Carter Cruise On Industries Like Wrestling And Adult Film Needing More Women In Charge, Mainstream Media Ignoring #SpeakingOut
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Kenny Herzog recently spoke with adult-film star and feminist advocate Carter Cruise about the #SpeakingOut movement and how she’s working with her peers to try and create real change within their industry. The conversation involves putting protective measures in place to protect women from harassment and abuse, but could potentially be a model for how the professional wrestling industry could police itself.
Cruise commented on niche performers like in professional wrestling sharing their own accounts of abuse on social media through the #SpeakingOut movement, explaining that real change won’t happen on social media. She went on to mainstream media’s lack of attention given to the movement related to wrestling, and says change can start by having more women in authority positions in these respective industries.
“They just think people don’t care. With the adult industry, there’s stigma that porn stars are sex workers and can’t be raped because they gave their consent when they went to set, so anything that happened there, they should have expected it. Obviously that’s not something that applies in the wrestling world, but it is a niche thing. If it’s Taylor Swift, everyone knows who that is. That’s big news. There’s actually been a decent amount of places — and you’ve been one of them — who’ve written about the porn industry’s MeToo movement, and with that, people don’t care about as much because of the stigma, but a lot of people know porn stars, and porn has this kind of a lore. So I actually saw more articles dissecting the MeToo movement of the porn industry than I was able to find in wrestling, and I think that might be partially due to them just thinking It’s not going to get clicks. When you say ‘Oh, this porn star accused someone,’ it’s clickbait. But when you say, Oh, this female wrestler,’ maybe that’s not going to get the same amount of clicks.”
“Part of fixing these problems is to get more women in charge. Not that women are infallible. There are plenty of women who have helped men basically abuse women and have turned a blind eye cause they want to keep their spot. But I think just in general, when you have any kind of industry where it’s male-dominated and a lot of the positions of power are held strictly by men, then you’re going to have a lot of problems because women don’t feel like they have someone to go to. So maybe social media is really their only way to go. If there’s more women in power, then there’s more people to go to, to talk about this, to facilitate. One thing in the porn industry I noticed was just having a female on set — either as a director or just someone who’s in a position of power — always makes me feel so much more comfortable. I don’t know the full structure of the wrestling industry, but the basic stuff that I see is that a lot of men run it. So they’re creating that culture and there’s no one there to check them to say, ‘This is toxic, this is not okay.’ And so it just continues and you’re unable to stop at a certain point.”
Cruise believes wrestling promoters can create accountability for their performers by setting up some kind of impartial governing body, pointing out the current problems with how things are done in the adult entertainment industry. She believes another critical part of solving this problem is men coming out as vocal allies for women, and people that have privilege in their industry using it to speak up for those that need it.
“It’s so important. It’s just like for white people to speak up for black people. If you have that privilege in your industry, then you need to be involved and speaking up and supporting the people who are coming forward about this stuff. Without that, you know, it’s very easy for everyone to write it off. Once men start coming forward and saying, ‘This is wrong and we need to do something about this,’ then they’re going to get all their fans on board with that, and it will make so much more of a difference. When you have women coming forward, it was very easy for people to write it off and say, ‘Well, she’s just making this accusation cause they had a fight.’ And then, when other women support her, it’s like, ‘Oh, well, you know, they’re just wanting to jump on the bandwagon.’ Having those male voices, especially superstars that everyone in the industry respects, there’s no way that it’s going to harm their career. Those people are so important because all the women are terrified that they could lose their careers. Those men that have that privilege where they’re almost untouchable are one of the most important pieces of making real change.”
Check out the full show below: