Friday, 28 February 2014

I'm The Duke University Freshman Porn Star And For The First Time I'm Telling The Story In My Words


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My entire life, I have, along with millions of other girls, been told that sex is a degrading and shameful act. When I was 5 years old and beginning to discover the wonders of my body, my mother, completely horrified, told me that if I masturbated, my vagina would fall off.

The most striking view I was indoctrinated with was that sex is something women “have,” but that they shouldn’t “give it away” too soon -– as though there’s only so much sex in any one woman, and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she “gives” it to.

The prevailing societal brainwashing dictates that sexuality and sex "reduce" women, whereas men are merely innocent actors on the receiving end. By extension, our virginity or abstinence has a bearing on who we are as people -- as good people or bad people, as nice women or bad women.

Women's ability to be moral actors is wholly dependent on their sexuality. It is, honestly, insane.

The virgin-whore dichotomy is an insidious standard that we have unfairly placed upon women. Women are supposed to be outwardly pure and modest, while at the same time being sexually alluring and available. If a woman does not have sex after a date, she will be labeled as a prude. If she does have sex, she will be referred to later as a ho or a slut.
Society thus sets up a norm in which women simply cannot win.

We must question in this equation why sex workers are so brutally stigmatized. Why do we exclude them for jobs, education, and from mainstream society?
Why do we scorn, threaten and harass them?
Why do we deny them of their personhood?
Why does the thought of a woman having sexual experiences scare us so much?
The answer is simple.

Patriarchy fears female sexuality.



It terrifies us to even fathom that a woman could take ownership of her body. We deem to keep women in a place where they are subjected to male sexuality. We seek to rob them of their choice and of their autonomy. We want to oppress them and keep them dependent on the patriarchy. A woman who transgresses the norm and takes ownership of her body -- because that's exactly what porn is, no matter how rough the sex is -- ostensibly poses a threat to the deeply ingrained gender norms that polarize our society.

I am well aware: The threat I pose to the patriarchy is enormous. That a woman could be intelligent, educated and CHOOSE to be a sex worker is almost unfathomable.

I find it interesting that porn (a billion-dollar industry) is consumed by millions of people -- men and women (and all other equally wonderful genders) alike -- yet no one is willing to consider the lives of the people behind the camera. No one wants to hear about the abuses and exploitation that take place, no one wants to hear about the violence committed every day against sex workers, no one wants to consider that we have hopes and dreams and ambitions.

No, all we are is "whores and bimbos."
I reject this. Instead, what I ask for is simple. I, like all other sex workers, want to be treated with dignity and respect. I want equal representation under the law and within societal institutions. I want people to acknowledge our humanity. I want people to listen to our unique narratives and dialogues.

To the anti-pornography feminists out there: I very much respect your opinion. Nevertheless, I want you to consider how you marginalize a group of women by condemning their actions. Consider that when you demean women for participating in sex work, you are demeaning THEM, and consequently, YOU become the problem.

Please do not continue to make the mistake you have made in the past of ignoring the voices of minority communities. Listen. Listen to the women who have for so long been silenced. Listen to their thoughts and their needs. Only then can we achieve solidarity and true progress within our movement.

I ask people to deconstruct why they treat female sexuality with such disdain.

Why do we call women sluts and whores? Why do we use synonyms for prostitute as some of the worst insults in the English language? Why do we shame rape victims for the unspeakably heinous crime committed against them? Why is the first question out of many people's mouths: "What was she wearing the night in question?" Why do we condemn a woman who has had multiple sexual partners outside of marriage?

Think about it. Be very honest with yourself. You may be surprised by the answers.

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Read Full Aricle at XOJane


Author / Source: Lauren A. at XOJane

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