Granted, nobody wants their 18 year old daughter having live sex on camera in exchange for $2000. But, honestly, is it that big a deal?
The news sources have landed on this loopy tale about Elizabeth Hawkenson, the ASU geology student, who appeared in a video for the porn Web site Backroom Casting Couch and allegedly lost her $33,000 ASU scholarship.
Well, first of all, the whole kerfuffle about the scholarship is a hoax. Apparently there was no irate alumnus who wrote to the board of regents insisting the scholarship be revoked. The video itself; however, does exist. Ms. Hawkenson, finding herself a few thousand dollars short of tuition, (and apparently a few cards short of a full deck), made the unwise decision to appear in a “reality porn” video about a young student who innocently ends up copulating for a promise of 5 grand that never materializes. The “reality” is that Ms. Hawkenson knew exactly what she was doing and chose to have sex on camera supposedly believing that the tape’s distribution would be limited to pay per view websites.
Okay, naivete is one thing. But let’s examine the idiocy of this young woman’s choices. First of all, no matter what part of Texas you’re from, you ought to know that sex videos go viral. And if not right away, 20 years later when you actually have a family, career or husband who might really be humiliated by them. Sex on camera, nude photos, and compromising voice-mail messages all fall into the category of idiotic mistakes that even a country rube just off the turnip truck shouldn’t make. Can you say “Dr. Laura?” But there’s an even more asinine choice that Ms. Hawkenson made and that one really baffles me. At one point in the video, she proudly displays her drivers license and ASU student ID card. I’m sorry. But that takes the cake for stupidity. I mean, if you’re gonna have sex with strangers for money, at least pretend you’re from U of A, or Oregon, or USC for that matter.
Now I actually get that people sometimes do foolish things when finances are waining. I, for one, remember a time, eons ago, when a starving actor in Chicago, posed nude for a high class shoe advertisement that turned out, luckily enough, to only expose the scaly skin of a pair of crocodile leather Jimmy Choo stilettos. I was fortunate. A lot of young women aren’t.
Ms. Hawkenson is quoted in several articles saying that her dorm life has become treacherous since the viral video hit the web. No kidding. It’s gotta be rough fielding all those late night “study” invitations she’s no doubt been receiving. But what did she expect? If you’re gonna have sex on camera, you need to realize that someone is going to see that. That’s the whole bloody point of it, you dodo. I mean, they’re not capturing the act on film in order to bury it in the backyard.
I’m glad Ms. Hawkenson didn’t lose her ASU scholarship on account of her poor choices. I can even argue that it’s partly her parents fault for not finding the cash to fund tuition. She did what she had to do to make some much needed dinero. If she’d founded an internet start-up, we’d all be praising her independence and entrepreneurial spirit.
But instead, she used her God given gifts to up her bottom line (if you’ll excuse the expression). And that, my friends, is considered a no-no in our culture. But perhaps we all ought to just drop the “holier than thou” attitude and look within to see how we may have contributed to this sad scene of juvenile delinquency
Maybe there aren’t enough legitimate work-study options at ASU. Maybe sky-rocketing tuition costs for out-of-staters need to be re-evaluated. Or maybe, we all need to step back and stop reveling in the juicy details of this poor woman’s misfortune and focus on earning a few extra bucks ourselves, so that by the time our kids need to pay tuition, we’ll actually be able to cover it. I mean, given the choice, wouldn’t you rather spend a few extra years with your nose to the grindstone, so that your poverty stricken youth don’t end up hocking their wares in today’s equivalent of the world’s oldest profession?