I was sitting out on the stoop of an office building I used to work at a few years ago, taking my ten minute break, which I always stretched into fifteen, smoking a cigarette and reading a little book called CUNT. If any of you are interested in feminism, sexual and gender politics, I highly recommend you read it. It’s the book that got me started on my path as a sex writer. Also, it’s hella entertaining to see people’s reaction when they lean over to see what you’re reading and catch a glimpse of the title.
Back to the stoop… I was sitting on the steps in front of the door reading CUNT when I had to make room for two older ladies who were entering the building. The older of the two noticed the title of my book and awkwardly asked me what it was about. I told her it was a feminist book. Her reaction, after she rolled her eyes, was to tell me that feminism was over, that we didn’t need it anymore, because we had already achieved equality.
I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to say. Now that I’ve had to the time to think, to the people who think the feminist movement or the civil rights movement are dead because we don’t need them anymore I say “Are you fucking kidding me?” Sure, there’s been a lot of progress since the days when women were burning their bras and people who wanted change organized the million man march, but anyone who thinks everything is all peachy keen now because we have a black president and women can, gasp, be doctors or whatever: “You’re fucking blind!
It’s a well known fact that women make less money than men. It doesn’t matter if they have the same seniority, the same experience, the same eduction, the same skills; dollar for dollar a woman will make less money than a man who holds the same position. That’s why non-profit organizations like Equal Pay Day (based in Belgium) are not only relevant, but important.
Sasha Grey, the retired pornstar we all love and miss, lent her name, her image, her story, and her voice to Equal Pay Day to support a cause she believes in. Unfortunately, the stupid fuckers took a strong woman who is proud of the work she did in porn and twisted Grey’s story into a good ol’ fashion slut shamming exercise.
What began as a PSA showcasing the pride Grey feels about her career in porn and the power she felt being in the only industry that gives women more power than men ended as a cautionary tale with the message: “Porn is about the only way for women to make more than men. Find a better alternative.”
I actually think it’s interesting that women in porn make more money than their male counterparts. It raises some compelling questions, but to follow that statement up with “Find a better alternative” is more than just a little bit insulting. It’s just so goddamn condescending. Who knew four little words could be filled with so many misconceptions? If you haven’t figure it out yet, it really pisses me off.
We all know that Grey is proud of her work in porn, and that she was a performer who, to quote Sophie Delancey, “made her mark on porn and had a good hand in completely changing the landscape for women to call the shots in a way that promoted hardcore content.” But what about the poor misguided folk who aren’t Peeperz fans? They have no idea! The final message of this PSA will only fuel the anti-porn feminists, and if there’s one thing I really hate it’s giving anti-porn and anit-sex factions one more reason to get up on their high horses.
Check out the video:
And now that’s you’ve watched that, here’s something good to wash the holier than thou attitude out of your mouth and hopefully give you a hard-on courtesy of Kink, PornHub, and Sasha Grey: