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The only kind of “feminist empowerment” E! network can get behind

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

September 20th, 2007

Now, look, as the hostess of the rowdy after-party after this year’s WAM conference, I’m on board with feminism being hot.

But, I have my limits. Which is why — even though it’s so typical as to be almost unremarkable for a corporate media outlet — I just had to jot down the following annoying-ass quote from E! network’s one-off reality-ish special, “12 Sexiest Hollywood Jobs” (to get the full effect, hear the following quote in a breathy, pouty, soft-porn whisper):

Suicide Girls: come for the feminist empowerment – stay for the hot naked chicks.”

It’s shooting fish in a barrel to critique sexism (or to expect accurate definitions of feminism) in a cheesy, cheeky, celluloid skinfest, so I won’t bother going there.

What I will mention, though, is that with casting couches, WWE ring girls, Maxim’s Hot 100, nude psuedoviolent America’s Next Top Model photo shoots and Eva Longoria’s visible-from-space bikini shot, there’s no shortage of Hollywood jobs for E! to choose from if they were looking for sexy-for-money gigs. Which makes it just incredibly stupid that they would have even included the Suicide Girls porn site in their list, since:

Suicide Girls is a site in which pierced, tatted young women from all across the country (and more recently, the world) post nude pinup pics of themselves; it has nothing to do with Hollywood, and in fact markets itself as the antidote to the Hollywood standard of airbrushed, lily white sex appeal;

and

– the segment only interviewed the female co-founder of SG, implying she was the only founder and implying that she’s the owner, and several punky, inked-up, stripped-down models talking about how empowering it is to wear (or remove) pasties on demand… and conveniently failed to mention that the president of Suicide Girls is not only not a woman but not at all feminist — the president is a man named Sean Suhl, who has been accused of being a “verbally abusive” “misogynist” who has called the women whose nude pictures he profits from “talentless, whores, and ugly,” as former Suicide Girls told the Boston Phoenix after 40 SG employees staged a web-walkoff in protest over their treatment by the site’s owners, who they said only presented the site’s feminist, punk, indy, revolutionary sheen as a marketing gimmick, a cynical guise to mistreat and exploit their workers.

So I’m just sayin’, E!, if you’re gonna include a line like “Come for the feminist empowerment, stay for the hot naked chicks” in a special about sexy Hollywood jobs, maybe you should have your announcer babe stick to descriptions of jobs that:

A. DO have something to do with Hollywood, and

B. DON’T involve organizations that have been subject to feminist and labor protests from dissenting workers about how decidedly un-sexy it is to work there.

It’s ridiculous how little I’m asking for, here…

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