Thursday, December 31, 2009

Margaret Sanger, birth control, eugenics

Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow on Margaret Sanger, from The Nation.

In March 1914, Sanger launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly produced out of her apartment. At this stage she advocated contraception for feminist reasons but also as part of an anticapitalist agenda: Workers, in her view, were multiplying too fruitfully, thus cheapening their labor; birth control offered a weapon for the revolution. In the first issue she wrote, "Woman is enslaved by the world machine, by sex conventions, by motherhood and its present necessary child-rearing, by wage-slavery, by middle-class morality, by customs, laws and superstitions"...

In October 1916 Sanger opened a clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn, again testing the law. Hundreds of women, mostly Jewish and Italian immigrants, flocked there to receive birth control information and instruction. In a newspaper interview, Sanger boasted, "You can hear them calling from house to house in the congested district, 'Oh, Mrs. Rosenbaum, you ought to see this; this is something fine!'" But after ten days, the police shut the clinic down and arrested Sanger and her colleagues. Sanger spent several weeks in prison, but the sacrifice paid off: The case resulted in a court decision that contraception could be prescribed by doctors in New York State for general health reasons, not just for the prevention of venereal disease. This court decision, and the tremendous national attention generated through Sanger's sensational tactics, were major victories. Sanger's radicalism advanced her cause at this stage, although as she shifted to a more moderate approach, she tried to distance herself from these roots....

Although Sanger's arguments centered on the rights of women to be emancipated from conscripted motherhood, broader social ideologies were always present as well. Initially anticapitalist, she later adopted eugenic reasoning; later still, during the Depression, she insisted that birth control for the poor would solve the economy's problems. The common thread was that fewer children were better than more--a reasonable opinion with problematic implications.

Her primary exposure was to the masses of women who desperately wanted to control their family size. She received a constant stream of letters thanking her and soliciting advice, and answered many of them personally and with care. "You must not look upon this relationship as if you were a bad girl," she wrote to one young woman distraught over the premarital loss of her virginity. But presumably Sanger never received letters from the "unfit" reporting the tragedies that resulted from eugenic policies of forced sterilization. Her own views on the "dysgenic" are chilling. In a speech called "My Way to Peace" (she considered birth control the antidote to war, to boot), she advocated "a stern and rigid policy of sterilization" in order to control the reproduction of "morons, mental defectives, epileptics."

She did not regard the poor as inherently "unfit"--after all, she herself came from a poor family. She believed access to birth control would enable the working classes to provide for and nurture their children; lower quantity would mean higher quality. And in a milieu where racism was common, she frowned on prejudice in her clients and won the admiration of W.E.B. Du Bois for her work with the black community. But she believed that certain traits, such as epilepsy, mental retardation and physical disabilities, should disqualify people from reproducing. In 1934, in response to a questionnaire for the Yale News, she wrote of the new Nazi sterilization laws for the "unfit" (which were based on the proposals of American eugenicists): "If by 'unfit' is meant the physical or mental defects of a human being, that is an admirable gesture but if 'unfit' refers to races or religions, then that is another matter which I frankly deplore." (Sanger later helped a number of Jews escape from Europe by promising them work in the States.)

Sanger's concept of worthwhile life, then, was ruthlessly narrow, and she readily disregarded the rights of certain people. Also, she naïvely failed to see that oppression easily leaks beyond porous barriers. In Nazi Germany, the sterilization laws she admired--explicitly directed at the mentally retarded, schizophrenic and comparable classes--were, of course, soon turned against the Jews and other ethnic groups.

In the United States, involuntary sterilization was also scandalously widespread. In 1927 the practice received the blessing of the Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell, which upheld the compulsory sterilization of a poor young mother, Carrie Buck, who was deemed "feeble-minded." The laws technically applied to the "feeble-minded" and other pseudo-scientifically designated "dysgenic" sorts. But in practice, the victims of involuntary sterilization--and there were tens of thousands of them, over the course of decades--were simply poor women and girls, disproportionately black, Puerto Rican and Native American...

The conflation of eugenics and reproductive rights has a different context. New genetic technologies herald the arrival of a "new eugenics," allowing the creation of "designer babies." The original eugenics was a misguided utopian scheme gone disastrously awry, all too typical of its time; the sequel, appropriately for ours, is about consumer choice. In both cases, threats lurk among the apparent promises: This time, unfettered use of enhancement technologies could lead to starkly deepened inequalities and disconcerting control over human evolution...

The conflation of eugenics and reproductive rights has resurfaced, however, in a different context. New genetic technologies herald the arrival of a "new eugenics," allowing the creation of "designer babies." The original eugenics was a misguided utopian scheme gone disastrously awry, all too typical of its time; the sequel, appropriately for ours, is about consumer choice. In both cases, threats lurk among the apparent promises: This time, unfettered use of enhancement technologies could lead to starkly deepened inequalities and disconcerting control over human evolution.

"Lay off men": Doris Lessing

Lay off men, Lessing tells feminists:
Novelist condemns female culture that revels in humiliating other sex

by Fiachra Gibbons, The Guardian, August 14, 2001

The novelist Doris Lessing yesterday claimed that men were the new silent victims in the sex war, "continually demeaned and insulted" by women without a whimper of protest.

Lessing, who became a feminist icon with the books The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook, said a "lazy and insidious" culture had taken hold within feminism that revelled in flailing men.

Young boys were being weighed down with guilt about the crimes of their sex, she told the Edinburgh book festival, while energy which could be used to get proper child care was being dissipated in the pointless humiliation of men.

"I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed," the 81-year-old Persian-born writer said yesterday.

"Great things have been achieved through feminism. We now have pretty much equality at least on the pay and opportunities front, though almost nothing has been done on child care, the real liberation.

"We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men?

"I was in a class of nine- and 10-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men.

"You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologising for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives."

Lessing said the teacher tried to "catch my eye, thinking I would approve of this rubbish".

She added: "This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing.

"It has become a kind of religion that you can't criticise because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not.

"It is time we began to ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests.

"Men seem to be so cowed that they can't fight back, and it is time they did."

Lessing claimed that much of the "great energy" whipped up by feminism had "been lost in hot air and fine words when we should have been concentrating on changing laws.

"We have got the pay but only real equality comes when child care is sorted out and it hasn't been yet, well not for those who really need it anyway"...

J-Setting: Beyoncé revises Madonna

For now, this post on J-Setting will have to serve as a kind of place-holder. Beyoncé famously used J-Setting in her "Single Ladies" video. Another black gay dance style, this one, Southern, brought--for a moment--into the mainstream.

The March 2009 issue of Vibe has a longer and very useful piece on J-Setting, but it's not available on the web, and the links to Southern Voices on the Rod 2.0 Beta post are...down. More later, hopefully. But here's a teaser.

J-Setting, according to Vibe, originated at Mississippi's Jackson State, with the Prancing Jaycettes, the female dance line of JSU's marching band. In 1970, the Jaycettes (later, Jaysettes), abandoned their batons and began dancing in formation, but keeping their signature moves.

In 1997, DeMorris Adams joined the JSU as a baton twirler, the first male to do so. So developed the male, and eventually gay, cross-over...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"The Domestic Gulag"

Excerpt from Lura Kipnis' Against Love: A Polemic. Harpers Magazine, Oct. 2003, pp. 15-18.

Excerpt from the excerpt:

You can't leave the house without saying where you're going...You can't make plans without consulting the other persons, particularly not for evenings and weekends...You can't leave the dishes for later..You can't not notice whether the house is neat or messy...You can't leave the toilet seat up...You can't leave female-hygiene products out...You can't sleep late if the other person has to get up early...You can't watch soap operas without getting made fun of...Your best friends can't call after ten...You can't have your own bank account...You can't analyze the cinematography in a movie that they were emotional about...You can't not 'communicate your feelings.' Except when those feelings are critical, which they should not be.

Thus is love obtained.

"Either/Or: Sports, sex, and the case of Caster Semenya"

Very interesting article about gender indeterminacy, by Ariel Levy, in The New Yorker, Nov. 30 2009.

In normal human development, when a zygote has XY, or male, chromosomes, the SRY—sex-determining region Y—gene on the Y chromosome “instructs” the zygote’s protogonads to develop as testes, rather than as ovaries. The testes then produce testosterone, which issues a second set of developmental instructions: for a scrotal sac to develop and for the testes to descend into it, for a penis to grow, and so on. But the process can get derailed. A person can be born with one ovary and one testicle. The SRY gene can end up on an X chromosome. A person with a penis who thinks he is male can one day find out that he has a uterus and ovaries. “Then, there is chromosomal variability that is invisible,” Anne Fausto-Sterling, the author of “Sexing the Body,” told me. “You could go your whole life and never know.”

All sorts of things can happen, and do. An embryo that is chromosomally male but suffers from an enzyme deficiency that partially prevents it from “reading” testosterone can develop into a baby who appears female. Then, at puberty, the person’s testes will produce a rush of hormones and this time the body won’t need the enzyme (called 5-alpha-reductase) to successfully read the testosterone. The little girl will start to become hairier and more muscular. Her voice may deepen, and her testes may descend into what she thought were her labia. Her clitoris will grow into something like a penis. Is she still a girl? Was she ever?

If a chromosomally male embryo has androgen-insensitivity syndrome, or A.I.S., the cells’ receptors for testosterone, an androgen, are deaf to the testosterone’s instructions, and will thus develop the default external sexual characteristics of a female. An individual with androgen-insensitivity syndrome has XY chromosomes, a vagina, and undescended testes, but her body develops without the ability to respond to the testosterone it produces. In fact, people with complete A.I.S. are less able to process testosterone than average women. Consequently, they tend to have exceptionally “smooth-skinned bodies with rounded hips and breasts and long limbs,” Dreger writes in “Hermaphrodites.”

People with incomplete A.I.S., on the other hand, could end up looking and sounding like Caster Semenya. Their bodies hear some of the instructions that the testosterone inside them is issuing. But that does not necessarily mean that they would have an athletic advantage.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Skinny male models emerge as the prototype (winter '07-'08)

From "The Vanishing Point," by Guy Trebay, New York Times, Thursday Styles, Feb. 7, 2008. (Thanks, Stephen.) Read the entire article here. Be sure to check out the slide show. (Photo: Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty Images.)

The last line quoted below may be the most significant.

Where the masculine ideal of as recently as 2000 was a buff 6-footer with six-pack abs, the man of the moment is an urchin, a wraith or an underfed runt...

Wasn’t it just a short time ago that the industry was up in arms about skinny models? Little over a year ago, in Spain, designers were commanded to choose models based on a healthy body mass index...The models in question were women, and it’s safe to say that they remain as waiflike as ever. But something occurred while no one was looking. Somebody shrunk the men...

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are taller and much heavier today than 40 years ago. The report, released in 2002, showed that the average height of adult American men has increased to 5-9 ½ in 2002 from just over 5-8 in 1960. The average weight of the same adult man had risen dramatically, to 191 pounds from 166.3.

Nowadays a model that weighed in at 191 pounds, no matter how handsome, would be turned away from most agencies or else sent to a fat farm...

In terms of image, the current preference is for beauty that is not fully evolved.

[Model Demián] Tkach said that when he came here from Mexico, where he had been working: “My agency asked me to lose some muscle. I lost a little bit to help them, because I understand the designers are not looking for a male image anymore. They’re looking for some kind of androgyne.”

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Muxe: a 'third sex' in Oaxaca, Mexico

The local Zapotec people have made room for a third category, which they call “muxes” (pronounced MOO-shays) — men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned netherworld between the two genders...Not all muxes express their identities the same way. Some dress as women and take hormones to change their bodies. Others favor male clothes. What they share is that the community accepts them; many in it believe that muxes have special intellectual and artistic gifts.

Every November, muxes inundate the town for a grand ball that attracts local men, women and children as well as outsiders. A queen is selected; the mayor crowns her...Muxes are found in all walks of life in Juchitán, but most take on traditional female roles — selling in the market, embroidering traditional garments, cooking at home. Some also become sex workers, selling their services to men.

Excerpted from "A Lifestyle Distinct: The Muxe of Mexico," by Marc Lacey, New York Times, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008. Go here for the full article and the not-to-be-missed slide show. Here's a sample (photo: Katie Orlinsky.)

NYT caption: "Beth-Sua enjoys a smoke at a vela in Oaxaca City. She traveled there from the Isthmus to represent her city’s muxes. Beth-Sua, born as Octavio, is a local organizer and H.I.V.-AIDS activist. She makes a living embroidering huipiles, the traditional blouse of the Isthmus region."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gay kissing in public: still (very) taboo

I'm posting this almost three years after the original publication, but it's still relevant. And will no doubt remain relevant for some time. From the New York Times Sunday Styles section, Feb. 18, 2007. Entitled "A Kiss Too Far?" (photo, Rahav Segev).

"Why is it that behavioral latitudes permit couples of one sort to indulge freely in public displays lusty enough to suggest short-term motel stays, while entire populations, albeit minority ones, live real-time versions of the early motion picture Hays Code: a peck on the cheek in public, one foot squarely planted on the floor?"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lisa Duggan, on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall

Very important interview, from Democracy Now!

"...many grassroots organizations, like the Audre Lorde Project, which was just represented here, have very broad goals and define queer issues as being the issues that affect most of us, rather than the issues that affect only gay people. So, for instance, healthcare and access to healthcare is a big issue for queer people. The access to homeless shelters that are queer-friendly is very important for queer youth. A very large proportion of homeless youth are LGBT."

See Duggan's article in The Nation about trend-setting Utah here.

Photo by me, of exhibit in window of the Stonewall In, West Village, New York City. (Original here.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Are US Parents Spending Too Little Time with Their Children?

No, says Stephanie Coontz. Read on:

Till Children Do Us Part
By Stephanie Coontz
February 4, 2009
New York Times

Half a century ago, the conventional wisdom was that having a child was the surest way to build a happy marriage. Women’s magazines of that era promised that almost any marital problem could be resolved by embarking on parenthood. Once a child arrives, “we don’t worry about this couple any more,” an editor at Better Homes and Gardens enthused in 1944. “There are three in that family now. ... Perhaps there is not much more needed in a recipe for happiness.”

Over the past two decades, however, many researchers have concluded that three’s a crowd when it comes to marital satisfaction. More than 25 separate studies have established that marital quality drops, often quite steeply, after the transition to parenthood. And forget the “empty nest” syndrome: when the children leave home, couples report an increase in marital happiness.

But does the arrival of children doom couples to a less satisfying marriage? Not necessarily. Two researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, Philip and Carolyn Cowan, report in a forthcoming briefing paper for the Council on Contemporary Families that most studies finding a large drop in marital quality after childbirth do not consider the very different routes that couples travel toward parenthood.

Some couples plan the conception and discuss how they want to conduct their relationship after the baby is born. Others disagree about whether or when to conceive, with one partner giving in for the sake of the relationship. And sometimes, both partners are ambivalent.

The Cowans found that the average drop in marital satisfaction was almost entirely accounted for by the couples who slid into being parents, disagreed over it or were ambivalent about it. Couples who planned or equally welcomed the conception were likely to maintain or even increase their marital satisfaction after the child was born.

Marital quality also tends to decline when parents backslide into more traditional gender roles. Once a child arrives, lack of paid parental leave often leads the wife to quit her job and the husband to work more. This produces discontent on both sides. The wife resents her husband’s lack of involvement in child care and housework. The husband resents his wife’s ingratitude for the long hours he works to support the family.

When the Cowans designed programs to help couples resolve these differences, they had fewer conflicts and higher marital quality. And the children did better socially and academically because their parents were happier.

But keeping a marriage vibrant is a never-ending job. Deciding together to have a child and sharing in child-rearing do not immunize a marriage. Indeed, collaborative couples can face other problems. They often embark on such an intense style of parenting that they end up paying less attention to each other.

Parents today spend much more time with their children than they did 40 years ago. The sociologists Suzanne Bianchi, John Robinson and Melissa Milkie report that married mothers in 2000 spent 20 percent more time with their children than in 1965. Married fathers spent more than twice as much time.

A study by John Sandberg and Sandra Hofferth at the University of Michigan showed that by 1997 children in two-parent families were getting six more hours a week with Mom and four more hours with Dad than in 1981. And these increases occurred even as more mothers entered the labor force.

Couples found some of these extra hours by cutting back on time spent in activities where children were not present — when they were alone as a couple, visiting with friends and kin, or involved in clubs. But in the long run, shortchanging such adult-oriented activities for the sake of the children is not good for a marriage. Indeed, the researcher Ellen Galinsky has found that most children don’t want to spend as much time with their parents as parents assume; they just want their parents to be more relaxed when they are together.

Couples need time alone to renew their relationship. They also need to sustain supportive networks of friends and family. Couples who don’t, investing too much in their children and not enough in their marriage, may find that when the demands of child-rearing cease to organize their lives, they cannot recover the relationship that made them want to have children together in the first place.

As the psychologist Joshua Coleman suggests, the airline warning to put on your own oxygen mask before you place one on your child also holds true for marriage.

Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history at Evergreen State College and the director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families, is the author of “Marriage: A History.”

Monday, April 13, 2009

Muslim men inherently violent and sexist and Muslim women are especially oppressed

The common, everyday US sentiment, orchestrated by the mass media in quotidian fashion. Angry Arab's comment:

American honor killings

In the US, 23 women are killed by husbands or boyfriends EVERY WEEK (more than those killed in Jordan per year). Yet, the US media only notice the murder of women in Muslim lands. The factors that cause death and injury to women in the West and East are the same: but the Western media are oblivious of the factors in the West. They think that they are free and equal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Violence against US women

From the article, "The Stark Facts About Violence Against Women," by Elizabeth Schulte (Counterpunch).

Statistics on dating violence and young women are shocking. According to the Family Violence and Prevention Fund, one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a date, and 8 percent of high-school-age girls say that they have been forced by a boyfriend to have sex against their will. Forty percent of girls aged 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit by a boyfriend.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, every year women in the U.S. experience 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes. According to the Bureau of Justice, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner in 2005--an average of three women every day.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Gender and Literacy"

Some data to accompany Section 14 of Grewal & Kaplan's An Introduction to Women's Studies:

The state of Arkansas
Arkansas: 14% of population (2,044,669) lacks basic prose literacy skills.

According to the 2000 United States Census, Arkansas has 1,993,031 residents age 18 and over. Of this number, 491,000, or almost 25 percent, do not have a high school diploma. Of the 491,000 Arkansans, 170,420 have less than an eighth-grade education.

Facts courtesy Arkansas Literacy Councils:

More than 20% of Arkansans read at or below 5th grade level, well below the level needed to earn a living wage.

43% of those with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty. 17% are on food stamps, and 70% have no job or work part-time.

Those in the work force with no high school diploma earn on average $425 a month, those with a BA, $1829.

Newspaper consumption (from the Pew Research Center, Feb. 16, 2009):

There has long been a sizable "generation gap" in newspaper readership. In 1998, those in the oldest age cohort -- the Greatest/Silent Generations (born before 1946) -- were more than twice as likely as those in the youngest generation at that time (Generation X) to read a newspaper yesterday (65% vs. 31%). Older age cohorts continue to read newspapers at much higher rates than do younger cohorts.

In the 2008 survey, slightly more than half (53%) of those in this age cohort said they read a newspaper yesterday. A decade earlier, 65% of those in the Silent/Greatest Generations did so. There also has been a large decline in the percentage of Baby Boomers who reported reading a newspaper yesterday, from 48% in 1998 to 38% a decade later.

By contrast, newspaper readership has been more stable among younger age cohorts. In 2008, 26% of those in Generation X said the read a newspaper yesterday, compared with 31% in 1998. Last year, 21% of those in Generation Y said they read a newspaper on the previous day, which was little changed from 2004 (22%).

The generational pattern in television news viewership is somewhat different: Within each age cohort, the percentages saying they watched television news yesterday have remained stable in recent years. As with newspapers, a far lower proportion of Gen Y than older age cohorts reports watching TV news on a typical day. Unlike newspapers, however, there is even a sizable gap in television news viewership between Gen Y and Gen X. In 2008, just 42% of Gen Y said they watched television news yesterday, compared with 54% of Gen X and even higher percentages of Boomers (61%) and the Silent/Greatest Generations (73%).

Like newspapers, radio news has seen a gradual overall decline over the past decade. In 2008, as in previous news consumption surveys, those in their prime working years were more likely than others to report listening to radio news yesterday. Radio news listenership was higher among Gen X (41%) and Boomers (38%) than among either the Silent/Greatest Generations (30%) or Gen Y (29%).

In contrast to traditional media sources, use of online news on a typical day has increased in recent years. Nearly all of this growth has come in Gen X (from 32% in 2006 to 38% in 2008) and Gen Y (from 24% to 33%).

...Newspaper websites are especially popular with highly educated online news consumers. More than a quarter of those who have attended graduate school (28%) cite a newspaper website as where they go most often for news and information. That compares with 16% of those with no more than a college degree and much smaller percentages of those with less education.

Gendered reading:

A recent international study suggests that girls are reading better than boys through age 15. According to the report, girls had higher reading scores in every one of 43 countries surveyed.

The survey, "Literacy Skills for the World of Tomorrow", was developed by UNESCO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and based on tests involving 4,500 to 10,000 students in each country.

Interestingly, the report also suggests that boys are reading less fluently because of "a lack of engagement." Statistically, 56 percent of the boys read only to get information, compared with 33 percent of the girls. However, nearly half of the girls said they read for at least thirty minutes a day, compared with less than one-third of the boys.

As expected, students living in countries with higher national incomes performed better in educational tests, including reading, math and science...The study also showed "strong relationships" between class and educational performances in countries such as Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland and the United States...

Adding to the OECD study are the following international literacy statistics reported by the Literacy Trust of England:
  • 130 million of the world's children aged 6-11 are not in school.
  • 90 million of the world's children aged 6-11 not in school are girls.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Guerilla Girls

We discovered that it was only in the twentieth
century, with the establishment of art history
as an institutionalized academic discipline, that
most art history systematically obliterated
women artists from the record.

-Griselda Pollock,
Vision and Difference:
Femininity, Feminism,
and the History
of Ar
t (1988)

Guerilla Girls, Horror on the National Mall, 2007

The Birth of Feminism

more on Guerilla Girls here.

Illustrations for excerpt from John Berger's "Ways of Seeing"

The Venus of Urbino by Titian (c. 1487-1576)

Olympia by Manet (1832-83)

John Berger, Ways of Seeing (p. 272 in Grewal and Kaplan): One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object -- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight...

In the art form of the European nude, the painters and spectator-owners were usually men and the person treated as objects usually women. This unequal relationship is so deeply embedded in our culture that it still structures the consciousness of many women. They do to themselves what men do to them. They survey, like men, their own femininity.

In modern art the category of the nude has become less important. Artists themselves began to question it. In this, as in many other respects, Maet represented a turning point. If one compares his Olympia with titian's original, one sees a woman cast in the traditional role, beginning to question that role, somewht defiantly.

The ideal was broken. But there was little to replace it except the "realism" of the prostitute--who became the quintessential woman of early avant-garde twentieth-century painting..."