In a new poll conducted by MMR, while most Icelanders favor the recently-passed law banning strip clubs, the vast majority of young men oppose it.
Of those who took part in the survey, Vísir reports, 54.1% said they supported the ban, while 45.9% opposed it. Look at by gender, and the difference is stark. 76% of women responding supported the ban, but only 33% of men said the same.
The law, which takes effect on 1 July, effectively bans an employee from performing any jobs unclothed. Supporters of the law contend that it protects women in Iceland – most of them foreigners – from being trafficked to Iceland. Human trafficking has become a real concern more recently, when a Lithuanian woman who told police she had been forced to come to Iceland for the purpose of engaging in prostitution sparked a police sweep of potential traffickers, and prompted the Minister of Justice to form a work group whose purpose was to devise ways to monitor foreigners as close as possible without breaking the law.
However, some have argued that the ban does more harm than good, driving the practice underground. While this is not likely to happen in Iceland, Rachel Aimee – co-founder of $pread magazine – and sex workers rights advocate Katrin Redfern put forward the idea, in an article in the current issue of Grapevine, that there are other reasons why the ban would hurt women more than help them.