Priscila Magossi On: The right of the image in Adult
The New Camming Perspective (NCP) tries to look at things that are usually out of sight. An important issue I would like to bring up at this moment is the right of the image of the cam girl and the pornstar. The fact they are not well regarded/ well esteemed by the public even though this is not usually noticed. The dehumanization, when it happens, is clear: if a journalist gets a shot of an entrepreneur, and s/he does not like it, because it does not represent the image s/he wants to project, it is perfectly acceptable that s/he requests to have his photo removed or replaced. Not many questions will be raised. This request is accepted because the exec is seen by the journalist as someone and not as an object that the media man controls. Nevertheless, the same does not, usually, happen to a camgirl or a pornstar. Journalists or any other media producer are, in general, very comfortable about publishing any photo, even explicit content. What’s worse, many times they get angry and refuse to remove the published content when they are requested to. The passive-aggressive behaviour makes it clear that the person has already become an object for those who see them, only because her body is her work tool. Nevertheless, the service doesn’t include the objectification of the person who serves it, neither the right to decide for them. In these cases the lack of respect is such that the oppressor - usually a chauvinist man - tries to convince that it is the other way around. I would like to illustrate this with a personal story.
Although I am proud of my life story and the moments that made me who I am, I am ashamed of how many times my texts were taken out of context or my photos were collected and used for different purposes than they were meant for. To have this content removed has been a long struggle. For instance, after spending a lot of money and work I have been able to take down 550+ image and video results that were infringements published without my approval. Yet, new results from old scenes come up weekly· And there I go, trying to handle them again. The point here is that when this is questioned, many big players in the Camming Industry as a whole wash their hands and state:
- “but you were a camgirl!”
- “we can not remove it because it will affect the credibility of our magazine!”
- “what about if all camgirls started asking to take their content down only because they did not like the pics we chose for them?”
- “you will never be respected by the ‘sex workers’ if you keep hiding your past, think about it!”
- “all the doors in the business will be closed for you if you keep insisting on that!!!”
This is said as if it were a trial sentence and for them it seems to make sense that having been a camgirl means that (1) I lost my humanity for these people, (2) my intellectual capacity has been underestimated and they think I could be fooled into believing that my reputation depends on photographs someone else chose for me, (3) that their claims could make me scared.
This oppressive speech usually comes from those who have a lot to hide and ironically love to pretend they are the guardians of moral and ethics. They do that whenever they think that their victim is fragile. Let’s make a parallel with another case that is much more in evidence than mine:
Mia Khalifa and her place in the history of Porn
The name Mia Khalifa has recently been seen in the mainstream media because of a petition fom the removal of her pornvideos from internet servers. The story of this Lebanese young woman is one that teaches us all a lesson about choices in life.
After losing a lot of weight, Khalifa found herself in a turmoil of emotions, between insecurity and appreciation of her newly found image. At this moment, she joined the Porn Industry, recording exactly 6 videos for $12,000 only. The films still generate a lot of money for the producer, but due to the contract signed, she doesn't have the right to any royalties. What’s worse: Khalifa has no control over the use of her (naked) image.
Since then, Khalifa has taken up the role of advising all women who work in the Adult Industry not to be intimidated by men who employ high pressure tactics to make women sign abusive contracts or do things they are not comfortable with. Rather, she would suggest that they think of themselves with love, reflection and long term life because joining this Porn Industry might mean a complete loss of privacy. I do not have to say that for obvious reasons she is not very well regarded by the powerful ones in the scene.
Taking all of this into account: Our eyes can only read as much as we let them. When we acknowledge that people who are in power make the laws and they do not want to be in evidence, that girls are exposed for any single reason, such as wanting to have their content removed; which, in turn, forces them to threaten to take legal actions while the jet set entrepreneurs fly low.
For them, it might seem like a normal practice to expect others to receive the “monster vibe” while drinking champagne in a jacuzzi, but it is not. The things we think are natural are actually naturalized, which means that everyone learned how to share the same ideas about what is normal without reflecting about it.
At this moment, it is important to point out that many people are not all the people. New Camming Perspective (NCP) tries, exactly, to unite those who believe that camgirls and pornstars are people, that should be respected at the same level as any exec of this business. Such is the case of the WeCamGirls [Unique] Cam community; a place for models (and other professionals) expressing themselves freely, without any retaliation from the "big fishes" of this market segment. On the other hand, it is extremely important to expose this kind of issue ― when it happens ― because it is only due to public embarrassment that the ones who are committing abusive work practices will have the opportunity to reflect on their cruel acts, and thus, stop it. Otherwise, why would they change? If nobody complains about anything, how can they know their practices are disrespecting and hurting others?
One does not have to study all the books to feel that power is concentrated in the hands of few. However, we can learn many important lessons about the reasons why people act as they do, in books like The Prince from Machiavel, “the ends justify the means”, and between “fear or love”, if a ruler has to choose, it should be the first! What is very impressive, however, are those who are not in power but either falsely believe they are already or imagine one day they will get there. So, they have no problem perpetuating all of this violence. When we say violence we also mean non-physical forms, like manipulation, verbal humiliation, moral harassment, etc.
I am aware that many people face such a situation and cannot speak up. I would like to use my voice to refer to a kind of practice that is commonplace in the industry. It is not my intention to offend anyone, and, in fact, I appreciate the effort that has been made by so many to come up with catchy slogans about ethical practices and mental health.
The New Camming Perspective (NCP) is independent and one of its main roles, taking in account that independence allows us to do many things others might want but cannot, because they need to keep on paying their bills.
It is important to bring things like this up so that we can stimulate discussion and critical thought about the reality. As a result, new values that do not oppress can find their place in everyday life.