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Power and exploitation - please check my sanity

8 watchers
Oct 2018
9:22am, 2 Oct 2018
5837 posts
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I went to Moulin Rouge many years ago. I remember rather poor food and slightly tacky entertainment. It didn't make enough of an impression to want to go back, or to recommend it.

In a different example, two of us (female), aged around 18, were invited to join our male colleagues at the pub at lunchtime. We all walked into a crowded, boozy, bearpit of a place just as the resident stripper was removing the last item of clothing and gyrating between the tables of noisy drunk men. Our male colleagues thought it was hilarious and were making a number of lewd comments about us and the stripper. Welcome to Mayfair in the 1970s.

The stripper didn't look as if she was enjoying herself any more than I was.
Oct 2018
9:36am, 2 Oct 2018
7674 posts
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Interesting discussion - I think I agree more or less with you HappyG.

Like most things, exploitation has degrees.

Giving up your time to do a job that is a bit boring is mild exploitation at most. Doing stuff that may be harmful to your health for more money is getting more exploitative and doing stuff that is largely looked down on by society is again getting more exploitative.

Social norms matter - people's sense of worth is one of the psychological cornerstones of well being. Sure some people will not care and some in society will not be judgmental, but I think generally sex workers are looked down on. I've never met anyone that would be proud for their kids to be going into the sex trade.

Of course some people who are reviled by society seem to relish it, estate agents for example.. :)

I had a mate who used to work up the City and he sometimes got a bit excitable after a few pints. One of his favourite games was everything has a price. How much would you need to be paid to do x. Interesting to see that most of the people I was drinking with would do most things once the number was big enough.
Oct 2018
12:20pm, 2 Oct 2018
29280 posts
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Lol at Estate Agents Simbil. Thanks for your contribution!

That last point about "everything has a price" is why I'm a moral, not just a political, communist!

Helegant, that must have been a horrendous work experience for a young woman. Fortunately I do not believe that would happen in a modern workplace, and that is a very good thing.

But it's a combination of changing attitudes and laws that have made that progress from horrendous, to better. Does anyone disagree that things are better now and that removing that sort of experience is good? Isn't that an argument that forcing cultural change, together with laws to enforce things, are effective?

Re. your Moulin Rouge experience being poor food and tacky (and was it expensive, or don't you know?) - so would you just not recommend it, or would you say it was uncomfortable and warn others against it? Or would you (like me) say it was downright objectionable and should be at least frowned upon and at best, be protested against or better still legislated against? (Were there animals when you went or just naked girls?) :-) G
Oct 2018
5:11pm, 2 Oct 2018
5839 posts
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It was a long time ago, but I do remember it as very expensive, and I think they had animals (was there a big cat?), also a large pool with a whale or dolphin or similar. I wasn't appalled by it at the time although I think I might be even less enamoured of it now, but felt guilty for not enjoying something that was meant to be a treat.
Oct 2018
5:17pm, 2 Oct 2018
5840 posts
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Also, I didn't think the stripper experience was horrendous although it was unpleasant. I did think my male work colleagues were crude, disgusting and childish. They were embarrassed too when the bravado wore off. It never happened again.

I hope that no women now have to go through some of those pre-legislation experiences, but if we think culture has changed a lot then I refer you to the US and a man called Kavanaugh...
Oct 2018
9:12am, 3 Oct 2018
29283 posts
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Well, that's also partly my point Helegant. I think attitudes in most of society and in the workplace have improved between the 70s and today. But people like Kavanaugh (in his defence of and attempted dismissal of the seriousness of allegations against him) and Trump (just *everything* about Trump) challenge and undermine that progress.

Those sorts of attitudes at the top do affect people's thinking, I think. Which is why role models are so important. And so is language. And so is legislation. Exploitation of any group, on the basis of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or any other trait is unacceptable. But money and power enable exploitation. And we have to be alert to it, guard against it, and call it out when we see it, I believe. :-) G
Oct 2018
6:26pm, 3 Oct 2018
5847 posts
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... and as for Trump. It's like going back four decades. He never ceases to disappoint and you're right, we do need to call out the '...isms' before they are re-normalised..

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About This Thread

Maintained by HappyG(rrr)
Right, I had a disagreement with my wife last night which got quite heated. I didn't actually h...

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