Belle Knox Duke Porn Star guest star on The View

The woman who goes publicly by Belle Knox, or the “Duke Porn Star,” has been through a lot. She’s been insulted, bullied, threatened, harassed, and concern-trolled, all on top of her original outing as an adult film star by the ultimate Mr. McDouche, Thomas Badgley, who thought it would be fun to get as many people as possible to verbally attack Knox by telling everyone at Duke what she does to pay her tuition. Now, Knox is being berated on television by people who are presumably adults while images of her adult films play on a loop in the background.

Belle Knox appeared on The View to talk about her decision (keyword: her) to enter the adult film industry in order to pay for the $60,000 per year tuition that Duke requires. Knox noted that “99% of families can’t afford $60,000 per year,” to which Walters immediately fired back, “But they don’t all support their daughters becoming porn stars, either.” Naturally, Barbara Walters asked why she didn’t do something…else. In the same intelligent, articulate way she explained her decision the first time–seriously, View people, do you read the Internet?–Knox told the hosts her reasoning.

“I’m 18 years old. I do not have a college degree. Any job I would’ve gotten simply would not have footed the bill for $60,000 a year.”

Oh, and for those of you assuming that working at, say, McDonald’s may have offered her “more dignity” and would have still paid for those tuition bills, minimum wage in North Carolina is 7.25 per hour. If she worked 40 hours a week 52 weeks per year, she would still only make $15,080…before taxes and living expenses. Considering Knox says she’s made 25 to 30 porn films for between $1000 to $1500 per movie, the amount she’s made so far from her chosen career could be anywhere from $25K to $45K.

Jenny McCarthy (who appeared in Playboy, BTW) then started asking how Knox could have started out as a “sweet, little, innocent girl,” as though she somehow knew her as a child.

“What happened that made you turn to porn? Was it an incident? Was it a thought? [Did] somebody refer you?”

Knox explained that she started watching it at age 12, as many adolescents do. Shocked, Barbara Walters literally asked, “Alone or with your parents?” which is so funny, ha-ha, because (A) child abuse is hi-larious and (B) if she watched porn at that age, it must have been shown to her by adults. You know, because children don’t use the Internet and can’t stumble across adult websites (yours truly also started exploring porn sites around that age and I assure you, nobody knew because I learned how to clear the history long before they would’ve found out).

Just that little question exemplifies the antiquated attitudes so many people have toward women who have sex for money. The savior complex (as our resident sex worker Cathryn has explained eloquently so many times) may have some underlying good intentions, but ultimately, all it does is increase the stigma surrounding women, sex and sex work. We would never hear these type of interview questions for somebody like James Deen, would we?

Anyway, Whoopi Goldberg at least asked one appropriate question regarding why Knox feels empowered, to which she responded:

“I’d like to first clarify that the idea of empowerment and degradation is completely subjective. And for me, I feel that, in this backdrop of our society where women are so often robbed of their sexual autonomy and are subjected to sexual violence in this backdrop of misogyny against women, it’s incredibly freeing and liberating to have that choice, to make decisions about my own body. And in porn, I’m in a safe, controlled environment where I set the boundaries, I set the rules.”

And there’s your reminder of why she got into Duke.

Walters gets real obnoxious once more by asking Knox if she plans on doing anything else with her life after college, to which Knox says she’ll continuing pursuing her porn career as well as becoming a civil rights lawyer for women. Sherri Shepherd then epitomizes the patronizing pseudo-feminist by claiming her “heart breaks,” but nobody’s listening at that point because Knox is somehow more intellectually stimulating than Shepherd or anybody else at the table.

Nothing needs to “happen to you” to make you want to do porn. You can have other goals, but you can also have porn as your entire goal. It’s totally up to you. Some people like being naked. Some people like having sex. Some people like being naked and having sex on camera. Is it really that hard to believe? Apparently, it is for The View, and I’m so disappointed that they would bother having such an intelligent young woman on their show only to berate and condescend her further.

Here, have a look:

[H/T Gawker]