Who’s Throwing Stones At The Duke Porn Star?

Who’s Throwing Stones At The Duke Porn Star?

“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” With these words a great man long ago prevented a mob of would-be executioners from stoning an adulteress.

Recently the mob circled again, this time around a female student at Duke University who has been exposed as a porn star. The girl, an 18-year-old freshman who goes by the stage name “Belle Knox,” maintains that she needs the job to help pay her tuition. The school newspaper (the first publication to break the story) described her as “both whip smart and distressingly naïve.” But many reactions of her fellow students have been nothing short of vindictive. Those who should be her friends, her Duke classmates, have treated her worst of all. Various online threads for Duke students reveal the true Blue Devil character: Students have buried Belle in a shower of condemnation, hitting her with vile names and explicit details of what these students would like to do to her if they had the chance.

Belle describes her treatment as a sort of persecution, saying, “I feel harassed. I feel hated.” Unlike the biblical adulteress, however, she seems stubbornly unrepentant. (More on that in a minute.)

First, it’s worth asking why ‘the mob’ has reacted so viciously towards Belle. The hypocrisy of her male classmates, in particular, is particularly revolting.  Belle’s moonlighting was discovered when a fellow student, Thomas (he makes no effort to hide his true identity), spotted her while watching porn himself. Yet Thomas has escaped public scorn, much like the invisible male adulterer who likely gathered stones and joined that biblical mob long ago.

Perhaps Duke’s student culture is partly to blame here. For a campus with a randy reputation, Duke students sure have been quick to point fingers. As on most college campuses, a significant portion of the student body likely engages in quick and easy sex (although not, presumably, for money). Is that the standard, then? Meaningless sex is great, as long as it’s exchanged for free?

It’s not surprising that many students have been quick to show such hatred and disrespect to Belle. Respect for women, in general, seems to be in short supply at Duke. A recent campus survey revealed that 31 percent of female students have experienced sexual harassment on campus, well above the national average, and 16 percent of freshman women “had been sexually assaulted by another Duke student.”

Could it be that the campus climate of disrespect has something to do with the number of porn consumers on campus? According to some experts, 64 percent of college males, on average, watch porn every week. And nearly every young adult male has used porn at some point in his life. How is it that we males feel entitled to heap scorn upon a young woman like Belle when male lust is what is really paying her bills? The Duke guys who deride and verbally brutalize the woman who is a “supplier” for their chosen vice are hypocritical at best.

The real problem is that porn is an evil that wounds all involved in it–actors and viewers alike.

Belle seems to have shrunk her sexuality down to size, reducing it to nothing more than a useful income-generator. Defending her new ‘career,’ Belle explains that, “I really enjoy sex, and I’ve always loved watching porn, so it just seemed I could pay my way through college doing something I really love doing.” A woman’s studies major, Belle apparently doesn’t see the contradiction between pursuing women’s rights and taking a job where the application process requires little more than her bodily measurements and photo. In fact, she argues that her career is simply an exercise of feminist choice. Her complaint: “I really wish I could just do porn and pay for my college…and just be respected as a human being.”

Nor does she seem to understand that no matter how “sweet” pornographers seem to be, the exploitation begins as soon as her clothes comes off and the camera goes on—and it continues with every new set of male eyes that molests her.

The porn-consuming Duke students, regardless of whether they saw Belle’s flicks or those of another ‘star,’ no longer see a woman like Belle as a human being. She’s nothing more than a sexual object to be used, degraded, and contemptuously kicked aside. That’s somehow all right, we men tell ourselves, because she put herself out there.

Wrong. We guys need to take responsibility for our share of the evil and stop excusing ourselves for using another human being for our own gratification. And we need to recognize the hypocrisy that fuels our hatred for the sinner even as we retreat back to our own dorm rooms to love the sin.

I hope Belle gets a new job, for her own sake. She deserves better. And I hope that her porn-loving, porn-star-hating fellow students will put down their stones and let their screens go dark. Because we’re all made for something better.

Peter Hasson is a Freshman Politics Major at the University of Dallas.

Peter Hasson writes for Campus Reform as a campus correspondent. All opinions contained in this article are his alone and do not represent the views of any organizations he is affiliated with. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @peterjhasson.
Related Posts