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The club where showing cleavage will get you free entry

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A popular student nightclub in Rochester, Kent, has come under fire for offering free entry to women showing cleavage.

As part of its “National Cleavage Weekender” in the first week of April, Casino Rooms has put on the offer in a move which has been labelled by student protestors as “disgusting on every level.” The poster for the promotion features women in low cut corsets, which some have called “dehumanising”.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy is critical of the promotion, claiming it demonstrates a “sexist and creepy attitude towards women.”

But this promotion is just another example in a string of cases of the lad culture which is permeating student life. Carnage, the UK's popular club crawl event, features themes such as pimps and hoes which girls seem only too willing to be complicit with.

It's a step backwards for equal rights which operates on both sides; putting on events centred around prositution and dressing them up as harmless fun only encourages people to do so, but those taking part should know better, and that goes for both men and women. It undermines those who actually do want equal rights in work and education when events like this are still commonplace.

The offer of an incentive for showing your body is just watered down prostitution and hammers home the message that it’s ok to degrade yourself because you’ll be rewarded for your trouble. “National Cleavage Weekender” is a reminder that more steps need to be taking towards making changes.

But although one would assume that anyone with any sense and self respect would avoid a night out like this like the plague, a nightclub like Casino Rooms has a wide student draw, and is clearly manipulating its target audience, in the same way that Student Union put on cheap drinks offers to lure in clubbers. The goal is clearly to attract club goers short on cash, and encouraging free entry in return for flashing sends out a pitiful message to society of what you can get for free if you’re willing to do anything.

The nightclub have defended the event, stating that men are included in the free entry as well as women. A member of the nightclub's management team told The Huffington Post UK: "If men want to get their pecs out, then they will get free entry too." But this is not made clear on the poster.

Kelley Temple, the National Union of Students' Women's Officer, called for the posters to be taken down, calling the posters “disgusting on every level... from the complete dehumanisation of the faceless women in the poster, reduced to nothing but a cleavage, through to the reinforcement of women’s value as being based on their appearance”.

To defend the event by claiming the promotion is also for men has no basis; if this is true, why are there not faceless men in the poster? And why is the word cleavage used? There is nothing gender inclusive about this poster, and is clearly aimed at women.

The assistant manager of Casino Rooms claimed the negative reaction had been minimal.

"There's not really been any negative reaction," he said. "We have never offended anyone. This is really just a bit of fun for everyone. We will still be going ahead with the weekend."

Perhaps what is being overlooked is that this is in no way fun for everyone. It’s fun for “lads”, and I use the term because any self respecting man wouldn’t touch this with a bargepole either. It’s clear that the only people benefiting from this event are the nightclub itself, and the only fun to be had is for the management raking in the (cleavage flashing) punters.

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