Porn Star __________________: Reductive ID tags, Scarlet Letters, and Silence

Some headlines of the moment:

What do all these headlines have in common besides a lawsuit and names of parties to said lawsuit? The consistent echo of the phrase ‘porn star.’

Of course, not all coverage has used the phrase in the headline. However, this broad, quick survey from mainstream news sources reveals its overwhelming presence.

Let’s skirt the porn question, which is a thorny one. Yes, porn is problematic, even if we’re only talking about that produced by the mainstream, regulated industry featuring only adults. Yes, it is very commonly viewed. Yes, it sends a fissure through the feminist movement. Solving, or even approaching that fissure, is not where I’m going with this.

It’s also clear that Daniels wants feminists to back off, when she calls them crazy, and says in a radio interview, quoted in Newsweek: “It’s my job to be objectified. I’m sort of offended if someone doesn’t.”

Daniels appears to be uninterested in being part of anyone’s agenda. It’s clear she does not want women or feminists to do anything for or speak for her. She seems to be doing an effective job of that herself.

However, instead, as yes, a feminist, I want to call out the way reductive language used about Stormy Daniels warns all women to stay in a certain place, on a certain end of the double standard. The threat is that if women don’t stay there then the bogey man, this time in the visage of a former reality tv star turned politician who appears to be unable to even hire a decent personal attorney, can drag you into unspeakable places, in this case arbitration.

But, increasingly, the story about the double standard does not end with bogey men and fears. Daniels is fighting back, avoiding silence, and appears, from my armchair, to have better than a fighting chance.

And don’t we all?

In Category: SOME DAYS

Alison Bergblom Johnson

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