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Submission from Zero Tolerance to the Scottish Government consultation re: Regulation of Sexual Entertainment Venues.

September 2013

Summary of our position

We support the creation of a new regime to regulate Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) but with some caveats, which stem from a philosophical disagreement with the approach of regulating a form of social harm as opposed to trying to end it. We are concerned about possible unintended consequences, such as legitimising an industry we see as extremely harmful and problematic. But, on balance, we support the proposals as they represent an improvement on the current regime of licensing and they are better than no change at all.

Our support for some of the intent behind this proposal does not lessen our belief that, fundamentally, lap-dancing, stripping and all other forms of sexual entertainment are forms of commercial sexual exploitation, and as such of violence against women. The industry which provides SEVs sanctions objectification of women, glamorises exploitation and harms work to achieve gender equality.

We aspire to a Scotland without these forms of so-called ‘entertainment’ and admire societies which have taken action to end highly gendered ‘sexual entertainment’.  For example Iceland has legislated to ban all strip clubs. The law was passed with no votes against and only two abstentions. It makes it illegal for any business in Iceland to profit from the nudity of its employees. Arguably there is a correlation between gender equality and SEVS – the societies with the least gender inequality tend to have the fewest of these kinds of venues. It is not unrealistic to aspire to a society with no SEVs. It is a matter of political will.

Please find the full response from Zero Tolerance attached below.

ZT submission to SG re SEV consultation Sept 2013 (1).pdf
Added: September 5, 2013
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