"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).
Full disclosure: I have had misgivings about Slutwalk from day one. "Slut" has never been a term used against me. Though the idea of reclaiming the word seems to resonate with many young, white heterosexual women, it is not clear to me that it's something that can unify all women. It felt alienating and exclusionary to me from the start.
For those who don't follow theatre news (so...quite possibly a lot of you), one story is currently dominating coverage, and it's got a number of complicated aspects to it. I am referring, of course, to the kerfuffle over Diane Paulus' mounting of Porgy & Bess at Boston's American Repertory Theatre. What I'm finding fascinating are the general questions raised by this scenario. Namely, what are our obligations to a work of art? When is it and when is it not appropriate to change things?
Thoroughly Modern Millie has all the makings of what could be an incredibly charming, silly film: it has tap-dancing in elevators, inexplicably well-choreographed impromptu dances, and Carol Channing making what may be the greatest entrance in movie history. However, what it also features is a staggeringly racist plotline. Millie is rotten to the core, and I don't see a way to solve that problem without making an entirely different show.