Would You Let A Former Porn Star Read to Your Kids?

November 12, 2011 Feature, Freedom, News, Sex Work No Comments

Sasha Gray reads to kids

What our nervous sideway glances and jeers say is simple: if you let on that you have sex, you’re a danger to our children, and possibly to society itself. Never mind if you’re a tax-paying, law-abiding, philanthropic citizen otherwise — the second it becomes known that you have sex or are interested in it, you’re immediately labeled unfit.

This is what is happening right now with former porn star Sasha Grey, who quit the adult entertainment industry to focus on mainstream entertainment and has since appeared in the popular television series Entourage. She recently joined the National Education Association’s program Read Across America, which combats illiteracy by showing children the joy of the written word through age-appropriate book readings.

On Wednesday, November 2, Grey went to Emerson Elementary School in Compton, California and read Dog Breath by Dav Pikey to first and third graders. According to celebrity gossip site TMZ, parents were horrified to have a former pornographic star read to their children. They contacted the California Parent-Teacher Association, which got in touch with the principal of the school, demanding an explanation.

A representative of the school district denied Grey was among the stars who read to children each year, saying, “We have several celebrities who read to our students each year. The actress you have indicated was not present.”

This is technically true: usually, Read Across America is celebrated once a year on Dr. Seuss’s birthday in March. During the one-day celebration, stars read to the children of Compton United School District. Previous celebrity guests have included Raven Symone of That’s So Raven, Rachelle Lefevre of Twilight: New Moon, Quinton Aaron of The Blind Side, the voice of Spongebob Squarepants Tom Kinney, and many others. Sasha Grey was not present at the usual Read Across America celebration.

But she did read to children at Emerson Elementary with Read Across America, a program she joined because literacy is something she believes is essential.

“Illiteracy contributes to poverty; encouraging children to pick up a book is fundamental,” Grey said today in a statement posted on Twitter. The statement went on:

I believe education is a universal right. I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am and what I represent.

I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am. I will not live in fear of it.

To challenge non-profit education programs is an exercise in futility, counter-productive and anti-educational.

Here is a woman who is contributing her time to get kids excited about reading. But we don’t want her help. Even though she is dressed conservatively, even though she won’t speak about the adult aspect of her career, even though all she will do is sit and read — she is dangerous. She is a bad example. She had sex and she did it on camera, and we will never let her forget that.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture or do you agree that anyone who has participated in adult film is unsuitable to being around children? I don’t get it and you’re welcome to explain it to me.

Photo by San Jose Library. Originally published on BlogHer.

The Story of a Disappearing Critique on Google+

How free is speech on Google+?

On Wednesday, November 02, Bryan Jones shared a public post on Google+ protesting the censorship of artist Paul Roustan‘s art on Google+ which contained an album with 22 images. A handful of the images were quickly flagged by Google+ and some time on Friday, November 04, the post itself became restricted to other users.

Because Jones could still see the post, the movement he had sought to start to bring awareness to censorship practices on Google+ (illustrated by the hashtag #occupygpluscensorship), lost the momentum it had gained in the previous 48 hours. In a conversation with Googler Brian Rose, Rose told Jones that the post “should not have been automatically made private to me… something was wrong… and that he would follow up with Google’s Post team on Monday.” … Continue Reading

The Sad Ballad of Halloween

October 25, 2011 Culture, Feature 2 Comments

Halloween's sexy costumes

Halloween is an artifact that has existed far longer than this country, under various names and in many guises over time. It’s a weird, twisted survivor that survives by absorbing the qualities of the culture in prominence where the day is celebrated. These days, people shake their heads when they think about Halloween — how could a kid’s dress-up holiday have become so grossly sexualized?

The truth is that Halloween is not a holiday for kids. That shift is a very recent thing in its epic history, and I think the emergence of more and more sexualized costumes is both a reflection of our culture’s attitudes toward sex and an attempt to take the holiday back. … Continue Reading

The Good Men Project — Bad for Women?

August 17, 2011 Culture 3 Comments

Lili Bee had had it rough. Finally emancipated and making something of a living despite the abusive boyfriend in whose home she’d been forced to settle into in order to survive, she decided things were not so bad. Just as she was getting settled, her boyfriend forced her to audition at the Playboy Club in New York City to try to get a break in her career. She made it. In June, she recounted her story for the readers of the Good Men Project.

The club was strict, but she was well-paid and formed part of a union. For reasons that were not disclosed, she got in trouble some years into the job and was faced with the decision of having to leave the club. A man she had met through the club, who’d previously been very generous with her, suggested that she transfer to another club, or consider posing for the magazine. The magazine deal would provide money, he said, and possibly open the door for her in terms of modeling. … Continue Reading

How Can We Build Communities in a Potentially Hostile Environment?

August 3, 2011 Culture, Feature, web 1 Comment

We are moving toward a social horizon online. That enables us to have a lot more conversations with a wider variety of people, but it also creates a danger in that we can no longer determine the sort of content that we will put on our sites. Our profiles and what we put on there are governed by the terms of service of start-ups and companies. Even if these reflect our own values, there is always a chance that the company will be acquired, or the media will put pressure on a start-up to change the nature of its content.

However well-intentioned the desire to protect young users from age-inappropriate pornographic content, very often conversations about sexuality and sexual issues become conflated with pornography. It’s a dangerous road that disables people from having the open dialog that give the internet promise. How can sex educators and interested users build any sort of community in a network that could become hostile toward them at any moment? The answer is that right now, we can’t. … Continue Reading

Google Plus Suspension Spree Reaches the 405

July 23, 2011 Culture, Feature, web 10 Comments

Suspended Google+ Profile

This afternoon, I logged into Google+ and discovered that my account had been suspended. My profile read:

After reviewing your profile, we determined that some of the content (e.g. text, images, name) violates our Community Standards or our Names Policy. Please remember that we are currently limiting profiles to real people and will be launching a profile for businesses and other entities later this year.

If you believe that your profile has been suspended in error, or you have recently edited your profile to comply with our Community Standards or Names Policy please submit your profile for recommendation. Your profile will be reviewed again and unblocked if it complies with our Community Standards.

I have broken down their concerns into three sections for this post: Text, Images, and Name. I will provide the necessary information and let you determine whether their decision is appropriate. … Continue Reading

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Responds to the Firestorm over Sexist Milk Campaign

July 18, 2011 Advertising, Culture 1 Comment

Everything I Do Is Wrong Goodby, Silverstein & Partners campaign for the California Milk Processor Board

The day before yesterday, I wrote a scathing piece about the California Milk Processor Board’s new milk ad campaign, which features cartoonish men in varying stages of distress, with headlines such as “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant,” and “I apologize for letting you misinterpret what I was saying,” and “I apologize for not reading between the right lines,” as well as a website that illustrates women’s premenstrual syndrome-related moodiness in the same way we once color-coded terror threats.

The firm who put this campaign together, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (hailed for the brilliant “Got Milk” campaign of the 90s), sees their “Everything I Do Is Wrong” campaign as a way to raise the awareness of milk’s helpful effect on the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It’s not a war on the sexes, they tell the New York Times. It’s a way the sexes can deal with it together.

I don’t buy it, and I wrote about it. Today, I got the following e-mail from an individual claiming to be an employee of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners … Continue Reading

The Story Behind Dot-XXX: We Still Oppose It and You Should Too

It’s been over ten years since the idea of creating top-level domain (TLD) specifically for pornographic sites. Last week, dot-xxx finally went into operation.

IMC, which operates dot-xxx domains, list several benefits for adult producers who use the dot-xxx domain. They believe that by making dot-xxx a recognizable brand through multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, they can bring security and confidence to porn consumers who have grown afraid of the potential for malware and abusive practices generally believed to be common problems with adult sites.

ICM also promises the ability for parents and companies to easily filter adult sites to ensure children and employees do not access pornographic content. Simultaneously, through registry-sponsored portals and directed search, they promise adult webmasters an increase in traffic and access to untapped markets. They also promise the implementation of a payment system that does not excessively charge producers of pornographic content, and enables consumers to make anonymous payments.

This is all well and good, except much of it is a bunch of hot air, and we’ll tell you why. … Continue Reading

Porn WikiLeaks: HIPAA, 2257s, defamation and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Legal aspects of the Porn Wikileaks case.

There is a lot of misinformation floating around the web about the Porn Wikileaks story. In the interest of informing the dialogue and helping performers understand their legal options, we have summarized the four legal items that are getting the most attention in the Porn Wikileaks story and provided some information about what the law actually says in regard to HIPAA, 2257, defamation and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. … Continue Reading

Students Protest University of Southern California and Kappa Sigma Fraternity for Inaction Following Misogynist, Racist E-mail

Students protest University of Southern California USC inaction against Kappa Sigma fraternity in wake of misogynist e-mail

On Monday, over 100 University of Southern California students marched in protest of the school’s inaction in response to a misogynist e-mail said to have originated among members of the school’s Kappa Sigma fraternity.

The e-mail, a lengthy guide to living the “Cocksman” lifestyle, followed a brief introduction with the following statement before moving on to its tenets: “I will refer to females as ‘targets’. They aren’t actual people like us men. Consequently, giving them a certain name or distinction is pointless.” … Continue Reading

Facebook

Add our page on Google+!

Keep up with everything we're covering right in your stream. Please note this page is limited to users 18+.

Featured

Gamers Won’t Be Seduced, Will Stare At Random Cleav Instead

That Steam allows the objectification and sexualization of female characters in a variety of its games but refuses to accept a game about actually engaging with women in a more interactive fashion is astonishingly backward.

FetLife Is Not Safe for Users

That the site doesn’t take measures to protect user content and has shown incompetence or negligence in regard to user privacy, all the while prohibiting victims from warning others about predatory behavior creates an environment where it is nearly impossible for members of the community to take care of themselves and one another. By enabling FetLife to continue espousing a code of silence, allowing the spinning self-created security issues as “attacks,” and not pointing out how disingenuous FetLife statements about safety are, we are allowing our community to become a breeding ground for exploitation.

Why You Should Vote No On Prop 35

Should people who benefit (parents, siblings, children, roommates!) from the earnings of “commercial sex acts” (any sexual conduct connected to the giving or receiving of something of value) be charged with human trafficking? Should someone who creates obscene material that is deemed “deviant” be charged as with human trafficking? Should someone who profits from obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should people transporting obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should a person who engages in sex with someone claiming to be above the age of consent or furnishing a fake ID to this effect be charged with human trafficking? What if I told you the sentences for that kind of conviction were eight, 14 or 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $500,000, and life as a registered sex offender?

Pretty and Calls Herself a Geek? Attention Whore!

If you are a woman, you might be given a chance to prove yourself in this community. Since there is no standard definition of what a “geek” is and it will vary from one judge to the next anyway, chances of failing are high (cake and grief counseling will be available after the conclusion of the test!). If you somehow manage to succeed, you’ll be tested again and again by anyone who encounters you until you manage to establish yourself like, say, Felicia Day. But even then, you’ll be questioned. As a woman, your whole existence within the geek community will be nothing but a series of tests — if you’re lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll be harassed and threatened and those within the culture will tacitly agree that you deserve it.

Cuddle Chemical? Moral Molecule? Not So Fast

Zak’s original field, it turns out, is economics, a far cry from the hearts and teddy bears we imagine when we consider his nickname. But after performing experiments on generosity, Zak stumbled on the importance of trust in interactions, which led him, rather inevitably, to research about oxytocin. Oxytocin, you might remember, is a hormone that has been linked previously to bonding — between mothers and children primarily, but also between partners. What Zak has done is take the research a step further, arguing in his recent book, The Moral Molecule, that oxytocin plays a role in determining whether we are good or evil.

How to Avoid Pissing off a Stripper

Let’s talk about the strippers. Whether they like to be half-naked or not, whether they enjoy turning you on or not, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re working. Whether you think that taking one’s clothes off for money is a great choice of career is really beside the point (is it a possibility for you to make $500 per hour at your job without a law degree? Just asking). These women are providing fantasy, yes, but that is their job. And as a patron of the establishment where they work, you need to treat them like you would anyone else who provides a service to you.

Masthead

Send us news!

Editrix-in-Command:
AV Flox

In-House Theologian:
Robert Fischer

Eros and Desire Scholar:
Dawn Kaczmar

Scientific Consultant:
Jason Goldman

East Coast Liaison:
Jackie Summers

Arch-Nemesis:
Barbie Davenporte

Read about the contributors we've had over time on our staff page.

Follow SAT405 on:
Twitter
Facebook

RSS

Hosted by (mt)

About

Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...