(Womens Studies 200-Erin Hoyt.)
Annie Sprinkle was originally born Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She decided to change her name to Annie Sprinkle to better fit her personality. Annie Sprinkle has a variety of occupations. She is “a prostitute, stripper, porn film star, cable television host, porn magazine editor and writer, performance artist and sex educator. She describes herself as a "Post-Porn Modernist" and an open bisexual.” I’m sure many people are wondering how this one woman could have made a difference in the world of feminism. I mean, how can a prostitute and a stripper truly offer something to fight for women’s rights and equality, right? Wrong. Sexuality is a large part of everyday life whether people want to admit to it or not, and it’s not quite a major subject for feminists and rights. Annie Sprinkle would have to be the first woman to say “why the hell not?!”. Annie Sprinkle embraces human sexuality and the woman body as an extraordinary gift to be enjoyed, respected, and learned. A major accomplishment of Annie’s was when she was involved in a performance titled The Second Coming, along with the feminist group Carnival Knowledge. In this performance, women who were in there sex industry were dressed in everyday clothes and showed that yes they were indeed in the sex industry but they also had separate lives as mothers, daughters, etc. They showed the audience that preconceptions of women with stereotypical roles and jobs should be crushed, because they also have feelings, compassions, goals, concerns, etc.
It is surprising to me that I have never heard of Annie Sprinkle before now. I only say this because she seems to be a very active feminist, and has had much praise and controversy for all of her work. Annie obtained her PHD in human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, in San Francisco to further her knowledge of precisely that; human sexuality. She is now said to be “considered a role model for a new generation of feminists, she challenges old conceptions and established role models of sexuality.” How many feminists do you know that have pushed the limits of sexuality to show that it is a part of nature and women should be able to express them any way they would like to sexually. Our society has this conception that men who are promiscuous are to be praised while women are “sluts”. I think that Annie Sprinkle is on to something with her sexuality studies, and I can actually say I admire her for going after what she wants and believes in, and even though to many she may not seem to be accomplishing anything for feminism, there are others who know different. If you are interested in learning more about Annie Sprinkle and projects she is currently working on and have worked on, I encourage you to visit her website at www.anniesprinkle.org.