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Why Young Women Doing Porn Isn’t a Big Deal [Op-Ed]

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I came across a really well written article yesterday by a college freshman named Lauren who goes to Duke University. Lauren is a women’s studies-sociology double major, a Republican, and she also flies to L.A. during breaks in school to do porn to pay for her tuition.

At that thought, most people would think, “Okay, she’s a college whore,” and immediately assume she’s some damaged personality with no discernable sense of morality. Women who value any sense of virginity would be disgusted by her. Men, if not excited at seeing her purely as a sex object, would see her as a slut and have zero respect for her purely based off her line of work. The truth of the matter is that virginity doesn’t mean sh*t and guys who aren’t secure enough to accept her lifestyle are stuck in a double-standard la-la-land as hypocritical fools. I dare you to prove me wrong.

Pornstars are entrepreneurs. They do business with a very particular service and run with the risks, which, unlike tech and startup entrepreneurs, means much more than risking finances. And yet, most don’t consider or approve of their line of work as a legitimate career because of the negative social stigma that surrounds porn which even extends to young women in business.

Most people can’t wrap their heads around that point, much less respect it. In fact, once some immature frat bro named Thomas Bagley learned of Lauren’s identity, he went and spread the news throughout the Greek system at Duke and a wave of bullying and harassment crashed into her personal life..

“What I did not expect was that I would be brutally bullied and harassed online. I did not expect that every private detail about my life would be dissected. I did not expect that my intelligence and work ethic would be questioned and criticized. And I certainly did not expect that extremely personal information concerning my identity and whereabouts would be so carelessly transmitted through college gossip boards. I was called a “slut who needs to learn the consequences of her actions,” a “huge f*cking whore,” and, perhaps the most offensive, “a little girl who does not understand her actions.”

So she took matters into her own hands. Her first attempt to put her version of the story out before the masses could totally trash her was a half success; The Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper, skewed and manipulated Lauren’s story against her. She put out a response the same day to clarify what The Chronicle article got wrong, but soon after wrote a piece in her own words, the same one that drew me in to her story.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen this kind of reaction. Last month, Robert Marucci, a high school student in Florida was discovered shooting gay porn in order to help his mother pay the bills. He was briefly suspended because school officials disagreed with his career choice but soon after reversed their decision after public backlash. Unfortunately that didn’t stop the wave of threats and bullying that followed. You might imagine how that’s like in high school.

Working in adult films is just something most people in society can’t accept. Yet. Think about it logically. Why work in the adult film industry? Because you need money, it pays efficiently, and it’s a job you wouldn’t mind doing. Lauren makes a point by saying that doesn’t apply to all women in the industry; there really are some unfortunate cases, but fortunately that’s not the norm. So then what’s the logical problem with it? There is none. The problem is an emotional one. Many feel it is wrong because they grew up being taught that masturbation was bad, that sex should be carefully administered, or that the body is something too sacred for you to choose what you can and can’t do with it. Then there is the double-standard that just blows my f*cking mind it’s so ridiculous.

“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.”

Here’s another perspective. Why would anyone have a problem with a man marrying another man? Or a woman marrying another woman? Assuming people are free to choose who they want to be with, there is no problem, only an emotional one because many of us were taught that it wasn’t “correct” growing up. Jesus, I wonder where that thinking came from…

“Society thus sets up a norm in which women simply cannot win.”

This case highlights a view of society that we have to change within our generation. This one is aimed specifically at men. We follow this double-standard where guys go out to try and smash almost any girl that will give it up, affectionately labeled as a ‘ho.’ But if she doesn’t give it up she’s prude, or maybe we happen to like her personality, then she’s a good girl in our eyes. Of course, it would make too much sense to call guys sluts, but the fact is that if we do meet a girl and end up getting lucky after, she’s no more a slut than the guy; it takes two to tango after all.

“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?”

We do what we have to do to find success at any price. Can you really blame someone for being that driven? People compromise their integrity and break their morals every day in places like Wall Street and Hollywood, though we hardly blink an eye. And then there is porn, where (most) women get into the adult film industry willingly, they understand the situation, and they enjoy their work and the payoff, yet we gawk at them in disgust with a sentiment not unlike the witch hunts of the 17th century.

What Lauren is doing is purely a great business decision.  She’s paying for her school, making a living, and she’ll graduate with a degree from a top-ten university debt free. The point many have a problem with is the part of having sex on camera, even though the porn industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that accounts for 30% of internet traffic worldwide. The reality is that we follow a culture of skewed morals and gender inequality, double-standards, prejudice and a low-key embarrassment when it comes to talking about sex in American culture, but break it down and it’s really just business as usual. Our generation has broken into the taboo of drug culture and gay marriage; hopefully this is the next on the list. Think on it and give Lauren’s piece a read, it’s time we get over ourselves and embrace a new standard of choice and equality.

Source: CollegeCandy

With a bachelor's degree in International Studies: Political Science from University of California, San Diego, Waylae works as a blogger/editor for NextShark. Along with writing, he is an aspiring entrepreneur that enjoys hip-hop, fashion, and learning about new cultures.
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