A student at prestigious Duke University has confessed that she takes money in exchange for having sex on camera. In other words, she does porn:
The girl identified only as “Lauren” explained she turned to porn rather than have to deal with massive student loans for the rest of her life, and after joking, “Screw it, I’ll just be a porn star,” she actually just decided to just go ahead and do it.
Lauren said she’d always been told that “selling your body is wrong… [and] the most degrading act you can do,” but she’s found it to be “incredibly empowering” and “incredibly powerful.” She talked about that experience in conjunction with the rape culture at colleges, saying that “women are shamed for their sexual choices.”
Sad and ironic, this girl talks about the terrible “rape culture” she has witnessed, yet she participates in a porn industry that relentlessly bashes, demeans and degrades women. Women are constantly called “Bitch,” “slut”, or “whore,” in pornography films, and are even physically assaulted, as scholar Gail Dines has reported in her important book, Pornland.
Does she not realize that the degrading depiction of women as passive targets of male sexual aggression in porn does nothing but encourage “rape culture.”
No, that doesn’t mean that everyone who watches porn wants to commit rape. It just means that saying you are fighting “rape culture” by doing porn is ridiculous.
Yet this severely misguided or else disingenuous girl wants to paint her actions as if she were a standing up for women’s rights by making porn. I can’t think of a less credible claim.
Is it any wonder than most girls last no more than a year in the porn industry before they are used up? Few ever find the wealth they hope for.
She finds it “incredibly empowering,” but what will she feel like ten or twenty years from now when her friends and family–perhaps even a teenage son–come across the images of her that will live forever on the internet? Will she feel “empowered” then?
We are dealing with a youth culture today that no longer sees the proper place for shame. If you criticize someone’s actions, you are dismissed as “a hater.”
I don’t hate this girl. I don’t even know here. But I do hate what she’s doing. Because porn is the single greatest force destroying marriages and relationships today. And because, whether she knows it or not, she is being demeaned, and she is taking something precious in herself and throwing it away.
She clings to a victim narrative while defending her work. If you watch the video interview above, you find that this young woman has to resort to claiming what desperate financial straights she was in–as if taking out student loans like most students do is not even an option for her. How about getting a regular J.O.B.? Not an option. How about going to a less expensive school? Again, not an option.
Then she want you to know that she’s doing this porn to combat “rape” culture…
I just have to ask: What the heck does a few more sleazy porn videos added to the millions already online do to combat rape?
This girl is a fool. And while I am slow to use such a label for any person, in this case I see no other proper descriptive.
What I see here is a selfish, entitled, naive girl, who comes from a family apparently wealthy enough that she doesn’t qualify for the extremely generous financial aid Duke offers it’s low-income students, but who nonetheless wants others to see her as a victim of financial circumstances. I see a girl who lacks the foresight or the compassion to care how her decision will affect her family and friends.
This girl says she feels empowered. Has her family been empowered by this decision? When her father’s coworkers say, “Hey, love your daughter’s latest sex video!”–will that be empowering?
When twenty years from now her teenage son’s friends send him videos of his mom having sex on camera, will her future son feel “empowered?”
It’s not surprising that she spouts off a bunch of women’s studies mumbo-jumbo about women’s “sexual choices” in the course of defending herself. The academic left has pumped the mushy brains of American youth full of the belief that basically every act of extra-marital sex is a political triumph–a victory for the rights of the oppressed.
We’re too sophisticated to talk about a case like this with the language of morals–what is right, and what is wrong. We can only talk about it, it seems, in the language of civil rights–which has become the new pseudo-moral framework underneath which the moral relativists still find some kind of anchor in absolute right and wrong.
Our culture is barely capable of shaming a girl like this, because we have rejected the entire notion of a moral absolute.
But I still believe in shame–sorry. There’s a time and a place for it. And, in fact, if we are too love others, we must be willing to speak out when they harm themselves and others.
And don’t even try to say porn is harmless. It isn’t.
A girl like this is emblematic of the loveless sexuality that threatens to rob this generation of any hope of knowing true love.
Love does not seek its own empowerment at the expense of the beloved. Love is about giving. Love puts the needs of other above itself. Before taking any action, love thinks of the needs and well-being of others.
In the course of deciding to do porn work, I doubt “Lauren” gave a moment’s thought to anyone but herself.
Sadly, if you come back to question her ten years from now, it’s my guess that, like many young women who do porn, including some of the industry’s biggest stars, she will have nothing but regret for the decisions she is now making–decisions that will affect her and everyone close to her for the rest of their lives.
Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.
Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden