Nightclub is blasted over brothel night

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ONE of the city's biggest nightclubs has come under fire after an event advertised on Facebook said it would offer free entry to the "sluttiest-dressed bird" and any girl who wrote "I'm a prostitute" on its social networking page.

Hundreds of student campaigners, escorts and club-goers blasted the club night, called Brothel Broke, which was due to be held at City Nightclub, in Market Street, this Friday.

Horrified Facebook users said it was "misogynistic", "irresponsible", "offensive", a "sick" stereotype and a misrepresentation of the sex industry.

Just hours after the original event had been posted online, organisers manning the webpage removed crude pictures and comments, saying: "We'd like to apologise for any offence caused and the event has been changed accordingly."

But hundreds of people had already threatened to boycott the club, which is currently in administration.

Others pointed out that organisers manning the page had later "mocked" those who had taken offence to the event and showed little remorse.

One organiser wrote: "Jesus Christ, we changed the event, what more do you want? Go and play Warhammer or something."

The club night's name was changed to "PC Broke: no Alcohol, Women or Banter", before it was later simply titled "Broke".

Edinburgh University Students' Association's president, Matt McPherson, has slammed the nightclub, dubbing it "one of the single most offensive published materials I have ever seen".

He said: "It is absolutely disgraceful that a large business in our city is encouraging and using a practice which exploits millions of people around the world for its own gain.

"I wrote on the event's wall, politely asking them to reconsider hosting the event. Far from an apology, I was then given a barrage of deeply offensive abuse from the promoter.

"I posted on Twitter and Facebook the link to the event, and within hours it had received national attention. Dozens of other students also posted their disgust and anger. Within hours of online exchanges, they took it even further, by recreating an event page which mocked those who had complained.

"They (City nightclub] have lost all opportunities to work with the student body."

James McAsh, a spokesperson for Edinburgh University's Feminist Society, added: "We find the event, and the way that it has been advertised to be objectifying, degrading and downright dangerous. We fear that by doing this, Broke has left their guests vulnerable to sexual assault."

Laura Lee, an Edinburgh and Glasgow escort and an activist for the International Union of Sex Workers, said: "I can't think of a more effective tool in the objectification of women.

"The event also sought to trivialise sex workers, as women who were scantily dressed were to be assumed to be representative of the sex worker's community and held up to ridicule. I would like to know how I would have been received as a "real" prostitute, in jeans and a T-shirt.

"Just what kind of clientele did the nightclub think they would attract given the nature of the evening ? God knows how many women, encouraged and indeed rewarded for acting into the stereotype of a prostitute?"

Nobody at the club was available for comment.