Breaking the mirrored ceiling

A new report rails against London's corporate strip club culture.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published April 1, 2008 11:48PM (EDT)

A new report by the Fawcett Society, a women's rights organization, tackles the usual corporate culprits: the glass ceiling, the wage gap and sexual harassment. But it adds a lesser-heard complaint to the list: London's corporate strip club culture.

In London, lap dances and stripteases have apparently become an "increasingly normal way of entertaining business clients." Female employees are simply left out of such strip club summits or must do their best to be taken seriously amid a roomful of naked, gyrating women. And -- pshht! -- you thought it was tough striking the right sexual persona in your fluorescent-lit maze of cubicles. Try working under strobe lights and mirrored ceilings! There's nothing like outright, unabashed sexism to make you thank your lucky stars for craftier, culturally entrenched sexism, eh?

Thankfully, though, the Fawcett Society is pushing to put an end to this sexualized side of London's corporate culture. Katherine Rake, society director, told the Independent: "Within a business context" -- note my added emphasis -- "women's bodies being exposed is demeaning and degrading. It is time for women and men to stand up against the sexist culture of objectifying women that has gripped our society. Our campaign is calling upon government, businesses and individual employees to take action. Everyone pays the price for sexism, so everyone has a role to play in stamping it out."

You can always start by reading their report: "Sexism and the City."

Tracy Clark-Flory

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