“I believe in a girl being fitted to earn her own living whether she ever has to or not” – Anne of Green Gables

The wisdom of nineteenth-century feminists has been lost on young women.  In the latest round of news articles about women selling their bodies to pay for their educations, a young Duke woman with the nom de plume “Lauren” describes her life as a star of the adult films. (Hat tip.)

Once upon a time, parents sent their daughters off to school so that they could support themselves if the need arose. (Of course, many women were sent to ‘finishing school’ of sorts, but presumably, a widow armed with a B.A. was better off than an uneducated widow.)  We have now gotten to the point at which the best way to ensure that your daughter has to sell her body for money is to give her an advanced education at a fancy school.

Contemplate that for a while.

Discussions about the ‘autonomy’ of p-rn stars or the ‘culture’ of elite universities fail to address the underlying issue: the cost of college is so absurdly high that many brilliant women get into p-rnography, formerly a profession of last resort for desperate women with no skills, in order to pay their bills. Financial aid doesn’t obviate the problem: low-interest loans have to be paid back, and there is often a substantial difference between what a college thinks a family can pay and what that family can pay.  When the sticker price of college is lower, these issues matter less.

So congratulations are owed to elite universities, the federal government, and well-meaning public intellectuals: you’ve turned a system that kept women from selling their bodies to one that forces women to sell their bodies, then labeled it “feminism” and “career advancement.” That’s one impressive con job.

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