TIME Defends 'Feminist' Duke Porn Star

"Feminism is not a gulag..."

Belle Knox, the infamous Duke University student acting in porn to pay for tuition, has garnered a few fans in the feminist community, particularly, Charlotte Alter of Time who valiantly came to Knox's defense, calling her "kinky" lifestyle as feminist as Betty Friedan.

Alter's article comes in response to a manifesto Knox put out on XOJane where she attempted to dispel some of the myths about her choice to act in porn, saying her decision to act on a rough porn website and her unyielding love affair with masochistic sex as something entirely feminist because she chooses to do it willingly, and as long as she "chooses" porn, she should be empowered, and to "shame" her would be anti-feminist Knox believes; Charlotte Alter agrees. Alter states:

She’s ultimately right that empowered women can also enjoy kink. Feminism is not a gulag– it’s not like there are guards that will shoot you if you try to escape for the night. Let’s get rid of this idea that feminism is an all-or-nothing pursuit that has to be 100% consistent because, as early feminist Margaret Fuller’s BFF Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Besides, isn’t the whole point of a fantasy to be an escape from what other people think is appropriate? If what you’re doing is “appropriate,” it’s probably not hot. I don’t even want to know what a politically correct sex life would look like, but it sounds boring.

Alter's only reservations for Knox's manifesto are that she's still a teenager, admits to have suffered from depression, and that porn can sometimes be too "dude-centric." Alter recommends Knox get involved in the hot new market of "feminist porn" instead, or perhaps turning her whole porn career into "some kind of long research experiment for a Women & Gender Studies paper."

In the end, Alter feels feminists should cheer Knox's decision to trade sex for cash while complete strangers watch, because, as she puts it, "We believe sexual assault survivors when they say the sex wasn’t consensual. We should also believe Belle Knox when she says it was."

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