ATVOD Chief Executive, Pete Johnson, explained to the BBC that his agency plan to prose a system of licensing for adult sites in a bid to restrict underage access.
Under the proposal, any operator who was not a notified provider with ATVOD would not be able to obtain credit or debit card processing services and therefore be severely hindered.
Of course, this proposal, along with many other Government backed ideas on stopping children watching porn, simply fails before it begins. Tube sites and forums don’t require payment or age verification and present streaming hardcore almost immediately.
Johnson said the licensing proposal was such an important one that it is crucial the legislation is enacted during the current parliament and before the next general election.
Clearly ATVOD are already busy marketing their proposal as the magical solution, they commissioned market research of 45,000 internet users which found that six percent of children aged 15 years or younger had accessed an adult website.
I have no faith in statistics, Politicians have seen to that over the years, but for me rather than taking the percentage as a definitive illustration I ask questions – if only more would.
Questions like what actually constitutes an adult site in the context of the survey? We have to remember that this Government and most ISP’s for that matter consider the lingerie pages of high street retailers such as H&M, Marks and Spencer’s and La Senza as ‘adult content’ that should be restricted.
Their own research also tells us that PornHub is by far the most popular among an underage demographic – we already knew this, I was telling ATVOD this three years ago yet they have made little progress on levelling the playing field between regulated providers and free content that continues to trade in the Global adult industry.
We already know how useless the ISP filter has been in this regard and I can’t help but feel that ATVOD deserves to be disbanded for their stupidity and utter lack of understanding in regards to the Internet and the online industries.
Johnson admits to the BBC that a multi-layered approach is best and one where the Parents take the lead is best however ATVOD, as an industry funded body, have yet to take any of the funds generated from the industry it regulates and sponsor, fund or contribute to Parental and minor outreach in relation to Internet access or Internet safety.
Surely before any other ham-fisted policies or legislation is introduced ATVOD she be made to explore a different approach. I think they’ll find it is a lot more complex than ‘we need more power to do our job’ and actually access and consumption of pornography is more indicative of social, cultural and personal problems that can not simply be fixed by a limp-firewall or law.
ATVOD have demonstrated that they are a small group punching above their weight in a Worldwide industry where more than half don’t even know who they are. It is an organisation that looks more and more like it was set up as a way to generate an income for an industry that was still making money during the recession and where the entire top-tier of management not only exceed the number of actual employees but their combined salary is one similar to a bankers annual income, minus the bonus of course.
Last week, we heard that Camden Council in London may withdraw licensing from the strip venue, Spearmint Rhino. This was greeted with joy by anti-sex feminists. But what about the women who will lose well-paid jobs? A former Spearmint Rhino dancer explains what stripping there meant for her.
Like many people of my generation, once I graduated I felt lost. Applying for jobs was a job in itself and waiting for the rejection letters became a cause for not bothering to get out of bed in the morning. Watching my dole money dwindle and my chances of earning a living minimise, I remembered a friend telling me that on her gap year in Japan she began stripping to find her travels. The thought played with me as I summed up the courage to ask my boyfriend to lend me groceries. Fuck it, I thought. If other women are doing it, then I can.
Before I could change my mind I took myself around the city that night. I went into four different strip clubs, each time telling the guy on the door why I was there and if it would be alright if I had a look around and spoke to the girls about what it was like to work there. Spearmint Rhino seemed the safest, the most discreet, with the best security and the highest payout. That was on the Tuesday. By Friday it was my first shift. By Monday I could afford my rent again.
Stripping wasn’t the easiest job I’ve ever done, but it was certainly the most enjoyable. Even now when I look back on my days there I remember the good before the bad. I compare it to the other jobs I worked before I since and though it wasn’t perfect, what job is? The long nights and sore feet were necessary for the money I brought home. The competition between other girls helped me drive my determination, strengthen my sales pitch and hone in on my unique selling points. The difficult customers taught me interpersonal skills, patience and negotiation tactics.
Being self employed is not easy, but since working there I know that working in such a high pressure, intense workspace means that every job since has reaped the benefits. And what about exploitation? Power is an interesting dynamic. It is not held solely by the customer, nor by me as the dancer. It’s an exchange of money, interest, attention and services. To feel exploited as a stripper must imply that anyone selling services with their body should also feel under the thumb of capital; that they do, but why should only sex workers be punished for it?
Working at Spearmint Rhino pulled me out of poverty in a way that no other job allowed me to do. Because no other job would hire me. Working there not only paid me in money, but also confidence that I had something worth selling. Not just my body, but also my mind to the customers who laughed at my jokes, entertained me with conversation and spent time with me. Attractive waitresses, nurses, teachers and care assistants aren’t punished by having their jobs taken away from them; only those women who dare to mix sexuality with autonomy and smack a price tag on it. If I hadn’t worked my way out of debt by stripping, I dread to think what my options would have been.
We as performers have rights to express ourselves and as long as everything is consensual and legal, then more power to everyone involved.
Part of the criticism Belle Knox, the Duke University Pornstar and Student, has attracted as focused on the fact that her first adult film she shot was for an infamously rough adult web site – Facial Abuse.
The overwhelming criticism I have received for my participation in this rough blowjob scene is incredibly revealing to me about the condemnation-happy state of “gotcha feminism.”
Although Knox has said she ultimately regretted shooting for the rough sex site in New York – it would be “the one choice” she’d take back if she could – she does not regret or condemn the impulses that led her to shoot the scene in the first place but more importantly she defends her choice as a Woman to be able to shoot such a scene.
In her XOJane column Knox writes:
We play around with roles and identities while we are working out issues that are long buried in our subconscious. I’m an ambitious young woman. I’m a student at Duke. I’m a slut who needs to be punished.
Can you guess which one of those is a role?
She goes on to identify a moment in her childhood where she believes the idea of submissiveness first presented itself whilst playing ‘house’ with a friend and unknowingly at the time being aroused “mentally and physically” by that experience.
I can’t explain why rough sex and pain arouses me; it just does.
“So getting spit on and degraded is feminism now?” – a quote from a post that Knox chooses to highlight in her column to which she responds:
Sure. Whatever choice a woman is making and she is the one deciding to do — reclaiming the agency behind the decision to do, even if it is a degrading sexual act — is absolutely feminism. To me, feminism is about women not being shamed but rather being empowered.
It’s clear from the lengthy column that Knox’s view on sex is simple, its not overly complex yet for mainstream Society the ideas behind Knox’s arguments are still too difficult for them to try and understand.
Yes, a Google search reveals pictures of me in hard-core sexual experiences. No, that Google search is not me.
I would recommend reading Knox’s latest column over at XOJane.com, its a true insight into that path that led Knox in to the hardcore adult entertainment industry without all the noise about tuition fees and expensive education. It delves deeper than that into her sexual and personal development.
It appears that Belle Knox, the Duke University freshman who recently revealed her identity as the student at the center of the Duke Porn Star media frenzy, is doing just fine. She took to TV screens across America earlier last week to tell her story and put across her point of view.
Her CNN interview with Piers Morgan was articulate, Knox was smiling the whole way through and she was characteristically unashamed – refusing to allow Society to stigmatise the way she chose to earn her tuition fees. Later students across the World would take to Twitter to condemn and blame the high cost of education, however Knox didn’t level the blame solely at the cost of her school placement – she also blamed ‘decades of patriarchy’ and ‘decades of religion’ for the way Society treats sex workers.
The same Society that consumes me is the same Society that condemns me
She is right in that analysis of course, she was outed by one of her peers and fellow class mate, Maths major Thomas Bagley, Bagley initially exposed how Knox was funding her $61,000 a year tuition fee at a University Fraternity event, he was watching Knox’s Facial Abuse scene which was a hardcore, rough sex scene – FacialAbuse.com is infamous for humiliating and degrading their performers. It’s not a site for the faint-hearted – yet Bagley obviously felt it was his place/duty to publicly out her.
In her CNN interview, Knox confirmed that both students and the University themselves have been very supportive, estimating that 70% have supported her and 30%, mof ‘frat guys’ and girls seem to ‘hate’ her, meeting her with hostility and that at one point her personal physical and mental safety on campus became a concern and it was decided she should take a break from classes.
Receiving not only insults and verbal hostility but also threats of violence meant that there was a risk of her being harmed and she admits that she can’t really go out to events or parties any more.
She hints that coming out to LA in the midst of the story has been a good move in that she s surrounded by many other Women like her – fellow pornstars and sex workers.
Morgan asked how Knox settled on her adult stage name, she said that Belle is for the princess in the Beauty and the Beast, as well as the character Belle de Jour from British television drama ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ and she takes her last name from Amanda Knox, the infamous 26-year-old suspected of sexually assaulting and then murdering her British roommate while studying abroad in Italy in 2007.
Belle explains that her last name was not ‘creepy’ as Morgan tried to paint it but because Knox seemed like an ‘interesting’ person.
In my view, despite the obvious serious nature of Amanda Knox’s alleged crime – I don’t want to trivialise that but Belle Knox is on trial too – she is facing the court of public opinion in which there is rarely an acquittal.
Knox didn’t want to talk about her parents or families views on her choice but did concede that they had not ‘disowned her.’ She delicately tells Morgan that her parents loved her six months ago before she was a Pornstar.
Morgan asked whether Knox regretted making the decision to star in adult films, Knox replied ‘I regret not telling my family from the get-go. I think that was a really big mistake,’ She continued to elaborate by saying that she ‘really isolated’ herself by doing that and advised girls looking to enter the industry to avoid making that same mistake.
Knox seems to still want a role within the industry and doesn’t show signs of quitting anytime soon. Morgan pointed out that she is on CNN defending her career and will be back in School next week studying. He asked if she was ready for the attention.
Knox had once said in an interview that she felt more degraded working as a waitress than an adult filmstar and told Morgan that for a porn scene, that she feels empowered to perform in, she can earn up to $1200!
Bagley has not remained unscathed in all of this, the student has attracted a backlash too.
Mike Kulich of Monarchy Distribution published an open letter that was drenched in sarcasm, in the letter Kulich praised Bagley on his hardcore porn tastes including his subscription to facialabuse.com where Bagley first saw Knox in an adult film. Kulich continued and offered Bagley $10,000 to star in his own adult film where he could choose his co-star and have his ‘dreams come true.’
Bagley has temporarily disabled his Twitter account after he received insults and threats online.
However, Knox herself in a tweet March 9th announced that she appreciated people coming to her defense but called for people not to harass Bagley.
I appreciate people coming to my defense, but please do not harass the guy who outed me.
Following a raid in Osaka that saw the seizure of 140,000 uncensored DVD’s a strange machine was also discovered, which was apparently used to de-pixelate the required censored mosaic in Japanese DVD titles and videos.
A machine right?! I’d expect an app or web site but no – we are talking an actual machine complete with dials and knobs to adjust the strength of depixelation.
Whilst I do not take kindly to the phrase ‘dangers of pornography’ I would agree with Cambridge Philosophy Professor Rae Langton on his concerns that Children will soon be learning more about sex education than they previously ever had before the filters came into effect as we sweep legitimate sex education further away from the curriculum.
On top of taking education from the porn movies they’ll also accumulate additional skills in IT such as hacking, bypassing court ordered content blocks and proxy servers.
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