Gail Dines: Stop Porn Culture?

Stop Porn Culture (stoppornculture.org) is among the more visible feminist anti-porn organizations in the United States, and this page offers an alternative examination on perspectives that the organization presents.

Stop Porn Culture makes the following claims:

  • Stop Porn Culture states that the majority of porn performers are child abuse survivors:
    “Research also suggests that a disproportionate percentage of the women who perform in the sex industry were sexually abused as children” [link]

  • SPC states that sexual abuse is what creates sex workers:

    “[sexual abuse as children] leads women to see their primary value as providing sexual pleasure for men” [link]

  • Stop Porn Culture suggests that there is research to substantiate connections between rape (of women) with the creation and viewing of pornography are factual and inherent:

    “While it’s true that “scientific proof” establishing a direct connection between pornography use and rape doesn’t exist, research has made it clear that the use of pornography is a factor” [link]

  • SPC states that increased violence against women is associated with the production and consumption of pornography:

    “pornography is degrading to women, and complicit in violence against women both in its production (where abuse and exploitation of women is common) and in its consumption (where pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation and coercion of women and reinforces the sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment.)” [link]

The research and studies to substantiate these claims are alluded to throughout Stop Porn Culture’s website and ancillary materials, but have yet to be furnished for public examination. There is growing doubt that this data exists.

Read detailed facts and studies from unbiased sources on the above claims (and more) in the article Concerns About Porn. This article investigates each of the statements made by Stop Porn Culture and provides facts and data about porn and rape/violence against women, porn “addiction”, porn and the degradation of women, and more.

Stop Porn Culture is the organizing force behind the Feminists Against Pornography conference held in Boston, June 2010. Stop Porn Culture is also the organization who creates and presents a traveling anti-pornography film and seminar, based on their own film “The Price of Pleasure.” The film is presented as a documentary. “The Price of Pleasure” does not adhere to documentary standards which document reality in an unbiased format, and the pornographic performers in the film were not made aware of how their interviews would later be depicted in the final film. Members of Stop Porn Culture’s board of directors also feature as experts in “The Price of Pleasure.”

The founder and Board Director of Stop Porn Culture is Dr. Gail Dines. On June 19, 2008, Penn and Teller of the Showtime late-night series BULLSHIT! dedicated one of their shows (“The War on Porn“) to debunking her anti-pornography feminist theories. Like the porn performers in “The Price of Pleasure” Dines claimed afterward that she had been “set up.” Here is the show’s segment with Dines.

As of 2008, Stop Porn Culture’s website (domain) was registered and owned by Skyward Bound Productions, specializing “in serving churches and other nonprofit organizations get the materials they need to help spread the ministry of Jesus Christ.” Currently the website is hosted by the leading Mormon-owned web hosting company Bluehost, with a record of arbitrary censorship and endorsement of anti-gay causes. While Stop Porn Culture is hosting hardcore pornography on their website without age-check precautions to prevent minors from viewing it, and in violation of Bluehost’s Terms of Service in doing so, it appears that Bluehost has a selective history in TOS enforcement. Stop Porn Culture does not appear to have affiliation with the religious motivations of their internet business associates.

Dr. Charlie Glickman is a multi-decade sex educator with a doctorate in Adult Sexuality Education and is a certified Sexuality Educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. His take on Stop Porn Culture’s conference Feminists Against Pornography is a careful and balanced analysis of Stop Porn Culture’s underlying messages about healthy human sexuality. It is a powerful piece of writing. Surprisingly, he even tackles the notion that the people who comprise SPC are prudes, or anti-sex. And he offers real solutions to problems around pornography and its use. He writes,

(…) First things first. I really understand many of the critiques that anti-porn folks have. In fact, I share some of them, myself. There’s a lot of porn that is based on and reinforces maladaptive gender roles, performance-based models of sex, racist, sexist and/or homophobic stereotypes, narrow definitions of pleasure, and more. I absolutely get that and I feel a lot of anger around that.

(…) And yet, I also have a lot of problems with the anti-porn crowd. First and foremost, I think that they either forget or willfully ignore the fact that women, queers, transfolks, and people of color are often among the first groups that get censored. (…) And then, some folks in this camp want to censor porn, despite the well-documented effects of censorship on society.

I also think it’s really problematic that they usually make sweeping statements about porn without acknowledging that when they talk about “porn,” the term gets used to cover all sexually explicit material, even though porn is much more diverse than they describe. Although it’s in the minority, there’s a growing amount of porn that challenges, questions, and subverts the mainstream industry and they’re usually left out. of the discussion For that matter, there’s plenty of gay porn that, while it doesn’t necessarily challenge notions of sex, certainly doesn’t fit their analyses of how porn affects women simply because there aren’t any women in these movies. There’s also heterosexual porn that shows people having fun, without themes of nonconsensual domination, humiliation, or degradation. If they used some/many/most language in their analysis, they would actually make it more valid because they would actively challenge the idea that all porn has to be a certain way.

I really get that there’s a lot about the porn industry that’s messed up. In fact, I’m willing to bet that I see that even more than many of the anti-porn folks because I see it more closely. And it seems to me that rather than trying to eradicate porn or complain about it, we’d do better to ask what people are trying to get when they watch porn and how that’s working out for them. We’d do better to support people who are challenging the stereotypical models of what sexually explicit media can be. We’d do better to recognize that in a world that denies people access to quality sex education and images of sexual diversity, many people end up going to porn to find what they need, and we can work to give them better options.

There’s porn made by people who are not just consenting to perform, but are actively enthusiastic. There are people who enjoy watching people have sex and there are people who enjoy being watched. And I see no problem with that. For me, the questions comes down to: what do we need to do to maximize the sorts of porn that is grounded in pleasure, passion, joy, and consent? What do we do to shift things so that we can be sure that the performers are well treated? How can we make it so that people who don’t want to have to deal with sexually explicit media have spaces for that, and that people who want to have access to it, have spaces for that.(…read more, charlieglickman.com)

Given the understandable interest in Stop Porn Culture’s campaign joining forces with right-wing and conservative groups, we thought this would be a great opportunity to being some balance to the debate, by inviting women (and all genders who support us) to express their desire, enjoyment and acceptance of porn through the Our Porn, Ourselves campaign. It’s important to learn about Gail Dines and the Feminists Against Pornography conference, and keep up with facts and information on Stop Porn Culture.

9 Responses to Gail Dines: Stop Porn Culture?

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  2. Anomalous says:

    Stop Porn Culture is the organizing force behind the Feminists Against Pornography conference held in Boston, June 2010.

    Wait, seriously? The abbreviated name of this conference is “FAP”?

    The redditor in me just giggled a little.

  3. Pingback: Our Porn, Our Selves – offering balance to the anti-porn feminist agenda | Viviane's Sex Carnival

  4. S73phen says:

    I’m left with wracking *shudders* after watching that P&T video. The bitter old frigid prudes they debacle debunkled made me feel utterly dirty for just being a man.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a shower, put on some porn & masturbate.

    Then I’ll think I’ll step out for breakfast. Care to join me?

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