Teddy Hall JCR has scratched dedicated mother and successful entrepreneur Jenna Jameson from its honorary membership.

JCR President, Edward Benson, proposed a motion to rid the JCR of ‘Queen of Porn’ Jameson. He believes she was only added for misogynistic banter. The motion passed in a tense JCR meeting, despite criticism that binning the former-porn star showed a bad attitude to the sex industry.

Benson told VERSA his reasons, saying: “She was made an honorary member by a group of boorish students who thought it would be funny to have a pornstar as a member.” There were concerns that the star was there for the sake of a few ‘lads’ who wanted her on the list.

He added: “The attitude of the student body has radically changed since those days and we felt it was appropriate to see if the JCR wanted to keep as an honorary member someone who was clearly put in for the wrong reasons.”

The motion stated: “We are not in the business of promoting an industry that is often (if not always) demeaning to women. [Jameson’s] presence on the JCR website as an honorary fellow may deter potential applicants, who might feel that Teddy Hall has not yet shaken off its unpleasant reputation”.

The motion was met with disgust by JCR member Paigan Aspinall, who expressed objections to what she described in a Cuntry Living post as “whoreshaming”. “I thought the original motion was really problematic,” she said. “It stated that we should remove Jameson because it reflected badly on our College and that we didn’t want to be associated with the porn industry.” Following these objections, she proposed an amendment to keep Jameson in the JCR but make some changes. Her picture and description would be changed to highlight her positive contributions to charity and to safety for sex workers.

Paigan told VERSA about the fraught atmosphere of the meeting, saying: “The attitude in the room was really torn; some people raised some really good points about remembering our past mistakes and reclaiming them, but there was also a lot of negativity. When I spoke about Jameson’s past life –  she was raped twice before the age of 17 – and what she had gone on to do, I was met with giggles and sarcastic comments”.

Although the amendment was taken as friendly, a second amendment was shortly proposed to return to the original removal of Jameson. This amendment did emphasise this was because of the misogynistic reasons for her inclusion and not the JCR’s trying to disassociate itself with sex workers. The amendment passed. Deciding between removing the former-porn star or keeping her with a changed picture and description, the JCR chose by a narrow majority to have her removed.

After the outcome Paigan told VERSA, “It was a pretty upsetting meeting, really, and there are so many things which our College should be more bothered about being associated with, like the Syndicate: a male drinking society which annually hosts an event called ‘In Bed with the Syndicate’ and invites the ‘hottest’ fresher girls.”

JCR President Benson, however, said this was “about undoing an embarrassing piece of Teddy Hall history” because students felt “merely changing her description would not sufficiently remove this legacy of misogyny”.

There are plans to add a similar figure to the honorary members, after concerns that the motion sent out a negative message about sex workers.

The reaction has been mixed in other colleges, “I understand their reasons for breaking ties with her, but to be honest she’s a very impressive woman who I would love to have as an honorary member of my JCR!” said Pembroke student Alex Trafford.

Jameson definitely doesn’t need Teddy Hall’s approval to know she’s a role model…

 

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