SEATTLE SEXUAL POLITICS: Understanding the Moratorium on Strip Clubs and Its Demise

April 20, 2011 @ 12:00 to 1:30pm
Pigott Room 102, Seattle University

Abstract: Regulating sex is a managed process that is written on physical geographies and inscribed on moral imaginations. An understanding of a place for sex demands a multi-dimensional focus that is comfortable with contradictions, change, and structure. An interrogation of a range of social actors, such as sex business owners, sex workers, and local officials is imperative to developing an exploration of the “place” of sex businesses. Drawing largely from interviews from former and current city officials, this talk will discuss the seventeen-year moratorium on the licensing of new strip clubs in Seattle, the process of upholding the moratorium, the anticipation of its demise, and the aftermath. Analysis will also be made from newspaper articles and City Council meeting transcript to better understand the “silence” and the “noise” that surround the moratorium and eventually, Referendum 1 in 2006. In this respect, this talk illuminates the interplay between strip clubs and the regulation of “norms” in the absence of a “moral panic.”
Contact: Gary Perry @ perryg@seattleu.edu

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