It’s August, Month of the Naked People over at the Washington Post. Last year, it was nude summer camp for teen-agers, highlighting the aptly named White Tail Park in Virginia which was apparently being persecuted by fundies for sponsoring co-ed adolescent romps in the buff–which activity, as I pointed out, the Post considered to be a Very Important Civil Right.
This Aug. 10, the very anniversary date of the White Tail weeper, the Post decided to highlight another, slightly older birthday-suiter, 29-year-old Periel Aschenbrand, who appears on the cover of her new book clad only a in a fig leaf, although with the book’s title taking the place of a bikini top. That title, by the way, which you may read here if you wish (we are not posting it on decorous InkWell), is the same pun on President George W. Bush’s surname that got Whoopi Goldberg canned from her job as a spokesman for Slim-Fast weight-loss products when she made it at a Dem fundraiser last year. Aschenbrand is nothing if not unoriginal.
So the Aschenbrand story is a Post two-fer: Running around in the altogether and bashing Bush at the same time. And indeed Post reporter Teresa Wiltz devotes yards and yards of copy to Aschenbrand and her escapades, which include running a political-slogan T-shirt business on the side whose top seller is said to bear the same title as Aschenbrand’s book:
“President Bush figures in the Queens native’s seriocomic memoir as a side figure as she recounts protesting at the Republican National Convention last year, wearing undies and a tank top that read, well, the same thing about not trusting the president. She was also holding a ‘100 Reasons Not to Vote for Bush’ poster, which featured snapshots of 100 women wearing the aforementioned T-shirt, among them Susan Sarandon, Gloria Steinem, “Vagina Monologues” writer Eve Ensler and Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.
“Since then, she’s launched ‘Body as Billboard,’ a line of agitprop T-shirts intended to raise awareness of some of her pet political projects: her ‘Drug Dealer’ tee, the proceeds of which go to buy AIDS medications for children in African countries; ‘Knockout,’ to fight domestic violence’; and ‘What Would You Give for a Great Pair of [four letter word for breasts],’ for breast cancer research. (The one that reads ?Does Date Rape Mean I Also Get Dinner?’ isn’t such a big seller.)”
If you think this sort of thing is humorous–and you like the idea of keeping company with Eve Ensler and Heidi Fleiss–you?ll undoubtedly love Aschenbrand’s book. As Wiltz puts it:
“‘We’ve got to take back our [expletive] values,’ says Aschenbrand….
“‘It’s sex-positive feminism,’ says feminist author Carol Queen, director of the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco, of Aschenbrand’s philosophy. ‘Pro-sex feminism doesn’t see what’s wrong with having sexuality and sexual attractiveness be part of the message.'”
Oh, OK. But I think National Review Online’s Tim Graham sums up Wiltz’s infatuation with Aschenbrand quite nicely:
“The Post will do anything to highlight Bush-haters.”