The peepshow women’s toilet that’s ‘a bit of fun’

A better toilet experience than The Shimmy?
A better toilet experience than The Shimmy?

When I think of revolting Scottish toilets, the first two images that pop into my head are Ewan McGregor doing his toilet dive in Trainspotting, and the typically minging festival toilets at T in the Park. But this week another contender emerged to vie for the crown of Most Ghastly Toilet experience: Glaswegian nightclub The Shimmy.

Here’s why: The Shimmy’s owners have installed a two-way mirror in the women’s toilets, allowing a select group of people (sitting in £800 private booths) to watch women. In the toilets. You know, that place you go when you’re looking for privacy.

When the fact hit the media this week, you might think the club would be embarrassed at invading women’s privacy, or ashamed of the notion that elite, wealthy guests get to pay extra to perv on ordinary, unsuspecting women. But no. The Shimmy’s response was so uppity and defensive that I just had to share it.

They start off by snootily saying: “it’s clear that those who are negatively commenting online may not have been lucky enough to get past the door staff and viewed the area”.

Damn, you got me there. I do feel downcast that I’m not ‘lucky enough’ to have spent time in a club where a bunch of random strangers are watching me without my knowledge. Oh, and clearly I can’t have a valid criticism of your creepy voyeuristic toilet because I haven’t actually seen it. Guess what though? I haven’t actually seen Guantanamo Bay either, but I disapprove of it too. Something doesn’t need to be directly in front of my retinas for my opinion to be valid. You arrogant pricks.

Next off:

The sight line is very limited and allows for glimpses into the wash up area only of the ladies loos”.

How considerate of you – so the people in these private booths can’t see me actually defecate. How comforting.

“Interestingly, you can see into a similar area of both the ladies and gents from the street at Corinthian Club and no-one has ever said a word”.

That’s right people! There’s another club in Glasgow being equally creepy, because they have these awful things called….windows. I’m now wondering how stupid the people at The Shimmy really are, if they can’t see the difference between people paying up to £800 for the privilege of peering into the women’s bogs, and panes of glass that let light in. They miss another significant point here: these evil glass-panes the Corinthian has are in both the male and female toilets. The Shimmy’s custom-made perv-mirror is only in the women’s toilets – not the men’s.

“There has always been signage in the toilets which no-one has mentioned thus far”

Translated as “we tell women they’re being spied upon – we just wait til they’ve paid the entry fee and are in the toilet”. How magnanimous of you. What you have actually done is put a sticker on the mirror, one that apparently wasn’t evident to some of your clientele. Also, poor you, having the media report on your perv-mirror without stressing this fact. One bright spot – after all this negative publicity, there’s unlikely to be a girl in Glasgow left who hasn’t heard about it.

You would think that’s more than enough arrogant chat from one company in one Facebook post, but they’re not done:

“loads of you have used the opportunity as it was intended and knowingly had pictures taken acting up to the camera individually or in a group of friends”.

Let me get this straight. You installed this mirror as an opportunity for women to ‘act up’ to groups of unknown strangers? Last I heard, that’s called a peepshow, and women generally get paid for participating. They don’t pay for the privelege. Do you seriously expect girls to fork out £10, or whatever your sleazy club charges as an entry fee, to then act as entertainment for your wealthiest clientele? Can’t you just hire a decent DJ like everyone else?

Their charming post ends by telling us that there are vibrators embedded in the dance floor. I assume this is Stage 2 in their plan to get their female guests to act as entertainment for the guys. They’ve also edited their post since I first read it earlier in the week, when they claimed that their creepy mirror set-up is ‘not sexist’. It seems even they are willing to concede that one. They’re standing by their comment that it’s a ‘bit of fun’ though.

This whole set-up is a huge invasion of women’s privacy. And the club’s cynical encouragement of women to pout and ‘act up’, is just a blatant way of lining their own pockets at the expense of the female clientele. More insidiously, it reinforces the view that women are playthings and toys of men.

I used to live in Glasgow, and I’m actually going out there in a couple of weeks. Think I’ll head to the Corinthian and check out these infamous windows it has. I would genuinely rather use the fabled Trainspotting toilet than be part of a peepshow at The Shimmy.

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8 thoughts on “The peepshow women’s toilet that’s ‘a bit of fun’”

  1. I read about this the other day – it’s so ridiculous it almost reads as a spoof. This bit really gets me: ‘loads of you have used the opportunity as it was intended and knowingly had pictures taken acting up to the camera individually or in a group of friends’. Really?? As if this was installed for the benefit of women, and not the men who pay to sit and watch them

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  2. Firstly–I am loving all over this post, because this is downright disgraceful.
    Secondly–I really, really hope that these empty-headed twits end up charged and with a public defender who is female. And a female judge. We’ll see then who’s having fun, won’t we?

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  3. Today (17th June) the Glasgow licensing board ordered The Shimmy to close for one week – the mirror has already been removed. An agent for G1 group (people who own The Shimmy) has said that “the mirror has been dealt with. Lessons have been learned and, without a shadow of doubt, there will be no repititions of this incident”. Full story below:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/scotland-blog/2013/jun/15/scotland-women-shimmyclub

    Still amazed that they thought this was acceptable in the first place!

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