Feminists protest Lesbian striptease show
Say strip shows at Tel Aviv club ‘exploitation of women who have no other choice,’ try to convince people not to enter; club owner: We are not encouraging prostitution; we are women who love women and give them a place in which they can make a respectable living
The lesbians and bisexuals who arrived at Tel Aviv’s Minerva club Tuesday evening were greeted by a group of feminists protesting the ‘exploitation of the strippers’ at the establishment.
The club’s owner, Galit Ben-Simchon, said the strip shows aim to ‘fill a void for the lesbian community.’
“Straight women can go to a Chippendales show, but lesbians have no place to go,” she said.
Roni Hacohen, who helped organize the protest, told Ynet that, “We regard the importing of striptease as cooperation with the sex industry.”
Roni Hacohen (R) confronts Galit Ben-Simchon (Photo: Yaron Brenner)
“Women who do this for a living are not in a situation in which they can decide for themselves whether they should strip or go to law school,” she added. “Most of them work in the industry out of despair and because they have no other choice; these women are being exploited.”
Despite the flowers handed out by the feminists, the crowd continued to pour into the club, with some saying they arrived only to 'say hello to the DJ' or 'go to the bathroom'.
“If I had the courage, perhaps I would also become a stripper,” one woman said at the club’s entrance. “Many of the girls do this out of choice; I know a few university students who do it to pay their tuition.”
Ben-Simchon added that, “We see it (stripping) as a kind of art, a real theatrical performance. The women choose to do this and we provide them with an audience that respects and embraces them.”
According to her, “This does not constitute exploitation because I know the women do it out of free will and that they are well-paid.
“We will be the last to judge them,” Ben-Simchon said. “They have a right to express themselves artistically and professionally, just as every other citizen does. We are not encouraging prostitution; on the contrary, we are women who love women and give them a place in which they can make a respectable living.”