Target: Stefan King, overseer of The Shimmy Club in Glasgow, Scotland
Goal: Demand the immediate removal of a two-way mirror in the women’s bathroom of The Shimmy Club.
The Shimmy Club, a nightclub in Glasgow, Scotland, was looking for “an interactive feature” that would provide “a talking point” for the club. The genius solution? A two-way mirror into the sink area of the women’s bathroom. Such a blatant and disgusting objectification and invasion of privacy cannot be excused. Sign this petition and demand that the club remove the mirror and issue a sincere and thoughtful apology.
The two-way mirrors in question look out from private rooms, the hire of which runs a club patron about £800 a night. The club claims it does not rent the rooms to co-ed or all-male groups, but a scandal developed after a picture of a man posing with two unsuspecting women was posted online. Within a very short span of time, the club was facing criticism from everyone from women’s rights groups to Member of Scottish Parliament Drew Smith, who rightly denounced “the concept of a voyeur toilet as disturbing.”
The club has issued a non-apology, mocking detractors of the scheme as not having “been lucky enough to get past the door staff yet,” and claiming that “overall, customers seem to enjoy this unique idea.” There is NOTHING enjoyable about a business model that reduces women to objects akin to animals in a zoo or fish in an aquarium. The women being “observed” are not entertainment; they are paying patrons of the club just like the male customers (who, incidentally, have no two-way mirrors in their restrooms).
The club has insisted that there has always been clear signage informing women of the bathroom’s dual function, but reports from female patrons contradict these claims. Either way, it should never even be necessary to inform women that their bathroom visit may be, in the words of Glasgow MSP Drew Smith, “part of some kind of bizarre peep show.” Sign the petition and demand that the club issue a real, sincere apology to its female patrons and remove its disgusting and invasive “talking point” for good.
Dear Mr. King,
The Shimmy Club’s two-way mirror in the ladies’ toilet is a horrifying example of the objectification of women. Accordingly, I demand that you remove this disgusting “talking point” and issue a sincere apology to all the clients that have been affected by this ill-advised scheme.
The women who are put on display via this mirror–either wittingly or unwittingly–are not entertainment; they are paying customers, just like anyone else. Even if one disregards this point, these women have a right to visit the restroom without being the object of others’ voyeurism, like animals in a zoo.
Selling the opportunity to view women’s bodies in what would otherwise be a private space–doesn’t it sound a bit like prostitution? If this is only “a bit of fun,” why are there no such mirrors in the men’s bathrooms?
Whether some people find the scheme amusing is irrelevant. Whether or not there is clear signage informing women that they are being watched is irrelevant. The only relevant fact is that no one should have to be warned that her visit to the bathroom is not private. The bathroom is a private place, period. Selling the privacy of others to turn a greater profit is immoral, unethical, and unacceptable.
Do the right thing–remove the two-way mirror and apologize to the scores of women reduced to sexual objects by this offensive and ill-conceived plan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dark Tichondrias via Wikimedia Commons