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Friday, April 13, 2012

The Sweet Spot: Ex-Porn Star Sasha Grey Reads to Little Kids -- So What?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM

sweetspotheader.jpg

We must protect our children from sex! Or so most modern thinking goes. Interestingly, this idea of children's inherent sexual innocence is fairly recent. In fact, the Victorians created it.

On the course blog for English 271: Psychoanalysis and Literature at Nassau Community College in New York, a person calling herself Professor Estevez writes of the Victorians, "For children, innocence and moral purity was defined by their ignorance of adult life and adult knowledge. Above all, childhood innocence was premised on a lack of sexuality: The child was seen not so much as a pre-sexual creature, but by definition an asexual one."

click to enlarge 1910yourcute.jpg

Before Lewis Carroll, Peter Pan, and child labor protection, sexuality in most homes was as obvious as the cows sleeping in front of the fire during winter. Children were seen as miniature versions of adults, albeit not quite as savvy, and they were subject to the same exposure to life as everyone else.

Indigenous people in Brazil known as the Canela, up until the encroachment of Christian missionaries, used sex for just about everything, including smoothing over conflicts, cementing political alliances, and celebrating holidays. Nakedness, frolicking, and the occasional gang-bang were seen by children on a regular basis. So much so that the kids would often mimic the sex play of adults. This was considered "cute" by most Canela.

"Cute," however, is not what families thought when, while watching Irish priest Martin McVeigh give a presentation about first communion, images of gay porn were accidentally flashed on the screen. Church officials are investigating the "accident" in response to the outrage of the parents.

Last year, former porn star Sasha Grey had to publicly apologize for daring to read stories to first- and third-graders at a school in Compton. Parents at the school, parents in blogs, and moms on The View found it very disturbing that a woman who as one blogger on KLIOU put it, "made a conscious decision to spend an exorbitant amount of time sucking dick on camera for money," would be chosen to talk to their children.

Sasha Grey - TOGLENN

And then there was the big controversy over the photo of adult film actress Madison Young breastfeeding her baby. She was accused by fellow pornographer and sex work activist Furry Girl of being a bad mother.

click to enlarge Madison Young - MALIA SCHLAEFER
  • Malia Schlaefer
  • Madison Young

"You are a revolting person. Your child will need so much therapy when she grows up and finds out how she was treated by you", she wrote in her blog.

Not everyone finds all this so offensive. Whoopee Goldberg stood up for Sasha Grey, and feminist bloggers all around came to Young's defense. There is not much to say about the accidental porn exposure. But it could be argued that showing a little bit of gay porn is a heck of a lot better than what a number of other Catholic priests have done to children.

I do not have children. I do not have the tender responsibility of protecting young minds from the world. However, I did help raise seven kids. I don't believe that a vicarious experience of porn or porn stars is inherently harmful. Especially after seeing all of these children in my care go through so many different struggles far more profound than a pretty ex-porn star reading them a story. I find all this huffing and puffing about such a minor issue fatiguing.

We live in a culture where we're surrounded by highly sexualized images. The video where Britney Spears wears her Catholic school girl outfit I'm sure was j/o material for a number of people. The video, I might add, was vastly popular to 8-year-old girls. It can be difficult these days to separate what is pop culture from what is porn.

click to enlarge 1910sooo_cute.jpg

I believe the question is not how we protect children from all of this, but instead how we create a conversation around it. Sasha Grey on The View stated that she had gone into porn because she had always been ashamed of her sexuality and it was a way to challenge her issues. Some will roll their eyes at that statement, but despite an ever-growing porn proliferation, shame is still alive and well.

That should be the source of outrage.

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The Sweet Spot is a blog column about alternative sexuality by Ginger Murray who is also the editor of Whore! magazine. Check back next week for more.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Ginger Murray

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