Porn stars prepare for stand-off with feminists over Stop Porn Culture London conference

Performers and workers in the porn industry argue the conference is aimed at 'censoring sexual expression in the UK'

The porn industry is preparing for a stand-off with anti-pornography feminists in London this weekend, over a conference they argue is aimed at “censoring sexual expression in the UK”.

Stop Porn Culture (SPC) will be holding a conference organised by Gail Dines, a sociologist and anti-porn campaigner and the Guardian columnist Julie Bindel, which they describe as a “progressive, feminist collaboration against the sex industry".

US-based Dines said the aim of the conference was not to ban porn, conceding that this would be impossible, but to “challenge the porn industry and the harmful culture it perpetuates.”

But news of the event has been met with furious responses from adult performers, who have organised the ‘Don’t Censor Me’ rally, led by Jerry Barnett, porn distributor and head of the pro-porn Sex and Censorship group.

More than 100 people have said they will attend the demo on Saturday, where the Don’t Censor Me Facebook group has said “pornstars, others in the sex industries, and their supporters, will come together in London to protest against the Stop Porn Culture event that aims to censor sexual expression in the UK”.

Former porn star Renée Richards is also expected to join the rally. In a post, Richards described her fear that male and female performers are not being given the chance to speak for theirselves.

“We have the ‘right to speak freely and join with others peacefully, to express [our] views’. In this instance the pro-porn and/or the pro-sex industries’ voice is very rarely heard.

“Gail Dines is a well renowned author, Julie Bindel regularly writes for The Guardian and OBJECT are no stranger to protesting or speaking out.

"Yet the men and women who perform in adult films, prostitutes and lap dancers who are regularly spoken about are very rarely heard from themselves.”

Both sides of the debate over porn have been locked in a war of words with each other in blogs and via social media in the lead-up to the conference.

Barnett said that the group had been deluged with offensive comments regarding adult film performers.

"The depth of the vitriol thrown at female sex workers by anti-sex feminists genuinely shocked me”, he wrote in a blog post for The Huffington Post.

“Female porn stars can't win,” he argued. “They are labelled victims, and if they try to defend what they do for a living, this is taken as proof of just how 'oppressed' they are."

He said that he and Richards had tried to participate in debates with anti-porn feminists, but "anti-sex feminists have no more interest in hearing the voices of female porn stars than they are prepared to listen to strippers."

In turn, Dines said she too has been met with anger and accused the Sex and Censorship group of “trying to silence us”.

“Nowhere is this more apparent than on Twitter, which is alive with tweets from porn industry shills making ridiculous statements about the goals of SPC," she wrote.

Dines said she had offered the group a chance to engage in a "serious debate", but this was declined.

"The goal of the porn industry is to divide women because they understand only too well that a united international feminist movement will be their death knell," she added.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat