Week in Women

by by Audrey von Maluski

It's been a strange week for the ladies, at least if a glance at newspaper or internet headlines is any indication.

First, there are the women currently shaping the politics of the future. I'm referring, of course, to the lovely ladies of the Emperor's Club VIP, a prostitution ring that has recently come under federal investigation. On Monday, Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York was indicted for trafficking one of the Emperor's finest across state lines for the purposes of prostitution. Four other defendants were charged last Friday with the same crime. Spitzer, who was known on the federal wiretaps as Client 9, resigned on Wednesday after some deliberation.

As for another female heavily involved in politics, Hillary Clinton experienced two setbacks this week. First, the eight-year-old girl featured prominently in Clinton's "Who will answer the phone" scare-ad surfaced after seeing herself on television--and she's a fervent Obama supporter. The now 17-year-old Casey Knowles campaigned for Barack Obama in Washington and worked as a Democratic precinct captain on primary day. She has contacted the Obama campaign and might "make a counter ad, me and Obama, against Hillary."

Monday, Hillary also received a rebuttal from Obama, her annoyingly persistent rival. Both Clintons have recently raised the prospect of Obama joining her ticket as the vice presidential candidate--an idea that Obama firmly rejected. Said Obama, "I don't know how somebody who's in second place can offer the vice presidency to someone who's in first place." Ouch.

While other women are not running for president, they have problems of their own to deal with. For example, Ivanka Trump, Donald's daughter, had to deal with a minor scandal this week. A fraudulent report stated that Trump sends an assistant over to visit her wax likeness at Madame Tussaud's each week—and paint its fingernails a different color. When Trump heard the story, she was outraged, and not just because the story made her seem frivolous or because she doesn't actually have a wax figure. Instead, Trump lamented that no one called her or her rep for comment, an impressive display of journalistic ethics.

Speaking of ethics, while Margaret Seltzer didn't grow up gangster in South LA, she did make a fair attempt at getting into character to write her faux-memoir Love and Consequences. For four years, Seltzer maintained an AOL journal under the name berious b, a nod to the Blood custom of using B instead of C in order to avoid evoking the Crips. On her site, Seltzer cultivated the mannerisms that made her book so believable; Los Angeles Times book reviewer Susan Salter Reynolds commended Seltzer's "loyalty to the language... of her gang." In fact, it was on her AOL profile that Seltzer achieved her only true gang affiliations. OG Madd Ronald, aka Ronald Chatman, an imprisoned gangster name-checked Seltzer on his own website, calling her "a product of the hood."

In other news of the hopelessly trashy, Flavor of Love 2 and Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School contestant Saaphyri Windsor has found a respectable day job as a cosmetics designer. Her unisex "lip chap," rumored at Radar Magazine to be the "first multiuse personal lubricant to hit the market," was inspired by a catfight on the show. Meanwhile, the advertisement for the lip chap appears to have been inspired by bad porn: Windsor does a bit of writhing, a bit of chest-thrusting and somehow ends up with her finger in her mouth. Lip chap, she whispers. No, that's all right, thanks.

In a salute to the right of American college students to call their female classmates sluts, Yale University is embroiled in a debate over whether (an "Always Anonymous, Always Juicy" gossip website) will be banned from the campus. Blocking the site might violate Yale's official policy of protecting free speech. Also, Yale President Richard Levin prefers to encourage a spirit of debate rather than insulate students from the malice of their peers: "I tend to think offensive speech is better countered with more speech, with counterargument, rather than by barring access." In response, students affiliated with the campus Women's Center allegedly spammed the site with weather reports, the text of the Constitution and the full canon of feminist literature--and were promptly rebuked by's lawyer.

Finally, refreshingly hilarious American Apparel model Claire Salinda fired back at critics who deride CEO Dov Charney for being a creep: "You probably assume that I am a dumb ho who is too strung out on coke and low self-esteem to note the difference between a compliment and harassment. Sorry to disappoint. My upbringing was incredibly boring, complete with a cute dog and an involved father." Salinda says Charney is sexual, yes, but not overbearing; after seeing her nipples in an upcoming ad, she "freaked out." Charney replaced the photo, no questions asked. He is also professional: "Within an hour of meeting Dov... he, in the politest way possible, is telling me I have perfect boobs." Even if AA's campaigns are risqué, Salinda loves posing for Charney because he "likes his models happy and squishy." Can't argue with that.