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: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test