Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most exposed of them all?
Glasgow’s Shimmy Club is recently garnering some much-deserved criticism for installing one-way mirrors, also known as two-way mirrors, in women’s bathrooms so that male customers can receive a peep show.
In order to catch a look at these unsuspecting women’s reflections, clubgoers are required to buy a private booth for the night, aptly titled “Smoke and Mirrors,” which can go up to as much as £800 per night.
There are two private booths of this nature, both of which come with a one-way mirror looking at the sinks in women’s toilets. They work much like a police interrogation mirror, where the viewed are unable to see the other side, although they are being watched.
The club, owned by the wealthy Stefan King’s G1 Group, has stated that “it does not allow male or mixed-sex groups to hire the rooms.” They also added that the interactive mirror is a gimmick, just “a bit of fun.”
Leaked photos on the Internet of women in the club bathroom show them touching up their make-up, completely unaware that they are being observed.
Although the club’s facebook page asserts that there are signs alerting women to the one-way bathroom, female customers disagree.
“I was completely shocked to discover that the mirror in the ladies’ bathroom is a two-way mirror facing out onto the club. I find it absolutely outrageous that a club can get away with this, it is a complete invasion of privacy of the unsuspecting girls,” one woman, who wishes to remain unnamed, comments.
Women’s bodies are constantly on display in the media and in life, and often without consent. The undeniable reality of rape culture permeates into our daily lives, allowing catcalling and body shaming to become public and acceptable practices. A catcall reminds women that their bodies do not belong to them. What this guy is doing sends that message while also saying, "Hey! Your body is a profitable marketable good, simply up for grabs to stimulate the economy!"
Thankfully, there has been some action taken – an online petition has been started to remove the mirrors from the club. A sexual harassment group in Scotland, Hollaback, is raising awareness on the issue. Shimmy’s Facebook page has been bombarded with comments expressing vitriolic outrage, to which the club has responded in part, claiming that they listen to their guests’ feedback.
Image credit to Metro.co.uk and Daily Mail