I’ll start by saying their names: Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery. These are just a few of those who have lost their lives unjustly and far too early due to the relentless police brutality that POC face in this country. Their wrongful deaths will always be painful, but their spirits will be remembered for igniting change.
I’ve spent the past week+, like many of us, absorbing everything going on all over the world through my phone. I’ve spent days protesting, days trying to find ways to raise money from home, and days where I feel scared and a bit helpless. That being said, as an ally, I can’t even fathom how traumatic and difficult it would be to experience these times as a POC.
One thing I do know is that the road to change for marginalized people in America is an extremely lengthy process, and those who exercise privilege here need to be ready for the long haul. We need to stay strong and keep fighting for the people who have been forced to bear it alone for so long.
In recent days, as the curtains are pulled back, and racist people and businesses are called out all over the country, there is another very important wave of action rumbling solely in the porn industry. People are calling out sexual predators, abusers, and companies who have managed to manipulate the inner politics of the porn industry, and hide their abusive behaviors for decades. I don’t intend to take any of the energy away or focus away from the BLM movement right now, and we have to keep pushing full speed ahead on that front. But at the same time, we, especially those of us who actually work in porn, cannot allow our peers to be harmed or silenced any longer.
I have worked in this industry for almost 9 years now. Overall, I have seldom seen an abuser be held fully and appropriately accountable for their abusive actions — whether it be an acute incident, or a chronic offender. I have seen countless women be pressured or forced into keeping their experiences secret. I have seen countless women be exiled when they came forward about experiences. I myself have endured threats, manipulation, along with extensive emotional and verbal abuse from different companies and colleagues. Not to mention, I have experienced abuse outside of work from strangers and loved ones, due to judgement just for working in this industry.
Still, I don’t think of myself as a victim. This is our sad status quo. I say that because I’ve had it “easy” when my experiences are compared to what I’ve witnessed others go through.
I have never been sexually assaulted on set, or by a coworker, as far as I can recall. However; the majority of females I know in this industry cannot say the same.
I’m nowhere near perfect. There are times I obviously could have made better, different choices. Of course there are countless times where I have exercised privilege, being a white-passing person. But I can say I have always tried my best when it comes to sticking up for those who have had it tougher, or even just different than me, in porn. That’s because no matter what, I know at some point it will get really fucking hard — even if you currently “have it good” in the adult industry. I cannot help but feel empathy and compassion for what we all go through.
I don’t intend to call out any one person or company, or recall any specific experience here. I simply ask you ALL to take a look in the mirror and think about how you treat the people who are in this with us. Stop competing with one another and buying into the rat race. Have compassion for each other, in person and from behind your screens. Stand up for those who have had a bad experience. Help them stick around. Believe women. Stop employing and befriending abusers in our workplace. Remember that only we can end the perpetuation of racism and abuse in porn.
I hope you are all able to find peace and safety! Much love.
~ Nikki Hearts // DykedDown