An application by The Sixty30 in Merriwa, W.A, to modify existing entertainment conditions to allow topless waitresses was rejected this week by the WA Director of Liquor Licensing.
The application attracted multiple objections from individuals and community groups who argued the proposed changes promoted sexist attitudes toward women. Campaigning movement Collective Shout lodged an objection stating:
- The use of women’s bodies in sexual entertainment and services is a form of prostitution
- Sexual trade in women’s bodies both causes and contributes to gender inequality by reducing women to mere objects for men’s use and enjoyment, with adverse impacts on women who are directly involved as well as women as a whole
- A significant body of research links sexual objectification of women with violence against women
- Sexploitation venues pose a threat to women, with women reporting increased incidents of sexual harassment, abuse and violence in areas in close proximity to strip clubs
Collective Shout State Coordinator, Caitlin Roper, said Collective Shout welcomed the decision.
“We are very pleased with the outcome. Businesses that profit from reducing women to mere sexual objects for men’s use and entertainment undermine efforts to address men’s violence against women. This determination is a step in the right direction.”
The Director of Liquor Licensing concluded that there was insufficient evidence provided by The Sixty30 venue that introducing topless waitresses would be in the public interest.
“It is also important to distinguish between the public interest and private interests… the application is primarily concerned with the private financial interests of the Applicant and the operators of Perth’s Best Girls…The Applicant has failed to produce sufficient, probative evidence to satisfy me that the grant of the application is in the public interest.”
The tavern had attempted to argue there was demand for topless waitresses with statements of support, the Commissioner noted, predominantly from male respondents. The Commission responded:
“The evidence fell well short of establishing that the variation of the licence was in the public interest. Whilst “Dan the Man”, “Show me pussy”, “Robbo”, “Marshy”, “Bob”, “Jacko”, “Swanny”, “Fido”, and others may want to see strippers at the hotel based on their signing of the questionnaire, there is nothing before the Commission that is capable of establishing that the variation of the licence is in the public interest.”