The first look at Stop Porn Culture

When Stop Porn Culture (the org behind this month’s Feminists Against Porn / Stop Porn Culture conference) appeared on the scene in late 2008, I investigated them for my San Francisco Chronicle column. Aside from my pro-porn opinion, I had serious concerns about the ethics, honesty and legality of what I was seeing. In Please Use Porn Responsibly I discovered that the main website for the nonprofit was made by Christian conservative extremists; currently the website is hosted by a notorious Mormon web hosting service. They gained their initial traction by appearing to be unbiased — and non-religious. After my article was published, a blog called “NewsBusters, a project of the Media Research Center (MRC), the leader in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias” ran a hit piece on me. Here’s a snip:

(…) But when people like the extremist feminist group Stop Porn Culture tells us that porn is harmful, their arguments make just as much sense as the ones above. Never mind the fact that SPC is a traveling anti-porn road show that displays over a hundred extreme hardcore images to all comers (no puns; they don’t check IDs at the door, nor do they provide the federally required documentation to show that none of their sexually explicit images include children). They perpetuate myths and unsubstantiated claims that porn — they say all porn, but only show us the really extreme stuff — is responsible for exploiting women, providing dead-end economic choices for young girls, fostering racism, fostering hatred and degradation of women, and they totally totally promise (while admitting on their own Web site that there is no hard evidence) that porn is a causal factor in rape, child abuse and domestic violence.

(…) It’s all is based on the assumption that there is no such thing as healthy porn use, and that there’s no such thing as healthy porn. And that all porn is the same, and that the mainstream porn industry isn’t being killed by the Internet giving us all, finally, freedom of choice and we don’t have to watch things that makes us go “ew” anymore because that’s all they carry at the local Jack Shack. Please, no one tell them the truth. Someone’s got to keep the millions of us normal, porn-loving peoples of all genders, races and sexual orientations entertained with a little haunted house fiction.

The real shame and harm is that organizations like SPC are so busy with their questionable beliefs — and truly exploitative tactics — that no one even gets a chance to find out that no, you shouldn’t imitate what you see in porn: It’s not safe sex. The sexual fantasies portrayed in porn — especially the extreme ones — like all adult sexual situations, require context (which is exactly what SPC removes). (…read more, sfgate.com)

Photograph by Lauren Bentley.

About violet

Violet Blue (tinynibbles.com) is a Forbes "Web Celeb," a high-profile tech personality and one of Wired's "Faces of Innovation." She is regarded as the foremost expert in the field of sex and technology, a sex-positive pundit in mainstream media (MacLife, The Oprah Winfrey Show, others) and is regularly interviewed, quoted and featured prominently by major media outlets. Violet has many award-winning, best selling books; her book The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn is featured on Oprah's website. She was the notorious sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. She headlines at conferences ranging from ETech, LeWeb and SXSW: Interactive, to Google Tech Talks at Google, Inc. The London Times named Blue one of the 40 bloggers who really count (2010). Violet Blue is in no way associated with the unauthorized use of her name (or likeness) and registered trademark in pornographic films.
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5 Responses to The first look at Stop Porn Culture

  1. You have my full support! If I want protection, I’ll protect myself. I enjoy sex, and I like porn.

  2. Brad Hanon says:

    That’s the problem with anti-porn feminism. It requires flatly denying the experience of many, many real women. If porn is to be necessarily abusive, or male-only, or whatever, that ideology requires ignoring all the cases where porn is observably NOT those things. It requires discounting the lives and experiences and desires of uncountable women, which to my (admittedly flawed and human) eyes does not look very feminist.

    The advantage of pro-porn feminism is that we need not deny anyone’s experience, or tell them it’s not valid or it doesn’t count or they’ve somehow been brainwashed. Yes, some people really don’t like porn. Yes, some porn has been produced in unethical or abusive ways. But we need not expand these categories to be all-inclusive. We can acknowledge those abuses and pledge not to support or engage in them, as we do with any wrong action. We can respect the feelings of those who, for whatever reason, dislike porn, and celebrate their freedom to walk their own path just as we walk ours. They’re human and they have a right to believe and feel and enjoy whatever they want. It’s a pity that they have a hard time saying the same about us.

  3. maymay says:

    I’ve commented about this over at Charlie Glickman’s blog, but I felt the following is worth adding to this post, as well.

    I feel it’s very important to point out that one of the headliners of this “feminists against pornography” conference is Donna M. Hughes, who is a well-known right-wing wingnut. She has been known to engage in slimy character assassination attempts targeted at female sex educators and community organizers like myself.

    Many of these people have shown themselves incapable of rational discussions about sexuality, and they consistently refuse to engage with sexuality advocates such as you, [Violet].

    In other words: I’m supremely glad to see this website exists.

  4. I haven’t seen anybody mention this, but Stop Porn Culture is part of a larger coalition that goes by the ungainly name of “Coalition For the War Against Illegal Pornography”. It unites Stop Porn Culture with right-wing porn fighters like Enough is Enough and the Witherspoon Institute. Just a few days after the Wheelock Conference, Dines will be one of a series of speakers at an event the Coalition has put together in Washington, DC. In spite of the anti-censorship claims of some of the feminist anti-porn crusaders, this Coalition is clearly calling for more legislation and law enforcement. (In other words, censorship.) More here:

    http://www.thoughtquotient.com/docs/WIP-Invitation_print1.pdf
    http://bit.ly/cZL76U

  5. Mr Latty says:

    I for one think porn has done a lot for our women before Playboy and other great adult industry starters women have been able to come out of the closet so to speak on so many issues and ways. Everyday i thank GOD for porn and its creators!

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