Over the last seven years I have had a number of conversations with people about how their friends and relations reacted when they entered the adult industry. Some received comments along the lines of: “Why would you want to lower yourself to that level?”; “You won’t be able to put that on your CV!”; “How will you keep it from your parents/children?” and even “You’ll be stigmatised for the rest of your life.”
I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt sentiments a bit similar to those expressed above when the news broke last month that Anna Span – a highly respected porn director and industry professional – was looking to move into the discredited, squalid world of British politics.
Some people, shockingly, thought differently though.
Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: “It is entirely inappropriate that someone involved in that sort of business should be a candidate,” and the Daily Mail, that bible of middle aged, middle class middle England came up with the rather ungainly headline: ‘From porn to Parliament’: Woman adult film-maker to be election candidate (surprise, surprise, she’s a Lib Dem).
Whilst I may applaud the Mail for managing to slip a sneer into a headline, the news story that followed proved that satire did not die with That Was The Week That Was. It included this line: “A quick glance through the titles of her 300 or so films may suggest she has used them to address some of the major challenges facing Britain today. Hug A Hoodie, for example, could pass as a David Cameron sound bite about disaffected youths.”
Talk about missing the bloody point.
And, on the day the news broke, the comments section which followed the Mail’s online story gave a chilling taste of what could follow in the newspaper itself as the election nears and it looks for non-Tory targets to crucify. Here’s some choice extracts, reprinted exactly as they were written: “I find women like Anna Arrowsmith repugnant and a disgrace to the human race”; “It just about says it all as to why we should never be tempted to vote Liberal Democrat”; “So, Liberal Dems THE PARTY OF PORN… no way then they are fit to have any say in the running of this country. Purveyors of filth”; and the shocking, for several reasons, “So we sould look forward to our girl children really being sexualised and handing it on even more readily, as they corrupt our young boys minds.”
Dear God. Anna, it’s not too late to change your mind…
Thankfully the Daily Mail seemed to be the exception rather than the rule, with most other media outlets reporting the story with only raised eyebrows rather than blood pressure. And, to be fair, the story was a little surprising. While it’s easy for any clown with a few hundred pounds to put themselves forward as an independent parliamentary candidate, it is certainly not easy to be selected by one of the main political parties – despite the number of dishonourable and corrupt crooks we could name who have previously managed to pass through the gates of the Palace of Westminster.
We wish Anna all good fortune in her campaign but if she is successful she would be a great loss to the industry.