The letter from Richard in Saturday’s Star welcoming the renewal of the licence for Spearmint Rhino is is a predictable response from someone who assumes that objectors are “snooty”.
There were at least 71 objections from a diverse range of local people.
For those of us who believe that the sex industry is harmful to women, girls, men and boys, this is underpinned by analysis and our experiences.
The culture of sexism is ubiquitous and does not need to be written in any “rule book”.
We disagree that “these clubs create jobs and revenue, which is then pumped back in to the city; pubs, takeaway joints, taxi firms and even shops benefit”.
This club does not add any value to the area.
How is money pumped back into the city?
If students and other customers are broke after paying out £10 for private dances, how does that benefit the city?
There is less money for the small independent businesses which characterise the cultural industries quarter.
And how do those who travel from outside Sheffield to Spearmint Rhino contribute to the city’s economy?
Which shops are open during the hours SR operates?
Richard says that he doesn’t wish to stereotype then goes onto state “I think it’s fair to say that some of the women who work at the Rhino haven’t got much in the way of qualifications or career prospects, so what are they going to do if you take away their jobs – work in retail outlets for minimum wage, or go on the dole?
Who benefits by that?
Richard is doing precisely that – stereotyping.
He is the one demeaning the women who work there (“go on the dole” implies that they are unemployable elsewhere and are defined solely by their ability to perform in these clubs) whilst at the same time claiming that he values women but likes them nude.
Spearmint Rhino is very obviously a strip club, or rather so-called “gentleman’s club” with an internationally recognised logo.
Richard manages to insult objectors (“snooty”), the dancers (unemployable) and men by referring to biological (ie sexual) impulses as if men are not in control of their sexuality.
We don’t believe this for a moment but feel that male sexual entitlement is a social construct.
This sense of male sexual entitlement is reinforced by the sex industry.