Business, Men and Strip Clubs

Image of shop window in Sydney’s CBD, 2014. An international retailer targeting rich men.

For the past few weeks I have been receiving abusive emails, calls and unflattering notes on Social Media arising from a story in a newspaper about men attending strip clubs whilst doing business.

The story included quotes from me. Although I spent considerable time talking to the journalist about this issue, only a few of my words were used; the quotes attributed to me were incomplete and out of context.

Having worked as a journalist for many years I understand that what is said is not always what is printed; from the time the article is written to the time the article is published, six or seven people rewrite it, change it, sub it, proof it, shuffle it around and reshuffle it until it meets the demands of the editor. Misquotes are seldom the writer’s fault.

Nevertheless, I’d like to explain my thoughts on the strip club issue to ensure my views are understood.

I am fully aware that men and women are different; hence perhaps why some men like going to strip clubs, and some women like fashion, I said. Just like some women like playing golf and some men like playing tennis.

When it comes to doing business, however, I know firsthand how inappropriate and unacceptable it is to have to do business in strip clubs. I’ve had to endure business meetings in this environment as a young journalist in order to keep my job. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the situation is going to change any time soon.

This behaviour was inappropriate in the 90s, and it is inappropriate today. But it goes on: the working class does it and the executive ranks do it; the only difference is where they go and how much they spend.

If we are to make changes, we first must acknowledge what is happening. We can’t be outraged, talk about it and then fail to take action. We cannot blame the women working in these industries; they have a market and that is how they make their living. In the past decade we have also seen how university students have worked in the industry in order to support their studies, and then entered a new career.

A few years ago I read an article by a Canadian economist who wrote that the reason there are so few women on Australian boards is because men ‘Down Under’ frequent strip clubs and women are excluded. I recall sending the article to various contacts, friends and members; all were outraged and in disbelief. All disagreed except one.

These naughty boys are today back in the headlines, but nothing has changed in decades; I suspect it never will.

If you are one of the non-believers, I would suggest you watch the documentary 'The Inside Job'. If you want to see the reality first hand, visit a strip club or a topless bar and see what’s really happening. It matters not what suburb you visit; in some you’ll find tradies having a beer after work at others you’ll see executives, salesmen, real estate agents, politicians and accountants, to name a few. The only difference is that the ones in the CBD pay more for their drinks.

The reason they are the same is that they seek a ‘man cave’ with female entertainment. The extra plus is that on occasions, their clients will shake and they can close their deal.

Why is it that women don’t seek such caves? I believe that it’s because women have a different way of communicating. We have very different needs and we wear so many hats in a single day that we cannot afford the luxury of being entertained, not least by naked or semi-naked men.

We are the entertainers most of the time; keeping house, cooking, driving our children around, caring for the elderly and coping with the constant discrimination on our doorstep which we often don’t even see these days. Women are so busy it is no surprise we don’t have time to look at the real world.

When we examine the media we see that the power is in the hands of a few men: in television, newspapers and radio.

Medical research is still primarily focused on men’s health, not women’s.

In politics we see few women in power. In Australia we have only one woman in our Federal Cabinet. We don’t have a female Premier in any one of our six Australian States. Women obtain only 1% of all contracts.. Men rule!

Look and compare how many male sports events are televised compared with female events; is this because fewer women play sport or is it because men are in charge?

Discrimination against women is on the rise. Sexting today is rife in our schools.

Domestic violence is on the rise. Paedophiles are spreading like wildfire. Our priests are raping our children, mother Earth is crying out for help and the long list of unfathomable and unacceptable human behaviour is beyond comprehension.

If then, I have an opinion based on facts and data, I will not apologise for it. I will not apologise for understanding that both men and women are sexual beings, and I do not apologise for being a feminist.

For the women who want to condemn me because my quotes were not in full context, I suggest you focus on bigger issues for I am not your enemy; I am your advocate. I further suggest that you familiarise yourself with the Queen Bee syndrome for it is this disorder which allows men to hold onto their power, thus reducing yours.

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