Dissing and Death Threats

Many people who make their living in the sex industry are met with resistance from family and friends. In time, most of that resistance dies down in favor of respecting others enough to let them make their own decisions. Sadly though, that's not what happened to porn actress and director Mia Khalifa. After becoming the number one rated porn star on PornHub, a go-to adult content site, Khalifa received intense criticism that even included death threats. Yes, death threats for pornography.

The Background of Mia Khalifa and Her Controversial Porn Choices

See, Mia Khalifa isn't just a porn actress. For some people who support the oppression and sexual repression of women, being a porn actress might be bad enough. However, the dark skinned, exotic looking Khalifa has gone a few steps further by shooting pornographic scenes while wearing (nothing except in some cases) a hijab. A hijab is a traditional headscarf that is worn by Muslim women as an expression of modesty. I guess some people haven't heard of Internet Rule 34: if it exists, there's porn of it. Because of its religious and social implications, some would argue that hijabs and blow jobs don't mix.

Mia Khalifa was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved to the United States just before her 10th birthday. Her upbringing was Catholic, but she no longer practices. Still, Khalifa has received criticism that she is embarrassing her country of origin, shaming her family, and even insulting the Muslim faith (even though she has never practiced it). The vitriol aimed at Khalifa due to her current choice of profession is as confounding as it is unpleasant. Her success in the industry has spurred international debate on everything from the role of working women to pornography to the easy availability of sexual images on the Internet.

Much of Khalifa's family lives and thrives in America. This assimilation included alignment with the views of the US Republican Party. So, it's not all that surprising that her work in porn is frowned upon. For some, "family values" includes pretending to be appalled by the activities that actually create children and grow families.

Sadly, this translates to Khalifa being shunned by her immediate and extended family. Khalifa describes her parents as "extremely strict…and very conservative." With specific regard to her career in porn, Khalifa told Newsweek, "…it's not something that's going to be forgiven." Having her porn star status paraded over Lebanese media was not something Khalifa was looking for. She has said that she feels incredibly guilty for "dragging their name through the mud." It should be noted that "Mia Khalifa" is not her real name.

Khalifa's Pornographic Debut and Her Reign as Queen of Pornhub

Khalifa got her start in porn in a way that most people only dream about. While working a low paying fast food gig, a customer noticed her and asked if she'd ever consider being in a pornographic film. It wasn't just a pick up line. It took her less than a year to unseat 42 year old Lisa Ann as PornHub's top draw.

These days, roughly a quarter of twenty-something adults live with their parents. Khlaifa's career in porn has allowed her to afford her own place and to live comfortably. Sounds impressive, but there are still plenty of people telling Mia Khalifa that she should feel ashamed.

Sex Negative Stereotypes: Khalifa Replies with Wit and Humor

Given the sex-negative stereotypes of countries like Lebanon, maybe it's not surprising that the reaction from Khalifa's country of origin has been less than positive. Oppressive rulers often decry positive expressions of sexuality, and tend not to have a sense of humor.

Luckily, Khalifa seems to have a great sense of humor as evidenced in her Facebook and Twitter feeds. She's prone to snide comments and witty replies to those who seek to shame, insult, or embarrass her. I was delighted to learn that in addition to being brave and hot, Mia Khalifa is also very intelligent and fiercely witty.



The hate being aimed at Khalifa reads like a temper tantrum being thrown by someone desperate for attention. After all, it could be argued that a hijab is a tool of oppression. So, wearing one while rejecting oppression and engaging in a sex act on camera can be seen as a tremendous act of rebellion. Whether you see her as someone celebrating their sexuality, or simply enjoying a high paying job, Khalifa's success is proof that her rejection of repressive attitudes is a great move. While the 21 year old actress doesn't plan on being PornHub's number one draw forever, I hope she can continue without threats from haters.