Who Is Caitlin Fink? New Details On The California Teen Who Fought For Her Right To Enter Porn Industry

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Caitlin Fink? New Details On The California Teen Who Fought For Her Right To Enter Porn Industry

It’s not unusual for high school newspapers to feature profiles of seniors where they talk about their plans for after graduation. It is unusual for one of those profiles to spark a free speech debate and a question about whether or not a senior’s plans are considered obscenity under school district rules. Caitlin Fink, of Bear Creek High School in California, is 18-years-old and working in various aspects of the adult entertainment industry. All of her work is legal. When her high school paper offered to give her a platform to talk about her career, her choices, and her planned next steps, the Lodi Unified School District demanded they review the article before publication and threatened to fire school paper advisor Kathi Duffel. Duffel refused to let the district see the article, which sparked a free speech debate that's getting national attention.

The story went to press as planned and Fink got her chance to tell her story. Who is Caitlin Fink and why did her school want to shut down an article about her?

1. Rough start

Fink is a senior at Bear Creek High School and she admits that she has struggled during her time there. In the profile of her in the Bruin Voice, she told managing editor Bailey Kirkeby, “I didn’t start high school the way I wanted to. I didn’t take the right classes I needed to take to get in the university I wanted to, I hung around the wrong people, [my GPA was around] 2.6 or 2.8 and I wasn’t really trying that much.” She continued to struggle over the next several years, before finally leaving home this year and moving in with friends, to whom she pays $300 per month for rent and food. Fink explained that she saw that as a positive development, saying: “The only hard thing so far is making sure I have enough money. Other than that, I’ve honestly been doing really good with myself.”

 

Fink needed a way to support herself. 

2. Making money

Fink works as a dishwasher part time but she has also found that she can make money in the adult entertainment industry and she has decided to make sex work a career. She started out selling erotic photos of herself on different social media apps, learning as she went along about how to avoid pitfalls, She told the Bruin Voice about realizing too late that she needed to ask for money up front and how to find ways to make it impossible for others to sell her photos without crediting her later. She found the process gratifying, saying: “When I first started selling, it was just for money. But then I liked the attention I got, [such as] being called beautiful. I enjoyed it because it made me feel good about myself.” Next, she plans to work as an exotic dancer and to move into pornographic videos. She has signed an agreement with the website Pornhub and is looking forward to working with them in the near future.

 

Fink enterted the adult entertainment industry at 18.

RELATED:   Who Is Kiara Mia? New Details About The Porn Star Dating Jimmy Garappolo

3. Story

According to Bruin Voice advisor Kathi Duffel, the rumors about Fink's porn career were what led the school paper to profile her. Duffel told the Columbia Journalism Review: “A student said, ‘I heard about this girl who’s pretty active in the porn industry, and a lot of kids are talking about her and saying things. I think she might really welcome the opportunity to set the record straight and tell her story because there’s a lot of rumors about her.’ So Bailey Kirkeby, who’s my managing editor as well as news editor, had a class with the subject, Caitlin Fink. She said, ‘I’ll approach her and see if she’s willing to do this story.’” Fink was excited about telling her story and addressing the rumors about her. Duffel recalls that she said: “Everyday on this campus, people say things about me, sometimes very hurtful things and I would really welcome the opportunity so that people understand that I’m not just the girl who does porn, but that I’m a real person.”

Fink is working legally. 

4. Blocked

The story was slated to run in early May, but in April, Duffel received a letter from the Lodi Unified School District saying, in part: “You are hereby directed to refrain from publishing the article prior to the District’s review and approval. Should you fail to provide a copy of the article as directed, you may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal…The district has received information that Caitlin’s interview will focus primarily on her production of adult videos. Given this focus, the district is reasonably concerned that the article may contain material prohibited by obscenity laws, according to the San Francisco Chronicle." Rather than turn over the article, Duffel contacted the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C. and they put her in contact with San Francisco attorney Matthew Cate, who agreed to conduct an independent review of the article and report back to the district. LUSD agreed to that process. Duffel has fought against prior review of articles in the paper in the past and has won those fights on the grounds of free speech. She expected the outcome to be the same this time, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, saying: "[Duffel] has won every fight, and nearly every award, including California Adviser of the Year last year from the National Scholastic Press Association." 

Duffel intedned to protect the paper from censorship.

RELATED: 10 Extremely Sexy Tumblr Sites For Women To Masturbate To

5. Job on the line

Cate reviewed the article several times before publication, but Duffel and Kirkeby planned to move forward with printing it. They met with him to finalize a legal strategy in the event that the district tried to fire Duffel, then ran the story on May 3rd, as was always planned. When asked what she would have done if the district had fired her, Duffel told the Columbia Journalism Review: “I would take legal action against the district.”

 

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

Th school paper has a First Amendment right to publish material that doesn't violate laws.

6. Global attention

Since publication, Fink, Duffel and Kirkeby have gotten worldwide attention for both the content of the story and the fight with the district to have it published. Kirkeby said the point of the article was always to tell Fink’s story, not to be salacious. “The primary focus of my story is on the hardships that Caitlin has experienced, such as failing her freshman year and having to leave her house, and how she managed to overcome those obstacles and create a successful, self-sustaining career for herself. My story does contain material about her adult entertainment career, but the focus is not on her videos themselves. Rather, the content is informative material about the industry, including its pay scale and its occupational risks.”

 

Fink has gotten a new job as an exotic dancer.

As for Caitlin Fink, she has a promising future in the adult entertainment industry. As for the judgment she receives, she says: "People see the porn world as taboo. But I see it as a natural thing. You’re just taking off your clothes. It’s the human body… I’m 18, what I’m doing is legal, and I don’t see why everyone is making such a big deal out of it.”

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.