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A woman porn director wants to be an MP? Good for her


3:19 pm - March 12th 2010

by Hopi Sen    


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God, politics can be a bit depressing sometimes. Someone comes along with an unusual background wanting to be an MP, and what happens? All of us in the club smirk and nudge each other and roll out a series of pathetic double entendres, her party leader has to declaim her career, and an assembled phalanx of politicians and journalists act as if they’ve never so much seen a naked ankle. Bunch of hypocrites, the lot of us.

So a woman porn director wants to be an MP? Good for her. I’m sure the voters will be much more sensible about it than the political classes.

Anyway, from her wiki entry (I suspect parliamentary computers will prevent going much beyond wiki) she seems like someone with a real belief in personal freedom and choice rather than some sorry mens mag sleazoid, like, well, the owner of the Daily Express.

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This is a guest post. Hopi Sen blogs here.
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Reader comments


All for it, myself. The Lib Dems kind of rely on this sort of outrider to make them remotely interesting. And let’s face it – we’d be much more likely to watch her ‘here’s me at home’ vids on Youtube than Nick Clegg’s.

Shame they’ve not chosen her for a decent seat though. The Libdems have only got 10% or under of the vote the past three elections in Gravesham. Smacks of tokenism (and wanting to create a bit of publicity for the Liberal Democrats in general).

Absolutely all for it. Clegg has carefully avoided condemning porn, making a statement of purely personal taste rather than of moral certitude. What I don’t quite get, though, is why he didn’t take the offensive. Not only is this woman a producer of adult entertainment, she’s specifically promoting and producing female-gaze erotica, as a self-consciously political counter-weight to mainstream society’s hideously misogynistic porn. That’s clearly a dedicated liberal philosophy actualised through sound business sense; right up the LibDem’s street, really.

Mr. S Pill: did I misunderstand, or is she not already a local in that seat? I would have thought that’s why she was running there…

5. Shatterface

Good news, except

(a) porn makes you blind
(b) porn gives you hairy palms
(c) the Italians elected porn star La Cicciolina in 1987 and democracy there has never looked back.

@4

My mistake – although if she wins the seat I’ll eat my hat! And that’s not a euphemism, you dirty minded lot. 😛

Mr Pill, it’s her first time running for Parlt, and she only joined the party recently (she’s been a member for less time than me, and I’m only a council candidate).

Not tokenism; with the system stacked against them, LDs tend to select local activists or those with strong local links wherever possible. Winnable seats will rarely pick a new member with no history of party political activism.

But I hope she does well, and suspect she’s capable of it, with her and Belinda and others actively seeking election, there’s progress, even if it’s going to be slow.

@Hopi, any idea why the Guardian and others are calling her a ‘former’ porn director? I’ve seen no indication that she’s given up work.

Just doing back of the hat calculation here: 100/650 = 0.154.

So if anything like 0.15% of the population (90 000 or so people) are involved in porn (there’s one of those sentences you can’t believe you’d write), then an MP from that background would be not only be reasonable but also representative. Assuming four candidates to an MP (I know there are more, but lets say one for each major party and one for the ‘others’), that would be only 22 500 people in the porn industry to make this representative.

All of this means nothing of course, but I think it is a positive move towards equal representation of all industries and backgrounds, and anyone who is not another bloody lawyer or think tank wonk has to be a good thing.

Good on her, hope she wins!

God bless her and god bless p0rn (if done in the right way of course).

It’s a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.

What is more of an issue is why on earth have the Lib Dems selected someone who openly backs the Labour Party?

Why is that not being talked about?

So we forget that Porn is the most horrid form of ‘adult’ entertainment, where lurks the the lowest forms of human kind. Now sex is a normal and wonderful thing but to turn it into a form of voyeuristic entertainment is demeaning and objectify’s people as purely sexual beings… we are more advanced than this aren’t we? I hope she fails in her attempt at anything.. She is not a torch holder of the freedom of choice movement, she is a producer of all that is nasty about humankind..

Wow anon, you’re giving pr0n a whole bunch of magical powers and a lot of responsibility on its shoulders.

Luke, stop being a loser. She obviously changed her mind. She used to support Labour. Now she supports the Lib Dems. As do a lot of people.

Notice how she didn’t bother with the Greens.

15. Shatterface

‘Notice how she didn’t bother with the Greens.’

Unlike La Cicciolina.

(Hmm, I think I’ve revealed too much about my knowledge of Italian porn).

I used to be a member of the Labour party, a card carrying one – now I support the LibDems, Luke.

Should we all stick to that affiliation even though we detest what that party has become because we were members of something we agreed with?

anon,

“So we forget that Porn is the most horrid form of ‘adult’ entertainment, where lurks the the lowest forms of human kind. Now sex is a normal and wonderful thing but to turn it into a form of voyeuristic entertainment is demeaning and objectify’s people as purely sexual beings… we are more advanced than this aren’t we? I hope she fails in her attempt at anything.. She is not a torch holder of the freedom of choice movement, she is a producer of all that is nasty about humankind..”

Erm, rare as it is for me to agree with Daniel about anything much, you do seem to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder here? The moral compunction against porn is to do with the control over sexual mores exercised by most religions and belief systems – so both Nazism and Soviet communism praised child bearing but only in marriage for example. So it is only advanced to reject voyeuristic entertainment if you accept that control of the minds of others is an advancement in human society. Your post reads like someone who respects that kind of totalitarian thinking.

Sex and its use is a matter for the individual. That is freedom. You do not have to approve if I decide to appear in a porn film (actually no-one would approve, because that would be one strange fetish…). But you cannot stop me on the basis you do not like it. I would suggest the freedom to do as you wish is advanced, not the ability to stop others doing things just because you do not like it.

18. Shatterface

‘Sex and its use is a matter for the individual.’

Even better when it involves two or more.

I’m sure we’re all waiting with bated breath for ‘Behind The Green Bench’

(sorry, showing my age)

… as well as the more romantic ‘The Eyes Have It’

Shatterface – wasn’t it that American ‘performance artiste’ who was heavily – indeed intimately – involved with the greens as well as a number of other vegetables ? Karen Finley ?

Daniel @ 10

God bless her and god bless p0rn (if done in the right way of course).

Ah. So am I to take it from this that, in your view, there is politically correct porn and the other stuff (that done in the wrong way).

Pornography is defined as “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.” It is not intended to have any value other than to achieve this single narrow objective and it is successful if that objective is achieved in the response of the viewer.

There is an argument (not a very good one) that the viewing of porn is debasing to the consumer and/or the producer but there is no argument that it is susceptible to any other value judgement.

I thought Cicciolina was supposed to be OK because she was Art after marrying Jeff Koons? That means its OK for Shatterface to know lots about her as an art afficionado.

Really, this should be a non-issue. Its up to the parties who they put forward and up to the electorate who they vote for. However, back to modern Britain, good on the Lib Dems for braving the wrath of the Daily Mail. I wonder what the Express will say? Has Dirty Des published any of her stuff?

24. rob tennant

Guys, let’s not forget that not only have Lib Dem Peers tried to add some illiberal amendments to an already illiberal Digital Economy Bill – but a crucial climate law failed to pass earlier this month because not enough Lib Dems bothered to turn up to vote for it. That’s change we can believe in that works for you – building a fairer but evidently not a greener Britain.

@22

Pornography is defined as “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.”

My Greek (or Latin? I forget) is a wee bit rusty but I believe the word “pornography”, literally, means depictions of sexual slavery. Graphos = writing/or image, porne = prostitute or sex-slave.

Your definition fits “erotica” fine… now for a debate on porn v. erotica 😀

oh and @23
according to wiki she had her first film aired on Television X which is, of course, owned by Dirty Des .

Rob, it’s considered very bad form to copy and paste exactly the same comment into two different threads. Lee’s answered you effectively in that thread, but the amendment as put forward was a compromise between the LD and Tory Lords leadership in order to remove the old Clause 17 (widely referred to as an Enabling Act provision).

The new amendments agreed today sort out and clarify my qualms about the provisions, and the party overall remains committed to trying to block the bill if at all possible. In addition, on Sunday a motion to conference will hopefully be debated updating party policy to a genuinely liberal position on so called Digitial Economy matters generally.

And really, not every MP attends every vote, mostly numbers not attending are in proportion across party lines, sometimes this is for agreed reasons like committees away on business, etc. Attacking an entire party because the exact same proportion of their MPs didn’t turn up as the other parties?

Both completely off topic and shows complete lack of grasp of how Parliament works.

27. Just Visiting

Pagar

“There is an argument (not a very good one) that the viewing of porn is debasing to the consumer and/or the producer but there is no argument that it is susceptible to any other value judgement.”

Maybe I’m wrong – but haven’t feminists argued in the past against porn on the basis of the ‘value judgement’ of it’s (problematic) depiction of women.

Also, just this week Laurie Pennry objects to objectification of women in posters and media – and it seems logical that concern would also apply to the media of porn too?

I remember seeing something about her on a TV programme, and jotting down her name and the name of her company, thinking that I might look it up.
”Guilt free porn” I thought.

I lost the bit of paper I wrote it down on – but I’m sure it’s her.
She said that she was even up for appearing in some of her own movies.
Which is totally fair enough too. (And quite sexy – if one’s allowed to say that).

29. Lawrence Aggleton

Rather 63 Anna Arrowsmiths than one Mark Oaten…

30. Shatterface

‘Also, just this week Laurie Pennry objects to objectification of women in posters and media – and it seems logical that concern would also apply to the media of porn too?’

Actually, she started off sensibly with:

‘And yet the automatic conflation of all sexual images and ideas with misogyny by media outlets reporting these pieces of research is evidence of a dangerous trend in contemporary thought: the idea that women and girls need to be protected from any and all sexual images and tropes for the good of our moral health.’

…before her authoritarian instincts took over in the comment section and she proposed that all advertising be vetted by a panel of feminists before broadcast.

And there was something about a new deodorant called ‘Dialectic’ but I couldn’t make much sense out of it.

@ Just Visiting

haven’t feminists argued in the past against porn on the basis of the ‘value judgement’ of it’s (problematic) depiction of women

As I said above, there is an argument there- just not a very good one.

The whole point of porn is the objectification of the image or depiction. If it doesn’t do that, it is not any good. So whilst some feminists complain about this, what they are really objecting to is the way in which the male sexual impulse works.

A bit pointless really. Like Laurie’s post arguing for censorship of advertising.

And of course there are other feminists who want to defend a woman’s right to participate in the industry if she wants to- an argument for the exercise of individual free will that, you will not be surprised to hear, I find much more compelling.

pagar way back 22:

Not sur way you’re asking me questions, as will have a seriously good chance of drifting far off topic but I’m sorry to tell you that political correctness has nowt to do with it.

There is some nasty ass pr0n out there, vicious nasty shit that is on the cusp of criminal and some of it, with animals and what not, is criminal. That is what I meant, so hope that’s cleared it all up.

>I’m sure the voters will be much more sensible about it than the political classes.

Any indication that the political classes won’t be sensible? Just asking. Or do I smell a straw man? 🙂

34. Matt Munro

She’s actually only ever directed the kind of stuff they show on the adult channel, the softcore stuff that the husbands of labour MPs seem to like watching when their wives are away on business, it hardly qualifies as porn in my book.

Matt, I think, although I can’t confirm, that the stuff shown on adult TV channels is edited down versions of more explicit stuff released under R18. She’s definitely filmed stuff that’s more explicit than the channels can show, famously the female ejaculation film that she did all the research on.

Pagar, there is another value judgement that can be applied to porn. Whether it’s actually any good. There’s the illegal and exploitative stuff that Daniel mentions (some of which should be illegal, some of which shouldn’t, see previous debates about the extreme porn ban), but there’s also merely the utter dross that simply doesn’t interest me much these days.

Sure, when I was a lot younger, pretty much anything involving nekkid ladies was great, but these days I’d like something that isn’t dull, derivative and badly shot.

Haven’t actually watched any of Anna’s stuff; suspect Jennie will want to get hold of some sooner rather than later now.

36. Just Visiting

Pagar 31

> The whole point of porn is the objectification of the image or depiction. If it doesn’t do that, it is not any good. So whilst some feminists complain about this, what they are really objecting to is the way in which the male sexual impulse works.

Still not sure how you fell that porn, or any media, should be treated as value-free.

The feminists do have _Feminist Porn Film of the Year_ awards I believe- which suggests they find some porn better fits their values than other.

Try this angle – are you saying there is nothing that could be portrayed in a porn film that anyone would be entitled to disagree with?

We have had pornographic literature, some of which has become part of the literary canon – as well as art and photography – long before we had porn movies, TV and video.

Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, liked photographing young girls, some “undraped” – a limited selection of his portfolio is shown in the wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Carroll#Photography

I’m apt to compare the literary canons in English and French literature.

The French can put up De Sade (late 18th century) and L’Histoire d’O (1954) and we can put up John Cleland’s Fanny Hill (1748) and DH Lawrence: Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928). The Americans can put up Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (1934), the Irish: James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922), the the Scots can wheel out the verse of Robbie Burns (late 18th century).

For uncertain reasons, the French contributions are distinctively sado-masochistic.

What’s new?

Kama Sutra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kama_Sutra

“Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum was discovered in the ancient cities around the bay of Naples (particularly of Pompeii and Herculaneum) after extensive excavations began in the 18th century. The city was found to be full of erotic art and frescoes, symbols, and inscriptions regarded by its excavators as pornographic. Even many recovered household items had a sexual theme. . . ”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_art_in_Pompeii_and_Herculaneum

Ovid: Ars Amatoria (1 BC)

39. A Nonymous

@Bob B

Lewis Carroll was a paedophile and the Kama Sutra is an erotic lovemaking guide for couples. Neither has anything to do with pornography.

@ 39

Try this angle – are you saying there is nothing that could be portrayed in a porn film that anyone would be entitled to disagree with?

I wouldn’t watch porn to find something with which to disagree. I’d come to Liberal Conspiracy. 🙂

Nor would I watch it for the plot, dialogue or cinematography.

Would you?

If you are asking should it be censored, the answer is that, providing it is produced by consenting adults without any element of compulsion, then no, it should not.

@47

But what would be compulsion, in your opinion? Needing the money?

@48.

Smart question.

A lot of people do a lot of things they’d rather not because they want or need the money. I’m one of them.

My view is that the state should provide the basic needs of food clothing and shelter for those unable to provide it for themselves. After that it is up to each person to make their own decisions.

I think it is tempting, but patronising, to imply that
those who work in the sex industry are coerced into doing so.

Miscellaneous Anonymous Fools:

Just because you feel it, doesn’t mean it is there.

Fucking animals ain’t my thing but if it’s yours I’m sure you can get them stubby, hairy digits of yours onto a keyboard and find some.

Now you all take care of yourselves won’t you?

As soon communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, porn labels were quick to exploit the new opportunities there – which you have to say is pretty sleezy.
They waved some hard currency around and seem to have had plenty of takers – which does seem somewhat unscrupulous.

I’ve sometimes wondered what the women who did porn think when they see the stuff they did is still in circulation – and making money for someone, years after they got their one off performance fee. I’m sure many regret it – particularly when family and people they know got to hear about it.

There is a link to Anna Span’s website in the first post on this Liberal Democrat supporting site.
I won’t do the link to it directly myself as it looks pretty full on, and I don’t think it could be called ‘soft core’.

So only look if you want to.
http://miss-s-b.dreamwidth.org/1031990.html

@50

Sorry if I caused any offence, Daniel. It was simply too good an opportunity to miss.

Yurrzem! Not you man, the other freaks and you are a regular name to a face to to speak.

The joke long ago left the building trolls.

I agree with DHG. I’d rather know what people think of Anna Span’s porno.
I have researched it a bit this afternoon and I find it to be quite interesting.

But what really differentiates it from all the other stuff?
I think I can maybe see a difference – but more research is needed.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    A woman porn director wants to be an MP? Good for her http://bit.ly/cw040Z

  2. Liberal Conspiracy » Write a blog, kill your career?

    […] Only, not really. The website is clearly several years old (it has plenty of <table> tags for layout, an archeological relic in web design terms) and a quick peak at the Internet Archive shows the biography was written in 2004. Likely poor Ms Arrowsmith forgot to update her biography when she switched parties, which doesn’t make it any less awkward. A more practiced blogger would have remembered when and where they endorsed piolitical parties, and made a correction to the internet record at the right time. Nonetheless, its another example of how the Internet’s perfect memory often foils our best laid plans. Hopi has more on the Arrowsmith story. […]





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