Earlier this year, a freshman at Duke University was outed to the school, and later to the rest of the country, for acting in adult films to pay her tuition.

Media outlets flocked to the story. It’s disgusting that so much media attention is being dedicated to something that is in my opinion is not newsworthy in any respect.

Thousands of women every year get paid to pose nude in magazines or have sex on camera, yet the media has focused on one young woman because she goes to a prestigious university.

Belle Knox (the girl’s alias) does not fit into society’s idea of what a porn star is. She is a smart young woman attending one of the best schools in the country. She wasn’t coerced by anyone to join the industry.  Knox turned to porn because she likes it.

The idea that a woman can enjoy having a lot of sex, not apologize for it and later be successful in life is threatening to the patriarchal values that dictate our society.

Her prowess in the bedroom does not affect her skills in the office one bit. It’s maddening our society still so openly discriminates against sex workers.

Knox has proven her intelligence through her eloquent and well-structured responses to the buzz surrounding her career choices.

In her blog post on xoJane.com, Knox said,  “My experience in porn has been nothing but supportive, exciting, thrilling and empowering.”

Porn is not an avenue I would chose, but if she truly enjoys it, then kudos to her.

I don’t want to see a woman being choked or whipped for entertainment. I would never want to be in that situation. But I also understand that the people on camera are acting and that some people might not have a problem with it.

Not everyone who watches these types of films just wants to see women being destroyed and devalued. It is possible to get a thrill from watching something like this and still value the performers as people.

If you feel degraded watching certain lewd acts, your feelings are valid. Don’t watch these scenes, and say no if anyone ever asks you to commit these acts. But if you enjoy watching it, there’s nothing shameful about it.

As Knox said in a blog post, “Everyone has their kinks.” There’s nothing shameful about liking something as long as your partner consents to it.

There are a lot of issues with the porn industry. Rape and child pornography are not kinks — they’re illegal and have no place in any aspect of society. Many women are forced into the industry. Sexually transmitted infections can be spread quickly to many people. These problems need to be addressed. The problem surrounding this specific situation is not the act itself. It’s society’s cruel and sensationalist reaction.

If you don’t like porn, that is your choice. Don’t spend your time on pornographic websites. Don’t spend your money on Hustler or Playboy. It’s that simple.

Similarly, it is Knox’s choice to be in adult films. She’s not harming anyone or breaking any laws, so frankly it’s not the business of CNN, The Chronicle or anyone to judge her for what she does.

 


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