Duke Porn Star: And Feminist?

Hi All,

If you’ve scanned any kind of news source over the past few days, from the newspaper to CNN.com to Twitter, I’m sure you’ve read something about the Duke freshman who is a porn star and self-proclaimed feminist.  “Lauren” (her pseudonym) realized how incredibly expensive secondary education was very quickly in her college career and knew her family was struggling financially.  She joked with a friend about doing porn to make the money she needed to pay for her education, submitted photos to various agencies, and was casted for work all in less than a year.  When a frat guy recognized her on campus, word spread like wildfire beginning in the Greek system and eventually pouring out to the general student population.  Lauren’s life as she knew it was over.

Both Lauren’s silhouette-style interview and article published with XoJane.com captured my attention this week.  Honestly, Lauren was captivating.  The girl was smart, opinionated and strong, which are all qualities I generally look up to in women.  Her message, however, befuddled me: Lauren claimed it was empowering, joyful, and fulfilling to be a sex worker.  While she rejected the idea of slut-shaming and condemned the “rape culture” so popular among American college towns, I could not get over her idea that doing porn was empowering.  In my mind, what is empowering about exposing everything about yourself, emotionally and physically, to make money?  Lauren defended herself adamently, calling herself a feminist.  She said that sexuality in women is something that America has always pushed under the rug, avoided talking about and looked down upon.  That may have been true before the Hippie 60s, but in the past half century or so, women really have come quite far.  Despite still having a ways to go, I don’t think anyone could deny the progress our society has made in the late 20th and early 21st centuries with equality amongst all people.

I guess the moral of the story here is that I am surprised a story about an 18 year old porn star slash college student has me thinking so much.  Lauren’s ideas are hard to agree with, but I appreciate her fresh perspective on an issue that is so deeply embedded in the very foundations of our culture.  Quite frankly, I’m not sure how to feel about this: do I feel angry with Lauren? do I think she’s pathetic? do I hate her outlook? do I love it?

What do you think about “Lauren” & her thoughts on feminism and sexuality?

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One thought on “Duke Porn Star: And Feminist?

  1. I get that sexual freedom can be empowering, but I wouldn’t classify porn as sexual freedom. It’s a job with a director and costars she quite possibly didn’t pick herself.

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