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Stripping the north inner city of its dignity? The campaign against Stringfellows gathers momentum

category dublin | miscellaneous | feature author Tuesday November 22, 2005 17:24author by k Report this post to the editors

"For jaysus' sake just promise us that Stringfellow himself wont take his clothes off" says Wag.

A brief interview with Maria MhicMheanmain, who is involved in the campaign against the opening on Parnell Street in Dublin of a new lapdancing club, owned by English businessman Peter Stringfellow.

I met up with Maria MhicMheanmain in a small redbrick terraced house in the shadow of Croke Park in Summerhill. She's involved in the campaign against the opening of a new strip club and "adult entertainment" venue on Parnell Street, run by English businessman Peter Stringfellow. The club has already began to advertise in the Irish media and recruitment websites for positions (no pun intended) in the club.

The campaign against Stringfellows was started by a woman called Vera Brady, who lives on Parnell Street. Her family have been there for a hundred years, over several generations. Maria and Vera have known each other a long time, with connections through their families. Maria says, "We dont have a name on our group yet, its just a group of concerned residents who dont want to see this club open in this location. Vera organised Matt Talbot hall for our first public meeting, and also did extensive leaflet drops in the area in order to get local people along.

"The first I heard of the proposed strip club on Parnell Street was on TV on a Friday night, the Late Late Show, a number of weeks ago. My initial reaction was, Christ, where they're planning on building a lapdancing club is less than a minute's walk away from my old secondary school (Mount Carmel). I was aware of a lapdancing club in Galway which opens at midday, and I was enraged that the possibility existed of men queueing up to get into a club like this, while young teenage girls were in the immediate vicinity on their lunch break."

The location of the club is at the junction of Parnell Street and Kings Inn Street. As Maria points out, the area is very built up, and also residential. "Its a working class area, with lots of corporation flats and social housing. There are lots of children around, they're very much a presence on the streets. I think its highly inappropriate to open what last year Glasgow City Council labelled a sex establishment. They believe all lapdancing clubs should be licensed as sex establishments like brothels, rather than being awarded a simple drinks, dancing, or music license. I would be very worried the clientele that would be hanging around the area would be very intimidating to younger women going to school nearby."

"Peter Stringfellow has said that his club was going to "gentrify the area". When I heard this comment, I thought what an outrageously elitist, classist, downright snobbish attitude he has. Its been well documented worldwide that property values and business stature decrease in areas near strip clubs. At the end of the day I think Mr. Stringfellow is interested in one thing: money. A city centre location is prime real estate for marketers."

"I think previous evidence completely refutes his theory of gentrification. Above all else I feel like the north inner city in Dublin has constantly been a disenfranchised area. There's been the scourge of drugs, a long history of unemployment, poor housing and so on. I just dont think its right that the north inner city should have another problem like this foisted upon it - ostensibly by someone who is not even a part of the local community, a complete outsider."

"We held our meeting to mobilise public support around the immediate area, Dominick St, Dorset St, and further afield. At the moment the campaign is looking into the whole area of licensing. We dont know whether Mr. Stringfellow has actually got the go-ahead or not. Ultimately it will be a judge who makes the decision on whether to grant the license or not. Apart from that the campaign is focusing on raising greater awareness among residents. In particular we want parents to know thats its a possibility, and get them involved in the campaign. The more that know the better, people power and strength can make all the difference."

"There was a feeling of complete outrage at the public meeting we held. Around 50 people showed up to it. Every single person there was completely opposed to having a lapdancing club in the middle of the community. I dont think people would have a major problem with the bar if it was just an ordinary bar or nightclub. The area does suffer from a huge lack of facilities for children though. For example the north inner city has the largest GAA stadium in the country, but no GAA club. There's very few spaces for children to run around. That site where Shooters is now (the proposed location of the club) used to be open wasteground. There's no reason why originally the site could have been made into an open parkland. If there was any way it could be designated a youth entertainment area, rather than an adult entertainment area, I think that would be ideal."

But there are already strip clubs in Dublin, for example on Leeson Street and Dame Street, and there's been no campaign against them. Stringfellow is also saying that he just wants to bring business into that end of town, creating employment and opening up a premises that was otherwise lying dormant. Maria feels that "Dame St and Leeson St are not residential areas for the most part, not in the same way that Parnell Street is. I dont think Stringfellows will have the overall effect of bringing business into the area either. People will end up shopping elsewhere because they feel intimidated. Personally I would prefer to see Stringfellow not come to Dublin at all. I dont think its appropriate that women should be objectified in any way. I do have to admit, as the mother of a young daughter who I hope to send to the local school, that I think the location is extremely inappropriate."

There are to be further meetings held and leaflet drops in the vicinity of the proposed venue in the coming months. Maria is hopeful that the local residents efforts will be successful. Work has already begun on renovating the venue, and Stringfellows have already advertised looking for cashiers, chefs and bar workers - so it would appear that the campaign has an uphill struggle on their hands.

Dominick Street flats nearby - currently undergoing redevelopment/demolition.
Dominick Street flats nearby - currently undergoing redevelopment/demolition.

McDonalds and expensive private apartments on Parnell Street - emblems of Celtic Tiger Ireland.
McDonalds and expensive private apartments on Parnell Street - emblems of Celtic Tiger Ireland.

Renovation work already underway inside the venue.
Renovation work already underway inside the venue.

Mount Carmel Secondary School, 1 minute walk away.
Mount Carmel Secondary School, 1 minute walk away.

author by renpublication date Tue Nov 22, 2005 18:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree that stringfellows is not a welcome addition to anywhere really. However i'm confused by this, shooters that was there beforehand was just the same sort of place, slatterys on capel street was a strip club for a while, there was one next door to belvedere and there is one down on eden quay where all the kids wait for buses. Why is stringfellows any more worthy of disdain than the rest, is it because of a deep rooted prejudice against the noble mullet.

Good luck with your protest but you know he'll just pick somewhere else to locate his club and the area as it is will still be destroyed by the current developement

author by Barrypublication date Tue Nov 22, 2005 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its getting back to that type of shite again .

The very idea of siting one of these seedy pervert magnets in a residential area is a disgrace . Mullet or not Stringfellow should be told to feck off out of it . As always its a working class area that is chosen , not a chance in hell the rich would eer allow this near their doors , but you can bet theyll be its loyallest customers .

Sickening .

author by bare facedpublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 01:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

parnell st not a million miles away from the area once known as the " monto" ?

author by joekaypublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it's a move with a lot of cheek alright.

author by yeppublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Stringfellow's comments about gentrifying the area are a gross insult to the people living in the north inner city. How exactly does a queue of beered/coked up "lads" in white shirts and doused in aftershave gentrify your area? The club is in the Leicester Square area of London, which if you've ever been there is the kind of place that features regularly on television with CCTV footage demonstrating the uglier side of binge drinking.

Stringfellow and his marketers must have investigated the area beforehand (along with several other sites) and decided that this would be the one that would prove the least problematic. If he put it anywhere on the southside or an already "gentrified" area, the residents there would be up in arms against it - and it would never see the light of day because in this country money talks, and gets you what you want. The north inner city residents dont have the same political strength because they dont have the same financial resources to line the pockets of political parties with large donations.

Yes there are other strip clubs and sex shops in the area, but this venue is far bigger than any of them. The name alone as well will draw an extra huge amount of punters up to Parnell Street. So I say good luck to the residents - if this is one negative development too far in your area, then fight against it. Fuck anyone who tells you that you need greater jobs and business in your area - if it results in exploitation and objectification of women, and only gives shitty service sector jobs, then reject it. You deserve better after being on the shitty end of the stick for years.

author by juan pablopublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in fact i did, its not a nuclear power plant,its not a weapons factory its a bar with strippers,all over the world bars play host to seedy people with strippers or otherwise,me thinks if it were just a regular pub here then there would not be a word of complaint

author by Con Carrollpublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 14:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

youth defence is behind this campaign

author by valeriepublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 15:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Even if they are - and people should provide evidence before banding about accusations and labels - so what? I think its a good idea that there is a campaign against this place opening up. I was on a black bloc a few years ago when it was all the rage, and the sex shops and strip clubs were a prime target of other women on the bloc for property damage. I think they would have had serious issue with them being called puritannical or the like.

Strip clubs have nothing to do with sex - apart from the commodification of it, just like everything else these days. Instead of women being respected as equals, and relationships being about mutual respect and trust, a woman is portrayed as the same as a boys toy or tech gadget. Pay your money, and voila, there it is for your cheap and easy entertainment. Its not about freedom or liberation, its about taking a very human, natural pleasure and debasing it to the level of a commercial transaction.

Do you think that Stringfellow (or any strip club) owner has sexual liberation in mind when they're thinking about revenue? No wait, let me guess: Stringfellows is a workers co-operative, run by collective consensus decision making. The strippers, restaurant and bar workers, all of whom are unionised, decide their own hours and award themselves pay rises based on the door take. The food is all vegan, there is no pressure to do "after hours work", and unexpected profits are put back into community projects around the venue. And Bertie's a socialist, the Pope wasnt a Catholic, and Michael O'Leary will be running flights on the back of a pig in the next few weeks.

YD's politics repulse me in many ways, but if they're behind this I dont care, good luck to them, no other political groups in the city seem to be bothered about doing anything constructive or meaningful, at all.

author by boomspublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As lap dancing clubs are for wankers, I would have thought youth defence would fit right in.

author by class warrantpublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 16:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr Stringfellow said: "The area needs upgrading. I'm bringing a club in that is more sophisticated than the immediate area."

I think Stringfellows should be forced out of the area on this comment alone.

Related Link: http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1504596&issue_id=13260
author by Con Carrollpublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 16:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am opposed to the exploitation of women/men in the sex industry.

author by congratspublication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 21:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to anyone involved in this campaign regardless of politics. They are standing up against the sexual objectification of women and this has to be supported. In a world where women are presented everyday in every form of media as sexual objects for men's pleasure and exploitation, and the trafficking of women and children for sex, spirals out of control, this opposition is a welcome development. This is not, as some like to sell it, simply a bit of fun, it is the reduction of women to pieces of flesh to be bought and sold not for what they do or think, but for how they serve men. Same old story, just when women are starting to become equals with men (and still suffer major inequalities at that), their sex is used to hold them back again cause every woman that dances naked for a man is saying to him and all men that this is what women do - serve mens needs, and women are fooled into thinking that this is some form of liberation when it is control in a another guise. Rape is fast becoming a real crisis issue in Ireland (with boys as young as 14 raping now) and of course they are in a world obsessed with displaying women as pieces of meat - men know that sex is still a power over women and they use it. Of course, lots of men dont enjoy or partake in the exploitation of women and it is women that are sometimes the main supporters of strip clubs but the power issue still stands. It doesn't matter whether the campaign is successful or not, the fact is people are at least making their views heard.

author by Paddy - consistent life ethic(inc animals)publication date Wed Nov 23, 2005 23:58author email achorusline19 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

To all the whingers out their saying "these clubs" make women out to be pieces of meat and exploit them",cant they decide for themselves what line of work they want to take up employment in?Isnt it supposed to be a choice???Arent women trusted to be moral agents for their own bodies?????I have a friend who isnt exploited and makes a great deal of money for taking her clothes off and is a professionally trained dancer,not just in the exotic department!!And also Mr Stringfellow will be running gay nights so are all me and my fellow homos gonna be perverts to go and watch in my opinion gross steroid muscle mary's dancing to C&C music factories"every body dance now",oh no,just the women are put down as usual,i mean its not in the least bit immoral to kill an unborn infant,just be naked in front of "coked up blokes in Ben sherman shirts",so really all the people who oppose the lap dancing industry and support abortion must believe that the human body is illegal!!!The only time when the sex industry is wrong is if women/men are forced into it and their passports confiscated by dodgy club owners,so make up your minds,are women capable of being their own moral agents for their own bodies???As for youth defence being behind this,im sure theyre used to it when their headquarters are right across the road from a gay bar and a lgbtq community centre,and numerous adult shops,and then just down a bit further another gay/trendy lounge,cop on,i marched in support once in soho with the british union of sex workers in soho,people who choose to make a good deal out of money by using their bodies,just as a baker bakes cakes??So inconsistent in your views,and by the way,im from the north east inner city,theirs not gonna be much more of an amount of Lacoste clad skangers around the area when the club opens as their were when it was the kippy shooters,so re-evaluate and finally,once more,arent women capable of being moral agents for their own bodies??So smoke that generation "pro choice".Love and light,Homo Paddy!!xxx

author by Joepublication date Thu Nov 24, 2005 04:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to Maria and to the rest.

author by Joannepublication date Thu Nov 24, 2005 14:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Arguing that a woman "chooses" to seek employment in the sex industry I think is a very weak argument to make and is not looking at the whole structural constraints capitalist society places on people living in poverty particularly women. When you are living in extreme poverty you will do anything for money. It is not that women actually "choose" to be sexually objectified. It is because they have no other choice.

I think if you want to stop strip clubs opening, if you want to put an end to the global sex industry that is exploitating women, then you have to look at the structures in society that are leading women into having to subject themselves into seeking such work. In Ireland because the government continously neglects to change the structural causes of poverty and inequality, the result is that some women have become slaves to the sex industry. This will continue because poverty will always mean there is an outlet for these industries to emerge.

author by gay georipublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 01:56author email gg at bearla dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

One wonder if the likes of Maria MhicMheanmain and the other champions of sexually-repression will next turn to Dustin singing "Patricia the Stripper" as a "commodification" of women and an outrage? No, of course not - Dustin is Irish, not Englsh. Nor will she and the rest of the dustbin lid banging relics of pre Celtic Tiger Ireland like her want to deal with the other issues rampant in the area: depravation, drugs, and crime. She doesn't want her daughter to walk past a club like this? You'd need to head examined to walk around the area at all - full stop.

The same day this article appeared on Indymedia, the same person, again without declaring her affiliation, appeared unchallenged in the Iirish Times, spouting the same unsubtantiated claims about sexually aroused men staring at her daughter on the way to school and "perverts" hanging around.

We should, instead, all welcome the job opportunities presented for women by the opening of this club. Sex workers have a right to work too. Instead of demeaning the club, perhaps Maria MhicMheanmain could apply for work there and help revitalise the local economy and gentrify what is little better than a slum to be frank. However, i expect the only pole that she's ever contorted around is the one that used to head up the vatican....

author by RJPpublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a lapdancing club-harmless bit of fun-it's not going to be open when the kids are going to school or anything. At first I thought there was a heavy dose of sarcasm on this discussion here-but my god you're all so serious!!

Laughable

Good man Peter

author by paddy - consistent life ethic(inc animals)publication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 15:22author email achorusline19 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

As ive just said,its only exploitative when people are forced into it,not many people are dragged by the arms to dance in adult entertainment venues,my friend is a highly educated female who likes the hours,not getting up in the morning at 7a.m,and loves to drink Cristal champagne and buy what to her is nice little luxuries,what harm is she doing??She has told me many times that shes sick of other women speaking on her behalf,making her out to be like a lamb lead to the slaughter!!All women are individuals,as are all men,everyone is unique from everyone else,so one woman or even a thousand cant represent the whole of womankind!!What next,the swp protesting outside the ann summers with the Legion of Mary???Stop criminalizing the human body,and yes im well aware of exploitative structures within all structures worldwide,not just the sex industry.People may as well be supporting the School of the Americas slaughtering coca producers in Columbia,and yes i know,its unfortunate because of govermental corruption,that producing Cocaine is the only means to an end a lot of farmers in that country have,so will you support the farmers or the pentagon,the women who decide for themselves to be strippers or a few deluded Mary-mad(no disrespect to Our Lady)auld-ones??I mean their was never a campaign when this was a strip club before??So cop on,stop making all women out to be dumb sheep being exploited who choose this as a proffession,whilr never mentioning the Chain gang and the like,and what of the male strippers who will be working on gay night???The economic contribution of sex-workers male and female,as well as the economic contribution of child minders needs to be recognised here,both very important!!You cant stop people from choosing to dance exoticly for money,nor from snorting a few lines,you wont ever stop the global sex or drugs industry,how long have people tried??With tyrants both capitalist and communist in their war against what they see as unproductive,such as in China and Cuba(both "communist states")outlawing and persecuting homosexuals because its not "productive".Its all interlinked,so once again,speak for those who cant be heard,but not for those that make themselves heard!!!Liberation of sex-workers and homosexuals now!!!!No waiting!!!!!!!!!!

author by Mariepublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 15:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a woman I feel it is a very sad day when there are so many people out there that cannot see the harm that the growth of these seedy clubs, working on the periphery of the law, do to society at large. Of course they have a distorting impact in the views that men develop about the female sex, and it would be difficut to argue that these venues, not alone lead to more illegal activities but undoubtedly must be linked in some way to the rise in sexual assaults in this country. As long as these seedy joints are tolerated by society at large, we are taking a step backwards in what women have fought for for years, to be recognised as equal citizens. I wonder how men would feel if the male equivalents of these strip joints opened up on their doorsteps?
I know plenty of you will argue with me but this whole industry is a slap in the face for women in Ireland today.

author by paddy - consistent life ethicpublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 17:17author email achorusline19 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I also said what about the men on gay night that will be stripping with cock rings on to make their tackle look bigger,are they being exploited or you as a woman see women as less intlligent??Oh no, i forgot,its the white powerful male government!!!!???This is seedy and filth,people say,as do youth defence!!Yes,more stalinist/trotskyist scum as i thought pushing their agenda(yes,PLEASE),correct me if im wrong!!And about the drugs that will undoubtedly be ingested in this "ever so controversial" strip joint.Yous people have more in common with your percieved "enemies" than you think,leave my friend,and others like her,well able to talk for themselves,ALONE!!!!And skip back to Marie stopes Ladies Church Evening!!!Cop on!!!! love and light,homo paddy!!! P.S. Is their a bit of jealousy here thats inherent to all of us a human beings as regards our appearance,or even the t.v./media portrayal capitalist portrait of how we should look in gender specific roles,no women,no men,just people!!!!xx

author by gay georipublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 17:45author email gg at bearla dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I lived in San Francisco for years and I was only delighted to live a block from the Nob Hill Theatre (seriously) which had a nude male revue. We need a few of those in Dublin.

San Francisco (and Seattle too, I think) also boasts the Lusty Lady, which is run by the sex workers there - the girls are unionised.

Finally, having been to Stringfellows in London, I'd like to inform you that plenty of women are in attendance too, watching the entertainers.

Where's the exploitation? All I see is jealousy....

Related Link: http://app1.chinadaily.com.cn/star/2003/0102/fe22-2.html
author by mickpublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 17:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i think everybody is making such a big deal out of lap dancing for nothing.it's just pure entertainment.ireland is such an old fashioned country and should wake up.any other country,like USA,its normal and even women go there and have fun.irish people should open their eyes and realise that lap dancing is harmless and just fun.they should worry and do something about the real problems,like parents who dont go to work,live on welfare and all they do is drink and smoke.thats what their kids see at home,and because of this they are ignorante,racist,dont know wat respect is,they steal and at the age of 12start drinking and smoking.lap dancing is not hurting anyone and its not a form of prostitution.why nobody is saying anything about the girls that have kids at the age of 14-15?parents should worry about having their kids at home at 10o'clock at night not on the streets.this way they wouldn't know about lap dancing.

author by Barrypublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the next step on from it is will be a home grown porn industry . The type of people this shite makes money for are shady indeed . Gangland and prostitution will always have a foot in the door . It will lead to more and more exploitation and dehumanising of people as simply there for your pleasure and entertainment .

Oh , great , therell be gays mincing about wearing cock rings too !! whoopee , thats everybodys mind at rest then .

author by gay georipublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 19:48author email gg at bearla dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gays "mince"? Glad to see Indymedia Ireland is challenging the traditional stereotypes then....

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 20:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And I'm sure he just sees other men "mincing" in comparison to his manly swagger. (Could be a job in one of those clubs for him maybe?)

author by gay georipublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 20:50author email gg at bearla dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Like Barry, we should all support the right of all Irish men to bear arse for Ireland's freedom... roll on male nude revues now.... let's see a few priests up there getting their kit off in front of real men... pet shop altar boys, here we come....

author by cowboypublication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ive read before he is a C&W fan . Maybe he has a cowboy hat, and perhaps a nice pair of chaps to go with it ?

Maybe this country cowboy could make himself a few bucks on stage , and provide us city slickers with an alternative to the "mincers" hes appalled at .

author by Paddy - consistent life ethic(inc animals)publication date Fri Nov 25, 2005 22:40author email achorusline19 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

1.Decriminalisation of all aspects of sex work involving consenting adults.
2.The right to form and join proffessional associations or unions.
3.The right to work on the same basis as other independent contractors and employers and the right to recieve the same benefits as other self employed or contracted workers.
4.No taxation without such rights and representation.
5.Zero tolerance of coercion,voilence,sexual abuse,child labour,rape and racism.
6.Legal support for sex workers who want to sue those who exploit their labour.
7.The right to travel across national boundaries and obtain work permits wherever we live.
8.Clean and safe places to work.
9.The right to choose whether to work on our own or co-operatively with other sex workers.
10.The absolute right to say no.
11.Access to training.our jobs require very special skills and professional standards.
12.Access to health clinics where we do not feel stigmatised.
13.Re-training programmes for sex workers who want to leave the industry.
14.An end to social attitudes which stigmatise those who are or have been Sex workers.

So there you go all you feminists who hate the stigmitisation of Women for any reason.For more info on the International union of sex workers,click on the link above.Or if you wish to continue speaking against those who already have a loud voice,then i suggest creating action groups such as Stalinists against Strippers,Humanists against naturists or the Queer fan-club of Buju Banton(a Jamaican dancehall artist not up on charges for murdering a gay Jamaican man in Jamaica),and other such non-sensical crap.

So please,stop stereotyping and stigmatising my Female friend and others like her,Love and light,Homo Paddy.xx

Related Link: http://www.iusw.org/start/index.html
author by seedotpublication date Sat Nov 26, 2005 08:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As the sex industry moves up Capel street from the Quays and attracts international operators as well those who are based / started in Dublin it will come into contact with the North Inner City communities.

There will be legitimate complaints from local residents which need to be listened to. If they are not, if there is a gung ho insistence that this is a (a?)moral crusade to finally lay priest ridden repressed Ireland in its grave, it could be possible to miss out on the fact that it is support for a large businessman in his fight with local residents.

It will also open those residents to seeking support where they can get it, which is likely to be those people who do not believe that the shops on Capel street or the bars on the Quays or any of them type of people should be allowed either. This will polarise things.

Pick your battles. Don't fight Peter Stringfellows or Ann Summers planning permission battles.

Is it true Barry is taking his C&W revue on the road? If he does some Johnny Cash pieces I could get him a wedding gig in China next year ;)

author by gay georipublication date Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I presume he does a good "Ring of Fire"...

author by Joe Publicpublication date Sat Nov 26, 2005 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This place is going onto a premises that WAS a lapdancing bar before. Above Shooters and cunningly not in the photo was Playmates playhouse. Up until this month the logo was still visible.

Only men that want to pay for a cheap thrill will be there. Only women that want to be paid a great deal for giving this cheap thrill will be there. So who does it hurt? Its not exploitation, its well paid employment. May I suggest you actually talk to the women that work in these places, not as a saviour but as an equal?

Is Leeson Street a den of vice? Or Eden Quay? Dame Street? Grow up and get behind some real issues.

author by el residentepublication date Sat Nov 26, 2005 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Leeson Street IS a horrible place, every single night there are loads of pissed up punters kicking the shit out of each other, puking, falling over, smashing glasses, etc. Not the kind of environment I want my kids growing up in.

author by Gregory Carlin - Irish Anti-Trafficking Coalitionpublication date Sun Nov 27, 2005 05:14author email gregory.carlin at ntlworld dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The lap-dancing sector in Ireland was established by immigration abuses, tax-evasion, racketeering, slavery & passport confiscation.

The IATC are still trying to locate females who went missing in Ireland during 2002. I doubt there are very many of the foreign lap-dancers paying a nickel in tax.

Irish Anti-Trafficking Coalition, Gregory Carlin, Director Email: info.iatc@ntlworld.com / Telephone: 02890 963164 / Cell: 07891 334930

author by Gregory Carlin - IATCpublication date Sun Nov 27, 2005 05:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Dutch are up to their eyeballs in organized crime & trafficking. Legalized prostitution has been a disaster.

The pro-prostitution people have had to drop that example as a model template.

The pimps are currently using New Zealand' as a version of the ideal. However the situation in NZ is barely any better than the Dutch version.

On the first day of legal-brothels in NZ, we had human milk advertisements for that important niche market.

Other 'services' elsewhere included paedophile theming for men who like petite, oriental without pubic hair etc.

author by feannorpublication date Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If there is no-one forced into it, and women have the choice to work in this club or not, what is the problem.
Some of you might not want women to make this choice, however it is still a free country i believe. I personally am not interested going to such a club, but i am sure there are guys who are. And fair enough, they are adults, if they want to pay to see women dance, and women dont mind dancing for good wages. Then its ok in my book, this feminist-fascist atitude of wanting to ban anything they consider offensive is ridiculous. Especially considering what they want to do is "control" and "limit" choices that are available to women themselves....possible hypocrisy ?

Anyway, opening a club doesnt bother me.....it is the knee jerk ill thought out reactionary rubbish that gets me annoyed. Get a grip and focus ur energies towards real problems.

author by IATCpublication date Tue Dec 13, 2005 02:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lap-dancing in Ireland was created by racketeering & organized crime.

Why should a dog go to the fleas or why on earth travel to where the bad news is?

If a genuinely safe side to the sector existed it would surely avoid our country?

author by Damienpublication date Tue Dec 13, 2005 14:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Its been well documented worldwide that property values and business stature decrease in areas near strip clubs"

There was me thinking that Leeson St. and Harcourt St. were some of the most highly valued real estate in the entire country. And Leicester Square,where he has another club....I thought that was some of the most expensive real estate in the whole world.

If anything the club will push property values up.

This club is within a few hundred yards of numerous sex shops on capel st, numerous gay bars on Capel St. and replaces a club which was closed down by the Guards for employing illegals, which was also rumoured to be offering more than dances. It's hardly fair to argue it will bring the tone of the area down - it's nothing new in the area.

Also it is worth noting that the club is surrounded on all sides by private apartments. The nearest corporation apartments are a block away on a different st - dominick st lower. So to argue its going in a "working class" area is rediculous. Most of the apartments around it cost almost half a million euro. Hardly suitable for the working class.

author by tobie*publication date Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A few days ago Dr. Ana Lopez did a talk at Maynooth about the International Union of Sex Workers which she was part of started up.

She says that usually when the idea of sex work is discussed it centres around the issues of the body, gender and morality. As a result the responce has been to eliminated the industry and not the explotation. People of all genders get exploited everyday in there workplaces and the responce is to elliminate the explotation not the industry itself.

She says that if people are to look at this issue as a labour rights issue then they can find solutions. These soloutions are that sex workers get the same labour and human rights as every other type of worker.

She would say you don't have to agree with her perpective that that sex work is legitimate type of work and that its not inherently exploitative, you should still join in solidarity with this group of workers and support there fight for rights.

Related Link: http://www.iusw.org/
author by supercellpublication date Fri Dec 16, 2005 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Also it is worth noting that the club is surrounded on all sides by private apartments. The nearest corporation apartments are a block away on a different st - dominick st lower. So to argue its going in a "working class" area is rediculous. Most of the apartments around it cost almost half a million euro. Hardly suitable for the working class."


The apartments are a very new arrival to the area and have changed the class structure outwardly - but most of the people that are there long term, and are more involved in keeping any sense of community alive, are those living in the local authority housing. Most apartment dwellers in the area do not give a flying fuck about their surroundings, because they're there temporarily (either as six month renters, or late twenties careerists sticking around for a couple of years property investment before decamping to the southside suburbs where its "nicer" to start a family - how nice it must be for them to have the choice), and are completely detached from anything thats happening in their locality. Where you define as an area I suppose is arbitrary, but in there you also have Dorset St, Hardwicke St, Wolfe Tone St, and a few other pockets of local authority housing up near Mountjoy St, Wellington St, etc. Most of these people are there for the long haul instead of a few trendy years of living in town. Any campaign by them to try and improve their area, be it for increased green spaces or the closure of strip clubs to line the pockets of venture capitalists is a worthy one and deserving of support.

How easy it must be for people not living there to say "you've already got loads of sex clubs and bars, what difference does one more make??" Easy to get on your high horse and dictate what is best for an area without having experienced any of the shit with drugs, unemployment etc.

author by Damienpublication date Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's laughable to suggest that the residents of the corporation flats are concerned about the community.

The problems in the Dominick Street area stem from the drug problem in the corporation flats, not the sex shops on Capel Street, and not the private apartments nearby. If I was living there I would be much more worried about the local crack head harming my daughter than the customers of stringfellows or the investors across the road.

Secondly if you see these investors as only being concerned with making money then it is in their interest to give the area a good name. Why would they want an apartment in a bad area when they could have a more valuable apartment in a better area. Obviously they also accept that developments such as Stringfellows will actually increase real estate value in the area

author by updaterpublication date Mon Jan 09, 2006 20:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Stringfellow got his license today in the courts, the club is going to be opening fairly soon.

Interesting how the building renovations were happening _before_ he was granted the license.

author by gay georipublication date Mon Jan 09, 2006 22:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He did, indeed, win his licence today, with some odd distinctions...

"The court was told this afternoon there would be no lapdancing taking place at the club as lapdancing involves physical contact and that would not be allowed."

"The court heard entertainment at the club would involve scantily clad and completely unclad females dancing beside tables and on stage."

(Wonder if he opens in Cork, would it be called called BigFellas or Langers Brasserie?)

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0109/stringfellow.html
author by Katherinepublication date Fri Jan 27, 2006 01:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im a lapdancer. I would make an educated guess (popular to contrary opinion 'educated lapdancer' is not an oxymoron, I have a considerable amount of education behind me) that this is not a bad move for the city.

I have a few points to make, starting off with this popular misconception of exploitation.

Do I feel exploited? No.

Do I feel sorry for a lot of my customers? Yes.

Speaking from experience-and it seems to me I am the only one qualified from the dancers perspective here-the girls do not get exploited.

We do not have contracts, admittedly this is a double edged sword: it is just as easy to quit and walk off as it is to be fired and have to walk. I have yet to see a girl paying tax....mind you I have yet to see one produce a visa for staying here. Blind eyes are turned left, right and centre in this industry.

Girls are not exploited, because we choose to do this job. There is no one in the background with a big stick, threatening us to do this job or...

We do this job because there can be good money in it. I say 'can' because it is erratic. You could have a good night and earn around two thousand euro (dependent on the club), or you could have a bad night and earn nothing and owe money for your house fee (the fee charged by the club for dancing there, irrespective of commission charged on dances).

If there was no demand for lapdancers, there would be no clubs, it is as simple as that.

I think Stringfellows will be a positive move for the city: the standards there will be a lot higher. For example, in a topless club, I have seen almost simulated sex with clients...nudity requires a distance be kept at all times. No contact. Most thongs have the consistency and appearance of dental floss, but this does not stop nude clubs being more preferable and more highly monitored to work in.

Secondly, with all the controversy surrounding the opening of this club, the garda and media will be policing it like a hawk: irrespective of all the groups of protesters who will be dying for an excuse to have it shut down. The standards will have to be impeccable. All I can say is that its a shame that the same standards that will be applied here due to the profile of the place, are not applied to the other clubs in Dublin.

Bad clubs give the better ones a bad name.

Think logically: can Peter Stringfellow really afford for his club to be anything other than whiter than white? No, he cant.

I have had offers to work in this club, and have been condsidering it; however, the one thing that is stopping me, is the thought that after the initial flush of success which will be inevitable, will it be deserted and customers run out because of the higher prices demanded, and the amount of opposition it faces?

I pity the judgemental bigots who refuse to consider any other perspective but their own.

author by Janiacpublication date Wed Feb 01, 2006 14:53author email jaybeer at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi

I have been seething quietly about this issue for quite a while now. It seems the older I get, the more obvious it seems to me that women have fallen way waaaaay behind in the old equality stakes. Stringfellows represents the current situation thus:

It has been said here before but it doesn't seem to be recognised that there is something inherently wrong with the idea that women are just another commodity available for purchase. Yes there is demand for it, yes it has been happening for thousands of years. That doens't make it right.

I find it amusing that people seem to think that only weirdos or perverts will be going there. Wake up and smell the coffee people, it'll be your boyfriends, husbands, sons and friends. Stringfellows is seen as an acceptable choice of venue for a lads night out in a way that the other lapdancing clubs in Dublin are not. This kind of behaviour seems to be becoming more and more acceptable (recently I have had several "normal" lads justify their visiting prostitutes to me). It's evident in the newsagents and in the amount of stags parties going to prague/amsterdam etc where the sex industry thrives.

I take ther dancers point that some people choose to enter the industry. She should recognise that others feel that they have little choice where they find themselves in dire financial straits. I don't know anyone in my circle who would feel comfortable explaining to family/friends/boyfriend that they dance naked for payment and the entertainment of men. If the practice is fine, why is there such a stigma attached to it?

I really think this is a distressing development for Dublin. It makes me angry that people treat the issue so naively and think it is all just a bit of craic. Good luck to the dancers but I am hoping it doesn't take off. yuk yuk yuk!!

author by Big Joepublication date Wed Feb 01, 2006 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When will women shut up ranting on about equality.. they are as equal as men and do better out of alot of things so they need to change the record and stop using the 'equality' garble whenever they want to kick up a fuss about something. What about equality for men.. fathers rights, family law etc.. two can play at that game.. Anyway, there is a demand for the likes of stringfellows and although i couldn't be arsed giving him my hard earned cash for something i can get for free, if thats what people want, well we live in a free market economy.. my only question is why the hell is it on parnell street as opposed to the baggot St/D.2 type area as it is targetted at business people and to the upper end of the market...

author by janiacpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:21author email jaybeer at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

equality for men? fathers rights, family law ETC? ETC? It's pretty hard alright to come up with area where men are worse off than women! and family law and father's rights are basically the same thing are they not? psssssh.
In any case I don't think this is an equality issue, it's a morality issue. Would anyone like their mother/sister/girlfriend to be doing this work? No? Well then why should anyone have to do it.
Arguing on another tack why isn't there anything similar for women? Where can I go to say naked men dance for my amusement. And i don't mean greasy chippendales I mean attractive men NAKED serving me drinks and dancing beside my table. hmmmm don't know any clubs like that around. Because men don't have to do it for women.. or something.

author by Big Joepublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the fact of the matter is, these women choose to do this and they do very well out of it. They don't have to do it anymore than i have to go to work everyday. They only have to do it cause they want to earn loads of money. Thats their choice, the same way if i wanted loads of money, i could decide to sell drugs.. Thats the road they choose.. If they want to earn money but not by stripping, get a job in an office but no, these girls want to earn big money so they choose to do stripping. No one is making them. As for similar clubs for women, if there was a demand or market for it there would be plenty of clubs for women but obviously there isn't yet except i know stringfellows will be having 'gay' nights...

author by Ulyssespublication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Alot of people are playing down the opening of Stringfellows as a Men's playground - were they can go, have some fun and then head home.

We have to ask ourselves the question - psychologically speaking is it healthy for a man to be brought to a point of extreme sexual excitement and then shown the door - is this mentally healthy?!

When visual pornography (such as lap dancing) objectifies women, it demeans their value as a human being and reduces them to lower even than animals: they become inanimate objects. A rape victim's consent is of little or no value to someone who views her as merely a sexual object, not a human being.

This objectification is the link between ‘soft’ porn such as lap-dancing and heinous crimes such as rape.

There are statistically proven links between 'Women as objects' and sex-crimes...such as

According to VictimsOfPornography.org, "87% of girl child molesters and 77% of boy child molesters studied admitted to regular use of hard-core pornography" and "of 36 serial sex murderers interviewed by the FBI in 1985, 81% admitted using pornography".

Lap-dancing is visual pornography - when will people start accepting that there is a link!!!

It annoys me the way the protestors at Stringfellows are being white-washed as the 'Father Ted' brigade of bible bashers - some of the group have very valid points while some of course are the loonies that every open-access community group is bound to attract...

Anyway - I've heard that the anti-Stringfellows crew are campaigning every night at 8pm outside the club - and wish them best of luck...

author by Idonthinksopublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 01:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rape is about power over a human being not sexual gratification, any educated person in the field and the various organisations can tell you that.
In addition, the majority of child abusers ARE NOT attracted to fully grown women so the men in these places are less likely to abuse a child. I call that common sense and lastly, many child abusers were in fact abused themselves, that is the link to their actions, not pornography.

author by curiouspublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 13:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Would posters consider Gay magazines or Lesbian magazines to be objectifying men/women.
What is Porn what is Erotica? Whats art whats filth. I agree that some women can start in lap dancing clubs and go on to prostitution but I wonder if there is evidence that this is common.

I think the protesters who come from the area have a right to say what they want in their area and what they do not want but sometimes (NOT in this case) peoples wishes have to be overruled. I recall a campaign by residents in North Dublin against a womens refuge as a case in point.

author by Dancerpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 18:44author email missh_20 at yahoo dot com dot auauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Angry People,

First and foremost, I will be upfront with you all and tell you that I (brace yourselves) am a 'retired' Dancer (gasp/ shock horror/ get the firing squad out). Not that you couldn't tell from the user name or anything... Ok, so maybe you could.

I'm not even going to bother reading all the way through each and every comment. As it seems, there is a bit of a mixture of feelings anyway. All the negativity is just ridiculous. Don't you have better things to be doing with your time? Its a nice club, that has nice girls working in it, with nice staff attending to patrons needs. There are strict rules enforced on what goes on - ie. no touching, therefore, how can it be utter sleaze? More touching and 'sleaze' goes on down at the local pub.

How many times have you gone in to a discoteque and found all sorts of funky shenanigans going on around side corridors? There are far bigger and worse things going on than this, and perhaps you should focus your attentions on that. Stringfellows is a sophisticated venue, and this sort of behaviour is really a little silly. An angry mob like those of you who were protesting outside the premise is far more dangerous than anything that could be going on inside. People go to dance clubs to have a nice time, and enjoy themselves. If Stringfellows is providing quality entertainment, patrons are enjoying themselves and there are employment opportunities for locals, etc, what is the problem?

I think I am going off-track. I didn't want it to come to this but duh- get a life. There must be something in the water up there because you're all just a tad bit weird. And if it didn't bother you when Shooters or Hooters or whatever the last club was called that was in the same place, then why should this? Double standards indeed. Losers.

Lots of love, *Dancer*

author by Mikey - Pornographic Society Irelandpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 21:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think that lapdancing clubs are great and that theres female orientated ones out there too.
As a member of the Pornographic Society Ireland I would like to see Mr.Stringfellow open more lapdancing clubs hes a bloody genius.

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