Yesterday, several online publications (including The Mail Online, The Express, and The Star) posted articles about how Jeremy Corbyn, a British politician and the leader of the Labour Party in the UK, posed for a selfie with a young woman named Misha Mayfair. Their articles were not about how he connects with people. Their articles were not about how he fights for women’s rights (he does).

What was the big deal about this photo then?

It was the fact that Misha Mayfair is a softcore porn star, known for her film, Gagged Girls, among other works in which she appears nude and in various sexual situation. The articles suggested that he must not have known who she was (because what politician in his right mind would be seen a porn star? OMG).

Misha Mayfair went to The Independent to express her feelings over how the various media outlets handled the selfie (which they discovered on her Twitter account).

Misha Mayfair said,

I am Misha Mayfair; I am an adult actress; and I have the same right to engage in politics as anybody else.

The sad thing is that she even needs to say this. It shouldn’t matter who you are – an actor or musician (and in the past year I’ve heard/seen plenty of people saying that actors need to stay out of politics, especially in the US), a porn star, a cam girl, or just someone on the street – we all have a right to express an opinion about the political leaders of our country.

Mayfair remembered Corbyn saying that he was in favor of decriminalizing sex work when he spoke at Goldsmiths University in London. When she ran into him at Whittington Hospital, she simply wanted to thank him for saying that.

When the media makes a big deal out of people who work in the sex industry, like Misha Mayfair, having anything to do with politics, it gives the public the idea that these people (and they really are just people like you or me) are no more than their sex scenes or their body parts. It reinforces the idea that sex workers don’t have minds with which to think, to have opinions, to have conversations with. And that’s a problem.

Misha ended her interview with The Independent by saying,

I can’t help but think that if we could change the narrative in the press, humanize sex workers and a give sex workers a voice as opposed to running ‘shock’ factor or moralistic stories then we may come closer to getting the much needed safety and equal rights for one of the most marginalised groups in our country.