Feminists Against Censorship

Fighting Censorship in the UK since 1989.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FAC on the Panel at SOAS Porn Debate Tonight

The Women's Society at SOAS are hosting a debate this evening and one of our members, Zak Jane Kier, will be taking part. Sian McGee from SOAS has more at the debate's wherevent page:

Porn: A tool for liberation or oppression?

A Women's Society and For'em Event

January 17th at 7pm, Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Can the production of pornography be used as a tool for female liberation? Or does it bind us to passive stereotypes? The role and impact of the porn industry is currently an important debate both within and outside feminist circles. Both women and men are exposed to over-sexualised images everyday and it is difficult to escape the impact that the porn industry is having on our society. We want to ask whether it can be used as a way to reclaim the female body and sexuality or if it indeed causes more damage to the aims of gender equality. Join us on the 17th January at SOAS, listen to those involved in this debate and add your own voice. Hope to see you there.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Networking and support site for proud sex workers and their allies coming soon

This site is for anyone who works in the sex industry - from escorts, porn stars, adult TV staff, sex shop assistants to sex academics, sex researchers and sex journalists - to network and find support. We live in a hostile time against our industries and this site is meant as a place for us to meet new people and share our thoughts about our work.

We also welcome anyone outside of the industries who supports us too...

This site is also the one-stop-shop for anyone researching the sex industry - students, journalists, policy makers, researchers as well as interested members of the public - to read up on, and access all of the major research and readings - as well as relevant media - on the issues related to sex work and its major contributors.

We also run public campaigns fighting for the rights of all sex workers to be able to enjoy equal employment rights and a fair representation in society and the media.

So come on in, membership is free! We welcome you to join us as we tell the world 'We Consent!'

Watch this space.

Dorries' abstinence education bill protest - 20 January‏‏‏‏

Beth Granter and Holly Smith, who are organising against Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (required content) bill, have shared the following details with us:

On 20 January 2012, Nadine Dorries' proposed amendment to sex education, Bill 185, which suggests GIRLS be taught abstinence, is due to get a second reading in parliament.

A demonstration opposing the bill is being supported by Youth Fight For Jobs, The British Humanist Association and Queers Against The Cuts. The demo starts at 10:30am at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, outside Parliament. Details of the demo are at http://on.fb.me/stopdorriesdemo.

The bill is sexist as it positions girls as being solely responsible for decisions about sexual activity and boys as having no responsibility for ensuring that sex is mutually wanted, fully consenting and safe. Dorries even said that teaching children to 'say no' could reduce child abuse. This victim blaming is dangerous, incorrect, and offensive to survivors of abuse.

Abstinence education on its own is ineffective in reducing teenage pregnancies and STI rates. Good quality comprehensive Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) should already explicitly address the option of abstinence as part of decision-making about sex, and safer sex.

SRE should be informative and fact based. Some of the most important bits of SRE, which really helps young people to take responsibility for themselves and make healthy decisions (namely the relationships and communication aspects), are optional for schools and this bill will not change that. If this bill passes, some schools could end up only teaching the biology of reproduction and STIs (within the science curriculum) plus abstinence.

If Dorries really wanted to help young women to stay safe and healthy she would be advocating for statutory, comprehensive sex and relationships education for all young people, of all genders, and in all schools whether they are faith schools, academies, free schools or community schools. Her party in Government has already stated that they have no intention of making SRE statutory.

More information on the campaign can be found at http://facebook.com/stopdorries and the demonstration at http://on.fb.me/stopdorriesdemo.

Belated Congratulations to Michael Peacock

Things have been pretty quiet over here at the Feminists Against Censorship blog, as lots of us have been busy on other projects and not reporting back here about our FAC work. However, we couldn't let the opportunity to mention this recent landmark obscenity trial pass by so here are some links to some of the best reporting on the story in case you missed it:

Nichi Hodgson (who also live tweeted during the trial) writing at The Guardian's Comment is Free about how Michael Peacock's acquittal is a victory for sexual freedom and at The New Statesman, arguing that obscenity law robs us of agency

Dr Brooke Magnanti at Sexonomics calling out the way some people talk about kink (scroll down past the picture of her with Michael)

Myles Jackman welcoming the verdict but pointing out that the Obscene Publications Act means that the state is still capable of acting as a voyeur in the bedroom

A detailed piece over at Freedom in a Puritan Age from queer theorist Chris Ashford, mentioning that those hoping this verdict will simply mean the sweeping away of the existing law may need to be careful what they wish for