March 16, 2010
NO DOUBT there are some readers who don’t much care about the welfare of women who engage in street sex work in our cities. Street prostitution is a reality that middle Australia prefers to ignore, or just to condemn outright. And that’s where the trouble begins.
If the subject is raised at all, the debate tends to focus on how this highly visible form of prostitution lowers the tone of a neighbourhood (subtext: how it threatens the inexorable rise of property values).
Such is our disregard of the issue that in Melbourne, while the media has been strident and hysterical about rising levels of street violence, the continuing issue of violence towards street sex workers has been all but ignored. Yet violence – sexual and physical assault, verbal abuse and harassment – is a ceaseless, daily part of the lives of the women who work our streets. I suspect that many mean-spirited moralists out there actually believe that ”working girls” deserve no better.
By Paul Schwartzman
Friday, Mar 12, 2010
To hear Quansa Thompson talk of her life as an exotic dancer, to listen to her describe how men offer cash as she sashays, gyrates and jiggles the night away, is to evoke a thousand titillating thoughts, not a single one having anything to do with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
That is, until Thompson brings up the Depression-era law, which she discovered last summer after being fired by her then-employer, the House, a den of prurient entertainment on Georgia Avenue NW. Thompson is suing the House in U.S. District Court, alleging that the club pays dancers no wages, but ought to under the law. The club has denied the charge.
Dancing for Their Lives
Making an undercover visit to an Iraqi expat nightclub in Syria, where the refugee crisis’s illicit economy is on full display.
BY DEBORAH AMOS | MARCH 9, 2010
Um Nour checked her watch. It was close to midnight and my guide to the Iraqi refugee underworld in Damascus wanted to get to the nightclub so she could start making money. I had failed the dress test, attempting to camouflage myself in an alluring outfit and eliciting only a pursed-lips stare, but Um Nour’s transformation was remarkable. I would not have recognized her on the street. On the many daytime occasions we had met during my reporting trips to Damascus in 2008, she dressed in baggy track pants, black hair tied back in a ponytail, her face lined and tired. This time, her long black hair was shiny and brushed with thick bangs that framed her face. She wore a tight-fitting black T-shirt sprinkled with sequins and black stretch pants tightly cinched at the waist. Her lipstick was deep red, her eyeliner heavy and black. She wore two rhinestone rings, her stubby fingers extended by fake red nails curled around an expensive cell phone. Continue reading
By Edward Ortiz
Published: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1I
Last Modified: Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 – 9:59 am
RANDALL BENTON email@example.com "I love this character," says Karen Slack, who sings the role of Violetta in the Sacramento Opera's "La Traviata." "I think of Violetta as a real woman. She's the most real character I've ever had to play."
As she walks across the bare stage of the Community Center Theater during a photo shoot, soprano Karen Slack exudes unwavering confidence and regal sensuality.
Those are two attributes Slack will bring to the Sacramento Opera production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata.” In the production, which opens Friday, Slack will sing the most famous courtesan role in the operatic repertoire – Violetta.
The role is a demanding one for a soprano. It calls for sensitive acting that conveys a woman living outside societal norms. And it demands a versatile singer, who can sing lyrically in one act, powerfully and darkly in another.
“I love this character,” said Slack. “I think of Violetta as a real woman. She’s the most real character I’ve ever had to play.” Continue reading
By David Burt
Published Monday, February 15, 2010
Charlie Croom/Photography Editor. Buck Angel, a transgender porn star, said at a Pierson Master’s Tea that he “wasn’t hiding anymore” after his sex change.
Despite receiving an anonymous threat before his visit, Buck Angel, a female-to-male transgender porn star, spoke at a Master’s Tea as part of Sex Week at Yale on Saturday.
Angel shared his life story with an audience of about 50 students at the Pierson College master’s house. He emphasized the importance of self-acceptance and urged people not to submit to the labels society assigns them. Some students said they disagree with his participation in pornography, while others said they enjoyed his message.
Angel grew up in Southern California as a girl who enjoyed sports and often hung out with the boys, he said; both his family and his neighbors treated him like a boy. Continue reading