“Slut Walks” & Flat Taxes: TWLC’s Viviana Hurtado on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin

Oh yeah!

When the topics are this varied, you know you’ve entered the “Beauty Shop” where women thought leaders chat on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin about the hottest political, economic, and social issues.

Click here to listen to previous Beauty Shop “appearances.”

This week I joined the very snobalicious Danielle Belton of the blog the Black Snob, The Root’s Cynthia Gordy, US World News & Report‘s Mary Kate Cary and we had a lot to say about:


Tell Me More with Michel Martin
Courtesy: NPR

Rick Perry’s Optional 20% Flat Tax

Yeah, the second proposal after 2012 GOP hopeful Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 idea.  Although a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows conservatives are the most supportive of a flat tax, I argue that  our fascination with these plans reveals our country’s desire to simplify our labyrinth of a tax code which allows many to not pay enough or at all.

“Slut Walk” Backlash

Toronto women took to the streets provocatively dressed in protest of a police officer’s comment that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”  I get it.  Assault and discrimination should not be justified by dress–baggy sweats v. a fitted pencil skirt.  But here’s the rub: feminists of color believe this is a misguided movement that romanticizes “sluts” who are predominantly represented in pop culture and the media as being minorities.

I go one step further and argue if women want to demand anything, it should be more opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields and others to create wealth and access positions of power to change the game.  Who wants to join me clad in a white lab coat, an astronaut suit, or Steve Job’s iconic black turtleneck and Levi’s (make those skinny jeans) on the steps of Capital Hill?

President Obama on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show

It’s nice to “see” how the President doesn’t really have pointy, Mr. Spock ears.  However, he needs to show Americans consistently with actions that he gets it.  I believe he does.  Now his communications team needs this messaged simply, clearly, and relentlessly.

Mariah Carey’s Trust Issues

[Isn't it amazing how people keep giving up the goods to Barbara Walters?

Resolved!  I will give Babs a career first: do a cameo on The View, simultaneously zipping it on my secrets while speaking freely and fabulously about politics and shoes.]

I don’t blame the singing diva’s reticence after being burned and having her failed relationships and weight yo-yo’ing picked apart by gawking media vultures.  Add to this that it’s the digital age of Facebook affairs and sexting which brings Bill Clinton splitting of hairs “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” to a whole new level.

Click below to hear more on Tell Me More‘s the Beauty Shop:

How much do you trust your boyfriend or husband?
Goldie Locks and taxes: do you pay too little, too much, or just the right?
What’s the best way to empower girls and women?


  1. says

    “Who wants to join me clad in a white lab coat, an astronaut suit, or Steve Job’s iconic black turtleneck and Levi’s (make those skinny jeans) on the steps of Capital Hill?” Me!

  2. says

    you all sure hit on a lot of relevant chatter! But the meat is, who’s wearing what!?!?!!?! Kidding! A good friend of mine wrote the move “Beauty Shop” as a sister movie to “Barber Shop”– the legalities in that in it of themselves were talk for any beauty shop! locura.

  3. Lucy says

    I agree completely, American women should march on Capital Hill in lab coats. And while they’re at it, they should demand a restructuring of the education system, one that absolutely needs to include affordable post-secondary education. Without the means to achieve “lab coat” jobs, protesting will be a moot point. However, the backlash aimed at “slut walk” is somewhat misdirected, and the reasons are cultural. The walk itself was a statement: “You do not have the right to dehumanize me into a sexual object.” And, to further that, since an object is a possession, the statement is “I am neither of those, I am a person with rights.” When these basic rights are violated, everything else comes crumbling down. To fully understand such a statement, you must remember that Toronto is as culturally diverse as a city can be, with over 156 languages spoken, in a country that believes multiculturalism is a mosaic, not a melting pot. Although, for the most part, this works well and leads to tolerance and understanding, there are some drawbacks. Some girls live in fear of their fathers and brothers, and dishonoring the family (like wearing jeans, for example) is punishable by death. Not in Canada, but stories of being sent back “home” are not uncommon. If the girl runs away, or seeks shelter, another girl in her family will be punished in her stead. Granted, these girls are a small minority, but the “slut” remark by that police officer reminded the rest of the women of how close to the surface that same prejudice lies in western society. Secondly, I understand why women in the United States hate the racial stereotypes that seem to continuously flow from narrow-minded American media. It’s is appalling, and a clear tool by the status quo to keep things, well, status quo. Although stereotypes and prejudices exist everywhere, it is not institutionalized in Toronto as it is in many places in the U.S. Thirdly, I want to discredit seeing the Slut Walk as an empowerment movement based, again, on cultural differences between Toronto and cities in the United States. The publically funded education system in Ontario is among the best in the world. Last summer, an issue of the Economist ran an article that included a scatter plot of math and science test scores on a global scale and Canada was far ahead of it’s western counterparts. Math and science is very much encouraged among female students and they make up half of all IB / AP / University level classes in our high schools. Also, every December 6th, the anniversary of the Ecole Plolytechnique Massacre, Canada brings awareness to the issues of gender inequality and voilence against women. The story of the 14 young women that died because they dared to study engineering is a powerful tool in getting girls to dare themselves, and getting boys to understand equality.

    In the end, I think we’re all walking for the same cause. We want our children, regardless of gender, or race, or socio-economic status, to be able to go forward in the world, without prejudice, with their unique set of skills, and make the world a better place for us all.


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