Alia Janine: The Porn Star Charity Taboo; “Not all adult industry people are scummy”

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Alia Janine writes on www.aliajanine.com – The English word charity comes from the Old French word “charité” which is from the Latin word “Caritas“. Of course, leave it to the Christians to take the original meaning of caritas: preciousness, dearness, high price, and change it to the Greek translation of the word agapé, which means unlimited love and kindness to all others.

If you are giving charity as a religious act or duty, it is called almsgiving or alms for short. That name comes from the purest meaning of charity, giving things to help others survivor. Catholic’s know a lot about alms, don’t we? *sigh*

Anyway, according to Black Law’s Dictionary (6th ed. West 1990) there are three different kinds of charity: pure, public, and foreign. Pure charity is entirely gratuitous. Public charity is a charity that benefits the whole rather than the individual. Foreign charity is when the beneficiary lives in a country different from where the funds or services are being sent from.

With that being said, why is there a such a taboo with porn stars and other adult film industry members that do charitable things? Why do we get looked down on, mocked and criticized, and sometimes even turned away?

Unless, of course, it has to do with animals or AIDS, then it is totally acceptable for some reason. Asking questions like this will only give me the standard answers as to why a porn star and/or industry member is looked down on for anything- because we work in porn. Plan and simple.

At the same time though, if the basic meaning of charity is giving something to others to help them survive, wouldn’t people look past the “porn job?” Wouldn’t a person just see it as one person helping another? One would like to believe.

Everybody knows of at least one mainstream celebrity that does some sort of charitable work. Sometimes it seems like it is almost a contest as to which celebrity can give and do more. Hell, Angelina Jolie started a tread of adopting babies from Third World Countries.

There are a few ways the general public (aka me) looks at a celebrity when they do charitable work; 1) bat shit crazy, 2) trying to gain attention, 3) sees the person using their “star power” to genuinely others and spread awareness, and 4) the celebrity uses their “star power” and acts like their going to help others, and then runs off with donations. The latter happens a lot when it comes to the crazy religious believers, but regular Jo’s have been known to fake illnesses and other scams to acquire things from a spot on Oprah to good old fashioned money.

Porn stars being the bastard cousin’s of mainstream celebrities, I do not see it as being any different. The only real difference is “star power.”

An actress like Angelina Jolie is a household name if she is going to be holding a fundraiser God will know about it. When most porn stars try to do something it takes a lot more work, and I’m fairly certain God did not get the invite. Otherwise we have 1) bat shit crazy people that try to raise money for their radical, and off the wall Christian beliefs, 2) people using national tragedies to promote their movies or help individual friends, 3) people that hold legitimate events such as Vice is Nice, and 4) even a scammer that faked having cancer. As odd as it may seem to some, porn stars are no different from anybody else. We have the good and the evil just like anybody else. Of course, I could say that until I’m blue in the face and only a small percentage of people would agree.

Being in the Adult Film Industry I have learned quite a bit, and one of the main things I have learned is that the general public does not trust us. Heck, they don’t even want to admit that we are here, but at the same time, they cannot live without us.

If a porn star wants to break into anything other than porn, people will judge us. So, when a porn star wants to reach out to their community to help in a time of need, most people will mock, criticize, and look the other way.

I think people tend to shun porn star charities for 4 reasons: 1) the obvious, because we’re in porn, 2) we’re trying to get mainstream attention, 3) we’re trying to scam people, and 4) because they are pissed off a porn star is doing more to help then they are. Face it fellow pornographers, we are the scum of the earth, a circus act, a joke to most people.

There are ways to work around the stereotype’s, and actually break through them though. Strip clubs and their “toys of tots” drives are a perfect example of breaking through. In the beginning, many strip clubs were criticized, and some, their donations were even turned away simply because they came from a strip club.

The general public thinks it is inappropriate for anyone working in the adult industry to do any type of charity work because our work involves sex. I think the best way to work around the stereotypes and break through completely is to be sincere and consistent.

Nothing shows sincerity more than consistency. Once the strippers united, because most of them have children of their own and were offended, the general public came to their senses and realized that the children are not going to know their toys came from Bunny and Diamond at the local boobie bar. Sometimes people need to be shown the bigger picture, realize that not all adult industry people are scummy and that every little bit from everyone helps in the end.

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