Taking Back the Night? Gender and the Contestation of Sexual Entertainment in England and Wales – by Colosi and Hubbard (forthcoming in Urban Studies, 2014)
Despite important moves towards gender equality, the experience of the night-time city remains profoundly different for women and men. The visibility of self-styled ‘gentleman’s clubs’ where female dancers perform for a predominantly male clientele has been taken as prime evidence of this persistent inequity. Opposition to such clubs has hence been vocal, with the result that many local authorities in England and Wales have moved to ban clubs within their jurisdiction utilising the powers of the Policing and Crime Act, 2009. This paper explores the arguments that have per- suaded policy-makers to refuse licences for such venues, particularly the idea that sexual entertainment causes specific harms to women. The paper does not question the veracity of such arguments, but instead explores why sexual entertainment venues have become a target of feminist campaigning, situating this opposition in the context of long-standing debates about the vulnerability of women in the night- time city.
Keywords: Night-time, sex industry, gender equality, crime, UK
HUBBARD AND COLOSI URBAN STUDIES 2013