Adult entertainment performers—like most sex workers—aren’t particularly well-respected by society. And though the general public is now more familiar than ever with the porn world thanks to increased media exposure, it continues to be reduced to clichés. Female porn performers are still being identified as either the ultimate sex-positive empowered women or helpless victims. Can these labels be shirked?
Australian porn star Angela White is working toward finding nuance in women’s sexual expression, sans labels. The 32-year-old argues for the rise of a new type: an academic freedom fighter who understands the patriarchy and so refuses to claim she’s a hundred-percent empowered but also refuses to see herself as a victim.
White certainly fits the mold. She glides with confidence in front of and behind the camera, performing in scenes and running her own company with a hands-on approach, directing and editing her own content, running her own website, and securing a DVD distribution deal for her films.
It was her experience in porn that motivated White to enroll at the University of Melbourne, where she graduated with honors (and the U.S. equivalent of a master’s degree).