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Houston Breakthrough, October 1980 - Page 10. October 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 6, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1588/show/1571.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(October 1980). Houston Breakthrough, October 1980 - Page 10. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1588/show/1571

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, October 1980 - Page 10, October 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 6, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1588/show/1571.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, October 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date October 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
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Title Page 10
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File Name femin_201109_564h.jpg
Transcript CHILDREN FOR SALE "What we need is a magazine to replace Seventeen called Ten" -BY GABRIELLE COSGRIFF- In this column last May, we commented on the fact that, in movies and the theater," pubescent hookers and bordello child-brides are old hat," now that 10-year-olds are being auditioned for the stage production of Lolita. The luckv kid chosen for the part gets to In the advertising world, as in films and theater, it seems that 15-year-old sex objects are also over the hill. The cover story in New York magazine, Sept. 29, examined the phenomenon of "The Hottest Models in Town," respectively 12, 13 and 15-year-old girls. Writers Mel Juffe did not share his zeal. "I find this business of 12-year-old models perfectly silly," she asserted , adding tautologously, "I would hope that the zenith would soon reach its peak and then go promptly a- way." When Juffe and Haden-Guest reminded Brown that it was a Cosmo- Cover photo, New York magazine, Sept. 29, 1980 play explicit sex scenes opposite an aging Donald Sutherland. In a recent column, Ellen Goodman railed against the "kidporn of the ad world," as in the Calvin Klein TV ads "that pan slowly up to the crotch of 15- year-old Brooke Shields and say something like, 'I have 15 pairs of Calvins in the closet. If they could talk, I'd be in trouble. Goodman confessed to a strong urge to drown Brooke Shields in the nearest blue lagoon. (That column, incidentally, ran in the Houston Post, Sept. 21, with a Post subhead: "Wretching from the trash heap known as kidporn." That's either wretched spelling or an obtuse pun. You choose.) Goodman made the point that teenagers are "often acutely aware that they are regarded as useless, if not downright dangerous," and that the only value they seem to have is as consumers. "You don't have to be a parent," she wrote, "to be appalled at the teeny-bopper stations playing the 10-minute orgasm, or the clothing industry marketing 15-year-olds into sex-for-sale objects. But it helps." and Anthony Haden-Guest, in "Pretty Babies," point up the cynical exploitation of these and other female children in the high fashion industry. There have always been "child models with pink cheeks and white smiles," they wrote, "but this is different: It's the advent of Make-Believe Adults." Francesco Scavullo, cover photographer for such publications as Cosmopolitan, New York and Vogue, photographed 12-year-old Kristine Oulman: "I said immediately, 'She's not for Seventeen, she's for Vogue. She's too beautiful, too sophisticated, to be in a teen-age magazine.. ." Get 'em young is Scavullo's philosophy. "What it is with these young kids is they have beautiful skin. You can use a lot of makeup - that makes them look sophisticated, and older. Nothing's better than youth to take a picture of. . . With what's going on now," he enthused, "what we need is a magazine to replace Seventeen called Ten. Ten-year-olds will soon be what teenagers were like!" Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmopolitan politan cover by Scavullo of 15-year-old Lisa Cummins that contributed to the trend, Brown replied that Scavullo "has almost total jurisdiction over whom he wants to use on the cover." (A few weeks ago on Donahue, however, I heard Brown admit that she has final veto power on all Cosmo covers.) Model agencies were ambivalent about the issue. Said Jerry Ford, "I won't agree that Ford goes out looking for child- women," Johnny Casablancas of Elite spoke of a "psychological block" in a model so young. (Elite is the major agency for "Pretty Babies" in the fashion- modeling industry, claimed the article.) "We seem to be moving into a Lolita syndrome," said Bill Weinberg, president of Wilhelmina. The authors also consulted experts, who viewed the phenomenon as psychologically revealing. "When some people know, or sense how young Oulman really is," said psychotherapist Dr. H. Jon Geis, "they censor their conscious erotic fantasies. But then her appeal becomes un conscious and thus even more intense, more dangerous." He added that "the child-woman is the supreme temptress for the adult male." Sylvere Lotringer, a teacher of modern French philosophy: "The Pretty Babies are forbidden, but they have already become cover girls. That's what counts. The fact that they're posing means they're for sale." In an otherwise perceptive story, the views of these "experts" were not challenged, or expanded, to address the assumption that these children, by posing, have forfeited their right to be treated as children. "They're for sale" and "the supreme temptress for the adult male" neatly shift the burden of guilt away from that adult male to the pre-pubescent temptress. That smacks too closely of the she-must-have-asked-for-it school of thought on rape and other forms of physical abuse. The exploitation of children by way of glamour, fame and large chunks of cash is well documented and convincing in this story. The testimony of the adult male "experts" was a sour note in an otherwise enlightening piece on the last segment of the female population that can still be exploited with impunity — the children. Vanessa Redgrave gave a superlative performance as Fania Fenelon in Playing for Time, a CBS made-for-television movie, Sept. 30. Fenelon, a French, half-Jewish cabaret singer and member of the Resistance, survived Auschwitz by playing and singing in an orchestra of women prisoners. Their gruesome task was to provide aesthetic uplift to the Nazis in their "difficult work" of slaughtering four million prisoners, mostly Jews. The terrible irony of Jewish artists providing support for their Nazi captors is echoed in the irony of casting Redgrave, champion of the PLO and Kaddafy's "Libyan revolution," as a Jewish heroine. The Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Los Angeles sent a letter to every Jewish newspaper in the United States, calling for a nation-wide "switch-off" of the film. CBS had a difficult time finding advertisers for the three-heur show, and Fenelon herself objected bitterly to the casting, calling it "a moral wrong." In Houston, the reaction of the Jewish community was largely one of frustration, with a decided abhorrence for the insensi- tivity of the casting balanced by an equal abhorrence for boycotting or blacklisting. "We as a people have been boycotted throughout our history and we're not in favor of boycotts," said Joseph Samuels, publisher and editor of Houston's weekly Jewish Herald Voice. Steve Klein, of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, called it "a complicated and frustrating issue." He said the casting was "incredibly in- HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH