PVV – women’s equality in teaching and PSAs… or not

Here are two things that, oddly, touch upon a common theme – women’s occupational inequality.

1. What happens to teachers who have, at some point, worked as an adult performer? Well, I have conducted a little experiment to find out!!

2. Who’s manipulating who (or what) – Sasha Grey is in some weird ad supposedly aimed at closing the gendered wage gap in Belgium.

You know you’re curious – read on!!

1. Recently, I was talking about Oxnard-area junior high school teacher Stacie Halas. It had been found out (by students!!) that Stacie had once done porn. Ok, nothing illegal there (well, besides the fact that kids were looking at adult content), but the school district felt it necessary to put her on leave. Then they fired her (last I heard).

There have been all sorts of teachers “busted” for sex work; and, be the sex work current or long former, shit always seem to hit the fan once the aforementioned sex work is found out. Question one is, of course, why? Question two is equally puzzling – why is each case handled so differently? Consider:

Benedict Garrett/Johnny Anglais (high school teacher in the UK) – was working as a teacher and as an adult performer/stripper-like entertainer in 2010 when he was “caught” and fired. He was eventually offered the opportunity to return to his teaching job, to which he said “thanks, but no thanks!!” (read about Johnny’s saga here, and check out PVV’s in-depth interview with him here)

Tera Myers (high school teacher, MO) – lost her job in 2011 after a student discovered that she had worked as an adult performer approximately 20 years prior. In 2006 she lost a similar teaching job under the name Tericka Dye in Kentucky after school officials discovered her previous work.

Shawn Loftis (middle/junior high school substitute teacher, FL) – had worked under the alias Collin O’Neal as a gay porn performer and producer years prior and was fired in 2011. He was, however, reinstated not days ago. (here)

Stacie Halas (middle/junior high school teacher, CA) – the aforementioned Stacie did porn as Tiffany Six, apparently while she was a teacher (follow this link and watch the attached video WITH CAUTION – it is a very hard reel of Tiffany Six “highlights” that is extremely problematic and pretty dang cruel… but it includes adult BTS footage of her claiming to be a teacher), but hadn’t done porn in a years.

Now, I realize that the N (number of cases) in this sampling is small, but here’s what I notice: minor children accessing adult content (savvily and for extended persons of time, no less), apparent problems in schools’ background checking processes, and gender. Namely, given what information is currently available, women teachers are being punished more harshly for former, not to mention coincident, work as porn performers than men. It will be interesting to see what comes of Stacie’s case…

What do you see?

2. Former porn performer Sasha Grey is the face of Belgium’s Equal Pay Day, a movement that seeks to close the 22% wage gap between men and women. But the campaign’s PSA sends mixed messages about women working in adult.

In this clip (below), Sasha talks about starting work in adult at age 18 and rising to rapid, respected porn stardom in about a year. In her characteristic flat manner, she describes working as a “nurse” and making more money than the “doctors.” Presumably, she is referring to playing a porn nurse in scene that also involves a man as a porn doctor – she likely got paid more than the “doctor(s)” a) because she’s Sasha Grey and commands a very high rate and b) because women performers generally get paid more than men performers on a scene-by-scene basis.

(Dr. Chauntelle aside: let’s not forget that the small number of men who can actually make it in porn generally have longer – by a lot Hershel Savage, Randy SpearsRon Jeremy, etc etc - careers than women performers; thus, although women may make money faster, men make money longer. As is the case in other occupations, women’s and men’s career trajectories in adult cannot be compared side-by-side at face value)

(and incidentally, what would happen if this whole shebang was less implicitly sexist and considered a scene that had a woman “doctor”? What if Belladonna played the “doctor”?? What then!!? I digress…)

Anyway, Sasha Goes finishes of the PSA with a very affirming statement of who she is… which is immediately followed by text proclaiming: “Porn is about the only way [women] make more money than men — Find a better alternative on equalpayday.be.” Check it out:

 

 

Sooo in this ad, Sasha is an example of someone who has found a way to close the wage gap… But then she’s slapped on the wrist by the very same organization that is lauding her efforts with that snarky little tag at the end? The text at the end dismisses her experience while simultaneously chastising for identifying with and succeeding at what’s described as being “about the only way” to make more money than men. I’m confused…

Maybe this is an issue of language and/or something not translating well cross-culturally? Or maybe it’s evil, tricky editing? There is the possibility that all the titling as added after the fact, but then I wonder – why would Sasha Grey agree to be in an ad that so grossly misrepresents adult production and/or the experiences of the vast majority of women performers in the first place? Granted, most performers are not Sasha Grey; but most porn, be it Sasha Grey porn or otherwise, is not produced in the environment depicted in this ad. This ad is more an extension of the fiction she perpetuated during her stint on “Entourage” than it is a representation of an industry that flips the gendered wage gap. She had to at least be aware of that… right?

But maybe they’re talking about porn production in Belgium? What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “PVV – women’s equality in teaching and PSAs… or not

  1. It seems like they were going for something that they couldn’t quite pull off. They clearly made the (presumably true) objective point that the only career in which women made more than the men is porn. And they did it in a clever way actually. I liked the fact that she listed all the careers she “had” (i.e., performed in adult films).

    The problem is what are we meant to infer from this fact? Well, obviously we ultimately are supposed to get to the principle that women should be paid the same as men in all careers. But as an intermediate step in this logic, we’re supposed to acknowledge that there’s something shocking about the fact that it’s porn, and only porn, in which women get paid more than men. And therein lies the problem.

    Sasha seems to be doing her best to imply that porn just happens to be the one career in which this is true. Much of her monologue consists in trying to “normalize” her career, “I’m proud of this. It’s something I chose to do.” That said, the video comes across as implicitly affirming the women-as-victims-of-porn perspective.

    Note that the sexual activity in the background is all pretty much male-dominating-female. (Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that this sort of presentation in adult does or should be perceived of as representing any sort of prescription for gender relations. As a cuckold, I manage to — I think — both be pretty pro-gender neutrality and to appreciate the alpha male control dynamic. However, in this particular context, where the viewers can be just about anyone, not just porn viewers, this really conveys the idea that men being “in charge” in porn somehow demeans women generally.)

    And again, maybe this is all just because of the social context in which the video will be received (one in which porn is widely viewed as victimizing women), the implicit message seems to be “there’s only ONE way women can make more money than men and that’s by doing the most horrible job imaginable.” Sasha’s insistence that this career is what she chose and she did the things that she enjoyed doing may be a valiant effort to counteract this message. However, it comes across as being a little, “the lady doth protest too much.”

  2. In California, child molestating teachers get to retire under union protection and receive permanent pensions, but teachers who engage in consensual legal activity get fired. Disgraceful.

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