≡ Menu

Ta ta strip clubs!

So, I had planned to blog about the new ban on strip clubs just passed in parliament, but the Grauniad beat me to it:

While activists in Britain battle on in an attempt to regulate lapdance clubs – the number of which has been growing at an alarming rate during the last decade – Iceland has passed a law that will result in every strip club in the country being shut down. And forget hiring a topless waitress in an attempt to get around the bar: the law, which was passed with no votes against and only two abstentions, will make it illegal for any business to profit from the nudity of its employees.

Read the full article here. It’s well worth it.

I must say, I am impressed by how much the government has managed to achieve in the last couple of weeks, ever since they stopped banging their heads against the wall in dealing with THE BLOB, aka Icesave. [Not to suggest Icesave has gone away, it’s just that there have been no new talks and the government has had a chance to focus on other issues. Steingrímur is now in Washington for talks with the IMF — we shall see what comes of that in due course.] In addition to passing the above legislation, they have rolled out new measures to help indebted households [although there is contention over just how much they help], and have finally closed an emotional issue concerning compensation to Icelanders who were abused in foster homes around 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, I’m super-excited to be hitting the road this evening to go see the eruption. I’ll be taking the Volcano Tour with Reykjavík Excursions — so expect the full story plus pictures!

Comments

comments

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Michael Lewis March 26, 2010, 2:39 pm

    “Iceland has passed a law that will result in every strip club in the country being shut down”

    No customer demand now that there is no investment banking so-to-speak in Iceland. lol. I don’t know, the sort of people that have visited these establishments, I despair, tsk, tsk …

    “which was passed with no votes against and only two abstentions,”

    That suprises me, in all seriousness, what may be a boozy fun evening out for a group workmates after working months on something important say, or a particularly stressful week, for example, is now banned for Icelanders.

    I’d like to point out that as I personally don’t visit these establishments now, my opinion isn’t biased.

  • Virgile March 26, 2010, 2:51 pm

    Hello.

    I am french and been in Iceland for 6 years now.

    I think this is not the right way to go to manage and fight prostitution and strip clubs in Iceland and we should not applaud over the issue. I am a great supporters of woman´s right and equality but i think that the current majority made a mistake.

    This is beyond a feminist issues as any guys both straight or gay are doing it to but they are no really counted in the stats. The same thing goes with as male rape.

    I do think that this is very sad for women right in Iceland, because Law and the State is being used to regulate people´s body and what they want to do with it.

    Instead of really fighting human traffic and help its victims, this will just lead to a more underground industry, where its workers both male and female will be even more exploited and ill treated. People will be more out of reach of the police and social services.

    This is what happened in France when they voted few years ago law banning prostitution. It lead to more underground brothels, female and male sex workers involved had to flew the street for back alleys work behind closed doors, in forest or out in the countryside. It lead to an explosion of STDs, as social workers could not reach and help prostitutes, give them condoms and check on their health.

    I do not even want to start talking about the ‘social role’ that prostitutes and strippers have for some people who cannot have sex with ‘regular’ people because of physical or mental disabilities or crazy sick sexual fetishes (ex. i like my sexual partners to be dressed at a little girl and call me daddy). In some town in France, once prostitutes have stopped to work in the ‘public space’ and were harder to find, rape cases have increased.

    The ban This also lead to an explosion of the drug case, as prostitutes (and i would say strippers for iceland) were generally good sources for the police because prostitution is usually link to drug dealing.

    As for stripping, this is all a matter of perspective. If you want to discuss the matter i can give you the name of one of my friend who is a burlesque stripper in Paris and few other places in Europe. She has some very interesting point of view.link for her facebook http://www.facebook.com/divinesweet.paris?ref=ts#!/divinesweet.paris?v=wall&ref=ts

    But Yet let’s call it a victory. I bet than within the year, illegal strip club will be discovered, along as brothel with its lot of victims.

    I think that Iceland should have gone the high road. Legalizing it but making it harder to practice. Like requiring a state licence for doing it. Forcing sex workers to register along as strippers. Make sure they are independent workers and not under influence and make sure they are not drug users or deceased. Overall they should be acknowledge them as workers and make them pay full taxes on their job.

    This would have been the high road leaving man and woman in Iceland deciding what to do with their bodies.

    I also think that in this perspective, law against illegal prostitution and human trafficking should be more enforced with heavier sentences and punishments. The sentence that the people received for the recent human trafficking case is ridiculous and should have much more heavier. If you punch a guy downtown Reykjavík on a saturday evening you can get up to 18 months in jail, if you gang-rape, drug, sell a person, in this case 1 woman (that we know off) you get 4 years….this is ridiculous. The same goes for regular rape cases…

    Virgile.

  • Chris March 26, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Which tour are you going to take?

  • Mike Richards March 26, 2010, 3:36 pm

    How much demand for strip clubs was there in Iceland after the bank collapse got rid of most of their clients?

  • Mike Richards March 26, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Ooops forgot to mention.

    Reykjavík Excursions are excellent. I had a trip with a slightly mad lady guide who sang traditional Icelandic songs throughout.

    I *nearly* booked a trip to Iceland yesterday to see the volcano, but the cost of the flights from the UK was just a bit too much. So please make sure you take lots of photos.

  • goupil March 26, 2010, 3:56 pm

    Well done. Just in time to shame the French government who want to reopen bordellos. I’d say to the strip club owner who objects,
    likening Iceland to Saudi Arabia and repression of sexuality,
    What’s crucial it’s not the repression of sexuality but the repression of violence. It looks like the Icelandic government is clear about that.
    Cheers

  • Tom March 26, 2010, 4:25 pm

    This is cool. Once they ban alcohol again (and for that matter tobacco and other bad things) maybe a modicum of decency can finally be established in a western society again.

  • alda March 26, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Thanks for the input, everyone.

    Chris – taking this one: http://www.re.is/DayTours/Activity/Details/Volcanic-Eruption

  • Joerg March 26, 2010, 5:55 pm

    I trust, you’ll get many good photos. I would expect that Fljótsdalur is the place to go.

  • Michael Lewis March 26, 2010, 6:03 pm

    “Well done. Just in time to shame the French government who want to reopen bordellos. I’d say to the strip club owner who objects,
    likening Iceland to Saudi Arabia and repression of sexuality,
    What’s crucial it’s not the repression of sexuality but the repression of violence.”

    I think you have to look at an up-market lap dance club in say Canary Wharf (no, I don’t go to these place though I’m sure many reading this will think – ‘I bet he does’), you’ll see, so I’m told, that the people working them i) are paid well and ii) cross a suprising spectrum in terms of education.

    Now, there is a very big difference between that sort of a club and a dingy club in SoHo, employing illegal immigrants and fleecing tourists for hundreds of pounds.

    As I say, believe it or not, I don’t frequent such places. But, people have different moral views, and in an adult society, I’m willing to accept that such a thing may be acceptable. I don’t buy the argument that it degrades women. Prostitution , yes, one could argue that is paid rape. Lap dance club: sorry, but in the UK, thats a bunch of office workers “on the lash” (getting drunk). Or a rugby club christmas dinner evening…

  • James March 26, 2010, 6:47 pm

    In this instance, the government should compensate the women who’ve just been deprived of their right to work in their chosen profession, eg stripping. It’s actually a pretty fundamental right to take away.

  • sylvia hikins March 26, 2010, 8:58 pm

    I sat in the Public Gallery of the Althingi last Monday (I was the only person there!) and although I couldn’t understand what was being debated, I was really impressed with the procedures- like, people sitting according to drawn lots at the start of Parliament so that everyone was mixed and not sitting in party political clusters; like only being allowed to talk for a couple of minutes and then the Speaker politely chimed a bell; like contributors spoke from a central podium and there was no braying from rows of opposite benches. All very refreshing- Westminster, take note. It could learn a thing or two from Iceland.
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • Chris March 26, 2010, 9:33 pm

    Alda: Ahh…I will go there tomorow myself and see, what I can see 🙂
    And probably half of the country will do the same.

  • BryceM March 26, 2010, 9:46 pm

    I’m afraid I agree with Virgile. I have traveled a lot and witnessed the sex industry globally. This is merely going to drive the business underground. There will always be someone willing to exploit someones vulnerable position – poverty, drug use etc. and there will always be people (men and women) who want to buy sexual entertainment. Thinking that making this business illegal will stop this exploitaion is, in my opinion, a bit naive.
    Yes trafficing occurs; yes there are women in the industry who are not there by choice; the answer is to tightly regulate the industry – license the establishments and charge the owners for inspections, staff drug testing, immigration paperwork and vetting, counseling services; ensure employment law is enforced in working hours and wages and protection of the staff. The costs will be passed on to the customers and you have the best opportunity to protect those you want to protect.
    With the industry underground the vulnerable are hidden from view and the profits go to the exploiters.
    And I do not think Iceland has a police force resourced to deal with the problem. Instead of funding the policing of the industry from the industry, you will be removing the funding from other areas – lose lose.
    As for the premise of this stopping women being seen as “product”, that we must enforce a proper respect for peoples equality – we are all product when it comes to earning money. We look on those doing menial and filthy jobs (rubbish sorting, street cleaning etc etc ) and never consider their equality and exploitation even when it may be obvious that similar immoral working practices are present in those industries. The reason is we NEED those people to do our dirty jobs, we NEED that product and so that’s ok.
    The only difference here is the sex industry is seen as not needed and outside some vaguely defined measure of “decency”. If the waste collection workers in Reykjavik were suspected to be under the control of Eastern European trafficers or funding their drug habits from doing the work would the government ban the idustry because it is exploitative ? – no they would regulate it.
    IMHO Iceland has turned it’s back on a group of vulnerable people and abandoned them to the criminals in the name of political correctness. It had the opportunity to be truly innovative in protecting womens rights and opted for failed conservative 19th century dogma.

  • Easy March 26, 2010, 9:47 pm

    Finally they do something !!

    “That suprises me, in all seriousness, what may be a boozy fun evening out for a group workmates after working months on something important say, or a particularly stressful week”.
    What?? They can go home to their wifes(girfriends) and kids and enjoy a good family evening, and with the money they save on the streepers, buy some flowers for your wife and a good dinner, will be even cheaper, thats what a man should be thinking about after succesfully finishing a long projet, not celebrate it with a streeper.

    “I think that Iceland should have gone the high road. Legalizing it but making it harder to practice. Like requiring a state licence for doing it. Forcing sex workers to register along as strippers. Make sure they are independent workers and not under influence and make sure they are not drug users or deceased.”

    This would also lead to what you said just few lines before in your post:
    “It lead to more underground brothels, female and male sex workers involved had to flew the street for back alleys work behind closed doors, in forest or out in the countryside. It lead to an explosion of STDs, as social workers could not reach and help prostitutes, give them condoms and check on their health. ”
    As for:
    “cannot have sex with ‘regular’ people because of physical or mental disabilities or crazy sick sexual fetishes (ex. i like my sexual partners to be dressed at a little girl and call me daddy).”
    They need a Doctor not a streeper or a prostitute

  • Luna_Sea March 27, 2010, 2:15 am

    I worked with guys who’d go for a few drinks at strip clubs after work on Fridays and have joined them myself on occasion. Where’s the harm? Much better to keep everything above board, legal and taxed than drive it underground. I know women who danced at strip clubs – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but for some it sure beats a minimum wage.

    Live and let live I say.

  • Joerg March 27, 2010, 7:31 am

    Why just care about womens’ rights? It’s a bit random. E.g. in order to stop the abuse and exploitation of underage children, Iceland might step forward and ban the catholic church from the country. Would be interesting to see, what happens.

  • James March 27, 2010, 7:55 am

    Meanwhile, in America, it’s probably unconstitutional for the state to require an entrance fee for strip clubs because the state shouldn’t restrict freedom of expression:
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Texas-A-Strip-Club-Is-In-a-Legal-Battle-With-The-State-To-Allow-Free-Admission/Article/201003415584246

  • Michael Lewis March 27, 2010, 10:11 am

    For a bit of research, I had a look on the internet, take a look here:

    http://www.majingos.net/theclubpage.htm

    This is the sort of club now banned in Iceland. Silly, Childish, maybe, but I’m really not sure it should be banned. I don’t think you can compare this with human trafficking as some are. I have to say, I think the personal leanings of the Icelandic PM may be at work here.

    Perhaps she should be more open minded. Its not for everyone – and I don’t go to these places, but banning them, will create an underground industry, run by criminals.

  • Peter -London March 27, 2010, 10:28 am

    “Prostitution , yes, one could argue that is paid rape. ”

    All work is paid slavery, some people choose to use different skills to make a living. Some of it is badly paid some of it is extremely lucrative.

    Obviously modelling and acting has to be classified as the same as stripping or lap dancing (indeed it has been done so in the past). Should those ‘professions’ be banned as well? Possibly.

    What is the difference between an actor/actress who goes naked in a Hollywood film and a stripper? Nothing whatsoever.

    If you ban stripper, than acting and modelling should be banned to – its exploitation of someone physical appearance for financial gain.
    Teenagers look at film and pop stars and lust at them it exactly the same way that some adults lust after strippers. Some Muslim countries have a similar attitude about acting and over sexualisation and the mixing of the sex’s.

    Maybe Iceland should take Saudi Arabia’s lead and enforce the wearing of veils? How about banning women from TV – you don’t want men to have dirty thoughts.

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland March 27, 2010, 10:48 am

    @Sylvia Hikins yes I sen that bell thing over the net, very funny not like Dublin or London at all.!!

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland March 27, 2010, 10:49 am

    whoops seen (typo not my spelling)

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland March 27, 2010, 10:50 am

    double whoops have (genuine grammar mistake)

  • Stuart March 27, 2010, 11:47 am

    Iceland should be proud of its decision to be the first western country to totally outlaw the sex industry. It never has and never will have anything to do with sexual freedom but is rather a way for cynical, abusive misogynists to make money from women’s bodies. There can clearly be no meaningful equality in our society for as long as women are seen as a product which can be bought and sold for men’s sexual gratification. I would also reject the idea of legalisation as a harm reduction strategy. The fact is that prostitution and the sex industry will always involve exploitation and abuse which is why it is absolutely wrong to legalise it and allow it to spiral out of control which is what has happened in countries like Germany and the Netherlands.

  • Easy March 27, 2010, 1:58 pm

    “I have traveled a lot and witnessed the sex industry globally. This is merely going to drive the business underground. ”

    @BryceM
    Well, I have traveled alot too, because of my job, and to “witness” this kind of things you have to be looking for them, even in countries with red districts, you acctually have to go to the red district to “witness” this things, I have been to many many countries and have never “witness” in the middle of the street in bright day light any thing. So, unless you are some kind of an activist fighting for the rights of abused people, you should stop visiting this places and districts and belive me you won’t “witness” anything, and we live this underworld problem to the authorities, or if we really care about this, we can join as volunteers one of many organitaions that are fighting this problem, then we can “witness” this problem as we help not as CUSTOMERS.

  • sylvia hikins March 27, 2010, 3:14 pm

    It looks like lots of you blokes are right brassed off that your gender , at least in Iceland, won’t be able to just go out when you want to, get blathered and then shag for dosh. Gosh chaps, you do live in a different world. And to argue that it’s alright because it pays better than the minimum wage? With such a barren sexual scene facing some of you (not all of you, and of course NONE of you contributing to this Blog!!!!) perhaps you should buy yourselves a pet ewe.
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • hildigunnur March 27, 2010, 3:38 pm

    Now since corporal punishment has been banned, I’m sure it’s a big underground industry 😉

  • Gwrhyr March 27, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Wow I don’t agree at all with the banning of strippers and I’m quite sickened at the lack of solidarity the Icelandic government is showing for them.
    Also, though all the strip clubs in Iceland were probably straight, there is such a thing as male strippers and men objectify men too. People like Sylvia Hikins shouldn’t be able to shove their morals down other adults who don’t agree with her. This is about sexual freedom and sexual exploration just as much as it is about worker’s rights. The Icelandic government is now simply repressing parts of its population and denying workers their right to make a living. This is despicable and deplorable. An assault on freedom. Someone said that things have spiraled out of control in Holland and Germany, but have you really talked with strippers in these countries? Have you really talked to the families of these strippers? Or are you just shoving your own patriarchal repressed view over these workers?
    Shame on you.

  • alda March 27, 2010, 5:50 pm

    Mokay, people. I’d say we’re getting pretty close to crossing the decency line in terms of having a tolerant and respectful discussion.

  • Tom March 27, 2010, 6:00 pm

    Hildigunnur:

    People get murdered in plenty of countries with no death penalty, it is often a part of organised crime. I would say that is an underground industry :p. And that isn’t really a fair comparison because most stripclubs aren’t run by the government. But anyway, the thing is, you can make whatever you want illegal, but it doesn’t mean people will stop doing it. For instance, look at Prohibition in the USA.

    My opinion is actually that nothing should be illegal as long as no-one else is harmed. With strict government regulation, things such as drugs or the sex-trade are actually safer than when they are illegal and run by criminals. You really can’t argue that.

  • Stuart March 27, 2010, 6:27 pm

    @ Gwrhyr

    You say I’m “patriarchal” and “repressed” and that the Icelandic government is somehow showing a “lack of solidarity”. Banning strip clubs and prostitution though, is precisely about fighting patriarchy, it’s about fighting the male sense of entitlement to women’s bodies, it’s about stopping sleazy misogynists from exploiting and abusing women. You seem to see the sex industry as some sort of champion of sexual liberation and gender equality which to me is absurd beyond belief. A capitalist, exploitative, male-dominated industry which reduces women’s bodies to a product to be bought and sold cannot possibly have the interests of true liberation at heart.

    Sexual freedom is of course a good thing and neither me nor the Icelandic feminists who campaigned in support of the bill would dispute that. But the question is: freedom for who? The freedom of the powerful to do whatever they want regardless of the cost is a freedom I certainly wouldn’t fight for. True freedom is the freedom of everyone to be treated with respect and valued as an equal, it’s the freedom of everyone to live a life free of exploitation and abuse, it’s the freedom of everyone to form an identity for themselves without being constrained by narrow and restrictive gender roles. Iceland should therefore be applauded for its efforts to overthrow a male-dominant culture and to give all women the right to be seen as human beings deserving of dignity and respect rather than as passive, powerless sex objects.

  • Joerg March 27, 2010, 6:54 pm

    As long as they don’t ban vulcano porn, all is not lost in Iceland. I have just discovered a new webcam, located directly up Fimmvörðuháls – very fascinating.

  • alda March 27, 2010, 7:12 pm
  • Joerg March 27, 2010, 7:40 pm

    “is it this one?”

    Yes, that’s the one. It seems to be located directly next to a jeep track. I just saw somebody drive by and greet into the camera. I was a little suprised as I had thought, the track was closed.

  • idunn March 27, 2010, 8:29 pm

    Without exactly knowing, my feeling the Dutch experience with prostitution and drugs, particularly marijuana, has worked fairly well. Personally, I certainly favor the greatest possible liberalism in such things, if balance as well.

    As for Iceland, if Icesave is momentarily not as pressing an issue, it still seems the government has far more important matters to concern themselves with than sex. The economy, particularly with the emergence of globalization, is not in the least out of the woods. In relation to this the environment of the nation remains in peril. The ability of the citizen’s of Iceland to determine their own fate, or maintain a semblance of prosperity of (recent) old, is in serious doubt.

    At its core feminism is of nurturing. It is of the female, of this Earth. It should not be understood as a political fight for but one interest group. It will best be reflected in Iceland when the entire nation is balanced, prosperous, and happy. Strictures against strip clubs will not go very far in achieving that.

  • Marc March 27, 2010, 8:30 pm

    Different regions, different morals. I’m sure by now, with all the international migration going on, all of you have woken up to that fact? I think this is a hard one to judge, because although I think some morals ought to be universal (thou shalt not kill!, do not enslave another, do not mutilate women), it’s a hard one to judge which ones are universal, which ones are local, but acceptable and which ones are local, but universally reprehensible.

    The thing that interests me is where this fascination with prostitution in the Nordic countries comes from?

  • hildigunnur March 27, 2010, 10:57 pm

    Tom, I’m talking more of corporal punishment as in parents spanking their children…

  • sylvia hikins March 28, 2010, 12:02 am

    I believe in sexual freedom. But I don’t think sexual freedom has anything to do with prostitution. Most prostitutes don’t get much job satistfaction. Some are forced. Many do it to feed a drugs habit. Others because it’s the only way they can give their kids a decent life. Some find it an easy way to make money. Many have lived their lives on the edge of society. But it’s a dangerous profession-STDs and other health risks, fear of violence and abuse, etc. Of course banning won’t get rid of paying for sex. But it may make some men think again.
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • The Fred from the forums March 28, 2010, 12:03 am

    I understand the argument that banning things has a long and well documented history of pushing them underground rather than making them stop. The US experience with Prohibition is a good example.

    But this is Iceland we’re talking about, not the US. It’s a more orderly place. If you make something illegal in Iceland, can that actually make it stop happening?

  • tom joseph aka tj3 March 28, 2010, 4:16 am

    For sake the sake of this comment set side in your mind, the pros and cons of strip clubs.

    A separate and distinct issue is that the full weight of the law and government is able to be marshaled against strip clubs and bar maids. On the other hand taking strong action against the suits and ties that helped to ruin Iceland’s economy is yet lacking.

    It is the same here in the US ….there are plenty of official people ready to stomp all over the vices of the not influential. It is to protect them. What about protecting the poor bankers and politicians from utter corruption and ineffectiveness. These guys are metaphorically ready to dance nude on the steps of the capitol building for their patrons.

    There is a relationship between the two areas. In a poor economy people are driven to the sex trade. So the influential wreck the economy and then close a way out for some few who have strip clubs as their way to live. But let us enshrine super colossal white collar theft and total political corruption.

    It is the cowardice of the government to stand up to power that makes this seem sick in contrast. They can get real tough with a nude 2o year old.

  • cactus zonie March 28, 2010, 6:38 am

    What ? !

    No Blond strippers !! ???!
    That’s it !! I am canceling my trip to visit next month……

    Ahh , SHI*

    That Chocolate Easter Egg and those damn Hot Dogs smothered in that Remoladi and sinep …….

    See you next month.

  • James March 28, 2010, 8:59 am

    For all the people bemoaning that Iceland is limiting its citizens’ freedom of expression (whether that expression is via the right to strip or the right to watch someone strip), just bear in mind that Iceland would be one of the very last countries to be limited by Islamic law. Many continental European countries will transform over the coming couple of centuries, but Iceland may well end up of the last bastions of the original European notion of “freedom of expression”. Iceland’s notion may not be as strong as America’s, but it could be the most enduring in Europe.

  • BryceM March 28, 2010, 10:19 am

    I will do my best to keep this civilized and level.
    First let’s look at a stereotyping that is happening in this discussion and separate two issues. Lapdance or other clubs should not be considered by default as fronts for prostitution rings. While it may sometimes be the case in un-controlled, deregulated environments this is not a 100% relationship and is far from it in the strongly regulated areas. Remember the specific legislation being discussed is “will make it illegal for any business to profit from the nudity of its employees” – nothing here about prostitution as prostitution s (I believe) already illegal.
    To a few specifics
    @Easy – you most certainly do not have to “go looking” for it. In California I was taken out for a drink after work one evening to what turned out to be a pole dance club and the bar was in a normal shopping mall in an upper middle class area. This is not about dingy back street clubs and most certainly not purely female based.
    @Stuart – Ref “A capitalist, exploitative, male-dominated industry which reduces women’s bodies to a product”
    (1) Capitalist – yes absolutely. In the west we live in capitalist societies. Business is about making money
    (2) Male dominated – possibly but most certainly not male exclusively controlled. There are many many women involved in the running of legitimate businesses.
    (3) Womens bodies as product – this is not just about women’s bodies – men can do exactly the same thing as women and do. As I said before we are all product if we are employed. What we choose to do with our own bodies is our own business – isn’t that what freedom is ?
    Have you been to the clubs in question and asked the individuals if they want you to save them and be their champion. I do feel this smacks of personal agenda and political correctness rather than a real desire to have a constructive and viable solution to the problem of human abuse.
    If you want evidence of the lack of linkage between the clubs and prostitution contrast these articles. No mention in the prostitution article of the club (the only one in the city) and no mention of “male misogynist exploitation in the interview. Plenty of evidence that lack of immigration control and poverty leads to criminal gangs creating underworld businesses regardless of legality.
    Times article on Peterborough prostitution
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article2547626.ece
    Interview with pole dancer http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/features/video_why_not_try_pole_dancing_1_115996
    So now let’s look at the post criminalization environment. As Tom so right said “…you can make whatever you want illegal, but it doesn’t mean people will stop doing it”. So you need enforcement; police to gather information, make arrests, build a case; Lawyers to prosecute and defend; Jail space for those convicted and extradition procedures for those deported if required. All this takes money and from where ? In a financial depression this also opens the door to corruption – back-handers for people to “look the other way”.
    IMHO Iceland has missed the opportunity to do it right as it has never been done before with tough regulation, workers rights and protections and firm immigration controls. However a cocktail of right wing conservative dogma and left wing social engineering has resulted in winding the clock back 100 years. Prohibition of Alcohol drugs and sex has never worked – we should learn the lessons of history.
    The key, as with any other difficult business, is strong regulation and control.

    As a P.S. @ Hildi – if you think making corporal punishement illegal has stopped it happening in the family home think again….

  • Tom March 28, 2010, 12:58 pm

    Hehe yeah I was thinking capital punishment, but yeah I’d have to agree with BryceM that corporal punishment is going on as well :p.

  • Sebastian March 29, 2010, 10:22 pm

    @Joerg:
    E.g. in order to stop the abuse and exploitation of underage children, Iceland might step forward and ban the catholic church from the country.
    It wouldn’t be the first time. The Icelandic Roman Catholic bishop Jón Arason was executed in 1550, and the Catholic Church was banned from Iceland in several centuries.

    I assume movies such as Striptease with Demi Moore and Powder Blue with Jessica Biel are now forbidden as well. If not, I would suggest the strip clubs to show live feeds from countries where stripping is allowed.

  • John March 30, 2010, 5:44 pm

    .. ban stripping and what about the banks ? Of the the two what has harmed Iceland the most ?

  • Liberty March 31, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Freedom of speech is something that this current government in Iceland touting about and yet they are denying it’s citizens the choice and indeed emulating a less than democratic system by imposing a set of values from a particular school of feminism. Sexual expression in a free society must be recognized as such. Objectification? Does not every person who engages in some sexual activity find another persons body attractive at some point? Is it always such a terrible thing to be admired for physical beauty? The answer is no and this law more than anything is a blow to progress towards an equal society for both sexes as well as a sexually liberated one. It is a blow to civil liberties and a blow to people having a choice about what they may or may not do with their bodies. This will indeed lead to more regression and less progression.

    It makes social democracy appear more restrictive and even slightly dystopian. In a free society problems arise because it is accepted as a part of the natural order. There is no perfect society, and hopefully there will never be one because people are inherently flawed and that is huge part of what makes us human. Democracy is not about perfection. Theocracy and fascism are systems that seek perfection. I neither frequent lap dance clubs nor spend time with prostitutes, and my appetites are more of what would indeed be considered of the typical sort yet I see they flaw in this so clearly. Protect sex workers by giving them rights, education, and options. Protect foreign women by changing immigration laws, foreign investment/development, and weeding out smugglers. Educate people about stereotypes and standards. Give them an opportunity to not feel shameful about their own bodies, sex, and sexuality. Things may never be exactly perfect but standards are indeed different from person to person and there will be a much greater chance for many more happy and healthy people no matter what gender they happen to fall into.

    Also in regards to talk about fetishes mentioned above. What people do in private is their own business. Sexuality is much more fluid than simply gay, bi, and straight and people who have a more differentiated appetite should never ever be shunned. It is so very ignorant to assume that these people automatically have a mental illness or the like. Simply as long as the activities they engage in are consensual everyone should really allow other people to move in whatever direction they choose in privacy. It is time to realize that people have many different taste and many different ways of expressing themselves and that can be a very healthy thing in a free society.

    It is also time to realize that there is some other baggage being carried in this anti sex industry movement and it really has little to do with equality.

  • Maja April 3, 2010, 8:46 am

    How many strip clubs were there in Iceland anyway? I can’t imagine there being any anywhere besides Reykjavik and surely no more than two or three. It wouldn’t have caused a huge number of job losses. I doubt very much that there were many male strippers either, so the argument about that is kind of moot.

    Either way you look at it, strip clubs promote the objectification of women. The men who go there don’t want to get to know the girls, they just want to look at them. I couldn’t give a rats arse about those men being deprived of that activity.

    I’m glad that the Icelandic government isn’t condoning it.

  • Ani April 21, 2010, 5:57 pm

    There are many myths that resurface when issues surrounding strip clubs/lapdancing clubs. Examples are:

    1. Legal venues objectifying women/selling sex are ‘safer’ than illegal ones.
    2. Freedom/men are under attack when these venues are.
    3. Objection to these venues, their activities, or any related issue is tantamount to prudishness, and connected somehow to extreme censorship/fundamental islamic codes/etc.
    4. Strip clubs/lapdancing venues operate under no-contact rules, no underage girls, etc.
    5. Working at these venues is empowering.

    With a little research, and some effort to remain open-minded, it is possible to escape the quagmire of ignorance and recycling of popular media-type argumentation.

    It’s great to see forward-thinking governments challenge the need for outdated ‘traditional venues’ such as these. I support the closing of such clubs in the UK.