Striptease is increasingly being used as a form of political protest, at the same time as stripclubs are struggling to renew their licences in the UK. As a member of the East London Strippers Collective and a blogger for the website londonlapdancer.com, I feel that we need to explore the crossing over of nudity and protest.
So who has been behind this building movement? Well actually many groups are using their bodies to speak out. Ukrainian group FEMEN hold topless protests to raise awareness about womens rights. The global Slutwalk movement began after a Police Constable in Toronto said 'women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized', basically insinuating that rape was a woman's fault and down to her fashion choices! It has now grown into a worldwide movement, with marches held every year since 2011. Amber Rose, a celebrity famous for her banging body and for organising the celebrity filled Slutwalk Festival, actually used to be a stripper back in the day.
The monthly parties thrown by the East London Strippers Collective are an evolution of this fusion between fighting for our rights and utilising our bodies to perform and earn a wage. We want to be able to work and perform in an environment that we enjoy - a safe place that we have created for ourselves.
But having a monthly residency allows us to do more.
It gives us a platform to speak out.
We can use our costumes and music to satirize the politics of today, to speak out against patriarchy and to use each minute on the stage to convince the audience of our message.
The ladies of the East London Strippers Collective will be speaking out at the 'Lost at Sea' party against the general election and policies that we feel are anti-women and anti-sex. We don't want mothers struggling to feed their kids, or to have our porn viewing blocked by an overpriced internet provider.
Sure we can all have a good time, and we all enjoying watching beautiful women and men throwing fantastic moves and getting naked - but doing it for a cause is so much more fun!
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