February 21, 2011

Porn Wins Cambridge Debate

Freedom, News, Sex Work No Comments

The Cambridge Union Society, founded in 1815, likes its debates. Last week, the historic union tackled pornography, concluding — by 44 votes — that it “provides a good public service.”

The debate attracted a great deal of attention in the media last month because of the amount of people from the adult industry who were on board to participate. For the proponents, there was Anna Span; Johnny Anglais, the Essex teacher who was outed as a porn star last year and dismissed; and the sex educator Jessi Fischer. On the side of the opposition was the born-again-Christian and former porn star Shelley Lubben; the antiporn feminist Dr. Gail Dines; and Dr. Richard Woolfson, a child psychologist.

Anna Span focused a great deal of her discussion on Lubben, which is not very sporting, but then these events seldom are. For her part, Lubben did a phenomenal job of completely alienating the audience, which essentially lost the opposition their victory at Cambridge.

Per the Cambridge First:

But when Ms Lubben took to the floor, arguably the headline act, her passion and anger hid her argument. The audience did not react well to this. Resting on the lectern, her high-heeled shoe subconsciously beating on the floor, her impassioned attack on the porn industry strayed from the academic debate.

“This is nothing funny or glamorous about this industry,” she said. “Pornography doesn’t do a good public service because it is lying to you. I have the evidence. It’s lying to you. It’s modern day slavery.”

And with that, the Cambridge students voted for porn.

It may not be this simple. Or it may be more simple than this. Porn-positive proponents celebrate this victory, clutching it triumphantly. But we can’t help but wonder what, exactly, this debate has achieved? The battle rages on, no closer to resolution than it was before all these publications took hold of the story, eager for the pageviews that any porn-related story promises to deliver.

What we can celebrate is Cambridge Union Society’s president Lauren Davidson for having the balls to approach the topic. We can only hope it’s based on an honest interest and not just a passing fancy for a “hot topic.”

MORE:
Did Shelley Lubben Blow the Cambridge Porn Debate? on AVN
Does Pornography Provide Good Public Service? on the BBC

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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...