Saturday, 27 March 2010

Yay for Iceland!

Iceland might just be the most feminist country in the world. With news this week that they have passed legislation that will ban all strip clubs in the country, they are leading the way in challenging the sex industry. You can read all about here -

Closer to home from the 1st of April it will be illegal to purchase sex in the United Kingdom. Still it remains to be seen what effect Iceland's decision to ban all strip clubs will have here where the debates rage on over lap dancing clubs. Even in feminist camps there are huge disagreements about the sex industry, whether it can ever be a woman's choice to be a sex worker and indeed whether it can ever be empowering.

Well, I know in which camp I firmly sit. The sexual exploitation and comodification of women's bodies does not make for a progressive and supposedly civilised society. The conditions under which the vast majority of sex workers conduct their work, many feeding drug and alcohol addictions, is a far cry from the glamorous tales recounted by the likes of Belle Du Jour and fictionalised series such as Billie Piper's 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl'. Its time that as a society we woke up to the realities of the industry and refused to allow women's bodies to be used for commercial gain.

Arguments that prostitution is the oldest industry in the world are hardly excuses to allow this to go on. If it were that simple then there would be a case for continuing other forms of slavery. And I am sure all civilised people would agree that we should never return to a racist past. So why should sexism be any different?

Until the EU passes blanket legislation banning the purchase of sex and the use of strip and lap dancing clubs from all our societies then real progress can never be made. Having said this, Iceland's stance is a huge one up for feminism.

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