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June 24, 2014 06:52am
More on Belle Knox
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland

Belle Knox One More on Belle Knox by Rich Moreland... Sorting through the barrage of media exposure surrounding Belle Knox, I’m now convinced we’re into overkill. (For the record, I added to the blizzard with "Belle Knox; Feminist Revealed" on March 6, 2014, in this column.) [Linked to the right]

Despite the attention of Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, the View, CNN, and a bevy of bloggers, Belle is far too new to have a workable inkling of the adult industry, its history or its people. A few months shooting scenes and the ancillary fame propped up by the glitz of gentlemen’s clubs does not make a superstar, much less a respected member of porn’s closed community of performers.

To put it another way, the Belle Knox saga needs a time out because the kid has not paid her dues.

This we know. Belle Knox is a victim of slut-shaming and her prestigious university has cut off her financial aid because she’s making money right now in porn. But what did she expect? Porn shoots never remain anonymous and suddenly she is upfront everywhere about her income. Now we learn she has accepted an internship with an online tube site with a reputation for piracy. Did she understand what PornHub was all about when she accepted its offer and does she appreciate how the economic recession lingers in the industry? Adding to the buzz is her mainstream demand that some industry people find off-putting. She’s "barely legal" in porn, of course, and a little jealousy is as messy as a facial when a fresh set of boobs rides a media tsunami.

Belle Knox is caught in the middle of a promotional circus and too young to know the dangers of acrobatics without a net. No matter where she turns, criticism comes her way.

To complicate matters, there is Belle’s politics. She is a sex-positive feminist which means she is alternately praised and vilified. Fortunately, Belle’s feminist foes are the least of her worries. The old anti-porn feminist toadies who chant the "smut is abuse to women" mantra of Gloria Steinem and Gale Dines will always survive in some form. Like many of Belle’s college contemporaries, haters manage to find their voice.

But, here’s where it gets sticky, porn pun intended. Belle is also a self-proclaimed Republican Libertarian which is a mix and match of the first order. She blames government funding for the high college costs that apparently drove her to porn (Do I hear the faint rattles of victimization the likes of Linda Lovelace and Traci Lords?) while alternately expressing how much she loves her shoots. Does Belle know the government's history in pursuing pornographers? Social conservatives love their freedoms, but total free speech is not one of them, including Belle's right to spread her legs for money.

Then there is the industry assessment of her. At first, she had defenders, Tasha Reign one of the most outspoken. Now there’s behind the scenes talk that Belle is not winning friends on set. This will subside, of course, if she decides to make porn a career, but therein lies the rub. There’s no indication of that.

Belle insists she’s in porn for the short haul until college is finished and law school beckons. That's no indictment because few performers come into the biz with an extended time frame in mind. But Belle has made it clear she wants nothing to do with eventually moving behind the camera. Shoot while rates stay up, then bolt hoping the bills are paid.

Belle Knox claims she made an informed choice to enter porn and there is no reason to doubt her. She also wants an open dialogue about sex workers which everyone should endorse. But how does that reconcile with her statements that she’s only a short timer? Not all sex workers have the choice to hustle a buck beyond economic survival.

It’s time for Belle to quietly go about doing both her jobs, getting an education and shooting scenes, because occupying a balance between fifteen minutes of media fame and performing in a stigmatized industry is tricky.

Of course, Belle’s star will fade eventually. As a performer told me, within five years Belle will most likely be talking about how porn ruined her life as she struggles to clean up her image.

Were she twenty-five, chances are Belle Knox would be regarded with a bit more respect. But at nineteen, it doesn’t work that way. She needs to put in her time and do it without dusting up the room.

Incidentally, I hope Belle stays in the business and builds her political voice. If she does, she'll join a tradition of empowered women who carry this industry with their charisma and their charm, while supporting sex workers everywhere in the process.

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