Whore Next Door: Not Up For Debate

Let's Eat Michael Weinstein for Breakfast.

(Photograph by Isabel Dresler/Isabeldresler.com)

The very first time I was tasked with participating in a debate was in the fifth grade.

Our beloved teacher, Mrs. Whitcomb, was out of town for the week and a student-teacher with strawberry-blond hair was there in her stead. This poor girl thought it might be a good idea to teach the class about the art of the impartial debate. So during our afternoon social studies lesson about the Bacon Rebellion, she divided the class down the middle.

One team was tasked with arguing in favor of the White settler who led a vigilante army in an illegal massacre of Native peoples, and the other side was tasked with arguing against the man whom history books have called “America’s first rebel.” I was assigned to the pro-Bacon side, and I wasn’t pleased with that. I was raised by a Native rights activist: To this day, my mother is heavily involved in Modoc politics and the preservation of our tribe’s traditions. Even as a fifth grader, I simply did not have it in me to advocate for the slaughter of my ancestors — not even for a class exercise.

So I didn’t. During the time we were supposed to be prepping our side, I spoke to the dozen other kids in my group and convinced them that arguing in favor of Nathaniel Bacon was something we simply could not do. I made a compelling case, but I think my classmates were mostly swayed to join the resistance by the thought of tormenting our substitute teacher.

The debate began, but instead of a civil and balanced exchange of opposing ideas, the students on my team began protesting that Bacon was being portrayed as anything less than a criminal. “Let’s eat Bacon for breakfast!” chanted my classmate, Jeff, echoing the sign he had made with a pencil and a sheet of torn-out notebook paper. Within five minutes, the student-teacher was in tears, and I felt I had made my point.

Debates have recently re-entered my life in a big way. Just as Secretary Hillary Clinton rounded out her final debate with the buffoonish Republican nominee, I was heading to my second round of public radio debates with representatives from the Yes on Prop. 60 campaign. Proposition 60, if passed, would allow any California resident to sue me and gain access to my legal name and home address for not using a condom in the films I appear in. Prop. 60 has the potential to devastate so many workers in my industry, which is why I’ve spent the past year working around the clock to ensure that it doesn’t pass.

While I do everything I can to stay calm and collected during these radio rumbles, sometimes when I speak to the Yes on 60 representatives, I just want to scream.

It’s not just that the men behind Prop. 60 aren’t performers, producers, or public health officials. It’s not just that they have no actual stake in the adult industry, have never consulted with the performers who will be affected, and continue to flat-out lie to the press and to voters. At the end of the day, what truly enrages me is that these men have decided they have the right to make decisions about what I do with my vagina. It fundamentally doesn’t concern them, and letting them weigh in is an insult.

On Oct. 17, in front of the the offices of Michael Weinstein, Prop. 60’s sole proponent, I found myself bellowing into a megaphone to a crowd of nearly 250 adult performers and their allies, who had gathered in the heat of the noon sun, holding signs reading, “Women against Weinstein,” and “Prop. 60: Against Our Will.”

“Call me old-fashioned,” I said, yelling up toward Weinstein’s high-rise office, “but my mother always taught me that no one — least of all a man — could tell me what to do with my body. Maybe Michael Weinstein needs to have a talk with my mother!”

Mr. Weinstein never did emerge from his tower to speak with us about the dangerous and widely opposed ballot initiative, but the protest did make local, state, and national headlines. I think we made our point.

I may never master the art of the impartial debate — I simply care too much, and I’m OK with that. Come Nov. 8, I have every confidence that we will eat Weinstein for breakfast.

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