Steven Spielberg’s 23-year-old adopted daughter, Mikaela, has announced to the world that she wants to be a porn star — or more euphemistically, “an adult entertainer.”
In an interview with The Sun, Mikaela recounted her sad history of sexual abuse, and long periods away from her family at a boarding school, where she says also suffered from anorexia, borderline personality disorder, alcoholism and depression from the age of eleven.
Now she lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her 47-year old fiance, and feels she has made a therapeutic breakthrough. While working towards her erotic dancer license — yes, apparently you need a license for this — she has uploaded (and deleted) videos of herself on the largest pornography site in the world. Her aim is to become financially independent from her wealthy parents who were apparently “supportive,” “intrigued,” and “not upset” when she broke the news to them on FaceTime. She hopes that once her parents see how far she’s come, they will say “we raised a self-assured young lady.”
Explaining how she arrived at her unusual career decision, Mikaela said: “I got really tired of not being able to capitalize on my body…Frankly, I got really tired of being told to hate my body…and I also just got tired of working day to day in a way that wasn’t satisfying my soul.”
There can be no doubt that young Mikaela’s soul yearns greatly to be satisfied. Yet no one seems willing or able, not even her parents, to say out loud, in public, what any sane person would have said even a few years ago — this is bad for Mikaela.
I asked Laila Mickelwait, the director of abolition for Exodus Cry, and one of the leading feminists trying to shut down Big Porn, why young women like Mikaela would think about pornography as something “empowering,” as something which could satisfy the soul.
Mickelwait commented that “even though she is a young woman who probably has immeasurable resources at her fingertips, she has grown up as most women today do — immersed in a porn culture — a culture that has taught her from birth that the only way to be visible, validated and valued in society is to be a sex object for male consumption.” Pornography has become so ubiquitous, so part of the daily gaze of millions of children, that it’s become normalized and regularized. “Sadly, Mikaela is merely acting out the role that our pornofied society has scripted for her.”
The porn industry has created a culture which habitually deceives. It has made something degrading and sold it as something liberating, empowering, even “soul-satisfying” in exchange for huge profits. It’s a devil’s trick to dress up enslavement as liberation. “Unfortunately,” Mickelwait added, “many women today have taken the bait and have been deceived into believing the lie.”
In her interview with The Sun, Mikaela recounted her body image problems as a source of deep pain, and her decision to enter porn as a way of healing. But the truth is that she is entering the heart of the very toxic porn culture that contributed to a widespread culture of sexual abuse and formed her own distorted ways of seeing herself. Mickelwait said that a porn culture teaches young women to use their “bodies, and sexuality to achieve a sense of empowerment, validation, and social status.” Even if a young woman doesn’t enter the porn industry like Mikaela Spielberg, Mickelwait added that the “message is clear to young girls that the way for them to be valued, visible and empowered in a porn informed culture is to self-objectify and exploit their own sexuality.”
We should not support this. Obscenity laws which could drive pornography underground are wrongly neglected, while our daughters see themselves in a house of perverted mirrors. We can do better.
We need millions of fathers who feel something truly paternal within themselves to stand up for Mikaela. Her soul longs for — and deserves —something so much greater than selling pornographic images of herself for money. If we will not fight for her, if we will not work to abolish the porn culture, in Hollywood and in Washington, then we do the devil’s trickery for him, and enslave the souls of our children.