And so we turn our gaze to a small, bankrupt island just fornenst the Arctic Circle. During the Years of Irresponsibility, Iceland marketed itself so effectively to tourists as Europe’s premier party destination that it’s hard to remember that the Icelanders actually had prohibition as late as 1989. Now, however, things are tightening up – not thanks to Lutheranism this time though, but to feminism. The Icelandic parliament, it seems, has been immersed in deep study of Natasha Walter:
A legislation banning striptease in Iceland and barring clubs from making profit from the nudity of employees of will take effect on July 1, 2010. The legislation was passed with 31 votes. Two MPs of the Independence Party abstained but no one voted against it.
“It is pleasing how fresh the breeze of equality is at Althingi [the Icelandic parliament] these days,” said Siv Fridleifsdótttir of the Progressive Party, the bill’s first presenter, Fréttabladid reports.
She also said a step had been taken towards increased democracy, considering a legislation which was presented by a member of the opposition was passed.
Stripping had generally been banned in Iceland before yesterday’s legislation was passed, but a few clubs were operating on a legal exemption. Now they will no longer be able to do so.
Ásgeir Davídsson who runs the strip club Goldfinger in Kópavogur is looking into whether he can sue the Icelandic state for compensation.
“I have reached the age where I’m not sure whether I want to bother with this hassle anymore,” he said. “I would be relieved if they just paid me compensation and I would quit.”
Davídsson said yesterday’s legislation reminds him of regulations in countries where hardly any part of a woman’s body can be seen in public. He claimed Iceland is the first European country to ban stripping.
Fridleifsdóttir said she doesn’t know whether it is true that Iceland is the first country in Europe to pass such a legislation.
“But we showed consideration while passing the legislation by allowing the clubs a long time to adjust,” she said, adding that the parliament’s General Committee does not believe strip clubs are entitled to compensation.