Posted at 18:05 on 3 Oct 2016 by Pandora Blake
So, a few months ago I kicked off a Patreon campaign supporting my political activism. I expected it to grow fairly slowly, though of course I had plenty of hopes - but I was absolutely gobsmacked when one very generous benefactor made an extremely substantial pledge. Their support has meant I've had an unbelievably busy and productive few months:
- Researching and write up a comprehensive briefing on age verification for online porn in response to the government consultation, outlining exactly why the proposed policy is harmful and unworkable.
- Publishing an easy-to-digest public fact sheet, and encouraging many others to respond to the consultation.
- Publishing a documentary of porn performers and kinksters talking about UK porn censorship
- Attending and publicising academic conferences on porn and sex work law, and contributing to crucial research projects co-ordinated by the Sex Work Research Hub and Beyond the Gaze.
- Giving talks at universities, conferences, film screenings and feminist events; and creating YouTube videos raising awareness of issues that threaten our sexual freedom.
- Co-ordinating a campaign challenging the worst aspects of the Digital Economy Bill and proposing amendments to the legislation, in alliance with obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman, and adult industry trade associations the UK Adult Producer Network and the Adult Provider Network.
- Regularly giving unpaid media interviews about porn censorship, feminist porn and other issues relating to sexual freedom and sex workers' rights.
- Researching and writing in-depth articles every month on topics of sexual liberty and sex industry law reform.
I'm incredibly grateful for the help of this particular patron to date, along with that of all my Patreon supporters. But my benefactor was always very candid that they couldn't sustain this level of support for ever, and now it's come to an end - just as I'm really getting some momentum with my activism. I'm so glad they were able to help me get to this point, and now I need an extra boost.
All the activism and political organising I do is unpaid, and I still need to pay my bills and keep a roof over my head, just like everyone else. I don't receive a regular salary from any organisation - all my income is entirely self-generated, and every moment I'm volunteering can feel like lost earnings, as I'm sure the freelancers amongst you can understand. This is why Patreon has the potential to be such a revolutionary tool for activists - it's a way to support unpaid work that doesn't rely on a huge expenditure from any one individual. If enough people want to contribute even $10 a month to support what I'm doing, then I can keep doing it.
Right now, to afford to keep working on the political campaigning I've already started, I need to raise another $174 a month - that could be just 18 more people contributing $10 a month each. This will mean that I'm compensated by the community for at least some of the work I'm doing organising to defend our sexual liberty. I've been hard at work behind the scenes co-ordinating some big projects that I'm incredibly excited to tell you about - and every pledge will help me spend time getting them to the point where they can really make a difference.
If you're reading this and you like the work I've been doing championing sexual freedom and fighting against censorship, please help me spread the word. Whether or not you're already one of my patrons, if you could tell three friends today about why you think this is worth their time, it would make a huge difference. Share it over a cup of tea, in the pub, on your Facebook, at a munch, on Fetlife, on Twitter, text it, shout it through a megaphone from your back garden, whatever works for you! But however you share it, please tell them why this is important to you - and why you want to be certain there's a voice standing up for our sexual freedoms.
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