point.

Sheffield’s one current strip club is bang in the heart of the City’s Cultural Quarter, nestled amongst student accommodation and a student union and next to services for vulnerable people.

“And, every time the Council consults on this, it has been told by local women and girls that they feel so threatened and intimidated that they even cannot walk on the nearby streets, of vulnerable service uses who cannot actually use their services and even of business women who have had to relocate because of the hostile environment the club generates” says Irene.

And what about the effect on wide attitudes? Countless International Treaties, signed by the UK government and backed by global research studies, condemn the sexualisation of women because of its surely self evident effect on inequality and abusive attitudes towards women. Strip clubs are most certainly part of this.

And Irene feels so strongly about this that she feels she has no choice but to take her Council to court. She needs to raise just £5K to get an initial court ruling over whether she has a case to challenge her council over breach of equality law. If successful, this initial ruling will send out a very clear message not just to Sheffield City Council but to the powerful strip industry UK-wide that strip clubs and women’s safety and equality are mutually incompatible.

“I’m confident too. I’m supported by pressure group Not Buying It and we’ve already raised well over £3K in the first couple of days of crowd funding!”.

Add to that the fact that Irene has actually gone through all of this before. And won! She has already successfully challenged her council over its lack of consideration of women’s safety and equality in the way it granted a license to its one current club. And yet it was after this that the council decided to raise its cap on strip clubs from two to unlimited.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that I have to go through all this again! But I refuse to be cowed by the City Council who seems hell bent on supporting the local sex industry”.

You can support Irene’s crowd funding efforts here

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