Scarlet News:

Scarlet Alliance rejects call to ban new strip clubs

Nov 28, 2023 | Media release, News

Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, rejects calls to ban new strip clubs from opening and the suggestion that strip clubs are responsible gender inequality and disrespect of women.

Quotes attributable to Mish Pony, CEO of Scarlet Alliance:

Banning new strip clubs from opening is based on stigma, discrimination, and a fundamental misunderstanding of how men’s attitudes to women are created and influenced. It is unfortunate to see people once again trying to blame the sex industry for men’s attitudes towards women based on assumption and stigma; rather than supporting evidence-based approaches such as education on healthy, respectful relationships.

Strippers and other sex workers are experts in setting clear boundaries that foster cultures of open communication and mutual respect.

This singling out of strip clubs and the sex industry promotes stigma and discrimination against sex workers, and blames us for the attitudes and behaviour of men.

Concerns regarding the safety of workers in strip clubs would be better directed towards ensuring the full decriminalisation of sex work, robust labour laws, work health and safety protections, and anti discrimination protections.

Worker rights and safety within strip clubs and the broader sex industry are best dealt with through decriminalised frameworks where sex workers have access to the same workplace protections as any other worker. Anti-discrimination protections for sex workers are also an essential component to ensure that we are not discriminated against. Proposed reforms to the Fair Work Act would also enable sex workers who work as independent contractors to go to the Fair Work Commission to have unfair contract terms dealt with. We support these reforms and look forward to other opportunities to work with the Federal Government to strengthen labour laws for all workers.

You can watch our national programs manager (and stripper), Katia Schwartz, speak to her experiences as a stripper on The Drum (Thursday 16/11/2023).