Ivanka Trump’s ‘Vapid’ New Book Earns A Series Of Savage Reviews

The reviews are in: Ivanka Trump’s new book is “vapid” at worst, “earnest” at best, and “a strawberry milkshake of inspirational quotes” somewhere in between.

Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success went on sale Tuesday and seemed to immediately incite criticism from all corners of the internet. Trump has explained that the book is meant to “inspire you to redefine success and architect a life that honors your individual passions and priorities.” However, the self-help disquisition has been described in noticeably harsher terms in the book reviews that have come out since its release. 

Take, for example, The New York Times’ Jennifer Senior, who indeed described the book as “a strawberry milkshake of inspirational quotes” “perfect for a generation weaned on Pinterest and goop.com,” adding:

Self-actualization is the all-consuming preoccupation of “Women Who Work.” In this way, the book is not really offensive so much as witlessly derivative, endlessly recapitulating the wisdom of other, canonical self-help and business books — by Stephen Covey, Simon Sinek, Shawn Achor, Adam Grant. (Profiting handsomely off the hard work of others appears to be a signature Trumpian trait.) For a while, it reads like the best valedictorian speech ever. 

Business Insider’s Kate Taylor agrees, at least when it comes to Trump’s penchant for regurgitating other people’s advice.

The book […] reads like a mashup of countless essays and articles written in the past decade aimed at female entrepreneurs.

That isn’t to say all the advice is bad — it’s just that little is new. The book borrows heavily from books like Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In,” Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston’s “How Remarkable Women Lead,” and backlogs of IvankaTrump.com

So does NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben:

Often, the melange of quotes and how-to lists give the book more the aesthetic of a Pinterest board than a career guide.

In a review for Slate, Michelle Goldberg focused more on Trump’s often unchecked privilege, summarizing the book as “a celebration of the unlimited possibilities open to working women when they have full-time household help” that “exploits and cheapens feminism.”

The review really picks up around the second use of the word “vapid”:

As vapid as Women Who Work is — and it is really vapid — there is a subtle political current running through it, one that helps explains how the socially liberal Ivanka can work for her misogynist ogre of a father. Beneath the inspirational quotes from Oprah and the Dalai Lama and the you-go-girl cheerleading, the message of Women Who Work is that people get what they deserve.


Her worldview, it turns out, is not so different from her father’s. Both see society through the lens of quasi-mystical corporate self-help, the sort pioneered by Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking and a major influence on Donald Trump. In their schema, success is proof of virtue and people are to blame for their own misfortune. If Ivanka Trump hasn’t expressed any outrage at the cruelties her father is inflicting on the poor and vulnerable, it may well be because she doesn’t feel any.

HuffPost’s own Emily Peck similarly remarked upon the First Daughter’s inability to “realize just how much being wealthy, white and famous helped her out in life.”

Trump’s book, written before the election but published Tuesday, is a grab-bag of generic work-life advice for upper-middle-class white women who need to “architect” (a verb that pops up a lot) their lives. But underneath that, and perhaps more remarkable, is Trump’s inability to truly recognize how her own privileged upbringing was key to her success.

Even Boston Globe’s Beth Teitell tongue-in-cheek appraisal speaks volumes:

Ivanka’s life seems pretty smooth, but in her book she reveals struggles, like the time Anna Wintour heard that she was about to graduate from college and called out of the blue with a job offer, a challenge familiar to many aspiring writers.

Ultimately, under the headline “We read Ivanka Trump’s insufferable new book so you don’t have to,” Mashable’s Chris Taylor packaged all the complains into one succinct sentence:

Here is proof that a female CEO can write a business book that is just as bad — just as padded with bromides and widely-known examples and self-promotion and unexamined privilege and jargon — as one written by an overconfident male CEO. 

Some reviews have, of course, been less critical. Meera Jagannathan described the book as “an earnest (if sometimes unrelatable) treatise on work-life balance, motherhood and workplace empowerment” in The New York Daily News.

The Associated Press apparently enjoyed the book’s earnestness as well: “’Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success’ offers earnest advice for women on advancing in the workplace, balancing family and professional life and seeking personal fulfilment,” the review reads.

In fact, “earnest” must be the euphemism of the week ― Maya Oppenheim noted the book’s “somewhat earnest tone” in The Independent, too.

Women Who Work currently boasts three out five stars on Goodreads, with only two written reviews submitted so far. It’s fairing slightly worse on Amazon, earning only two and a half stars (out of five) from reader reviews there.

Book world ire is hardly new for Trump, though. Just last month, a horde of social media-savvy librarians schooled the author after her tone-deaf #NationalLibraryWeek tweet. It’s hard to believe they’ll be stocking her books on shelves anytime soon.

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Hillary Clinton Borrows ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Resistance Slogan In Planned Parenthood Speech

Even Hillary Clinton can admit The Handmaid’s Tale feels a bit more relevant now.

In a speech to celebrate Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary Tuesday night, the former Secretary of State recalled a phrase from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian feminist classic. A politely sanitized version, that is.

The protagonist Offred, whose name comes from “of Fred” to indicate her subservience to the commander of her household, is comforted in the novel by a phrase she finds secretly carved in her room: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” The book documents life in a new militant theocracy on the grounds of what used to be the United States, where Offred is routinely raped in her role as a surrogate for an elite couple.

From the Latin, she finds an English translation: “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

“To paraphrase Margaret Atwood, ‘We can never let them grind us down,’” Clinton said, after recalling her own relationship with the 1985 novel.

“We come tonight to celebrate the last 100 years, the progress that so many generations have fought so hard for,” Clinton said at the Planned Parenthood event. “What a time it is to be holding this centennial. Just ask those who’ve been watching The Handmaid’s Tale, a book I read and was captivated by years ago.”

She was careful not to raise too many eyebrows. 

“Now, I am not suggestion this dystopian future is around the corner,” Clinton continued, “but this show has prompted important conversations about women’s rights and autonomy. In ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ women’s rights are gradually, slowly stripped away. As one character says, ‘We didn’t look up from our phones until it was too late.’”

“It is not too late for us,” Clinton assured, so long as supporters of women’s rights “keep fighting.”

“Progress is never fully won. It has to be renewed generation after generation. We stand on the shoulders of the women and men who came before us, and march alongside young activists who are leading the way forward.”

In addition to renewed popularity in libraries and book clubs, The Handmaid’s Tale has been recently adapted into a Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss, which is available through the streaming service now. In light of its debut, a steady stream of writers have drawn parallels between the book and current events; topics surrounding women’s rights and health have been thrust into international spotlight as a man who once boasted about sexually assaulting women became America’s 45th president.

The author herself has chimed in more than once about her work’s lasting importance, stating in a Time interview that she “made nothing up,” despite the novel’s seemingly unthinkable picture of misogyny.

“The control of women and babies has been a part of every repressive regime in history,” Atwood recently told the outlet.

Planned Parenthood has been under threat by the administration of President Donald Trump, who last month signed a resolution allowing individual states to withdraw funding from the women’s health care provider. Trump appointed an anti-contraception advocate, Teresa Manning, to a top spot within a federal family planning program this week.

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TBS’s ‘Star Wars’ Movie Marathon Airs Thursday So You Can Take The Day Off

Are you sitting down for this? Good, because that’s how you might spend Star Wars Day on Thursday.

TBS is airing the first six “Star Wars” movies to mark the worldwide celebration, Deadline reported. 

The space-saga marathon blasts off with “Star Wars: Episode I ― The Phantom Menace” at 6:40 a.m. and concludes with “Star Wars: Episode VI ― Return of the Jedi.”

Get those snacks ready. Maybe joust with your plastic lightsaber for exercise between films or during the limited commercial breaks.

The cable channel plans to make the marathon an annual event, MovieWeb noted.

Here’s the full schedule:

Here is the full May 4 schedule (Eastern and Pacific):

6:40 a.m. – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
9:25 a.m. – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
12:20 p.m. – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
3:10 p.m. – Star Wars: A New Hope
5:40 p.m. – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
8:15 p.m. – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

As revelers say to mark May 4’s Star Wars Day, “May the 4th be with you.” 

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This Cheeky Instagram Page Is Dedicated To Vacation Butt Shots (NSFW)

Now this is an Instagram page people can really get behind.

It’s called @CheekyExploits and it’s dedicated to bare butt shots of people on vacation.

Whether on the sand …

The snow … 

At a vineyard in France … 

In an alley …

Or on a hotel balcony …

The page is the brainchild of a 31-year-old woman in London who prefers to only be known as “Cheeky.”

She started @CheekyExploits last July after being inspired by an account following one man’s butt around the world.

“I thought this was such a fun idea and my friends, husband and I already had a small collection of photos similar to this,” Cheeky told HuffPost. “So I started the account as a fun way to share them amongst our friend group.”

From there, Cheeky managed to convince strangers to pose for her. Then she started getting submissions through the account and it has just snowballed from there.  

“I never meant for the account to necessarily be about travel and certainly never intended to start a trend,” she said. “It was just a bit of fun and, also, I enjoyed encouraging people to be comfortable with their bodies and participate for the thrill and confidence boost.”

Cheeky is upfront about which spots make the best butt photos.

“The most friendly butt locations tend to be fields, cliffs and beaches,” she said. “I find that people are more comfortable stripping down when they can do so with less risk.”

Although some people might think the page is asinine, Cheeky insists she has standards. She turns up her nose at pics that are too close-up, just someone in the mirror in their bedroom or overtly sexual.  

Cheeky is getting so many submissions that she jokes her life is becoming one big butt pun, “and my friends don’t miss the opportunity to make one.”

Still, she has dreams of the butt pics she’d really like to see.

“I would to love take one in a rainforest with monkeys climbing around,” she said. “Or another one that I think would be really cool is in Giza with a camel!”

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Celebrate Body Positivity With Outspeak

May is Body Positivity Month here at Outspeak and we’re going to be celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes, and exploring our complicated relationships with them.

Over the course of the month, Outspeak will cover topics such as illness and disability, fitness, body dysmorphia and eating disorders, self-expression through physical means, media representation, and misconceptions about bodies. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to our flesh vessels, so let’s get this conversation going.

If you currently have a video, or are interested in creating one related to body positivity, send it to us via Facebook or Twitter. Or email your submissions to social@outspeak.tv.

Your video has the opportunity to be featured on Huffington Post’s massive social media pages, on Outspeak social media, and you have the chance to be featured in an article on HuffingtonPost.com. For an example of how these features look. Check out our recent #YourVoteYourVoice Election campaign.

Please keep the following in mind for your videos:

  • Make sure you’re shooting in a well-lit, non-distracted environment.
  • Keep the shots well-composed and in focus.
  • Keep the video short. 1-2 minutes preferred.
  • Keep the video focused on one theme. People will listen if you can speak focused and passionately.
  • Take a unique approach. How is this personal to you? Why is this issue in particular something you’re passionate about?
  • Do not use offensive or derogatory language. If used maliciously or recklessly, your video will not be considered for circulation.

If you have any questions, please contact us at social@outspeak.tv or give us a shout on Twitter.

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April Ryan Named NABJ Journalist Of The Year, Honored As A ‘True Trailblazer’

Journalist April Ryan’s impressive body of work and cutting analysis has landed her a top honor in her field. 

The National Association of Black Journalists announced Tuesday that Ryan has been named the organization’s 2017 Journalist of the Year, an annual award given to a black journalist with a distinguished resume including in-depth work that is of importance to people of the African diaspora. 

Ryan, who has been a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks since 1997, is the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House, NABJ reported. With over 30 years of experience, Ryan has helped to provide media coverage of the nation’s last three presidents and also just recently signed with CNN as a political analyst.

April Ryan is a true trailblazer and truth seeker. She’s dogged and unapologetic about her pursuit of the story,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said in a statement on Tuesday. “In the White House press corps circle, where too few black women have been given an opportunity to report, April has excelled and persevered in spite of the many obstacles she has confronted. Her work has risen to the top.”

Ryan has been heavily praised in past months for the professionalism she has shown during press briefings with White House press secretary Sean Spicer as well as news conferences with President Donald Trump. One encounter she had with Spicer in April sparked widespread criticism after he told Ryan to stop shaking her head as he spoke. The hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork immediately went viral as women of color everywhere shared similar experiences of disrespect in the workplace.

“We all have a job to do and some of the stories we are doing wouldn’t be told if it weren’t for us,” Ryan said of her responsibility as a journalist in a statement Tuesday. “We all need to keep pressing because the First Amendment is under attack.” 

Ryan, who is a Baltimore native, is the author of two books, The Presidency in Black and White and At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White. She has received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and also serves as a mentor to budding journalists. She expressed gratitude for the connections she has made and the honors she has received, including her most recent. 

“It is wonderful to be honored by such an esteemed organization,” Ryan said. “I am humbled and honored. So many of these [NABJ] journalists do important work and I am so thankful they would think of me for this honor. It has been an amazing couple of months and you guys give me some wind to say ‘keep going.’”

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Photographer Creates Emotional Series To Show What Infertility Feels Like

A powerful photo series is highlighting the anguish of infertility. Las Vegas photographer Abbie Fox captured stunning images of local optician Victoria Hamilton to illustrate the painful journeys they’ve followed in their personal lives.

Both women have struggled with infertility. Fox had a miscarriage last March after two healthy pregnancies and births and was eventually diagnosed with PCOS, which dashed her dream of having four children. 

“We have two amazing children and after this last year I have sort of given up the idea of having another child,” Fox told HuffPost. “It just wasn’t meant to be. While I only had one miscarriage, the pain will be carried with me forever.”

Hamilton and her husband have struggled to conceive for almost four years and experienced multiple very early miscarriages. After seeing a few doctors and receiving different diagnoses, she developed severe anxiety and started having panic attacks and ultimately decided to take a break from fertility procedures. 

After following Fox’s photography work for years, Hamilton approached her about doing a photo series related to infertility to raise awareness around the issue and make other women feel less alone.

“I have been very open with my infertility struggle,” she said. “I have been blessed to have met some amazing women along my journey who were struggling to get pregnant. They since have all gone on to have children. It’s a very lonely feeling. Not fitting in. Not being taken seriously or forgotten because you don’t have kids. People don’t understand.”

Hamilton has tried to educate people on Facebook, but decided photography would be an even more powerful way to express how she feels. 

Fox’s photos of Hamilton use symbolic imagery, like a tornado background. “When Vikki first asked me to do this session, I wrote down all the emotions I’ve gone through since the miscarriage,” Fox told HuffPost. “The only thing that I could think of to describe all of the emotions was a tornado. There are so many emotions, ups and downs. Sometimes I could find myself sitting on the couch in a trance and I literally felt that my heart was twisting.”

The butterfly image was also the photographer’s idea. “Shortly after I lost the baby, I started seeing butterflies everywhere and for whatever reason I started associating them with the baby,” she said. “Every time I see one now I smile. I feel like it is God’s way of showing me everything will be OK.”

Another symbol in the photo series was the poppy ― a flower with a powerful meaning for Hamilton and the namesake of her blog, “Beyond the Poppyseed.” In her very first blog post, she wrote about the significance.

“A poppy is an annual plant that flowers between May and August. It’s seeds can lay dormant in the ground for a long time (like my eggs apparently). If the ground is disturbed, the seeds will germinate and the poppies will grow. This is what happened in Belgium and France after World War I. So, the poppies represent the war aspect of my anxiety and infertility.

The poppyseed also represents life and loss.

For those that have ever downloaded some sort of period tracker/pregnancy app, you will know that they count your pregnancy from day one of your last menstrual period. By week four, around the same time that your period is usually due, “baby is the size of a poppyseed.”

I have seen this 40 times since we started trying to conceive in 2013, and I have yet to get beyond the poppyseed.”

During the photo shoot, Hamilton wore a red tutu skirt to represent a poppy.

Another symbol was a rainbow, which represents Hamilton’s hope for a rainbow baby after the storm of infertility. 

The infertility photo shoot experience was an emotionally challenging experience for the photographer.

“I cried many times during the session, and actually had to stop editing a few times with the tornado picture because it is hard to edit through tears,” Fox told HuffPost, adding that she felt in her heart how much the photos would mean to Vikki and other women.

“There is a lot of shame in infertility, and until you have gone through it, you just can’t understand,” she added. “Before I lost a baby I didn’t understand, now I do. I wanted to help open up the communication about it. Women tend to be embarrassed. They blame themselves and don’t want to talk about it. They think they must be doing something wrong. When I talk to women about it these are all feelings they have.”

Hamilton described the experience as an “emotional release.” She hopes people who see the photos and read about the meaning develop a better understanding of what women in her position are going through.

“Hug your babies tight,” said Hamilton. “The next time you have a bad day, remember we would give anything to have a bad day with children. Also, remember how hard baby showers and Mother’s Day is for people going through infertility.”

She continued, “It’s hard to be invited to events, but it’s harder to not be invited. Invite us to events, but let us say no without feeling bad. Pregnancy announcements are best done through a private message before posting on social media so it gives us time to process and grieve. Of course we’re happy for you, but it’s really hard because it’s not us.”

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Beyoncé Is Releasing A ‘Lemonade’ Box Set (And It’s $300)

OK, Beyhive, we know you care: Beyoncé announced Tuesday that she’s dropping an incredible box set inspired by her ineffably gorgeous album “Lemonade.”

“Lemonade” celebrated its anniversary on April 23, but the limited-edition collectors’ edition box set is clearly created for those who want to celebrate it forever. 

Naturally, the announcement for the set is just as beautiful as the work it’s about:

Aptly called the “How To Make Lemonade Box Set,” it retails for a cool $300 and offers a “comprehensive look at Beyoncé’s ‘LEMONADE’ journey.”

It includes a copy of “Lemonade” on vinyl, a numbered 600-page coffee table book with “hundreds of never-before-seen photos” from the making of the album, and audio and visual album downloads.

The massive book features a foreword from Michael Eric Dyson, poetry by Warsan Shire and Beyoncé’s personal writing and lyrics interspersed throughout. 

The $300 price tag is pretty steep, but it is a collectors’ item. Though, Beanie Babies were once considered “collectors’ items” too …We’d say we’re conflicted, but let’s be real: We want one of these. 


Twitter seems to agree:

You can snag a box for yourself on pre-order here.

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In An Attempt To Empower Sex Workers, Did Netflix Exploit Them?

Multiple women have accused the creators of the new documentary series “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” of outing them as sex workers. 

Three sex workers have come forward alleging that directors Rashida Jones, Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus used footage of them without their consent or knowledge in the new Netflix series. The series is the second installment of the feature documentary “Hot Girls Wanted,” released in April of 2015, that explored the amateur porn industry in Florida. 

Two of the sex workers are featured for a few seconds in the last episode of the series in footage taken on the app Periscope.

The third sex worker says she initially agreed to appear in the series and signed a participant release form. After filming began, she told the directors she was uncomfortable with how many personal questions she was asked, and requested that she not appear in the series. According to a report from Vocativ, the woman still appears in multiple scenes in the series. (Head over to Vocativ to read her full story.) 

In an interview with Variety published on Sunday, Gradus and Bauer refuted the allegations and pointed to fair use laws. “Fair use” is a legal term that allows the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in specific circumstances.  

The footage of the two sex workers on Periscope, which is featured in a montage of other Periscope clips, can be used under the fair use umbrella as a way to side-step reaching out to the women for permission. One way the directors can do this is by using a very short clip of the women’s larger Periscope feed.

“If the use includes a large portion of the copyrighted work, fair use is less likely to be found,” the U.S. Copyright Office website explains. “If the use employs only a small amount of copyrighted material, fair use is more likely.” What constitutes fair use is also determined by the medium through which it was shared, in this case, Periscope. 

Since “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned on” only includes a 10-second clip of the two women’s Periscope footage, the docu-series can legally claim fair use terms. Periscope’s fair use language also allow clips filmed on its platform to be included in documentaries. 

Gradus insisted to Variety that they didn’t put anyone included in the series in danger: “The narrative has kind of become hijacked, that we exposed sex workers and that we put them in danger by telling the world that they were sex workers, when in fact we never ever did that.” 

The six-episode series, which was released on Netflix this month, focuses on the intersections of intimacy, technology and porn. The docu-series explores different aspects of the porn industry including camming (women who perform sexual acts on a live camera from a remote area) and the struggles of being a female producer in a male-dominated industry. 

Both “Hot Girls Wanted” and “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” received some critical praise. Other reviews focused on a troubling trend: It seemed as though the very people exploring sex work didn’t have much respect for sex workers and the industry as a whole. 

“The producers seem to be working through their own confusion about the differences between virtual dating, sex work, race and exploitation. They can not seem to understand that porn is work, and like every job on the planet has ups and downs,” one Netflix review reads. “In the process of stumbling upon their own assumptions and gaze they end up exploiting and divulging personal information on several of their subjects.”

For context, many sex workers use porn names or “stage” names that allow them the privacy and safety to live their work life separately from family, friends and often other employers. 

And that’s the most troubling part of these allegations. The very people who are documenting sex work don’t realize how damaging it can be to out a sex worker. 

The producers seem to be working through their own confusion about the differences between virtual dating, sex work, race and exploitation.
Netflix Review

The first two sex workers to come forward are two “cam girls” who go by Autumn Kayy and Effy Elizabeth. Last week, both Kayy and Elizabeth tweeted that a short clip of them on Periscope was included in the series’ sixth episode titled “Don’t Stop Filming” without their consent or knowledge.

“We were not aware at all that ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ was going to use it,” Kayy told HuffPost. “We found out from fellow models and members.”

The episode itself is about 18-year-old Marina Lonina who made headlines last year after she filmed her friend on Periscope while she was being raped. The episode explores how Lonina and many other teens use Periscope as a way to feel connected to their peers. 

Elizabeth confirmed to HuffPost that the docu-series also used footage of her without asking. “I was put into ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ without my consent and zero knowledge of it until it had already been posted,” Elizabeth said.

Kayy told HuffPost she reached out to “Hot Girls Wanted” on Twitter and they responded that someone would be in contact with her to explain “fair use.” When HuffPost asked Elizabeth if she reached out to the series, she responded she hadn’t because “they’ve made it pretty clear they’ll exploit us no matter what.”

Below are screenshots of the conversation Kayy provided to HuffPost.

Bauer and Gradus told Variety that any footage recorded on Periscope is allowed to be used in a documentary under the app’s fair use terms of service. The two directors also pointed out that neither Kayy nor Elizabeth are identified by name anywhere in the documentary.  

“They saw themselves, and then on Twitter, as themselves, using their own handles, tweeted out, ‘Oh my God, we’re on Netflix. Oh my God nobody told us. Oh my God, we’re sex workers and they’ve just shown us on Netflix,’” Gradus said. “So the great irony here is that they identified themselves as sex workers. And really that is a key piece of information that has been lost in this story. We didn’t know who they were. We never would have known, the viewers never would have known, unless they themselves identified themselves.”  

For two people making a documentary about sex workers, both seemed rather flippant about the emotions and privacy concerns of sex workers. 

I was put into ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ without my consent and zero knowledge of it until it had already been posted.
Effy Elizabeth, Webcam Performer

Bauer’s and Gradus’ response to these allegations highlights two main issues. The first is that many sex workers use Twitter as a way to promote their work and often use pseudonyms to conceal their real identity, as both Elizabeth and Kayy do. Identifying someone as a sex worker on Twitter is very different from identifying them on one of the largest entertainment platforms in the world. 

The second issue is the context in which “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” used the short clip of Kayy and Elizabeth. The episode in question focuses on people’s use of Periscope, particularly young teens like Lonina. There are multiple sections that include different clips of people using Periscope in the episode. While the viewer watches these short montages, 18-year-old Lonina explains how she feels connected to her friends using the app.

Kayy is 26 and Elizabeth is 21. It feels like an oversight that the directors included a clip of two adult professional sex workers in an episode about teenagers and Periscope. 

On April 28, Free Speech Coalition ― the national trade association to the adult entertainment industry ― published an open letter to Netflix and the directors and producers of “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.” 

“Yes, the use of a [publicly] available live web show may technically fall within legal guidelines of ‘fair use,’” the letter reads. “But it is unethical and dangerous for producers who claim to be on the side of the performers to then take those images, and use them to ‘out’ vulnerable workers.”

The letter continues:

It is ironic ― and disturbing ― that a mainstream series which purports to address workplace ethics among adult film performers and focus on issues of empowerment appears to exploit them for its own gain. If the allegations against this project are substantiated, the producers may be perpetuating unfair labor practices against adult performers on their own production.

Privacy is a huge issue for performers, and in direct correlation to their personal and physical safety. Many performers face daily threats of harassment and violence from over-zealous fans and stalkers, and many are stigmatized for the work they do by families and communities. Paradoxically, this series may have made the lives of the workers featured in it substantially less safe by increasing the visibility and accessibility of their private information, such as birth names, and by broadcasting images without consent, and without regard to how that might affect these performers. The dismissal of such concerns with a reference to “fair use” speaks volumes, as do Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus’ remarks discrediting and dismissing the claims and experiences of the workers affected by the series. 

Head here to read the full letter.  

Gradus chalked up the backlash to a “defensive” porn industry that often doesn’t like how it’s portrayed in mainstream media.

“The industry is very defensive about people coming in and shining a light on the industry and doing stories about it,” Gradus told Variety. “The allegations that have come out are probably the result of pressure they are feeling to stand in solidarity with the industry.” 

While everything the “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” directors did seems to be legal under fair use terms, the whole ordeal leaves viewers with a bad taste in their mouth.

One Netflix reviewer summed up the issue well, writing: “So let me get this straight: You make a series allegedly trying to shed light on the experiences of women in the sex industry ― and you do so by exposing them and not caring *in the slightest* about their concerns?! Legal or not, it’s unethical.”

The Huffington Post reached out to the directors of “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” and Netflix but did not hear back before the time of publication. 

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The Best University Art Museums in America

For Architectural Digest, by Elizabeth Stamp.

While we may not all get accepted into the country’s most elite universities, visiting the museums at these top schools may be just as good (and far less expensive than four years of tuition.) Colleges across the United States show off their impressive collections of everything from antiquities to contemporary art in equally striking buildings by architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Michael Graves, and Cesar Pelli. Whether they’re located at Ivy League universities, small liberal arts schools, or big state institutions, these exceptional museums alone are worth a college tour.

RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island

Founded in 1877, the museum of the Rhode Island School of Design is composed of five buildings on the east side of Providence that date from 1893 to 2008, with the latest addition designed by architect Rafael Moneo. The institution’s impressive permanent collection features approximately 100,000 objects, from historic textiles to paintings by European masters to experimental video works. risdmuseum.org

Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta

Emory University’s collection began in 1876 on the original campus in Oxford, Georgia, and the museum was officially founded in 1919 in Atlanta. Located in a postmodern building by architect Michael Graves, the institution is home to an extensive collection of art and artifacts from ancient times to present day, with particularly notable sections devoted to Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities. carlos.emory.edu

Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts

With an emphasis on modern and contemporary works, as well as American art from the late 18th century on, the Williams College Museum of Art is a repository of more than 14,000 pieces, including the world’s largest collection of works by Charles and Maurice Prendergast. The museum is housed in Lawrence Hall, originally built in 1846 as an octogonal library by Thomas Alexander Tefft and expanded in the 1980s by architect Charles Moore. wcma.williams.edu

Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis

Located in a spectacular Frank Gehry building along the Mississippi River, the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum brings together over 20,000 works of art, including a breadth of traditional Korean furniture, American modernist art, and ceramics. The museum also offers a rental program that permits students, employees, and university departments to display select pieces from the collection in their homes or offices. wam.umn.edu

Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana

The institution, which is set in a 1982 building by architect I. M. Pei, has an encyclopedic collection of more than 45,000 objects, from paintings by Monet and Picasso to a complete set of Marcel Duchamp’s 1964 “Readymades” to nearly 5,000 pieces of ancient jewelry. artmuseum.indiana.edu

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio

Established in 1917, Oberlin College’s Allen Memorial Art Museum is located in an Italian Renaissance building designed by architect Cass Gilbert. A gallery for modern and contemporary art by the firm Venturi, Rauch, and Scott Brown was added in 1977. The museum’s collection includes more than 14,000 objects, including Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, Japanese woodblock prints, and modern landscape paintings by such artists as Cézanne, Monet, and Turners. The museum also oversees the Eva Hesse archives and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Weltzheimer/Johnson House. oberlin.edu/amam

Saint Louis University Museum of Art, St. Louis

Though it was founded only 13 years ago, the institution has become well established, with a collection that features artists such as Kiki Smith, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Claes Oldenburg. The museum occupies a Beaux Arts building that was once home to the St. Louis club, and in keeping with the school’s Jesuit tradition, the third floor is dedicated to art and artifacts from western missions. slu.edu/sluma-home

View more university art museums here.

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