Memphis City Council member Shea Flinn wants the the city to study the idea of creating an ‘adult entertainment district’ for strip clubs and other sex-oriented businesses. He wants a committee to look into a possible location as well as answer the question whether “this is the right thing to do.”
Is it the right thing to do? Why or why not?
An adult entertainment district (AED) for sexually-oriented businesses (SOBs) is not the right action for the City Council to take for Memphis because it will expand the number of SOBs. Why should the City Council promote a business that demonstrably creates public nuisances? That does not increase the quality of life in our community, especially that part of our community an AED locates in.
A small mountain of documented evidence reveals that the existence of SOBs enable crime and that many SOBs routinely flout laws regulating their activities. More SOBs, which an AED would invite, equals more of the same effects. Owners of SOBs complain that they’re over-regulated, even persecuted by nude-prudes. They’re just businessmen trying to make a buck, they say, and that it’s a buck tucked into a G-string should be irrelevant to you and me. But neither business nor government is morally neutral. Both are at their best when their actions provide for and promote recognized civic good.
Cities like Memphis may never be rid of SOBs. The reality of their existence is part of the world’s brokenness. I’m thankful for ministries around the country that view dancers as women valuable to God and offer them a way out (Help for Sex Industry Victims/Citizens for Community Values). Favoring SOBs with a district of their own is like falling asleep feeding rodents to a python. You awaken to find the snake out of his tank swallowing your arm.