Jada Pinkett-Smith

Great Cause, Not-So-Great Music

English: Jada Pinkett Smith photographed for V...

Jada Pinkett Smith, Vogue magazine, 2001. Photo by Jerry Avenaim via Wikipedia.

By Juliana Jiménez

Jada Pinkett Smith released a song about sex trafficking called “Nada Se Compara”, as you can tell, in Spanish. The video was  directed by Salma Hayek, and together with Pinkett Smith, they launched a website, www.dontsellbodies.org, to raise awareness about this problem.

Though her Spanish, the video and the music all suck a lot, I have to say I do like these ladies now a lot more, perhaps less as artists but more as people. That is commendable, I suppose, because it usually happens the other way around, with people like say, Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, Who’s-That-Other-Pedophile-Director, etc.

It’s great that they are doing these things, and using their (relative) fame to encourage positive change; we should give credit where it’s worth. I just wish the song didn’t suck so much so I could actually share it with friends and family. That would be the whole point of the thing, no?

Cartagena, Colombia.

Secret Service Goes Sextouristing in Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia. Photo by Juliana Jimenez.

By Juliana Jiménez

When President Obama arrived in Colombia this weekend for the Summit of the Americas, he was greeted with less-than-welcome news: Eleven Secret Service agents had been suspended and sent home for soliciting prostitution in the city of Cartagena. After one of the women complained to the police about not receiving proper payment, the story turned into the “biggest scandal in Secret Service history.” As of yesterday, as many as 20 members of the Secret Service and U.S. military seem to have been involved.

That this happened, I believe, is a result of, and will add to, the image of overly sexualized Latin American women. The reputation Colombia has for “its women” is notorious and stereotypically sexist. Lonely Planet, for example, says of the city of Cali, Colombia: “While the city itself isn’t breathtaking, Cali famously claims to produce the most beautiful women in Colombia.” (Produce. Like sugar cane or mangoes.) Actresses like Sofía Vergara embody the stereotype, and to be honest, it’s kind of accurate. As a Colombian woman myself, I directly or indirectly know a lot of women like that and certainly see that image presented regularly in the Colombian media.

Read the rest of this article on Slate’s DoubleX Factor blog. 

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, DSK, charged with aggravated pimping.

The Problem with “Pimping”

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or DSK, was recently charged with aggravated pimping.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was recently charged with aggravated pimping. Credit: Wikipedia.

By Juliana Jiménez

In the same way that the reaction to Trayvon Martin’s death revealed the charged and potentially racist meanings of a hoodie, the reaction to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest last week on a warning of “aggravated pimping” highlighted an Orwellian distortion of the meaning of the word “pimp.” A large swath of the public’s reaction to the news on Twitter and in online forums was a variant of “damn, most awesome charge ever!” when, of course, there’s nothing all that cool about violently exploiting women …

Read the rest of this article on Slate’s DoubleX Factor blog.

Afghan girl tortured for refusing prostitution

Afghan girl tortured by in-laws for refusing prostitution

From Yahoo! News – Reuters

Running away from an abusive husband or a forced marriage are considered “moral crimes,” for which women are currently imprisoned in Afghanistan.

Some rape victims have also been imprisoned, because sex outside marriage, even when the woman is forced, is considered adultery, another “moral crime.”

Fighting Back, One Brothel Raid at a Time – NYTimes.com

By Juliana Jiménez

Nicholas Kristof, as always, has this excellent column on sex trafficking in Cambodia, focusing particularly on Somaly Mam, an anti-sex slavery activist he joined in a brothel raid.

Somaly Mam

Somaly Mam. Credit: Wikipedia.

Fighting Back, One Brothel Raid at a Time – NYTimes.com.

A few nights ago, I went on his Twitter profile and read some very alarming tweets. You can see them here in storyfied form. Simply amazing.