Last post I looked at those for whom playing with racialized imagery in kink is too close to the bone. Today I'm turning my attention to the the black artists and performers who refused to be silenced in their desire to push boundaries.
As with the issue of female sexual submission, racial imagery in a BDSM context is an issue apt to cause heated debates, so I want to include both sides of the argument. Today, I’ll examine the objections to the use of racialized imagery in kink, and in my next post I’ll look at the responses by those who defend it.
Oh Ashton Kutcher. If it's not one douche-y thing with that guy, it's another. The Two and a Half Men star (I was going to make a douchebag joke there but "Two and a Half Men star" is a pretty good zinger on its own) is back in the news for all the wrong reasons again this week, this time for doing brownface in a Popchips ad.
Like many, I find these images racist, repulsive, and anti-woman. But, because this cake was consumed at museum and not, (believe it or not) at a pathetic frat party, and this cake was conceived as performance art, we will discuss further.
"Finger wagging" doesn't really sum up the tense moment on the tarmac: Brewer is using her white privilege to mask her anger, in an attempt to assert power over Obama. The little power play at the Phoenix Airport speaks to the age-old stereotype of black men being seen as a threat to white women, and the fact that Jan Brewer took advantage of that earns her this week's Douchebag Decree.
Earlier this month the Village Voice made public the findings of a study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which looked to define the most vulnerable population of sex workers: underage prostitutes. According to the study, "The typical kid who is commercially exploited for sex in New York City is not a tween girl, has not been sold into sexual slavery, and is not held captive by a pimp." The study found that 45% were boys, 45% got into the business through friends, 90% were U.S. born, most serviced white, wealthy men and struck deals on the street (as opposed to the Internet). Importantly, 95% of respondents—70% of whom had sought assistance through a child service agency within the past year—said they exchanged sex for money "because it was the surest way to support themselves." According to these researchers, even the most at-risk segment of the sex worker population—underage sex workers—are going it alone, selling sex on their own volition, and perceive themselves as making a choice given their circumstances. Only 10% were involved with what the researchers labelled a "market facilitator" (aka pimp).