I recently appeared at a ThinkIn – a discussion hosted by Tortoise Media. The subject was “Life in the Porn Age”, and the panelists (other than me) were: the tireless sexual freedom campaigner and First Lady of Sex, Charlotte Rose; pornstar Misha Mayfair; ‘porn addiction therapist’ Paula Hall; and solicitor Honza Cervenka, a specialist in ‘revenge porn’. The session was chaired by journalist and author Nichi Hodgson.
The write-up of the session slightly misrepresents me, by stating: “… free-speech activist Jerry Barnett warned us to be careful about concluding too much from the data available. Much of it is flawed, partial and based on conjecture.” In fact, I’m massive fan of data as the essential tool for debunking myths. What I in fact said was that false claims linking pornography to rising sexual violence were not backed by data: the available data (and there’s plenty) suggests the opposite, that rising porn use correlates with a decline in sexual violence. I devote a chapter in my book Porn Panic! to this subject.
(NOTE: The Tortoise link has now been updated with more accurate wording at my request).
In my campaign to oppose censorship and oppose moral panics, I participate in many media and public events. On Friday, I participated in a debate at Exeter University titled “This House Would Watch Porn”, in front of around 140 students. Myself and Charlotte Rose (sex worker and free speech activist) won the debate easily (we won at least 90% of the vote). Charlotte livestreamed the debate via her phone, on Twitter, and you can watch it here (my speech begins at 5:10 and Charlotte’s around 16:10):
And tomorrow (Monday), I’ll be participating in a ThinkIn event in London for Tortoise Media. Tickets are available here. Please note that I often do these events unpaid, because I care deeply about the corrosive threat from moral panics, and the rising threat of censorship. You can support me by making a small donation at Patreon, or by buying my book, Porn Panic.
Items from Australia’s first National Museum of Erotica have been listed for sale through Lawson’s auction house. The online auction, entitled ‘Body Politics’, is owned by Victorian MLC Fiona Patten and her partner Robbie Swan. The two have been collecting erotic art and ephemera since the early 1990s.
Ms Patten said that she would be sad to see the collection go as it had been part of their relationship and been collected from all parts of the globe but from the mid 2000s the Museum had taken second place to politics. “Sadly sex has lost out to politics and my increasing work load has made it impossible to continue to house and maintain this collection”. The 160 items up for sale are a mix of erotic fine art, memorabilia and sex industry collectibles – much of it with political themes or messages. Bret Whitely, Lesbia Thorpe, Sidney Nolan, Maree Azzopardi, Richard Larter, John Blackman, Martin Sharpe and many other well-known artists are represented.
Ms Patten said that many of the pieces formed part of the couple’s anti-censorship campaigns when they ran Australia’s national sex industry association.
She encouraged MPs from across the spectrum to buy a piece from the Museum’s collection. “There is a large and colourful oil painting by one of Australia’s foremost religious painters, Salvatore Zoffrea, that has the Prime Minister’s name all over it”, she said. “On the other side there is an untitled forest landscape said to have brightened the walls of former Treasurer Jim Cairns’ office before making its way into the Treasury building in Canberra in the early 1970s”.
A satirical portrait of Amanda Vanstone by Talking Pictures chief, Mike Bowers, and a knitted impression of Obama’s penis complete with Michelle’s hand, represent widely differing styles. One of Australia’s most complete early brothel collections and a rare 1800s Japanese erotic shunga scroll are also being offered.
Mr Swan said that Lawsons knocked back only one piece – a rare digital print of one of the first pieces of photoshopped political satire to appear on the internet in 1996 which featured Pauline Hanson, John Howard and Kim Beasley. It was titled ‘Distributing Preferences’ and was created by the notorious online satirist, Dr Irresponsible. “It’s still for sale if anyone is interested”, he said
I’ll be speaking about the Porn Panic (the new war on sexual freedom and free expression) to the “Jordan Peterson Gentlemen’s Philosophy Meetup”, tomorrow evening. The event appears to be popular, so please RSVP if you intend to come.
The event isn’t directly related to Jordan Peterson, but was set up by some of his admirers. For those who don’t know, he’s a professor of Psychology and author who has recently gained notoriety for his defence of free speech and evidence-based discussion. His recent, bewildering, interview with Cathy Newman for Channel 4 News is worth watching: Newman appeared to repeatedly attempt to twist Peterson’s words and cast him (inaccurately) as an opponent of gender equality. The discussion – on why men and women make different choices and have differing outcomes – illustrates the cutting edge of science versus dogma – the new Darwinism vs Creationism. The fact that science is now regarded with suspicion by the political and media mainstream has deeply worrying implications, and is one of the issues I touch on in my book.
I’ve also created a Patreon campaign to help support my campaigning work. If you support my campaign against censorship and sexual repression, a small monthly contribution will help me create more content and speak at more events. I think we live in dangerous times – if you agree, please help me spread the word.
This porn debate took place on 16th September 2016 during freshers’ week at Exeter University. It features Jerry Barnett (me) and the pornstar Karina Currie vs Heather Brunskell-Evans and Jane Fae. It begins with a five-minute speech by each of us; I’m last of the four. The floor is then opened to debate. To save you fast-forwarding to the end: we won by a landslide.
This video was shot at the first book signing event for Porn Panic!, at Waterstones in Greenwich. Massive thanks to Terry Stephens (Naked Truth Guy) and Andy for shooting the event.
It’s a long video, but Terry has kindly provided an index for those who want to skip through (see below).
00:00 Porn Censorship
00:30 Oswald Mosley and The Battle of Cable Street
01:30 Albert, WW2 and Womens Lib during the 60’s
02:43 Europes Attitude To Porn
04:40 Growing up in West London
09:15 Fascism & Sex
14:30 Freedom of speech & the importance of expression
18:00 Introducing Edie LaMort
19:16 Racism In The Left Wing
20:15 Race & Sexism In The Music Industry (Nikki Minaj & Beyonce)
29:16 Attacks On Free Speech: Pro Censorship VS Tyler The Creator
35:37 Edie LaMort Strippers vs Radical Feminist Organisations
44:20 Edie LaMort Stripping & Working On Civvy Street
53:20 Lose The Lads Mags Campaign
59:20 Porn & The Rise in Violence Towards Women
This half-hour video is of a debate that took place between me and Luke Gittos, Legal Editor of Spiked! Online. The event was hosted by Birmingham Salon. I open the debate in defence of pornography, followed by Luke, opposing.
For an in-depth examination and rebuttal of the alleged harms of porn, you can buy my book, Porn Panic!
On 27th September, the Naked Truth Film club is screening Simon Sheridan’s acclaimed documentary Respectable: The Mary Millington Story. The screening will take place at 6pm at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square.
Naked Truth are offering a pair of free tickets to anyone who buys (or has bought) my book Porn Panic!
I will be taking part in the panel discussion following the screening. Also on the panel are the film’s director Simon Sheridan, activist pornographer Pandora Blake, and model, pornstar and Page 3 girl Linsey Dawn McKenzie.
In the 1970s there was a pretty English girl-next-door who personified ‘glamour’. Her rise to the top was meteoric, controversial and scandalous. Mary Millington’s fame brought her a lavish lifestyle and an affair with the Prime Minister Harold Wilson . Her success had its pitfalls. Persecuted by the authorities, police corruption and tortured by self-doubt, she died at the height of her fame in August 1979 at just 33. Mary’s life unfolds as a capricious tale of Seventies’ Britain, documenting a young woman’s courage and determination as a trail-blazing sexual liberator, but thwarted by a society morally conflicted to accept her.
The Naked Truth Film Club is proud to bring you an exclusive screening of the documentary movie Respectable- The Mary Millington Story and a Q&A with Simon Sheridan, the film’s director, and guests to draw parallels with the 70s and discuss where we are 35 years later with the rise of the internet, porn stars and webcam girls.
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