Reaction Paper #3
This case study is about a town called Leesburg in Virginia and their issue with an adult boutique called La Tache (The Spot in French) and how it is similar to Georgina Hickey’s article The Geography of Pornography. Hickey’s article is about a Not in My Backyard, or NIMBY, movement and its goal of getting rid of an adult store located in town. Feminism is also incorporated into Hickey’ article but is not a main focus in this reaction paper. Hickey talked about how the adult store left women feeling vulnerable and having to have their children look the other way when passing to avoid awkward questions.
In Leesburg, there is a similar issue going on. On 1 South King Street, right across the town’s court house and among various antique shops and cafes is where this little boutique is situated. It opened in 2011 and has caused downtown unrest since then. The biggest issue with La Tache is the way its mannequins are displayed in the windows. They are very busty plastic figures in lace or leather lingerie with various toys being held. The windows are enough to cause an uproar from families that live in that area. Like residents in Hickey’s article, they got down to business to try and bring an end to the store. At first it was just comments on the new businesses Facebook page. Some were for the business and it bringing in money and some were against it and thought of it as a disturbance. These comments even told people not to give the boutique any business so it could be shut down that way. Some went as far as trying to picket the business however, that may lead to more publicity and curiosity to the shop so it never happened.
It is now 2015 and La Tache is still up and running. However, it has now been put under legal scrutiny. It seems as though the business is not going anywhere anytime soon yet residents have been pushing to make the store a little better looking via the scandalous mannequins. On September 21, 2015 at Leesburg’s Town Council meeting residents claimed that the windows were illegal. “The legal analysis conducted by town staff examined the Code of Virginia which outlaws the sale and display of obscenity to juveniles, as outlined in Sec. 24-280 under unlawful acts.” (Loudoun Times Mirror, 2015) In the end, the windows were not illegal and La Tache is free to do their business. Concerns are still shown via emails from mostly Mothers of young children and the more conservative but shown through social media the shop is seen as amusing.
Now this issue in Leesburg was not as extensive as Hickey’s article was but it is still relevant. It shows how one thing can bring people together to try and make change right in their backyard. Although the outcome of this was not what was hoped for it still shows how NIMBY movements can happen even at a very micro scale. It is also interesting to see how different social movements occur today compared to back in the 70’s and 80’s. Shown in the various articles about Leesburg it seems that social media is the main platform for taking action whereas in Hickey’s article it was meetings at homes or community centers or restaurants.