Parents Pissed About Porn-Star Presence at School

Parents Pissed About Porn-Star Presence at School

Here's what happened:

A young woman named Marina Hantzis volunteered to spend a day reading to 1st and 3rd graders at a California elementary school. She showed up on time, was respectful, literate, and appropriate in every way with the children. She wore jeans and a blue cotton button-down top. Someone took a few photos. She went home.

At some point, someone figured out that 23-year-old Marina Hantzis is better known as Sasha Grey. (That links to Wikipedia, by the way. Totally SFW. Sasha's own website, is also surprisingly SFW.)

So now you want to know. Who the hell is Sasha Grey?

Sasha Grey is a porn star. Or rather, she was a porn star. She's now retired and is moving on to other projects (a band, a book, mainstream film, etc.) In the last 5 years as a porn actress, however, she has been almost unbelievably prolific. She won a bunch of awards, apparently, and is famous in that profession. She also made an experimental film with Steven Soderbergh called The Girlfriend Experience, which sounds racy but really wasn't.

To no one's surprise, once the parents in that school heard that a real, live porn star had been in the room with their children, there was shock and outrage. The school started out by denying it. After all, no one named Sasha Grey was on the visitor list. Marina Hantzis, yes. Sasha Grey, no.

But then, of course, the truth came out the story was picked up by the media.

Comment threads erupted with shock, outrage, protest, anger, disgust, and offense -- mostly from parents.

They all wanted to know: how could a school allow a PERSON LIKE THAT interact with small children??

Personally, I don't get the outrage.

She wasn't there for career day.

She's a private citizen, who cares about her local school. She gave her time to show up and read. No one asked about her job or her AVN awards. She didn't even introduce herself using her stage name. But even if she had, if any of those kids knew her from her work, then whose fault is that? The school or the parents?

Those kids probably had no idea that she acts in porn. Hopefully they've never even HEARD of porn. But now, thanks to their parents getting their knickers in a twist, they are wondering why their school is all over the news. Parents are now having to explain why people are mad that this woman came to school to read to the kids. If the kids had never heard of porn before, they sure have now.

Here's my take as a parent: if Sasha Grey came to my daughter's class to read I would not mind IN THE LEAST. I would be glad that someone from the community came and spent time in the classroom. My daughter has no idea that porn exists. Of course I wouldn't choose porn acting as a profession for my children, but I don't think it's contagious on contact. Adult film acting is her job. There are probably lots of parents at my child's school who have jobs of which I disapprove. And I KNOW there are parents in this town who disapprove of MY job.

Once the kids went to bed, husband and I would have a hey day making porn-actress jokes over a glass of wine but that's an adult activity to be enjoyed out of the earshot of little ones. As long as our children remained innocent, what's the big deal?

 

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  • Amen sister. Sometimes I believe our children receive much more negative information and education from complaining parents. There is no reason whatsoever to be upset about this young lady appearing in the school. What she does outside of that setting is her business only. And those 1st and 3rd graders would have only known that she was a nice lady reading to them. What would they ever begin to understand about porn anyway?!? Shame on the parents.

  • In reply to Teppi Jacobsen:

    I get it that children and sex work shouldn't mix but how would these children even know about her job unless someone (an adult) told them? Even if she is famous.

  • Couldn't disagree more. Allowing a porn actress into a school to deal with children legitimizes her career choice and is a signal to kids that being a porn actress is no big deal. Whether the kids knew about her career choice ahead of time is immaterial. It was bound to come out and once it did THAT is the message sent. But it isn't just the message sent to the kids that is the problem. It is also a message to the greater society that porn is a good thing. It is not. It is destructive in a multitude of ways.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    So what you are saying is that this gal should not have done something good by reading to these children who are absolutely clueless, as well they should be, about pornography. Did these 6 and 7 year old kids need to be told what else she did for a living?? Could they even comprehend or need to?? NO. There was no reason for any "message to be sent". And what does one have to do with the other????? How does a person who happens to be reading to a classroom of children endorse porn??????

    And WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG with her wanting to do some good things?

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    How does it legitimize her career choice if the kids don't know who she is or what she does? Maybe my kids are abnormally sheltered? We don't watch TV around here so maybe I am under-estimating the degree to which the average kid is exposed to this type of thing.

    Also -- where do we draw the line with whose job is OK and whose isn't? Is it just sex workers that should be forbidden in schools? Or just famous porn stars?

    War and killing people is also destructive in a multitude of ways. But I would never tell a solider that he or she can't come to school to read to kids.

  • In reply to Christine Whitley:

    Not that soldiering and porn are the same because of course there is a much larger context in both of those occupations. My point was just that once you start excluding people based on their jobs, where do you stop? Especially when the children are clueless about the adult's life outside of school.

  • fb_avatar

    Here is a great comment by somewhat famous feminist Greta Christina on porn, which is along the same lines. I thought of it when reading the comment above:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/11/10/valuing-women-ignoring-them/

  • fb_avatar

    Porn destructive? Really? I guess people really do go blind from masturbating.

  • I'd say 80% of dudes between the age of 18 to 35 have seen Sasha Grey's "work." We are all grateful.

  • In reply to gwill:

    My husband is over 35 but when I told him I was writing about her, he said "who?"

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