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Upcoming events and current media coverage relating to sex work and sex workers.

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Park Street gangrape: TMC MP accuses woman of being sex worker »

Mississippi authorities work on leads in stripper case »

The stripper fighting for life after falling off balcony while attempting tricky lap dance move »

Brothel worker stole cash from boss »

Licensing hearing for Consett lap dance club »

Stripper Assaulted Two Strangers as part of a Performance Art Piece »

'P.O.P.' Documentary Strips Down Stripper Stereotypes »

Brazilian sex worker’s group offers prostitutes English lessons ahead of World Cup »

Texas Legislator Proposes Stripper Licensing »

Stripper: Club Manager Demanded Sexual Favors »

Former Glasgow lap-dancing club in hot water for keeping inadequate finance records »

Stripper who fell from balcony at Christie's Cabaret dies »

Tamworth lap dance club owner faces arrest over alleged licence breaches »

Lap dancing club Red Velvet in Consett has drinks licence revoked »

Stripper says Brooklyn Net Andray Blatche watched alleged sexual assault at hotel »

Girl, 16, 'chose' to be stripper, defence argues »

Sex worker murdered »

Adult Entertainment Industry Files Suit Challenging Measure B »

SASOD welcomes police arrests in killing of gay sex worker; reiterates need for law reform »

Consett lap dancing club may be closed down »

Ex-stripper defiant over ruling she was self-employed »

Playboy Fined in U.K. for Failing to Block Children From Hardcore Pornography »

California middle school teacher, who appeared in pornography, loses appeal »

Houston Chronicle reporter fired for stripper gig lands new journalism job »

Murdered sex worker for burial today »

Cops detain man over sex worker’s murder »

The lap dancer quashed by the MOO impediment »

2 Girls + 1 Cup lands producer 4 years jail. But why? »

Sex worker accused of pawning niece »

16-yr-old sex worker duped by ‘client’, undergoes tubectomy »

Israel: Anti-pornography party drops out of elections »

Sex worker bags six-year jail term for killing client »

Lapdancing survey costs £118,000 and finds schools and striptease clubs don't mix »

Sex worker battered in street »



Last week, midway through a leisurely Saturday afternoon, I got an email from MSNBC asking me to be on the Melissa Harris Perry Show a week later (July 7th). I was delighted to accept, as MHP is not your usual American journalist. A professor of political science at Tulane University, she is an outspoken African American feminist and a progressive voice in a media landscape dominated by right-wing talking heads. MSNBC is a rare media oasis in the U.S. where one gets to hear some actual critical analysis, so I—mistakenly, it turned out—thought this was going to be one of the few positive experiences I’ve had working with corporate-controlled media. In all honesty, after many years of being on talk shows in the U.S., I have come to expect very little in terms of integrity from the media. Their job is to boost ratings by making stories entertaining and light, and God help anyone who gets in their way.

I spent a long time on the phone with MHP’s producer talking about my research on the harms of porn and the ways women in the industry—especially women of color—are financially exploited and physically and emotionally dehumanized and debased. Given MHP’s feminist politics and her scholarly work on the representation of African American women in U.S. history, I was excited to do a show with an interviewer whom I expected would be engaging and thoughtful, in contrast to the usual adolescent sniggering I get from the male journalist who suddenly finds himself in the awkward position of interviewing a feminist who doesn’t think porn is fun.

But by the middle of the week things started to go very wrong. My last conversation with the producers was on the Sunday before the show, and I was told that I would get a call by Tuesday to confirm my travel details. Wednesday came, and no call. On Thursday, I got an email saying that the “segment is changing,” so they won’t need me. “Changing”… not canceled. To the uninitiated this might seem like splitting hairs, but I am an old hand at dealing with the media, and I have been in this position more times than I can count.

Read more here

Not so long ago, Gail Dines came to Australia. Her tour and speaking engagements, including on Q&A, attracted a lot of attention to her campaign, the message of which is basically that porn is very bad; bad for men, bad for women, and bad for the women who perform in it.

She believes performances for women consist primarily, if not exclusively, of women being forced into violent, degrading sexual practices. When Howard Jacobson suggested there was something "in our natures" that makes us want to watch porn, Dines retorted: "I refuse to accept that my boy came out with a homing device for gagonmycock.com."

Debates about porn among women who identify as feminists go back 30 years. In the '80s, the pro-porn feminists identified as sex-positive feminists. The most prominent anti-porn feminists were Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin. In my view, the better arguments and evidence were on the side of the sex-positive feminists, and a comprehensive rebuttal to the 'MacDworkin' position was provided by former American Civil Liberties Union president Nadine Strossen in Defending Pornography.

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Yale - Panel split on porn

Diverse feminist views collided Saturday in a panel discussion about the ethics of pornography.

Three feminists from a range of professions spoke about the industry and its impacts on women before a mostly student audience of about 60 people. The talk continued Sex Week 2012’s dialogue on controversial social issues as the panelists shared their views on how the industry has shaped modern attitudes toward sex and become more socially acceptable.

“Pornography is a pervasive commodity on campus and in society,” Sex Week co-director Paul Holmes ’13 said as he introduced the speakers.

Gail Dines, a professor of sociology at Wheelock College in Boston and anti-pornography activist, argued that pornography can be understood through a Marxist lens. Likening the porn industry to those of food and fashion, which she argued shape how people eat and dress, Dines said the porn industry determines the power dynamics and economics of sex.

A strong opponent of porn, Dines condemned the industry for “selling humans.” She added that porn productions demean women by portraying them as sexual objects, and also often exploit the actresses involved.

This is a retrospective post to commemorate the debate that inspired the birth of this site. Jessi Fischer, Anna Arrowsmith, Johnny Anglais comfortably beat anti porn campaigners Shelly Lubben, Gail Dines and psychologist  Dr Richard Woolfson. If you would like to view the debate in full, click here.

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