The Malta Independent 13 November 2019, Wednesday

Indepth: ‘Nothing gentleman-like about strip clubs

INDEPTH online Friday, 8 November 2019, 07:12 Last update: about 1 day ago

There is nothing ‘gentleman-like’ about gentlemen’s clubs, but they are, rather, strip clubs glorifying the selling of a woman’s body, says lecturer and activist Dr Anna Borg.

Dr Borg was speaking on this week’s Indepth programme, where presenter Rachel Attard welcomed Dr Borg and actress Angele Galea to discuss the reform on prostitution and the Nordic reform.

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Dr Borg formed part of the 40 NGOs who came together to submit proposals on human trafficking and prostitution. The coalition proposals also highlighted on the notion of gentlemen’s/strip clubs.

“For us there is no sense of gentlemen notion in such clubs. In a strip club you find women giving a show and glorifying their bodies as a product.” She also noted that one can even find online reviews left by men complaining that their money was stolen at such clubs or have been drugged and lost their sense of control. “What is happening in these clubs do not just effect women working there or the men using their services, but also the reputation of the country,” Dr Borg highlighted.

She said that ideally such clubs do not exists and when it comes to the Nordic model women would be protected and not be seen as just “fresh meat”.

She explained that the industry of strip clubs exchange women from one club to another. “This is an extremely complex issue; we are not just speaking about morality and religion, but the implications of selling sex and vulnerable women.”

 

Galea, meanwhile, said that there is still hope in the grim realities of these vulnerable women. “We cannot let the stigma surrounding prostitution; even just smiling at these women can change a life. I truly believe in the power of a smile and making a difference.”

 

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’No ‘Pretty Woman’ happily-ever-after ending for those in prostitution

The reality of those individuals engaging in sex work is far more grime than the fairy tale of 'Pretty Woman' and they have no happily ever after, actress Angele Galea said.

In this week's episode of Indepth, presenter Rachel Attard welcomed actress Angele Galea and Dr Anna Borg to discuss and shed light upon the controversial and hot topic of prostitution.

Angele Galea has volunteered at Dar Hosea, whilst Dr Anna Borg is a key figure amongst the 40 NGOs who submitted their proposals on the prostitution and human trafficking reform earlier this month.

Last month, Galea stared and produced Wahda Minna, a local production exposing the real situation of women caught up in life-long exploitative circumstances and the impact of prostitution, poverty and drug abuse. Angele explained that apart from years of volunteering at Dar Hosea (centre for women in prostitution) and discussions, Angele recalls how her mother was a primary school teacher with students whose own mothers would force them into prostitution.

"As I grew up I began to understand more these children's situations and how much they were lacking," Angele explained.

She said that she used theatre in a responsible manner to give the vulnerable a voice and to tell their story.

"In no way do I want to glorify their life or the world of prostitution. In no way is their reality that of the film "Pretty Woman" with any happy ever after. Such endings do not exist." She explained that theatre is being used as to mirror reality, and that now is the time to make the right decision for the prostitution reform. "We have a choice; let us make the right one."

Dr Anna Borg formed part of the 40 NGOs which came together earlier this month to submit a reform of human trafficking and prostitution. The reform proposes that trafficking and prostitution are forms of violence, violence which cannot be legalised or regulated, only outlawed. 

"We are fortunate enough to discuss and take into value what has happened in other countries; we either let women sell their bodies or give power to those prostitutes," explained Dr Borg. She highlighted that once prostitution is legalised one is opening a huge market and business to traffic more vulnerable people into prostitution. "The demand increases and more people will be needed to satisfy this industry, therefore pimps and traffickers begin to search for those who can be trafficked and prostituted."


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