Maltese Morality Confusion

It’s a few days and counting until I’m back in Malta. Normally, any trip to the rock wouldn’t be complete without a trip to watch some near-naked ladies gyrate on stage, whilst I imbibe overpriced beers and make small talk with Lenka or Svetlana from somewhere in Eastern Europe.

The lap-dancing bars in Malta are amongst the most conservative in any country I’ve visiited. Italy has them attached to petrol stations and Thailand, well enough said. But on the Rock, the girls don’t take their clothes off, don’t touch you, and are peopled almost exclusively by young drunk students and the occasional member of the Rafia and their entouraage.

But it looks like this year will be different, following police raids on my favourite establishments.

This article from the Independent gives you the rundown. If you’ve got a couple of minutes I recommend you read it entirely.

Here’s the summary:

  • 35 women have been arrested, charged with performing immoral acts in public and participating in a brothel.
  • Plain clothes police were ordered to arrest “anyone wearing a thong.”
  • One woman was arrested, who “was not dressed inappropriately but who featured on several photographs that [the policeman] found on a computer.” In the photographs the woman was wearing “tight shorts and a short top.”
  • “The shorts were tighter than those of a gymnast.”
  • “The fact that they were dancing means they were participating in immoral acts because of the way they were dressed.”
  • “Wearing a thong on the beach is one thing but wearing a thong in a public place is illegal.”

Now, I don’t want to sound like a loony lefty, and while I applaud the strength of family values in a country I love, this makes me shudder, smacking of a Taliban-esque régime of discriminate, cloudy interpretations of public morality.

So this winter, in Malta, I’ll mainly be wearing a thong.‎