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Monday, 03/10/2014 - 08:30 am EST

Belle Knox - The Duke Student Who Pays Her Tuition With Money She Earns From Porn. Discuss.

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BEHOLD:

 
She says, "We live in society which says sex is bad. We are told to not have sex.”  Um - whizzah whuzzah?  Has this chick never heard of Miley Cyrus?  Beyonce?  Freaking Cosmopolitan magazine?  Our society couldn't condone sex any harder.  We are, in fact, a sex-obsessed society.  So her logic is really wack on that point.  She's saying women are basically oppressed by the patriarchy and yet, here she is, working in porn, which some would argue is the very definition of the oppression and objectification of women.  She is getting PAID by the same patriarchy she's saying she's both oppressed and empowered by.  What in the....????
 
And come on.  How is porn empowering for women?  I genuinely would love to know the answer to that.
 
Belle wrote a column once she'd been "outed" by a fellow Duke student, which you can read right here. Here are some of my favorite parts:
 

"I couldn't afford $60,000 in tuition, my family has undergone significant financial burden, and I saw a way to graduate from my dream school free of debt, doing something I absolutely love. Because to be clear: My experience in porn has been nothing but supportive, exciting, thrilling and empowering."

She goes on to say, "I am not ashamed of porn. On the contrary, doing pornography fulfills me. That said, I vehemently want to have my privacy respected -- and I ask that anyone who knows my real name respect the fact that I am only discussing this publicly because it was made a public matter when I was confronted by a fraternity member who chose to tell hundreds of other men in the Greek scene."

I don't get it.  If it's fulfilling and shameless then what's the problem with it being out in the open? 

She says, "For me, shooting pornography brings me unimaginable joy. When I finish a scene, I know that I have done so and completed an honest day’s work. It is my artistic outlet: my love, my happiness, my home. I can say definitively that I have never felt more empowered or happy doing anything else. In a world where women are so often robbed of their choice, I am completely in control of my sexuality. As a bisexual woman with many sexual quirks, I feel completely accepted. It is freeing, it is empowering, it is wonderful, it is how the world should be."

And yet, she hid it from her family and friends.

Incidentally, what choices are women "so often robbed of?"  I am really curious about this.  And just how in control of her sexuality is she if she is directed, produced, and paid by people telling her what to do with it? 

Later in the column, Belle goes into full-on patriarchy mode.  She writes, "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 don't know about you all, but I think she's way off-base here.  My guess is that the "patriarchy" is absolutely delighted that she's an eager and willing participant in porn. Considering the BILLIONS that the industry earns as a whole, the fact that she makes just $1200 per scene is a bargain. Threat?  Hardly.

And Belle's got no plans of stopping:

"As for my professional career, I have no current plans to quit porn and I refuse to let ignorant people deprive me of the education that I have worked incredibly hard to achieve. I am going to graduate, I am going to pursue my dreams and I will hopefully galvanize change in a world wrought with gender norms and sexism. Just try to stop me."
 
Look - she's her own person and she is free to make her own decisions on how to earn money.  If she wants to sell her body, then that's her business.  But when she tries to justify it publicly in ways that make absolutely no sense, she's inviting criticism.  According to this, Belle said, "If Duke had given me the proper financial resources, I wouldn’t have done porn. My story is a testament to how f*cking expensive school is." 

So does she do porn because of tuition rates or does she do it because it's her "happiness and home" and because it's "so empowering and freeing?"  MAKE UP YOUR MIND, BELLE.

In case you were curious, Belle's real name is Miriam Weeks. And that sourcelink, by the way, includes some really good analysis of the whole porn thing.  Because if Miriam/Belle has convinced herself that she is empowered and that she has ownership of her body and that she is in full control of her sexuality, what does she think about her consumers?  Aren't they part of the EEEEVIL PATRIARCHY?
 
PS.  According to this, Belle is a Republican/Libertarian.
 
Discuss.
 
 
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