From: Elaine Luke, The Close, Fairlight
The council licensing department which licensed the mobile billboards currently advertising a Hastings lap-dancing club (Hastings Observer and Rye Observer, August 11) has made a shameful misjudgment.
This may be 1066 country but in 2017 it is beyond belief that such billboards are touring or parked in the area, touting women’s bodies as commodities for sale.
The licensing of the club itself is a related but separate issue. The club’s managing director Peter Eldridge, for whom it is all a simple matter of making money, claims that it is “hardly a vulgarity to show a picture of a girl in a bikini on an advert”.
That is not just a girl in a bikini – it’s a woman on her knees in a sexually suggestive pose with a champagne bottle between her thighs.
The billboards purvey to everyone, including children and adolescents, the repellent attitude that women are sex objects available to be bought and sold. Peter Eldridge’s further comment: “ especially when one considers what is obtainable on the internet” is no justification.
Two wrongs never make a right. Also, images on the internet are accessed privately, whereas his picture is blatantly public.
The Girl Guiding organisation, which, for the well-being and self-confidence of girls, has a proud record of campaigning against sexism, states that: “All around them, girls see and experience sexism and gender stereotypes. “Seventy per cent of girls aged 11 to 21 say sexism is so widespread it affects most areas of their lives.”
The Advertising Standards Authority asserts that: “Marketers should take care not to depict women in demeaning, subservient, exploitative, degrading or humiliating ways because such approaches are likely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
These billboards are offensively sexist and demeaning to women, and the local council should immediately admit their error and remove them from our streets.