Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday Poll: Spitzer, Dupre and Whiter Skin

The votes are in from last weeks Wednesday Poll, and its a landslide.

We asked:

Who do you feel greater sympathy for?
  • Silda Wall Spitzer, the wife of Eliot Spitzer, mother of his children, and chaperone to his public admission of his dalliances with prostitutes
  • Ashley Alexandra Dupre, the prostitute who "served" Eliot Spitzer, and now has her name, images, and MySpace information plastered all over the papers and blogs
In a somewhat predictable result, Eliot Spitzer's devastated wife Silda received precisely 74% of Fiverupees' sympathy. Ashley Dupre on the other hand it seems is too young, too attractive, and too shady to merit much love.

While 74% of our readers felt more sympathy for Silda Spitzer, what isnt known is whether they felt any sympathy at all for Ashley Dupre. Hanna Rosin from Slate makes her case:

"broken, rejected, exploited through a fantasy in which she willingly participates. I read her story and the old '70s feminist in me (admittedly, a tiny presence) rears up. A broken home on the Jersey shore. Abused as a kid. A nightclub singer. Worried about paying her rent. Men walking out on her. "Broke and homeless," and known for giving extra food to homeless guys. OK, so she's not a Thai village girl smuggled into Amsterdam. But she is a sad American type: This is Marilyn Monroe territory—a woman who can play the role of sexy and powerful but is always herself being played."

And finally on this issue, during the first 2 and a half minutes of the video below Dave Chappelle makes a point about Monica Lewinsky that perhaps can be applied to Ashley Dupre:

This weeks poll looks at skin lightening products, particularly within a South Asian context. Are they simply standard cosmetics, or the contemporary equivalent of lye?


ali juice said...

as for your last question/next week's poll, it is definitely a lye-esque, conk (the hairstyle resulting from lye), gora-fying concept of 'beauty'. internalised racism.

india arie addresses it on a more 'general' level rather than the internalised racism level, forget akon, it's all about india arie. (i don't know why akon lends himself to shitty music outputs when he has much better to offer)

juice said...

and light skinned girls getting these fake tans, solarium tans, spray tans - equally messed up. in my opinon. sorry if that seems a harsh view.
"white girls tanning, liposuction;
fake tits are implanted, fake lips,
that's life destruction."
nas - 'what goes around'

NB said...

Thanks for that man, will be linking the video next week.

Ahsan said...

the chappelle clip sums it up for me. it's precisely why i voted for dupre. i mean, from now until forever, she'll be known as a whore and nothing else. even if she becomes "successful" (music album or whatever), people will always think of her as a whore. the rejoinder might be: well, she WAS a whore. i concede that point. i would just say its tough for someone to be known for one thing, and have that thing be your inherent whoriness.

AKS said...

I'm with Ahsan here.

More troubling is the shallow nature of much of the reporting of this story. It's made to look as though Dupre's, and high class hookers in general,have it easy; they fuck a guy for a few hours and make a few grand doing it. But that's really not fair. Their client's might be rich but they are hardly more civilised and abuse and degradation are part of the job. (According to a report I read, Spitzer was asking her to do things that were a little out there.)

I read a letter in the Observer Magazine a while back, by a woman in her 50's who had spent her youth in the heyday of the sexual revolution. At the time the young woman was only concerned about doing what every one else was doing , i.e. each other. It was only in her 30s that she realised the psychological impact of these 'experiences.' It took a great deal of counseling before she was able to get into a serious relationship. And she was no born again conservative either.

I guess what I'm saying is that the cost of being a prostitute may be much higher than the thousands of dollars Dupre earned. And I don't think that when she was a little girl she was saying "oooh when I'm 22 I want to suck a rich bald guy's dick!" (top of the world ma!)

And it's sad how her homelessness in a big city and problems with drugs were considerably less important than her being hot.

changinguppakistan said...

Really like the topic of this week's poll! While I wouldn't go so far as saying lightening products are sinister per se, it definitely represents the racially charged notion that being "white" is our standard of beauty - something that is not just prevalent in our society, but in other "formerly colonized" nations and states. Although I never gave into the whole "Fair and Lovely" stint growing up, I do remember aunty's positive comments about how "fair" I was in the winter versus when I ran around outside during the summers. Also, my dad, much like the father in my Big Fat Greek Wedding, believes that the cure and remedy to any issue is SPF 90 sunblock - no joke.

NB said...


Glad you liked the topic. I guess the experience you mentioned is a pretty universal one for desi kids. From junior school all the way up to A'levels, I remember a lot of kids (both boys and girls) being incessantly made fun of if they were beyond a certain spectrum of brown, and I'm sorry to say that i partook in it as well. On some level, it was perceived as a reflection of status and lineage.

Sunblock IS a cure-all (Remember Baz Lurhman?)provided it is supplemented with liberal amounts of Vitamin C and Augmentin. Or so Im told.