No, idiots, Belle Knox is not an “embarrassment” to Duke

Ever since the so-called “Duke porn star scandal” hit the headlines, random people have repeatedly asked me if I am “embarrassed” by it as a Duke alumna.


The short answer is: “No.”

The somewhat-longer answer is: “No, are you freaking kidding me/what the hell is wrong with you/are you for real?”

Here are some things, meanwhile, that I AM embarrassed by: 

I find it embarrassing that some people – including, apparently, Dukies – have disparaged, harassed, stalked, and even threatened a woman for daring to “pollute” the ambiance of an institution of higher learning by attending it while simultaneously earning money via the porn industry.

I find it embarrassing that the police apparently did not respond seriously to this woman when she told them that she was receiving death threats.

I find it embarrassing that we live in a society where porn consumption is deemed perfectly normal, particularly for young men – “boys will be boys,” etc. – while women who perform for these men’s gratification are marginalized, dehumanized, and told that they deserve cruel treatment.

I find it HELLA embarrassing that we are ignoring the elephant in the room: higher education in the United States is now overpriced to the point of absurdity – and yet there are people out there seriously discussing if it’s “OK” for someone to finance their education via the porn industry. Hey, the porn industry DOES have a lot of issues – but so does the fast food industry, to name one obvious example. If this woman were flipping burgers to get by, no one would pay attention. The truth is, the scandal surrounding Belle Knox is, among other things, a VERY good opportunity to talk about the price of higher education – if we had our priorities straight, that is.

So, as a journalist, I find it embarrassing that salacious and patronizing coverage of the “Duke porn star” phenomenon obscures both the problems with the cost of college and the problems women face when they are stripped of their humanity by a braying, self-righteous mob.

I find it embarrassing that people will not admit that this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the “students at good schools doing ‘scandalous’ stuff for profit” phenomenon goes.

I find it embarrassing that some people are saying that “there is no need for anyone to do porn to pay for a good education – we have ZOMG financial aid!!!” Sorry, but for many, many students, “aid” actually amounts to predatory student loans and not much else.

I find it embarrassing that many, many people have disguised their contempt of this woman via demonstrative hand-wringing, crying crocodile tears about how “sorry” they feel for her, because she is forever “tainted.”

I find it embarrassing that many also feel that this woman should have issued a mea culpa and retreated in shame – as opposed to choosing to fight her detractors, refusing to stop doing porn, and refusing to leave the university.

I find it embarrassing that there are other Duke alums out there who do believe that Belle Knox is some kind of “scarlet woman” who has indeed “brought shame” to the institution – I rather think being a priggish, judgmental ass is shameful. *shrug*

I find it embarrassing that some journalists were SHOCKED to find out that while she is on campus, this woman dresses like a “typical” Duke student (what the hell were they expecting? A thong bikini and Lucite heels?) and otherwise appears to be an actual human being – just a human being who, you know, does porn.

I find the idea that Duke is this pristine playground full of cherubic, fragile boys and girls who must be sobbing into their pillows upon finding out that they share a campus with a porn star to be profoundly embarrassing. Duke is and was home to a lot of weird, complicated people. In fact, most people are weird and complicated when you really get to know them. Those who are actually threatened by the presence of Belle Knox – or the presence of anyone else who does not fit their idea of a “nice, normal Duke student” – are projecting their issues onto others.

I find the double standards about the class and gender issues to be deeply embarrassing. It’s OK for Duke boys to get loaded, get laid, and brag about it. Doing it for the money would be considered somewhat shameful, of course, because they’re supposed to be rich already – not that ANY of them would receive death threats for starring in straight porn, of course (gay porn would be a different story, but I digress). Duke girls are held to standards that are much more rigid – but they can still be “forgiven” for occasional forays into “slutdom,” assuming no one’s filming them and/or paying them. One of the biggest problems people have with Knox is that she gets paid, a.k.a. she’s neither part of the Too-Rich-And-Classy-To-Work Club or the Nobly-Suffering-Poor-Kid Club. She is hard to categorize, her mere existence hints at some uncomfortable truths (like, someone can be smart and accomplished and yet have sex on camera for money), and people freaking hate her for it.

I find it embarrassing that we’re even having these conversations today.

There, I’m done. I think that’s just about enough embarrassment for one post. I hope everyone is feeling sufficiently shamed. I know I sure I am.

46 thoughts on “No, idiots, Belle Knox is not an “embarrassment” to Duke

  1. Belle Knox’s critics might be more offended by her Twitter profile with photo than by the fact itself that she’s a porn performer. On the other hand, if I recall her Twitter profile correctly, she doesn’t reference Duke in the profile, so maybe her critics are over-reacting.

  2. I find it hard to believe that you actually graduated from Duke. Maybe you’re one of those people who couldn’t handle it and dropped out? If you really thought about it, you would come to the realization that the real problem here is economic. Namely, this porn “star” is devaluing your education, and the education of everyone who went/is going to Duke.

    If you really do have a Duke degree (like I said, I don’t believe you after a quick glance at your site), hope you don’t complain when you are targeted for sexual harassment/snide remarks as the result of being a Duke woman, all due to one person’s controversial behavior. All that Modern Empowered Feminist stuff only takes you so far.

  3. Bahaha. “Real Duke alumnus” – please try trolling this website from a different IP next time, OK? The many different personas you have used on this site kinda make me believe that *you’re* a liar.

    Also, I love the idea how anyone should blame sexual harassment NOT on the actual harassers, but on a porn star they’ve never met. The wee wittle perverts just cannot hold themselves back should they associate you with Belle Knox! That’s brilliant logic that’s well in line with the notion of “the bitch asked for it, her shirt was too tight,” or whatever it is that people say to defend rapists nowadays. Good luck with that, “alumnus.”

  4. @A Real Duke Alumnus

    If Belle Knox referenced Duke in either her performances or her advertising, then Duke students and alumni would have a real gripe, because she would be connecting them to her porn performances. But as long as she doesn’t reference Duke in her performance/self-promotion, then Duke students, etc., aren’t implicated and don’t have to be embarrassed. Belle Knox is a Duke student only coincidentally. She’s now associated with Duke only because another student broke his word and outed her, which is not her fault. So far she’s not an embarrassment to Duke unless Duke students and alumni choose to be embarrassed.

  5. @A Real Duke Alumnus

    Not to argue this too much, but a situation even more pronounced than Belle Knox’s arose at Ohio State University (my alma mater) in the 1990s (I think), when the women of the Ohio State Cheerleading Squad posed topless but otherwise wearing their OSU uniforms for a group photo at an away game (or something like that). They were not only wearing OSU uniforms, but were claiming in the photo to represent OSU. Alumni were mortified because the women posed topless without OSU’s consent. The topless women were suspended from the squad for the rest of the season (I think). But OSU’s reputation remained unaffected by the incident because it was understood that the women posed topless without OSU’s consent, even though they claimed in the photo to represent OSU. As long as employers, other schools, and the general public understand that such incidents occur WITHOUT the school’s consent, the school’s reputation isn’t ‘devalued,’ as you put it. So Belle Knox’s purely personal reputation will have no impact on Duke whatsoever.

  6. So an education is “devalued” if a porn star went to the same school? So much for education being about the pursuit of knowledge.

  7. The problem with porn is that it actually exploits men with learning disabilities or mental ilness who have social problems.
    It sells them an unnecessary fantasy.

  8. Very well said. I would rather my daughter grow up to be belle knox than any of the women who were on The bachelor this season. I find it interesting that I was literally screaming at my tv, “YOUR PARENTS FAILED YOU” at several of the harder-to-watch contestants who clearly lacked self-esteem but never had the same sentiment about Belle.

  9. BOOM! This woman nailed it. Absolutely wonderful writeup. Excellent work.

    This belongs as an op-ed in The Times.

  10. Porn is “normal” people’s way of bullying men who are to stupid, too fat or to little educated to get a boyfriend.
    Porn sells these men a fantasy where every woman begs them to sodomize her.

  11. No one is offended by the fact that she does porn. She does rape porn and promotes unsafe sex. Hope you know that.

    She also said that being a waitress made her feel like a “second class citizen”, and that is was a “lesser”, “degrading” job. Those are direct quotes from the Chronicle. THAT is what is wrong with the scene. She proceeded to lie about her father, who seems like a really decent, nice person, and said that they were the only ones to blame about her decision.

    Here is a prof’s view on the issue:

    She has been bashing the entire Duke student body on national TV, too. I hope you learn the facts for yourself before going feminuts. You yourself have been quick to judge. I think the Duke population has been extremely tolerant, and without the Chronicle article, you think this all would have happened? Let’s not kid ourselves.

    Belle also released her “real name”, “Belle Knox”, shortly before her new video came out. Hmm. I wonder why? You are being used by her, and she has been milking the Duke reputation. Please wake up. You are accusing the Duke student body of disliking her for the wrong reasons, woman.

  12. Getting advice from someone who uses big words like “feminuts” and reads the Daily Mail is… Well, I’m not sure how to categorize it. Is it awesome? Is it insane? I don’t know. Probably best to let someone else decide.

  13. Although, to be serious for a sec, the Dame Magazine article IS worthy of a close read – but it’s still bad. It’s horrible. And the funny thing is, I don’t think it was meant to be horrible. It’s just the conclusions you wind up with after reading it are pretty sad – and reflect poorly on both the author and Duke. I should really respond to it, but I don’t have time. I do believe that Belle Knox has now earned the right to use the Duke connection to her advantage. Nothing left to lose.

  14. The main customers of porn are men with learning disabilities, low IQ or Autism. That is the most important issue here.

  15. Cynical loner,

    Do you have a learning disability because you posted the same thing three times.

    Even if your ridiculous idea had merit, it has nothing to do with Belle Knox in particular.

    Somebody also said she promotes unsafe sex? You will have to tell me which scene that was. That’s as dumb as saying The Fast and the Furious promotes speeding. They are acting out fantasies. Yeah, the sex is real but she is playing a character.

  16. No, I only tried to get people to react.
    It’s related to her, because porn exploits mentally disabled men and men with Autsim as its main customers.

  17. That’s ridiculous. Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry. Statistically speaking, millions if not billions watch it. You grandma probably watches it. It’s main customer base is composed of, well, everyone – people from all walks of life.

    By your own logic, superhero movies and romance novels and pretty much any kind if entertainment or even art that manipulates its audience is also “exploitative.” I mean, Superman doesn’t REALLY fly in those movies! Boys everywhere have been EXPLOITED by that!!!

    I also find your weird generalizations about men with disabilities to be patronizing and gross. Most of these people CAN distinguish fantasy from reality – their reason for watching porn is no different than that of, say, a neurotypical high-powered executive.

    I think you should cut it out. These guys don’t need your pity.

  18. I read the Daily Mail and Dame Magazine articles linked to by commenter HaHa, and also two Duke Chronicle articles (one about Belle Knox and one by her), and also Develle blogposts about Belle.

    A few points to be made:
    1. Belle Knox needs a PR flack. Her modeling agent, John Stevens, should have warned her that she would lose her privacy quickly and be targeted by predatory media. Without a PR flack, Belle is improvising on the spot, making claims that are easily disproven and reacting defensively even to supportive commenters. She is obviously trying to milk her Duke cred, but on her own she’s doing a poor job of it.

    2. Now that Belle’s birth name is public knowledge, her future will be tied to the porn industry unless she gets out of it RIGHT NOW. The longer she is involved with borderline-pathological abuse porn, the harder it will be for her to start a high-profile career outside of adult entertainment. She might actually be planning a long-term career in the porn industry as legal counsel or public advocate. But now that her birth name is known, she needs to decide right now if she’s ready to limit her future to adult entertainment.

    3. Finally, Belle needs to be realistic about the income she’ll earn as a part-time porn star. Out of each paycheck, her agent will take a 20% commission and state and Federal income taxes together will take at least another 30%. That means Belle will take home at most half of her gross pay. So her income as a part-time porn star will go some way to supplement her other financial support, but it won’t come close to covering her tuition. In the comments to the Develle blogpost, one self-described female porn director (“Tory”) advised Belle to choose between being a full-time student or a full-time porn star. That’s another reason, along with the publicity surrounding her real-life identity, why Belle needs to decide now whether to make a full-time career in the porn industry or to find a different line of work.

    I just wanted to add those points after reading the articles. Lecture over.

  19. The main customer base for porn has always been men with low intelligence and men who lack social skills. It preys on both the mentally ill or drug-addicted women who perform in it and it’s disadvantaged male fans!

  20. She seems to me to be a “perfect middle-class overachiever girl” turned wreck. She has obvious self-harm scars on her thighs and is spiraling into self-destruction.

  21. Niceros,

    Isn’t she doing a really *good* job of exploiting her Duke enrollment???

    As far as getting out now before it’s too late, I’m pretty sure it’s too late for what you hope for her. The internet is forever.

    She can get into law school and work for sex worker rights. I would agree that silk stocking law firms are not going to hire her.

    What’s amazing about all this is not that she does what she does but the absolute freak out by men in particular.

    We want to watch young girls in porn but we think it’s sick that they are in porn.

  22. Why does America have to be the stupid country when it comes to sex? I sincerely hope that I’m not speaking out of turn as a guy but, the fact that this young woman publicly proclaimed that she liked what she did and that she isn’t being taken advantage of spoke volumes. Do what makes you happy Belle.

  23. You people who are defending her are ignorant morons. This Belle Knox girl is a complete contradiction.

    I watched one of her scenes. She doesn’t do conventional porn, she does abuse porn. The scene I saw, there were two men slapping her in the face and spitting on her, calling her ugly, giving her a brush to “brush her nasty stringy rat hair”, as they put it. So they made her brush her hair while being penetrated violently and slapped in the face.

    The after scene interview (with semen dripping all over her face) she’s asked “Do you like being treated like a dirty little bitch?” Which she responds to with “Yes, I fucking love it, it makes me feel empowered as a woman.” Then she is asked “Do you think women have less rights and opportunities in this country?” She responds with “Absolutely. A man can have the same experience, same education, same everything as a woman, yet he gets paid more.” The man then asks “What about the porn industry? The women make 20 times more than the male performers, is that fair?” Belle Knox replies with “Yes it is fair. This is a capitalistic society and women should be allowed to earn more, we’re beautiful.”

    So it’s unfair that some women make less than men in some industries, but it’s okay that all women make more than men in other industries. She’s “empowered” by being viciously penetrated and having a man force his penis so far down her throat that she can’t breath and almost vomits. She’s a complete joke, and everyone who is saying she is strong and empowered are delusional. She’s a slut who takes money to be physically, emotionally and sexually abused. Watch her videos if you dare, you are sure to be disturbed with how she is treated.

  24. First of all, the assumption that people who think that Belle Knox deserves a life free of harassment and death threats somehow don’t realize what kind of porn she does makes *you* an ignorant moron, my dear.

    Second of all, you criticize the humiliating videos she willfully films – yet go on to humiliate her by calling her a “complete joke” and a “slut.” Sorry, but you need to make up you mind. Can’t have it both ways.

    Third of all, this is not a conversation about “empowerment” (funny how people who are in the habit of calling other people “morons” never bother to read the actual posts they comment on), in case you haven’t caught on.

    Finally, any porn genre deserves scrutiny – be it “conventional,” or abuse porn, gonzo porn, et al. But it’s interesting how said scrutiny extends only to the performers and, at most, the business owners. The viewers – the people who make porn a multi-billion dollar industry – are conspicuously absent from the discussion. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

    Viewers – even people like yourself, who watch the stuff and say they are disturbed by it – are active participants in the system. You *chose* to watch Belle Knox get a cock rammed down her throat – but think you are somehow *better* than she is? You think you *now* have the right to pass judgment on her personally?

    Wake up.

  25. Listen, if she wants to do porn for a living that is fine. It is her body, her will, her choice. What bothers me is that she masquerades her endeavor as “standing up for women’s rights and equality”. That offends me that she believes she is some kind of strong-willed activist, because she’s willing to be sexually degraded on film. She truly believes that she is doing a service for women around the world.

    Give me a break. Calling her “a complete joke” is my opinion of her, enough with the rhetoric. She’s a complete joke because she is a contradiction of what she preaches. She believes it’s not okay for men to earn more than women, but it’s okay if women earn more than men. And she’s a slut because that’s what she calls herself. “I’m a dirty fucking slut and I love it.” Would you rather me use prostitute or whore?

    My comment really had nothing to do with your piece, it was more in response to the other commenters. I could tell that you were bias, and didn’t make many points worth responding to. I wasn’t looking for, nor expecting a response from you.

    Sure, porn in general deserves scrutiny. But this is less about porn, and more about her contradictions. She does not practise what she preaches. If she wants to do porn, do porn. Keep your political views and educational institution out of it. On the porn videos she says her school’s name, then is upset and defensive about her true identity being revealed, and that her views are being questioned.

    I am not an active participant of “the system”. I do not subscribe to or support the industry. I did look at the video though. If CNN shows a video of terrorists detonating a bomb in the Syrian public and I watch it, does that mean that I support terrorists? Or that I’m an active participant in their system? And yes, I do believe I have the right to pass judgement on her. She’s expressed ignorant, one-sided, bias opinions to the public, and shouldn’t be protected from criticism because she’s a woman. You scream equality, but I’m not sure you know it’s true meaning.

    Give your head a shake.

  26. So Krops4491 came up with some great points in his post and you completely side-stepped them. Let’s see you do some rape porn then. If you are completely convinced that getting a cock rammed down your throat and simulated rape scenes make you “empowered” then I will expect you to enter the porn industry to prove it. The long winded and much abuse rhetoric that the porn industry is worth “billions” is not only incorrect but you know that don’t you. 90% of pron is downloaded “FREE” from Torrents and such sites, so where is all the money coming from? The fact that you have run Miriam Weeks up the flagpole and now salute her as the new Goddess of Feminism is vomit territory. Please before you spout anymore crap go and ask a former pron star about her “career”. Listen to how she “lied” about how it was great (so as to remain employed) and how she is now fighting HIV. I have nothing against women’s sexuality but don’t display it all over the media and expect us to salute filth as art (Or Feminism)!

  27. Oh my. People are trying to explain *feminism* to me all of a sudden. While talking about “empowerment” as if that word means something (here’s a hint: it hasn’t meant a thing in years). I’m sorry, this is too precious for words.

  28. Oh my. People are trying to explain *feminism* to me all of a sudden. While talking about “empowerment” as if that word means something (here’s a hint: it hasn’t meant a thing in years). I’m sorry, this is too precious for words.

    Once again you sidestep the points.
    1) Miriam Weeks and Natalia Antonova are the ones “explaining” feminism.
    2) Miriam Weeks is the one saying that empowerment of women is displayed by getting a cock rammed down her throat and being choked. Natalia Antonova is agreeing with this.
    3) I am opposed to this connection between feminism and filthy porn. You agree with it.

    Oh my is right. You won’t debate the points. You only “show boat” like Miriam.

    I’m sorry, this is too precious for words. < Yes right, vomit more comes to mind.

  29. Miriam Weeks latest bullshit:

    Q. Anything you want to say to your fans?
    A. I have a penchant for being collared and leashed, and I love getting my face fucked!

    Q. Will you be fucking yourself later, thinking about people watching your videos and wishing they were ploughing your throat?
    A. fuck yes! Such a good little fuckdoll. Honestly pushing teens into doing porn is so rewarding, I don’t know why more of you aren’t doing it.

    pushing teens into doing porn is so rewarding!!! Aha, now the truth is surfacing!

    Go Feminism 🙂

  30. Some of you kids are starting to crack me up.

    If you spend years living in California, and doing a fair amount of work for the entertainment industry, you will meet people in the adult film industry.

    I hope you’re sitting down for this, but they’re all different. Some are junkies, though I’m guessing that the percentage is no bigger than in investment banking (maybe smaller). Trying to categorize them is as idiotic as trying to categorize all teachers or all plumbers.

    I suspect that points of the points Natalia made sailed right over the majority of commenters’ heads, but I’d really like it if anyone could point out where she said that porn was explicitly “feminist” or “empowering.” Please, go ahead.

    Or, maybe, stop putting words in people’s mouth and being an entitled shit who demands to be treated seriously. No one owes you that if you don’t bother to read.

    I also have more shocking news: no industry or profession or whatever is inherently “feminist” or “empowering.” I’ve known super-successful women in both business and entertainment – great human beings, beautiful, smart – who were miserable on the inside, engaged in abusive relationships, taking drugs, making reckless and desperate decisions.

    Money and status and “respectability” did not “empower” them, ’cause empowerment is harnessed somewhere else entirely.

    So you can go ahead and shut up about feminism and porn. That’s about as logical as talking about feminism and winemaking.

    I’m also not into abuse porn, and find it disturbing. I think it’s true that people with complexes can gravitate toward something like it, but people with complexes can gravitate toward any old shit. And some people who are into crazy, weird shit in the bedroom are ministers and lawyers and the only difference is that no one’s filming. So I am not quick to judge the individual.

    Back in California, a colleague of mine dated a chick who, based on your descriptions, makes Belle Knox look like a choirgirl. The stuff she filmed was insane. She was also hella smart, well-adjusted, saved up her money, went on to make some very good investments, and years after the crisis, I hear she’s doing better than most of my old acquaintances there.

    So I guess the fantasy where all of these women are stupid junkie whores is irresistible – after all, you kids get to feel better about yourselves at their expense – but the truth is often more complicated.

    You will find that out soon enough. When you grow the fuck up.

  31. Sweetheart, the sooner you accept that many, many people in this world will not find your “points” worth engaging, the happier you’ll be.

    Yes you are right Natalia, sorry for annoying you. Thanks for letting me voice my opinion (it is your blog).
    Let me make a prediction: Pedophile Porn will be acceptable next year.

  32. “but I’d really like it if anyone could point out where she said that porn was explicitly “feminist” or “empowering.” Please, go ahead.”

    Oh Hank! Methinks it is you that hasn’t read anything about Miriam.

    “Whatever choice a woman is making and she is the one deciding to do — reclaiming the agency behind the decision to do, even if it is a degrading sexual act — is absolutely feminism. To me, feminism is about women not being shamed but rather being empowered. . . . “Why is that we have to adhere to the ascribed gender roles of the patriarchy?”
    – Miriam Weeks (a/k/a “Belle Knox”)

    “I’m very passionate about feminism and LGBTQ rights. . . .
    “Listen, patriarchy is telling women what to do with their bodies. . . . I think that when people condemn pornography, they’re really just following this societal construct of what sex is, based on religion, based on patriarchy, and so many societal forces.”

    No sorry, I can’t find anywhere that Miriam Weeks is making any link between “feminism” and “porn”. Please accept with a large dose of sarcasm.

  33. You will find that out soon enough. When you grow the fuck up.

    I’m already 6′ 4″ tall. Is that fucking grown enough for you?

  34. I’m sorry, son, but since you have yet to post the length of your dick, I’m afraid I still cannot take you seriously.


    Nat, meanwhile, is defending Belle Knox from stalkers, harassers, and people who get their panties in a twist over sharing the same breathing space as a porn star. Not debating her feminism or lack thereof.

    Or so I see it. Nat, correct me if you want.

  35. Nothing wrong with porn persay, buddy boy. It’s “rape” porn that is being discussed.
    As for your dick size, well good luck in your porn career.

  36. Adam:

    Belle Knox might be a canny individual who secretly planned her ‘outing’ as a porn star and even planned for her birth name to be made public. But so far as I can tell, she’s still merely reacting to third-party initiatives that she has no control over. Belle is certainly struggling to do a ‘good’ job of exploiting her Duke enrollment, but it looks to me like she’s merely making the best of PR developments that are not under her control. I can’t read Belle’s mind, but that’s why I suspect she uses high-minded feminist jargon to describe her career as a porn star, in order to regain control of the narrative (to use that phrase).

    Again, it could be that Belle is secretly in control of all the publicity, starting with her supposedly innocuous self-outing to a classmate. But, IMO, up to this point, she had led such a comparatively privileged life that she didn’t foresee the PR consequences of doing abuse porn. It’s unclear if she’s even registered how the publicity that connects her birth name to abuse porn will impact her future career choices. But then again, maybe she planned it all this way.

  37. Natalia I must agree with Krops4491 and fuckedofabullshit. You seem very arrogant and self righteous. You don’t counter any of their points. You reply with presumptuous, arrogant, vague responses. Look at the title of this blog: “idiots”. You have lost my respect.

  38. “Natalia I must agree with Krops4491 and fuckedofabullshit.”

    Why does this line strike me as hilarious?

    “You seem very arrogant and self righteous. You don’t counter any of their points. You reply with presumptuous, arrogant, vague responses. Look at the title of this blog: “idiots”. You have lost my respect.”

    I’m sure she’ll never get over it.

    None of the people (sockpuppets?) posting here have addressed Nat’s central point: that a porn performer should live free of harassment and have the same educational opportunities that anyone else. ‘Cause they can’t, I guess.

    It would take admitting that Belle Knox is a human being just like them, and that’s not what they were taught.

  39. You are right Katie.
    People like Hank think it is OK to sexually groom teenagers to enter the porn industry. He works for the pron industry. He should be more careful to mask his IP address.
    The FBI will be investigating this case soon.
    Miriam was viewing BDSM porn when she was 11 yrs old. By the time she was 12 she was posting porn videos of her performing oral sex on boys to the Internet. In one of those videos it depicts her rape by a 19yr old boy. He was probably like Hank, a pro-porn or Porn Groomer. People like Hank love this because it will mean a steady supply of younger and younger girls into the porn industry.
    I am all for allowing porn stars to do what they will, but I am fully against sexual grooming and rape.
    I at least, don’t work for the porn industry.

  40. Please provide a SHRED of evidence that ANY commenter on this blog is promoting pedophilia or other such illegal behavior.

    Oh, that’s right. You can’t.

    In fact, the only creep I can see here so far is you. You and your sockpuppets are indulging in weirdo fantasies and generally being insufferable.


  41. Hi Natalia,

    I’m doing research on various topics in American feminism, specifically looking at sex work as an industry, and comparing the rhetoric with which the feminist community uses to discuss the nature of sex work and its relationship to empowerment. I have done research on Belle Knox in the past, but recently stumbled upon this blog entry. I find it particularly interesting because you are considered either a current or former peer, and your position appears to take on a supportive role.

    I have compiled roughly 74 pages worth of research on the entire history of Playboy from it’s inception to today; first, second and third waves of feminism; feminist porn; Jenny Holzer and her work; sex trafficking; and testimonials from former porn actresses, strippers, escorts, and prostitutes. Naturally, a narrative started to develop as my research continued. It would be inefficient for me to regurgitate all of the information I know, especially since you can actually find it all yourself on the web. It is very clear to me you and I have very different perspectives on the question of Belle Knox’s claims to empowerment, and I wonder how much research you have done personally on the complexities of the sex industry that would have led you to make the claims you have in this post. So I guess that would be my first question: What research have you actually done to support your claims?

    Of course, I have read the comments and your responses: niceros, March 13, 2014 and krops4491 March 20, 2014 had particularly good points about the underlying hypocrisy of what Belle Knox believes she did/is doing and how the macrocosmic reality of what she’s doing really just continues a pattern of objectification and abuse. Your responses, in general, were very interesting in that you blatantly denied any meaning from the words “empowerment” and “feminism”, and made the (confusing) clarification that the idea of empowerment has no place in this discussion. Now, someone did you a favor in clarifying your main argument: “None of the people (sockpuppets?) posting here have addressed Nat’s central point: that a porn performer should live free of harassment and have the same educational opportunities that anyone else” (Hank, March 23 2014).

    I agree – death threats, having objects thrown at you at school, slut-shaming – is not justified.
    However, we are also talking about an individual who chooses to expose her face and body through porn films, which are widely circulated on the internet – virtually free of charge, and someone who engaged with big media outlets to discuss her behavior. In other words: she chose to publicize herself the minute she decided to do porn. The point I’m making here is that what’s in the public realm is subject to criticism. Belle Knox is a damn fool if she believed she could participate in porn without being found out, and/or be immune to criticism.

    The biggest elephant-in-the-room, even bigger than rising tuition costs, is the plethora of testimonials from former porn stars, strippers, prostitutes, an escorts who acknowledge and go into detail about how fucking horrific the sex industry is.. and yet, I can’t find anything you’ve written on this page that shows you are aware of this. Jennie Ketchum, formerly known as Penny Flame, deconstructs the psychology behind the porn cycle. She breaks them down into myths, followed by truths:

    “First Belief: Porn Stars are different than prostitutes because we pay taxes, it’s on camera, in front of the world, and not in some dark scary alley. It’s different because the person I am being paid to have sex with is being paid to have sex with me too. There are conventions that welcome me, such as the AVN Expo in Vegas, whereas there are no conventions (with fans) for prostitutes. Therefore, I am not a prostitute.

    Second Belief: My participation in pornography doesn’t hurt anybody, not even me.

    Third Belief: My parents should be proud of me for being such a successful woman in this male-driven business.

    Fourth Belief: Using my sexuality to obtain money, respect and success is empowering.

    Fifth Belief: Doing this temporarily will take me somewhere better permanently.

    When I quit, and started going to therapy, I had to deconstruct each of these beliefs, as they’d become so ingrained in my way of thinking they had taken over my way of living.

    First Truth: There really is no difference between being a Porn Star and being a prostitute. One is a bit safer than the other and tested for STD’s, but for the most part they are the same. In fact, the majority of Porn Stars sideline as prostitutes, or “Escorts,” although they will deny it vehemently.

    Second Truth: My participation in pornography, while accepted by my family (I was honest from the beginning), still broke the hearts of those who love me. My Mom and Dad had wanted more for me than selling sex. My little brother had to deal with kids at school who made fun of him because his sister was a whore. My little sister, who once looked up to me, thought I was taking the easy way out. And as mentioned, I’ve been in therapy for the past year and a half trying to rehabilitate myself from the damages both I, and my participation in pornography, caused. To say “selling sex for money won’t harm you” is to say seismic activity today, won’t cause tidal waves hundreds of miles away tomorrow.

    Third Truth: My parents are proud of me no matter what I do. But they knew I could do more.

    Fourth Truth: Using my sexuality to be financially stable, respected and successful is not empowering. It is manipulative and the same as sleeping with your boss to get a raise. I am a hustler and a master manipulator. Going back to school is empowering because I am creating a sustainable future with my mind, not my vagina.

    Fifth Truth: Doing porn temporarily will dig you deeper down the pornographic hole. When and if women are lucky enough to climb out, they will need tons of therapy to understand why they choose to prostitute themselves for mere peanuts. And if they don’t get that kind of help, it is my personal opinion they will be faced with challenges in their intimate and social lives, daily.

    So there is a much bigger answer to a very small question, with many implications shrouded in gray. Perhaps Montana never figured out how to get positive attention from her Dad, and this is her go-to. Maybe she is just as manipulative as me, and her age and career choices prohibit her from recognizing her truths. Maybe she is trying to create her own path in the public eye, and is too afraid to follow in her Dad’s mainstream footsteps — as they are large shoes to fill. Whatever her current and probably superficial reasons behind getting into porn may be, one thing is guaranteed: There will be a day when this is not a viable career, and she will be left exposed, without the Chippy D persona, to find her own truths as Montana.”

    I think it’s amusing that you take the words of a totally inexperienced porn newbie, Belle, as the end all be all, the “real” truth of what porn actually is… Furthermore, comparing the porn industry to the fast food industry does absolutely nothing to elaborate any point. We can list flawed institutions all day if we want, but it still wouldn’t get down to the nitty gritty of the actual abuse of porn actresses on set. THIS is what I take issue with when it comes to defending Belle because she claims to be an advocate for herself and for other woman, empowering herself and other women, and fighting for gender equality…while she participates in abuse porn herself and refuses to talk about it and other forms of abuse. To ignore this reality is an act of ignorance, and it is a complete dismissal of abused women…an absolute disgrace for someone who claims to be a feminist, empowered, and an advocate AND a member of an esteemed research University such as Duke. I, along with many others, are not wrong in expecting more tact.

    What am I talking about when I say “abuse”?
    -continual contraction of stds and/or sti (legally, this is a breach in contract where it states that all actors and actresses are required to be tested and not allowed to work until they are clean)
    -forcing actresses to do things they expressly do not want to do (actresses will list things they are ok with and not okay with, sometimes this is something their manager handles)
    -withholding pay as a way to blackmail actresses into doing the director’s bidding (directors will impose a change in the “script” day of, regardless of the actresses requests and will threaten to send the actress home without pay if she does not acquiesce)
    -forcing sex after the actress has vocalized her pain (many times an actress will communicate her discomfort with actual words and/or crying, while the director orders his crew to continue rolling until he is satisfied with the shot – with no help for the actress)
    -administration of drugs like vicodin and xanax (it is very common for actresses to be on drugs to cope with the pain of abusive sex externally and internally)

    Now, to tie all back to the question of embarrassment: Given the argument I have just made and the information I have provided…..I’m really curious as to how you justify Belle Knox now, if it all, or if any of the things I have said have changed your perspective.

    *By the way, I’m actually someone who is about to graduate from a private university in the Spring, who has benefited from large amounts of financial aid throughout all 4 years, as someone who has taken out a chunk of student loans, as someone who has worked all 4 years in industries unrelated to sex work. The way you stratify students into Too-Rich-And-Classy-To-Work Club or the Nobly-Suffering-Poor-Kid Club is misinformed, to say the least.

  42. You know, sockpuppeting on this site years after the fact is kind of weird. I mean, I’m sure Belle appreciates your obsession with her body and her work, but you should really be acting it out elsewhere, kiddo.

    As for anyone keeping score, if “choyaguerra” did *actual* research, he would know that I’ve been writing about sex work, porn, and prostitution for years – including on the horrors of the sex industry – both on this blog and at various publications, and have engaged in a lot of public debate on the various subjects surrounding it.

    I myself work as an artist’s model on and off, and am well aware of the dangers of nudity, so being lectured on it by a college kid who isn’t even brave enough to put his real name on his comments – something I always do, regardless of what unpopular position I take – is truly special.

    Bye now, “choyaguerra.” Good luck with graduation. May you do better in the real world.

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