Dear Sarah Sands,
We were shocked and dismayed to see that your paper, the London Evening Standard, had recruited Simon English as your new 'strip club correspondent'. We don't normally take such a serious tone, what with us being a ha-ha funny feminist website and all. Perhaps that's what you like about us, and led you to publish a double page spread on the Vagenda and, later, a copy of our rape rainbow. But at the risk of pissing you off and not getting anymore press coverage, we had to write this.
Seriously, what the hell? This is 2012. You are a WOMAN, Sarah. Surely you can appreciate the hundreds of years of struggle the vaginally-possessed have had to endure, at least a little bit? I'm not saying that we are all 'the ladies' and that we should be having a big fluffy muff love-in, but some solidarity would be nice, at least. Especially from a woman in a position of journalistic power that is rarely seen in this country. You could be using your powers for good, Sarah. What message do you think you're sending aspiring women journalists, let alone your own female writing staff?
The worst thing about this article is the fact that it contributes nothing to the debate surrounding lap dancing or, indeed, journalism as a whole. It's just a slightly skeezy guy, heading to a lap dancing club with a load of his banker buddies, with his wife's permission, and writing some fairly mundane, amoral copy about it. One of his mates spunks up £2,500 on dances and 'girls'. How does this speak to ordinary Londoners, many of whom are struggling to pay their rent and bills, some of whom are subsisting on a diet of fish fingers from Iceland and jobseeker's allowance? HOW?
There have been many pieces of excellent investigative journalism written about lapdancing. When you look at those, it becomes even clearer that Simon English's crap anecdotal writing serves little purpose but to titillate. There is, of course, the attempt to amuse the reader but making it clear how awkward Simon finds the experience of being dry humped by a woman for money. Perhaps Simon intends to start the series on a fairly non-judgy note, which after a few weeks will reach a crescendo of remorse and a full blown conversion to feminism? Will he cry into his pillow at the thought that the woman he paid to gyrate against his flaccid English cock was once someone's little girl, with hopes and dreams and ambitions? Is that where this is going, Sarah?
OK, so we're getting a bit OTT, but hopefully you see our point that Simon's weirdly amoral stance sends thousands of Londoners the message that it's OK to objectify women as long as it is in the name of journalistic research and is being paid for with an expense account. As one of our Twitter followers said: 'if being able to wear and operate a clippable thong is 'wise', then I don't want to live on this planet anymore.'
We're not sure we do either.
The Vagenda Team