Sex work holds an odd niche in America. To some, it’s strictly taboo in any situation. To others it’s a personal choice based on pay, circumstance (both private and public), or genuine preference for the work. Even sex workers have a difficult time in defining it as empowering or misogynistic.
The line between moral turpitude and hating both the sin and the sinner is a thin one indeed. Many people suggest Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart‘s definition was a too-weak copout that opened the floodgates to all sorts of naughtiness and moral rot.
“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]“; Stewart wrote in an opinion, “and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…”
Last week a perfect example popped up in the news. Former porn star and current mainstream actress Sasha Grey participated in Read Across America by reading Dav Pilkey‘s Dog Breath to first and third graders. A predictable screed-screaming uproar immediately followed.
A Fatal Psychological Blast
How dare a filthy tramp read a kid’s book in a kid’s class? Just her meer presence was a fatal psychological blast to pious kids’ mental health. But, a few things further confuse an already confusing situation.
Dog Breath is a run of the mill elementary school page turner. There was no mention of sex in the book or classroom. The accused trollope was presumably approved by the Los Angeles school district (though they insisted she never appeared – photos to the contrary). Teachers monitored the readings to help protect the tikes from life’s fleshy evils. And, I assume the complaints probably came from a member of the pious set slogging through the evil porn muck they condemned.
But, there’s another Sasha Grey. She volunteered to read in a successful program. That’s a rare thing in these budget-decimated days. She said she’d volunteer again, though that’s a remote prospect given the current uproar.
Why Were Mommy and Daddy Showing Their Kid Porn?
If you’re one of the stone-casters, remember that she quit several years ago to follow a mainstream career – a move that would seem consistent with the view that she should cast the sin from her life to pave the way to salvation. Further, the morbid preoccupation over who she was didn’t extend to the young scholars. If it did, why were mommy and daddy showing the kid porn? Otherwise, how would they know who Sasha was.
Sex – whether for work, pleasure, or procreation – is a personal choice. How does it matter if you’re an Alabaman needing a vibrator to tingle your nether reasons? How is gay sex something that should offend one who’s never seen what goes on behind closed homo-doors? BDSM? Tickle fetishes? Furry fetishes? The list goes on.
The more important thing here is that she did a public service for the community. We should give her a medal for her public service, not tearing her down for having a perfectly legal career that ended several years ago. Your private sexual behavior boils down to this:
Whatever blows up your skirt (pun intended) should be OK.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!