The Stop Porn Culture anti-porn feminist conference is only four days away — the clock is ticking! With an astounding array of prizes, there are only four days left to make a video — as basic or crazy-fun as you want — to meet the Saturday June 12 deadline to win the Our Porn, Ourselves pro-porn, pro-woman dream packages (men can enter, too). We all know that this is about so much more that winning prizes, or even poking fun at Stop Porn Culture’s fallacious arguments about porn and women.
It’s about changing the conversation.
It’s about making the conversation ours for the first time in history.
When I was on Oprah for her episode about women who watch porn, she asked me why so many women now watch porn and are unafraid to admit they watch and enjoy it. The easy answer is to say that the Internet has afforded us the privacy to explore our inhibitions for ourselves, after decades of groups like Stop Porn Culture telling us what we should think about porn instead of finding out for ourselves.
But the real answer is in the fact that for the first time in history, the Internet has allowed us to have our own voices and speak for ourselves. The woman they’re trying to “save” from the alleged harmful effects of watching porn? Now thousands of her have a blog and will tell you exactly how porn affects them. The sex worker who was allegedly abused as a child and are such helpless victims they need someone to speak on their behalf? Hundreds, if not thousands of her, now have blogs and tell you exactly what their work is like. A great example is Audacia Ray’s post today Picking Your Battles, Going the Distance: Pro-porn and Anti-porn Feminisms.
It used to be that women’s voices, when it came to all things porn, were not heard — they were filtered according to what moralistic messages were deemed acceptable, despite whether or not these messages reflected the real experiences of women. The male viewer (and participant) who is a ticking time bomb of sexual violence so helpless he can be set off to beat his wife, rape and abuse children by any scene from Vivid Video? He’s talking about it too, and his shopping habits (combined with everyone else’s) are quietly creating a Whole Foods shopping revolution in porn: with a bit of online research, we can now find out if our porn is sex-slave free (and by equal measure, if our iPhones were made in a sweatshop-cum-killing field).
We are sexually articulate. What has changed is that we now speak for ourselves. Importantly (and this is also what I told Oprah) — we are speaking to each other about it. I also want to point out that you don’t have to identify as a feminist to be part of this conversation — and that’s one of the big reasons I created these online destinations where it can happen.
Lastly: we’re up to 1,168 on Facebook, which is twice the amount of attendees Stop Porn Culture claim to have had at their biggest conference (500, in 2007). To help, add yourself to our Facebook page, send in or Tweet a pro-porn pic to #proporn, make a video for the contest, link to Our Porn, Ourselves whenever possible, and please link to this information page about Stop Porn Culture.