Pulp

When it comes to Duke porn star, both sides deserve blame

Well, SU, we have found another reason to hate Duke. “Lauren/Aurora,” the “infamous” freshman Duke porn star, has become a viral sensation, and the student population’s response leaves much to be desired.

After a shocking turn of events in which a Duke fraternity member exposed the closeted on-campus porn star, the porn star decided to vive an interview to Duke’s school newspaper, The Chronicle. Lauren (not her real name) also wrote a letter that was published on xojane.com, and did a Q-and-A with New York Magazine.

My problem is not with Lauren’s career in the porn industry. I am gung-ho for that, and I respect her courage throughout this whole debacle. My problem is with the flying judgments and generalizations coming from both sides of the political spectrum.

There is a lot of backlash in regard to Lauren’s personal choices. The key point that many are missing is that her decisions do not directly affect anyone’s life but her own. Does her career affect you personally? Does being “above” porn give you a right to judge her? No.

Regardless of one’s opinion of the porn industry, there is no argument that this girl is brave. Admitting to being a porn star is not an easy task, especially at a traditionally WASP-y school like Duke.

Lauren’s original approach to her lifestyle choice was to keep it separate from her “real life.” She was not flaunting her career as a sex worker, but instead did it strictly for herself.

I think there are healthier ways to pay for school, and I have a lot of qualms with the porn industry itself. However, that being said, this girl is expressing her sexuality. Female empowerment means allowing women to live their lives without labels and judgment. Yes, that means women who do not shave and housewives who fulfill stereotypical roles can live side-by-side.

But they have to respect each other.

It all went downhill when freshman Thomas Bagley let the cat out of the bag. Lauren received hundreds of Facebook friend requests and Twitter followers within hours of the news going public.

Although I have empathy for Lauren in an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation, did she really think that she could keep her alter ego a secret I this day and age? And if the frat-stars at Duke are as “douchey” as she claims, would she not imagine that one day one of them would discover her online?

And would it not be legitimate to think that these “douchey” frat guys would not treat the situation with respect, but instead with intolerance?

I am not on “the patriarchy’s” side of this one, but I think I am being realistic. If Lauren was at a school like Amherst or Tufts, she could have expected a much more positive and understanding reaction. She said to New York Magazine that she goes to school with “rich, entitled males.”

This situation gives Duke an opportunity to educate its apparently homogenous student body. Duke can teach its students and faculty about equality amongst men and women and the freedom of sexual expression.

Duke has had problems with sexual issues in the past — such as the infamous lacrosse scandal in 2010 — but has yet to come up with a solution. It could be helpful to have a mandatory forum regarding men’s versus women’s view on sex.

Lauren could have done a better job forming her argument. For someone who is accusing of so much judgment, she is doing an awful lot of generalizing as well. While Duke is clearly a school known for having a predominately white, wealthy student body, not all these rich white kids are harassing Lauren about her choices.

In fact, she even stated in her New York Magazine interview that the LGBTQ community at Duke has shown her immense amounts of support. This just goes to show that not everyone at Duke thinks she is the town whore and needs to wear a read “A” on her clothes.

Duke community, Lauren is not the actual devil, just a blue devil. Let her do her porn. And Lauren, take it easy on your school.

Meg Zukin is a freshman television, radio and film major. Her column appears every Wednesday in Pulp. Email her at mtzukin@syr.edu and follow her on Twitter at @margaretTZukin. 

  • MPH

    Aye, Captain, there be nothing here.

  • Iron Mike

    I blame both sides for there being nothing here.

  • phanart

    Kind of G rated

  • anonymous

    Well, saying that “there are healthier ways to pay for school” does come off as judgmental, and implies that you think you are above her choice. You think that what she does is intrinsically “unhealthy” and I’m not sure that’s a positive response. You are entitled to your opinions on the porn industry, which is far from perfect, but I think you might need to reevaluate your own opinions before claiming sex-positivity.

  • anonymous

    Also, saying “what did she expect” when it comes to frat boys spilling her secret comes off as victim blaming, I mean she hardly wanted this to happen and I don’t see how she could have stopped it. We should focus on teaching those frat boys to alter their behavior, rather than shift blame on the harmed person for not “expecting” negative repercussions that were somewhat out of her hands.

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