I Don’t Care What You Think About Me For Posting This…

12 Mar

WARNING: EXTREMELY POLITICALLY LACED POST AHEAD. I KNOW THIS DOES NOT HAVE MUCH TO DO WITH MY LIFE IN PRAGUE, BUT I BELIEVE I CAN STILL HAVE A SAY ON CURRENT EVENTS HAPPENING OVERSEAS.  AND I DECIDED THIS IS A PERFECT MEDIUM TO CONVEY MY THOUGHTS TO YOU. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

A little while ago, I came across a story on Buzzfeed titled: ‘Duke Porn Star Reveals Identity’. I thought nothing of it at first, however, then I decided to investigate.

Image(Above: 18-year-old Miriam Weeks aka: ‘Belle Knox’ is a freshman at Duke University in Durham, NC)

The story was regarding 18-year-old Duke University college freshman, Miriam Weeks who had recently revealed she had been working in the porn industry. She went under the name ‘Belle Knox’ and had only turned to the job in order to pay her $60,000 tuition after being denied student government loans.

Weeks’ father was an army doctor serving in Afghanistan and her family had a religious background. However, Weeks soon discovered that she could easily make $1200 a scene starring in adult films. She began work in November 2013 and would film during school breaks.

Her identity was eventually discovered by a fraternity brother who recognized her from one of her films, and word soon spread across school.

And then the masses of idiots do what masses of idiots do best: they bully. They make death threats, and rape threats and do all kinds of things that I think are MUCH worse than acting in an adult video. Why? Because it’s just instinct. Society has learned that it is so much easier to quickly pin someone down with an ugly hateful slur than ever question why they, themselves, automatically resort to using such slurs at all.  

Weeks’ personal information was even posted online so students could directly contact her with their harassment. There were also petitions to contact her father and reveal her true identity.

A quick internet search on this story retrieves such results as ‘Devout Catholic dad returns home from Afghanistan to find daughter is a porn star’. Wait, I can’t even digest how much SHAME is laced within that headline. ‘…Devout Catholic’ uh oh, she’s Catholic! And we all know how all Catholics believe and practice abstinence before marriage. Nope, deff not going to heaven now. ‘…Dad’, awkward, fathers never want to birth porn actresses for fear that she will maybe someday appear in the porn he is watching. ‘…Home from Afghanistan’ oh no, he’s affiliated with the military? He’s already been through so much over there in that war against…wait, who are we fighting again? I forget these days…

My point exactly.

Another twist of plot is Weeks’ college major: Woman’s Studies and Sociology. The ignorance in us wants to immediately sneer Pshh, some feminist acting in PORN. But when you think about it—isn’t that the most sure sign of female empowerment: doing what you want? Just like—a man. Pornography, as unconventional as it may seem, is still a job. And Weeks is over the age of consent and CHOSE to do all this on her own free will. So what’s the problem?

That she’s a girl.

A cute, innocent looking girl who goes to a nice school and just so happens to live a double life. I wonder how much of a story this would be if Weeks’ socio-economic class was drastically different, or if her father wasn’t serving overseas, or if her side job didn’t require you to pay a little fee before viewing. Would this even be a story is she was a boy?

Probably not.

I can remember a while back when a similar instance occurred in Florida with Robert Marruci, an 18-year-old high school senior who was suspended for doing gay porn in order to help his single mother pay bills. Wait, stop. After reading that sentence, what stood out the most to you? To most, it’s the words ‘gay porn’, not ‘to help his single mother pay bills’. And that, dear readers, is what’s wrong.

By pointing fingers at others’ wrongs in order to uphold some sort of ‘personal morality’ we completely overlook and dismiss all sense of reason. We pinpoint what we assume is bad and stop right there—because that shred of evidence is enough to dehumanize that person forever.

Oh, and Marruci was not suspended because he did anything illegal, no, he was suspended because of others’ vicious homophobia that pestered the high school so much it got media attention…and then the school took action.

And that, essentially, is what’s happening with Weeks. Reports stated that school officials ‘were not taking her death threats seriously’. Because I mean, why should they? She deserves this after choosing to do such things! She should be slut-shamed on every website, news station and social media outlet forever!

And this is why 14-year-olds are committing suicide and kids bring guns to school. Because they scream and scream, but no one listens. And most of society allows it all to happen. Heck, they promote it.

The main issue here is not that the average American college tuition is around $22,000 a year, or that a family with a parent serving in the United States military is denied financial aid to attend such schools, or that the porn industry rakes in $10 billion (yes, billion) a year—it’s that a 18-year-old girl who is simply trying to support the American dream of graduating college is being crushed down by the harsh American reality.

(You can read Weeks’ brave and extremely well-thought out anonymous post when she still Belle Knox here: http://www.xojane.com/sex/duke-university-freshman-porn-star )

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9 Responses to “I Don’t Care What You Think About Me For Posting This…”

  1. Maureen Graves March 12, 2014 at 2:04 am #

    Right on the money…..very true perspective. Nice writing.

    • jgravesss March 12, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      Thanks, Mom. Bullying is NEVER the answer!

  2. V March 12, 2014 at 2:17 am #

    The amount of harassment she faces is way out of proportion with what she does. I’ve heard she’s even had threats of violence. It’s insane

  3. georgefinnegan March 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    I don’t think that Belle Knox should have to face the huge amount of abuse that she’s been confronted with – it just isn’t human. However, you have to realize that there is a very important problem with the porn industry – they are hypocrites. On one hand, you can find a billion pornos with the title including the word ‘slut’. Go ahead…Google ‘slut’ and ‘xxx’! See what happens! Yet people in the porn industry don’t like to be called sluts and want to say that people who slut shame and watch porn are hypocrites. How can you expect people to view a film advertized as ‘Watch College Sluts Get Broken In’ with women being ejaculated on, and expect those who watch to not slut shame? Of course, pornographers use the slut factor because it sells and it’s all about the money. If you really want to change harassment, you have to change the way the porn industry does business – it’s a two way street!

    • jgravesss March 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

      That is a very interesting aspect to point out, and this is why so many people (men in particular) can form inaccurate assumptions about sex based on if they just watch porn alone and have no realistic interaction with women. However, you do have to keep in mind that everyone in pornography is an actor or actress. They are playing a part that is drastically dramatized. The parts they play in movies do not define them as people anymore than Hollywood actors who portray mass murders, Nazis or psychopaths in films. A role does not define a person. And the only reason why such titles are used in pornos in the first place is because it sells. An audience wants to distance themselves & dehumanize that actress as much as possible so they will just refer to her as ‘some college slut getting a facial’, but anyone with common sense would know that this actress is, regardless of whatever you just watched her do on camera, still just an actress doing her job.

      • georgefinnegan March 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

        Exactly – I understand that porn stars are people, too, and that they shouldn’t be defined by the roles they play. However, if the porn marketing strategy is to be effective, they have to make the purchasers of porn fall for the illusion they are trying to sell. And for that to happen, there has to be manipulation of the target audience so that they believe the story. An unwanted, or unintended consequence of that manipulation is slut shaming. This is not so much something easily overcome with common sense – particularly for a person who looks for porn where a person is degraded.

      • jgravesss March 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

        I understand where you’re coming from…but then again I completely don’t.
        The only reason people truly watch porn is because it’s an escape from their sexual reality. It’s all fantasy! The problem occurs when someone watches so much that this line becomes blurred & it crosses over into reality. For me, that would be slut shaming. They believe that the videos they are watching of girls being degraded & called sluts is NOT strictly to manipulate them & drain their pockets but is instead REALISTIC & how girls WANT to be treated. So they treat girls in that way. Watching porn where girls are choked out, smacked & called sluts does not give the viewer, as impressionable & psychologically unfulfilled as they may be, any excuse to go around & call every girl in real life a slut. Especially when they are watching videos that present the word in a positive context & they use the term in real life in a negative context. That just doesn’t make any sense.

        Because displaying such behavior will eventually cause violence, lawsuits or suicides & they fantasy will suddenly crumble underneath harsh reality.

      • georgefinnegan March 12, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

        We may be speaking past each other. When I say ‘slut shaming’ I mean THINKING slut shaming, not going out and finding someone to abuse. To me, how a person keeps their mind is important. Our thoughts often lead to actions, so if someone thinks slut shaming, I believe, they’re more likely to harass someone in real life.

        I agree that when people watch too much porn, they begin to believe that their sex lives should be just like it is in the movies and that does lead to problems. There have been recent studies that show that kids who watch porn in their early teens are now thinking that girls shouldn’t have pubic hair, and won’t have anything to do with those who do. Moreover, they become disenchanted when they find out that sex doesn’t work out for them the way it does for James Dean, etc. What ever happened to making love?

        But, to me, the inescapable reality is the porn industry is partly responsible for slut shaming because they encourage it in their drive to market ‘sluts’. No one can excuse them from that and leave all the blame to those who watch porn thinking that they should be unaffected by the marketing tactics. To me, it would be unrealistic to think that. That being the case, there is a problem here that won’t be easily fixed – education of porn viewers, alone, won’t completely undo the problem.

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