Lebanese porn enthusiasts were thrilled last week when Lebanese-born adult performer Mia Khalifa became the most searched for actress on the porn website, PornHub.

The news resulted in hysteria in the Lebanese internet sphere ranging from those shaming her, to praising her, to that one lame guy at your office using the opportunity to update his Facebook status. Khalifa's Twitter account was barraged with a variety of insults, silly jokes, and even a fair amount of death-threats (see below). But, she took it like a champ – no pun intended. Watching the same guy who probably spanks it to diaper-themed porn every night insult this woman and make jokes about beheading her is nauseating, to say the least.

(Photo via huffingtonpost.uk)

What was most interesting to watch was the staunch disapproval and criticism from many who wish to preserve “Lebanon's image.” Therein lies my problem, which image are we trying to preserve? Is the sex industry more shameful to you than bombs going off? Is it more shameful to you than people in poverty? Is it more appalling to you than the elderly with no medical care? This is yet another episode in Lebanon’s ongoing struggle with its identity. Is it more East or West? “Well, we’re Arab but kind of not, we’re like, cooler and have less sand and more bars and stuff, and we have sex!”

Last year, when Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun faced criticism for a topless photo-shoot she had participated in, most people jumped to her defense citing the importance of liberty and personal freedoms. Here’s the thing about personal freedoms: you don’t get to pick and choose what is acceptable and what is not. In 2014 alone, at least eight women died as a result of domestic violence; and most of the abuse that women are subjected to (particularly marital rape) is not even criminalized yet. So maybe it’s time to do some soul-searching, and ask yourself why an adult woman making a choice to do porn thousands of miles away poses a greater threat to your moral code than women around the country being raped and battered.

Here is a great tip for everybody who has a problem with what Khalifa has chosen to do: do not watch her videos.


But it is!

Go online, and proceed to open any of the billion websites out there that are not PornHub. If you don’t like porn, don’t watch it. If you don’t like civil marriage, don’t get one.

So once again, good job on losing sight of what’s important, Lebanon. When it comes time to protest the real things that affect everybody’s life on a daily basis, nobody is outraged; but a woman making a personal choice with her body is more disgusting to you than the array of problems we face every single day.

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