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Julie Meadows was a guest on James Bartholet’s show Wednesday night. Meadows, a former performer and now a blogger and activist, attended the meeting in Sacramento on AB 332 this week and offered her perspective.
“I felt really positive about being there and meeting people,” said Meadows.
“I felt really positive about making my presence known and putting a human face on the industry; that was really good, but I was really disappointed. It felt like a done deal and everyone knew what they were going to do.”
[I’m not speaking for Meadows, buy why would they? Free Speech no longer has validation as a lobbying group in the state, so The Clampetts and The Cosbys would stand a better chance of getting their gripes aired.]
Bartholet pointed out that Meadows who left the business in 2004 is still very active in its politics.
“It’s one thing to read about this stuff then it’s another thing altogether to be in the same room with a bunch of people who want to see a condom mandate,” says Meadows.
“It was really bizarre. What was really interesting was how assembly member Isadore Hall- he’s co-author of the bill- I don’t know it was really weird…”
“He seems to have Michael Weinstein in his back pocket,” Bartholet chimed in.
“Everyone that spoke for AB 332 was AHF,” said Meadows.
“Isadore Hall was sitting right next to Alana Evans who’s been a performer in this industry for 15 years, speaking her mind, saying exactly what she thinks of a condom mandate, and he looked like he was having a seizure; he’s having such a physical reaction. His head was bobbing all over the place. His body was writhing. He was just so overemotional.”
Meadows couldn’t speculate if Hall is anti-porn, but his reactions she said were very much what you would expect from Shelly Lubben.
“After we left the microphone he gave another really long speech. It felt like 20 minutes and he called for the committee members to put their courage vests on. I don’t know what you make of that. It was kind of embarrassing and didn’t seem necessary. It seemed so over the top.”
Bartholet’s of the opinion, as I, that the industry needs to start buying off politicians.
“Politics in general is very crooked. If we did some lobbying, if we put some money in Garcetti running for mayor, then maybe we’ll get something in our favor.”
“Maybe that’s what it takes,” Meadows conceded.
“You can’t convince me that AIDS Healthcare Foundation cares about performers. It’s obvious,” Meadows added.
Meadows said the industry is being treated like children. [That’s because they behave like children.]
Meadows describes a video that’s been done in which the industry speaks out against 332. “It’s also on my website.”
“It’s a group of people representing the mainstream adult industry saying that nobody speaks for us.”
Bartholet added, “We need solidarity more than ever before.”
“But when you were an active performer we didn’t have these problems, did we?”
“It’s not the boom years any more,” Meadows answered.
“In the boom years everyone was happy. Everybody when the money was flowing and everybody was doing well. Nobody made the time to be insidious, attacking every one. You were happy.”
Meadows said she worked pretty much when she wanted to and had a good time.
Meadows noted that the industry was given a chance to speak at the Sacramento meeting.
“There were only so many of us and we actually took the video, hoping that we could play it.”
“It was kind of they could care less what you were saying?” Bartholet asked.
“You could have been reading excerpts from The Great Gatsby. They could care less, right? Did you get that feeling?”
Meadows felt that when the first meeting scheduled for March was postponed to this week, she wouldn’t be surprised that some people “got worked over a little bit.”
“It’s the only bill that assembly member Isadore Hall is working on this year. It’s kind of a sad ordeal.”
Asked of the industry stood a chance, Meadows replied, “Of course I’m going to say yes. Of course I am. We’ve got to constantly evolve our arguments and really speak to the common sense points. Of course I do. I think so. No matter how dismal how it may seem, if you continue to speak you conscience…obviously AHF has money to pay people to speak for them.”
Bartholet found it odd that money raised for AIDS Research is being used to fight the adult business.
“Michael Weinsten made a statement not too long ago condemning finding a cure for HIV,” stated Meadows. “This is widely known at this point and fully documented.”
“So this guy is really evil incarnate,” said Bartholet.
“I don’t know who he cares about…,” said Meadows.
“He cares about himself,” Bartholet replied.
According to Meadows there’s a valid fear of taking testing which is the first line of defense, condoms being the second, and flipping them around where condoms are the first line.
“I always say this,” said Bartholet, “Test the kids who go to the niteclubs and the bars. I will guarantee you they’re having unprotected sex.”
Meadows went further to say that people who have multiple partners need to get tested. In her day Meadows said she worked with and without condoms depending on the company.
“I worked for companies that gave the option. I worked for companies that didn’t want to use condoms at all. I worked for companies that were condom-only.”
Bartholet’s heard from young girls that working with condoms dries their pussies out.
“They’re uncomfortable,” says Meadows.
“Nina Hartley is an intelligent woman who’s been in the industry for decades. She doesn’t want to use condoms. They rip, they tear, they cause lesions, they come off.”
Meadows said the upside of the argument is that people are getting a clearer idea that the adult industry “Isn’t a bunch of crazy people who have random, unprotected sex with the general population; it’s really a model for safe sex practices.”
Meadows said she can’t speak to the argument that condoms are prohibitive to sales.
Bartholet wondered if AB 332 was going to cause runaway production.
“Oh yeah,” said Meadows. “I think it has already. Those types of stories are already coming out- people shooting elsewhere, shooting outside of LA County.”
Bartholet wondered if the price of the movies might go up. Meadows didn’t know because she’s not on the business side.
“It’s divide and conquer- it’s kind of turning out that way,” she said.