Thursday, November 29, 2007

This headline pisses me off... -or- Porn stars are people, too.

So, I was browsing the local paper, and I came across this headline: Missing college student led a double life as online porn star. The story is about Emily Sander, a woman who went missing last weekend, and is, at this point, assumed dead. Police are searching for a man named Israel Mireles, since he was the last person seen with her. They searched his hotel, and found "a large quantity of blood".

Now, read the first line of that article: "A missing Kansas college student believed to be the victim of foul play apparently led a double life as an Internet porn star by the name of Zoey Zane."

What, exactly, does this have to do with anything?

At this point? Nothing. The police are looking into it, but so far there's no reason to believe that her posting pictures on the internet had anything to do with whatever happened to her. According to a close friend of the missing woman, Sander had just recently signed a contract for the work, and had told her parents, but didn't want people to know. So what does ABC news do?

Oh, they go and ask her grandparents about it. Nice.

Ultimately, this sort of thing pisses me off. It's not enough that this woman is missing and presumed dead, or that the primary suspect is likely making a run for the border with his pregnant 16 year-old girlfriend? They have to publicize her private activities? They have to confront her grandmother with this?

And the comments are worse. The very first comment to the article? "So where are the photo's Freep?" Lovely. Because, yeah, that's classy- this woman is probably dead, and you want to ogle her naked pictures. Ass. Over on this story the comments aren't any better:

"Missing Student May Have Been Porn Star"...That headline is taken from an abcnews.com headline...Does anyone know if it is true? If it is true, it would represent and sad and disgusting turn in this case. Therefore, we may all have been wrong thinking that this missing person story was as tragic as the other stories listed the ABC news site because there is no evidence they engaged in reckless and dangerous activities.


I know that other blogs have covered this before, in relation to judges treating sex-workers like shit, but, Christ on a cracker, this woman is missing and presumed dead, and the fact that she posted some pornographic pictures on the web represents a sad and disgusting turn in the case? Really? It wasn't sad and disgusting when it was thought that a random guy murdered her? And the story is less tragic because she may have done porn? Posting pictures of herself was a reckless and dangerous activity? Fuck you.

It doesn't matter what her professional occupation was- she's still a human being, and still deserving of respect and sympathy. Why does the fact that she's done some internet porn matter one iota? Why should it be less tragic? That she did internet porn doesn't make her more deserving of violence. That she did internet porn doesn't make the fact that she's missing and presumed dead less painful to her family and friends. If it turns out that she has been murdered, it doesn't make the murderer less sick, or the crime less heinous and deplorable.

The attitude that women who work in porn are less valuable as human beings or that terrible things that happen to them aren't as bad as if they happened to someone else is what is really disgusting here. I left a comment to that article saying as much. It's not enough to be angry and say these things on my own space, where the asshole who made the statement isn't likely to see it.

4 comments:

Derek said...

Ugh... Another story like this. It's just so infuriating and reminds me of something somewhat similar.

A while back in Medicine Hat (a small city south of my home in Edmonton), a 13-year-old girl helped plan the murder of her two parents and her young brother and she was the one who stabbed her brother. Now, that's terrifying, but what people were really concentrating on was her "disgusting" relationship with her boyfriend in his early 20s. Newspaper articles were talking about the times they had sex: nothing that had to do with the murders. These stories are quite different, to be sure, but there is an air of similarity between them as well. As soon as a female victim or suspect has a sex life, it takes precedence over everything relevant to the story, which is absolute bullshit.

Ugh, this pisses me off so much.

brandann said...

dude...i don't see you drop f-bombs often...which clues me into the passion in this post...and it was well deserved.

some people are so twisted in the way they view what is right and wrong...the fact that someone thinks it is worse that she may have been a sex worker than that she was possibly murdered and who knows what else, shows very clearly who is "sad" and "disturbing". ugh!

another great post, and much needed!

Sovawanea said...

It might have been relevant to the story had she been stalked or something because of the internet porn. But, at least from what I have heard she met the suspect in a bar.

A few years ago, a college student here went missing and she was always referred to as a model in the news stories. Yes, she did some modeling. But, she was student. Who went out to a bar to have some fun and it turned out to be the last night of her life. Whether she did some modeling or not relevant to the story. I'm getting real sick of glamorizing and scandalizing the brutal deaths of young women. And real sick of it happening every single day.

pornstudent said...

Why bother reading a story about any murder? If a murder doesn't effect us, if the reporting of it doesn't give us information we need to know to protect us and those we care about, then the reading of it is for pleasure, an enjoyable pastime.

The point you make about judges treating sex-workers like shit and society's opinion that people who make porn are inferior and deserving of violence is important to all of us. We hope that our rights to life and liberty are not taken by those who claim a better morality.