Our Bodies, Our Only Sense of Self
Second-wave feminism's legacy lives out in the bodies of porn-for-tuition college girls.
March 13, 2014 - 7:54 am
The MSM’s latest fetish, college girls-turned-porn stars for tuition money, smacks of the rotten legacy of second-wave feminism’s “our bodies, our selves” mantra. Take the story of Belle Knox, a Duke University fresh-girl forced to do porn for the tuition money. While her sleaze-bag of an agent attempts to milk her 15 minutes with stories of a poor girl turned out by multimillionaire parents (a story she later changed when chatting with Piers Morgan), Belle Knox views herself as anything but a victim.
The 18-year-old appeared on front pages across the globe and sat down with Piers Morgan for a CNN interview using only her stage name and claiming that she was not ashamed of what she was doing and, in fact, felt ‘empowered’ by her career.
I’m not being exploited. I love what I’m doing and I’m safe,’ insists the women’s studies major.
Women’s studies major. Good thing she’s in porn, considering her future career choices at this point don’t rise far above McDonald’s worker (and we all know how poorly they’re paid). Seriously, though, paying for your women’s studies degree by doing porn? Has anyone stopped being sucked in by the rich-girl lifestyle to consider that glaring irony? Or the fact that her women’s studies major has justified her career choice?
She told her student newspaper in an interview last week: ‘My entire life, I have, along with millions of other girls, been told that sex is a degrading and shameful act. When I was five-years-old and beginning to discover the wonders of my body, my mother, completely horrified, told me that if I masturbated, my vagina would fall off.
‘The most striking view I was indoctrinated with was that sex is something women “have,” but that they shouldn’t “give it away” too soon -– as though there’s only so much sex in any one woman, and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she “gives” it to.’
The vapid meanderings of Belle Knox illustrate the very scary impact of the second-wave feminist notion that our bodies really are our selves. Beyond our physicality, we have nothing left, no brain, no feeling, to “lose” or invest in a sexual encounter.
Nowhere has this idea been expressed more brilliantly or traumatically than in the HBO series Girls. In fact, the ethos of many women’s studies departments across the country became Hannah Horvath’s undoing this week when she pursued pornographic behavior and, instead of enticing her boyfriend Adam, wound up losing him instead.
Convinced Adam has lost interest (“there’s nothing weird or exciting about our sexual life anymore… He’s treating me like an ottoman with a vagina”), Hannah decides to surprise him with a role-playing scenario that begins with her dressed in a blonde wig, picking him up in a bar, and ends with one of the most revealing dialogues in the show’s short tenure:
Hannah: “I don’t have ideas like that. I was just doing your ideas. I was just doing sex the way you wanted to.”
Adam: …”But…you were outside yourself. You were outside your body, watching everything.”
Hannah: “So, what does it matter? If you’re getting what you want, what do you care if I’m like, ‘in my body’? You can’t be the body police.”
Adam: “You have an old idea of who I am. Sex was the thing that kept me from drinking …it was like that with us for a while, too. But then, we fell in love. And I wanted to have sex with just you, as us.”
The idea of a mentally and emotionally engaging sexual relationship leaves Hannah confused, and her confusion leads to Adam’s abandonment. Hannah believes she must be a pornographic goddess in order to maintain Adam’s love. Adam, on the other hand, values Hannah as someone more and better than a pornographic fantasy. He desires her physically, mentally and emotionally. And Hannah just doesn’t get it because her body is the only self she knows.
Second-wave feminism has passed down a twisted legacy, with the promise of sexual freedom masking the reality of intellectual and emotional slavery. Belle Knox and Hannah Horvath are two of the many examples of millennial women chained in their bodies at the sacrifice of the intellect and emotion that make up their whole selves.