Lately, feminism seems to be everywhere, whether people are praising it or trying to squash it completely, it's out there. In light of misogynistic writer Roosh V cancelling his 'Return of the Kings' meet ups because they were 'no longer safe' (ie he is scared of being beaten up by girls who are bigger than him both intellectually and physically) I thought I would give my own input about what I believe feminism is/should be, but what it seems most feminists are telling me is wrong. This is not a lecture, this is not FACT this is my opinion and my belief.
Since the age of 18 (I am now 28) I have been in front of the camera, removing my clothes for money, for the largest part of those 10 years, I did porn. I am not ashamed, nor would I change this. But I have been told constantly and frequently that: I'm a whore, I'm too STUPID to do anything else, I'm lazy, I'm degrading myself, I have no self respect, I don't DESERVE love etc etc...
There are generally two types of people that force these views on to me. The first is men that I do not want to have sex with, because I do not wish to engage in intercourse with them, I am a whore. Of course. Makes perfect sense right?
The second is women who think what I do with my own body is degrading to other women.
Let me tell you a little something about porn and the women who do it. We all make our own decisions. I say who I want to work for and with, I decide my rate, I decide whether I want to work on a certain day. I decide what levels, for example 'Actually no, I don't want to do anal with him so I won't take that booking' 'Yes, my rate for that scene is (insert price here)' don't like it? Don't book me.
I call the shots, I do the work, I put that money into my bank account and then I use it to live my life, and let me tell you something else, it is NOT easy. Pornstars are some of the hardest working women I know. In 2014 I counted 76 days that I was home in the UK and of those days, only half were my days off.
So, as you can imagine, it really grinds my gears when girls who work in the adult industry are given a bad name and slut-shamed by other women. We don't go out on a Saturday night, get drunk and drop our underwear for everyone and anyone. We are regularly STD tested, under control, working professionals. The porn industry is one of the only industries IN THE WORLD where women are valued as equal to their male counterparts, and in some cases, valued more highly. We are generally paid more, you can't make the porn without us, there are female directors, agents, make up artists and performers.
We are equal to men in this industry, and if that isn't what feminism is supposed to be about then I give up. It's sad that a movement that is supposed to embrace women and strive for equality has turned into women slut-shaming and abusing other women for not fitting their very precise mould.
Last year I arrived for my interviews at the XBIZ convention in London, I was verbally abused and attacked by a feminist group outside the convention. They told me I was degrading women and myself by being involved in porn. These women, who are supposed to be striving for female equality and support other women, attacked an innocent female, on her own, going to work.
How is that feminism? Just because what you choose for your body is not what someone else chooses for theirs, doesn't make it wrong. After all, wasn't this movement started so that women could have the right to work and make choices for themselves? That's what I'm doing and what I will continue to do.
Follow Samantha Bentley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/THEBADBENTLEY