Until recently, few Duke University students had probably heard of Miriam Weeks, a.k.a. “Belle Knox.” But some, at least, were familiar with her body of work.
She is doing something old-fashioned: working to put herself through college. But she’s doing it in a very modern way: by making pornography. And she insists she’s proud of her job.
“We are in a society where we are so repressed every single day. We’re told that sex is bad,” she tells CNN. “We’re told not to show our body and that’s really true for women.” Yet far from being shunned, sex is virtually everywhere in pop culture. And that’s by design.
Liberals pushed the motto, “If it feels good, do it” because that would help break down traditional societal barriers. Consider Wilhelm Reich, “the father of the modern sexual revolution,” as Hillsdale College politics professor Kevin Slack calls him. Reich believed that the enemies of natural freedom were “religious and political strictures that led to shame, guilt, and jealousy,” Slack writes.
When Weeks talks of “repression” and “thousands of years of patriarchy and thousands of years of religion that leads us to the point where we so deeply fear sexuality,” she’s citing Wilhelm Reich, whether she realizes it or not.
If Weeks had selected a more common part-time job, she’d be bombarded with sexual images every day. If she’d gone to work checking out groceries, for example, she’d spend her days staring at racks of magazines, from Shape to Self, Cosmo to Sports Illustrated, all of which feature scantily clad models and/or articles about improving your sex life.
Instead, Weeks makes pornographic films and studies sociology. But she is surprisingly unscientific. “I think 80 percent of the world’s traffic of—on the internet is pornography,” she adds.
In journalism, we call that a fact that’s “too good to check.” Certainly CNN interviewer Piers Morgan didn’t bother to check it. So where’s the repression? In the world according to Weeks, those who choose to do non-pornographic things on the Internet—such as penning blog posts or posting (clothed) photos on Facebook—would be the outliers.
If there’s any upside, at least Weeks can study that societal decay in her sociology classes. Whether she’ll actually learn anything is a bigger question.