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
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: Pre-Press / Mac Operator / Artworker - Digital & Litho Print

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: With year on year growth and a reputation for ...

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager - Live Virtual Training / Events

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Manager is required t...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Group has been well establishe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Group has been well establishe...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003