The Women’s Support Project has been involved in a range of activities relating to challenging the demand from men for commercial sexual exploitation, including:
- Delivery of training on ‘understanding the harm caused through prostitution’.
- Hosting screen debates and other public education events.
- Hosting a conference on ‘Challenging Demand’, held in May 2006.
- Undertaking research into attitudes of men who buy sex in prostitution.
They are now planning further activities, to continue this important debate.
- A second ‘Challenging Demand’ conference, to be held on 24th October 2007, will report on the Scottish research into the attitudes of men who buy sex in prostitution, and will highlight pornography as part of the spectrum of commercial sexual exploitation, and a form of gender based violence against women.
- An anti-pornography training day will be held on 25th October 2007. This day will be aimed at people who are already active in work against violence against women, and who are committed to undertaking public education work on this issue. Places are being offered to each VAW training consortium, as well as to a range of national organisations.
Gail Dines, Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies, Wheelock College, Boston and Dr Rebecca Whisnant, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Dayton, Ohio, have been invited to speak at the conference, and will be facilitating the training. Both Gail and Rebecca are founder members of the U.S. National Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement, and have a number of works published on commercial sexual exploitation, including ‘Pornography: the Production and Consumption of Inequality’, and ‘Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography.
Scottish Women Against Pornography will also be involved. SWAP is the leading Scottish organisation currently challenging pornography, and actively campaigning on a range of issues. SWAP have expertise, skills and in-depth knowledge of how pornography is promoted, marketed and justified as ‘freedom of speech’, fantasy, aid to sexual (read male) fulfillment and also justification for male sexual violence against women, girls and boys. Catherine Harper of SWAP contributed to the Scottish research into attitudes of men who buy sex.
For more information please contact the Women’s Support Project.