By Mark Wadland
The issue of probity (i.e. the idea that people who watch pornography are evil or immoral) has been tossed back and forth for a while from one person to another. This debate surfaced once again due to the courage of a brave and intelligent young woman.
Recently, a student at Duke University responded to her bullies, who had been harassing her online after discovering she is an adult film actress. While some people are not happy about her profession, she defended her actions in an opinion article published in the school’s newspaper. I believe it was very brave of her to write the article. She could have left the university once she started being harassed about her job choice, but she chose to fight back with words. This could not have been an easy way to respond, but I commend her for doing so.
In her article, she states, “my experience in porn has been nothing but supportive, exciting, thrilling and empowering.” That does not sound like someone who was forced into the industry or who hates what she does. Duke University costs about $60,000 per year in tuition, according to the article. How else could anyone her age – someone with a high school diploma who is just trying to graduate college – pay for an education that costs roughly the same as a house? Good luck figuring out an alternative.
Short of selling drugs or robbing a bank (both illegal activities), there is no other way for a student to pay for an education that costs so much without taking out loans. Her decision to go into the adult entertainment industry was actually very smart.
This student feels good about what she does, and I think she should. If what she is doing is permissible and consensual, and if she enjoys doing it, then there is no reason anyone should make her feel ashamed or inferior to others.
In the article, it appears her harassers believe her job is immoral and they think she is throwing her dignity out the window – I think they would rather she have debt and loans than doing something they find so degrading.
The student clearly states in her article, however, that what she does is lawful, consensual and
enjoyable. As a bonus, it pays her obnoxiously expensive tuition to the school of her dreams. The mere fact that she responded to her bullies with such conviction shows her dignity is very much intact – she knows what she wants to do (graduate without any loans) and how to do so.
And some of her peers seem to be upset about her unconventional game plan to meet her goals, but just because something is unusual does not make it wrong.
People should be allowed to do whatever they want with themselves. I feel it is wrong to tell people they cannot do something to their own bodies.
And to anyone who thinks this young woman is stupid, I say you are wrong. I think her decision to go into the adult @lm industry was not only intelligent, but also a difficult one to make. I believe she knew that she would receive a lot of backlash from her peers if anyone ever discovered what she does to pay for college, but I admire the fact that she so adamantly defended her decision – it shows how strong of a person she is and how much faith she has in herself.
Some people say pornography is depraved and evil, and that you are a horrible person for engaging in such acts, yet there is a legal brothel in Nevada to which anyone of age can go. How’s that for moral?
Anyone is free to say whatever they like about the word decency. In my view, it is not society, but rather the individual who ought to determine what it means to be moral, and how to live ethically.