By David Anderson
Why State First Lady Trudi Inslee should withdraw.
NARAL (National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) will hold its 22nd Annual “Chocolate for Choice” fundraising drive on March 13 at Safeco Field. The pro-choice group has invited the Governor’s wife of the State of Washington to participate. Inslee’s name is listed, along with her website, as being on the “Panel of Celebrity Chocolate-tasting judges.”
Additional panel celebrities, among others, include strip-tease performers, along with their websites.
That’s where the problem lies and why Inslee should decline to participate.
Inslee’s website declares, in part, her “support (of) social service programs and organizations that provide services for women and children who are victims of sexual assault.”
A worthy cause for sure.
In the next 48 hours, Congressional House Republicans will vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, already passed by the Senate.
The issue of women being exploited, mistreated and devalued is a global concern and in our own State of Washington, “one-third of the teenage girls rescued by the FBI – of the sixty-nine children rescued in 40 cities across the country in its annual national operation, the ‘Innocence Lost National Initiative’ – were found in the Puget Sound region topping the national list of recoveries for the third year in a row.
“At any given time, there are 300 to 500 juvenile prostitutes — most of them girls ages 11 to 17 — in King County, mostly in Seattle and cities to the south, some brought to the area from other states, according to a 2008 report on juvenile prostitution.”
Diana Russell, in her book “Against Pornography: The Evidence of Harm” suggests that “consumption of pornography – arousing portrayals of female nudity or clothed females in provocative poses – is linked to violence against women.” (For more on Diana Russell’s work, see her website: www.dianarussell.com.)
One of Inslee’s fellow chocolate tasters is Inga Ingénue who, on her website, is billed as “tease interpreted-heightened femininity perched strongly on a pedestal and just out of reach.” So as to leave nothing to the imagination, Ingénue provides a tab on her website which images, I imagine, are what Russell is writing about.
We’re talking the Internet here, which pervasive and persuasive mechanism is linked yet again to what Inslee would address. A Harvard publication declares “The most visible way in which the Internet has enabled violence against women (is) by allowing for the proliferation of pornographic images” where the legal definition of pornography is “Media or photographs showing erotic or sexual behavior in a way designed to cause sexual arousal.”
More of the same – but rather up close and personal as opposed to your computer screen – can be had by attending an event sponsored by yet another chocolate-tasting judge joining Inslee, the Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2012, Miss Indigo Blue, who offers a “titillating evening with local Burlesque luminaries! You’ve watched them peel away layers of clothing to entertain you,” now you can meet them in person.
To “titillate” is to “excite (another) erotically,” and Bill Moyers, who served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967 and worked as a news commentator on television for ten years, said ”Once you decide to titillate instead of illuminate . . . you create a climate of expectation that requires a higher and higher level of intensity.”
The dots are all here to connect. Passing themselves off as artistic performers at least two of Inslee’s costars at the chocolate tasting event are, by website image and language, integrally involved in exacerbating the very problem over which Inslee’s website says she is concerned.
Even the hosts of the Grammys know the danger of what they do, having issued a memo this year asking attendees to adhere to a dress code banning “obscene activity.”
Those Inslee has agreed to join on stage are a level or two, and quite a bit of clothing, removed from the show-stopping music awards.
Presumably Inslee’s cause célèbre is not just “supporting social service programs and organizations that provide services for women and children who are victims of sexual assault” – a hospital-at-the-bottom-of-the-
In which case, Inslee has no place at this chocolate-tasting table.