Saturday, March 06, 2010 The GFE Through the Ages: Pretty Woman at 20
In my latest column at ABC.net, it's Pretty Woman - the biggest grossing movie of 1990 - versus The Girlfriend Experience, a low-budget film about a high-priced call girl.
In Pretty Woman, a streetwalker becomes an economic reformer, showing a corporate raider the error of his ways. The Girlfriend Experience, set during the 2008 financial crisis, has no room for that kind of idealism.
I talked to Jessie Abraham, a Darwin escort with an intriguing mission at SexWorkIsRealWork.com. She has surprising things to say about relationships - and about Cheri, in which Michelle Pfeiffer plays the part of fictional courtesan Lea de Lonval. The comment section is open for business! I hope you'll respond.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 Kristin Davis: More appropriate than ever! On Monday, I woke at an ungodly hour, to attend a morning news conference at the Roosevelt Hotel. It was traumatic but worth it! Kristin Davis, the New York madam who was arrested for running an escort agency during the Eliot Spitzer scandal, says she supplied him with call girls for five years—when he was attorney general and when he was governor of New York. (Not to mention his abusive record, busting escort agencies and promoting anti-customer laws.)
Now she's campaigning as an independent for his former job. The timing is noteworthy because Spitzer is rumored to be considering a return to electoral politics.
I enjoyed meeting Kristin's campaign team, including communications director Andrew (pictured, in a black newsie.)
Kristin isn't the first sex worker to run for political office. I interviewed Thierry Schaffauser (Liste des Verts, Paris) and US activist Norma Jean Almodovar (Libertarian Party), in addition to Kristin. Read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/KDgov2010.
Thursday, February 25, 2010 Should You Give Up Your Day Job for a Man?
We hate to admit this, but for quite a few of us ladies it's easy to get all hot and bothered when the man we love resents our work. It makes us feel like the star of our own private, x-rated soap opera.
And we're more forgiving than we might be if we worked in, say, a bank or a department store. In fact, we would regard any man who resents his wife/girlfriend working at a bank as an abusive, scary nutter. Men who don't think women should work are out of step in mainstream Western life.
But an exception is made for men who love women in the sex industry.
Adult-film actress Joslyn James (aka Veronica Siwik-Daniels) says she stopped working because her alleged lover, Tiger Woods, was "very jealous." She has a high profile lawyer and, quite possibly, a valid claim. You can watch the video and read my latest Daily Beast column here.
I'd love to know what you think! Would you quit turning tricks/making films for a guy? Is this a problem for male sex workers? Or is it just the girls who fall for this line? Write to DearTQ@tracyquan.net
George Flint, a lobbyist for Nevada's licensed brothel owners, has been vocal about one madam's decision to hire male sex workers. While I don't agree with his tactics or his arguments, I sympathize with his intent - which is to keep legal brothels legal.
The whiggish view of prostitution law has been proven wrong too many times. Sexual attitudes do have a tendency to zig-zag. Progress is not permanent, and decriminalization is only part of the story. In Taipei, licensed prostitutes were REcriminalized by politicians trying to appease Western moralists. In Copenhagen where sex work is legalized, the Lord Mayor (a woman) is part of an insidious anti-prostitution campaign.
My latest Guardian column gets into it here and the comments are flying!
Return to the Hundred Acre Wood is a shocking book because it exists. Nobody (that I know of) has offered to burn it, but it was definitely conceived in sin. Who, you may wonder, "authorized" David Benedictus to mess with A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh quartet by adding a fifth volume to the series?
The new "friend" created for Pooh, Piglet, Tigger et al. is Lottie the Otter - a concession to feminism totally out of place in the Hundred Acres. Guess it wasn't PC to let Kanga enjoy being the only female in the forest.
Worse yet, Benedictus has compromised Eeyore’s integrity by making him “proactive.” For more than 80 years, Eeyore was the embodiment of unbearable pessimism, an iconic grouch whose self-pity prepared us for the miseries of grown-up affluence. Of all the Hundred Acre dwellers, Eeyore is the one we can least afford to lose. He makes co-dependence and the fear of failure less isolating. He is there during that dark night of the soul - or was, until Benedictus began meddling with the sacred.
It was one thing for Disney to reconfigure Milne's stories and Ernest Shepherd's illustrations. The Disney characters were easy to ignore. A book that purports to be part of Milne's collection is quite a different matter.
Mark Burgess, the illustrator, pays homage to Shepherd, but some characters have turned out better than others. Piglet is the most recognisable, Christopher Robin the least.
Rabbit - so managerial and doctrinaire, the most human character in these woods - has been tragically reconceived by Burgess as a stage bunny.
More about Lottie and A.A. Milne here in the latest issue of The Drawbridge.
Ashley Dupré (outed by the New York Times in 2008 because she had done a session with Eliot Spitzer) is in the news again. This week, she spoke out about the Tiger Woods scandal and lambasted the golf pro's concubines for abusing their access to the media by cashing in on sex with a married celeb.
My take in today's Daily Beast: "Ashley is emerging as a gritty modern ethicist. Tiger, for reasons we can only begin to analyze, isn't turned on by safety and ethics, and who can blame him? Hanging out with sex workers isn't risky enough, from an emotional perspective—and professionals are unlikely to idolize him."
BEAST: Mary Magdalene is visiting the New York area until November 17. A relic of Mary Magdalene, patron saint of fallen women, the Dominican Order and Provence, is touring the US for the first time. My latest column in The Daily Beast explores the implications for the Church, as well as my personal and political relationship with this unique, multifaceted saint.
VIDEO: A wonderful video from Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, where she stopped before her return to NYC.
UPDATE: She will be venerated this Friday Nov. 13 and Saturday Nov. 14 at St James Cathedral, Brooklyn. Friday evening from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm with a short service at 5:00. Saturday all day from 9:00 am til 7:00 pm. Be there or be square.
UPDATE: The image of the Magdalene on the St Thomas Aquinas site is gorgeous! This is definitely the pre-conversion Magdalene. Sunday @ 11 am: Procession with the Relics followed by 12 noon Bilingual Mass For more info: 718-768-9471
DIARY: Just spoke to Father Joseph at Most Precious Blood church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn. He says 1000 people came to venerate the Magdalen relic today. The relic arrived at 10:30 am and there was a mass at 11 am, followed by private veneration from 2-3pm, and Holy Hour from 3-4pm.
What kind of woman sleeps with her boss? In the ’90s, she was cast as a victim, in the ’60s as a predator. What women want - and how the rules of the game have changed, in my latest week's Daily Beast column.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 Margaret Sanger must be spinning in her grave
If you thought the New York Times was joking when they hyped an academic paper that champions the so-called “pullout method” as the next big thing in contraception, you weren’t alone. How did the Guttmacher Institute get their name mixed up with this?
I am what historian Richard W. Bulliet calls post-domestic. Unless you are a hill farmer, or a herder (in which case you are an anachronism, which won't come as a surprise since making a living in either of those ways is very difficult) so are you.
Jenny Diski. I love her work. I've read a number of her essays, none of her books (yet) - but what I've read is always enjoyable.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 This Week: Scapegoating Craigslist
In 19th-century London, a serial killer preyed on women who used the local streets and pubs to meet their customers. Those killings are now, unfortunately, treated as entertaining legend, while new myths about sex work, violence and technology flourish; we’ve gone from "Jack the Ripper" to the so-called "Craigslist Killer."
I am especially disgusted with those using Julissa Brisman's death as an opportunity to harass Craigslist, and talked about it last night on WPHT 1210 AM in Philly. (Will have an MP3 up soon.) UPDATE on May 1:Here's the MP3.
Friday, April 03, 2009 The body politic, Popeye, and magical nutrition
I was criticized on this guy's blog for confusing Popeye's forearms with his biceps. Ha. Well, as it happens, some Guardian readers Have Not Been Paying Attention.
Anybody who HAS will recall that Popeye's biceps swell up immediately when he ingests some spinach. Clearly, these magical powers aren't lost on Michelle Obama. Her version of baking cookies is so responsible-sounding. I'm pleased we've gone from squabbling about whether Cindy McCain's cookie recipe is "original" (who would care?) to discussing the benefits of fresh green veggies.
Shag-enfreude or "Is conjugal duty the new Rabbit?"
At a time when others are promoting Tantric sex, rabbity vibrators, and other politically correct delights, along comes Bettina Arndt with a message that sounds almost Victorian. And yet, Bettina's advice is not as outrageous as it may sound.
Tracy Quan of the U.K.Guardian picks up the gauntlet, arguing that [Caroline] Kennedy's minimal makeup and all-business style in her first round of media interviews actually suggests "she isn't passionate about being a New York senator" and suffers, from a "lack of ambition."(!!!)
I don't actually think/argue that Caroline Kennedy is SUFFERING - her lack of ambition is our problem, not hers. But let's not split heirs.
I was pleased to see a nice comment from SentimentalLentil, a vegan who has more respect "for people who actually get off their backsides, hunt, kill, pluck/skin/bone the animal themselves than these whining hypocrites." I totally agree!