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The Independent Culture
Hollywood is full of whores and most of them are men. I speak not of the rare male representatives of the oldest profession - Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves in My Own Private Idaho, Robert Downey Jr in Less than Zero - but of the men behind the cameras, the men who will do anything for a dollar: studio heads who kiss up to superstars, directors who abandon their vision for the box- office, the scriptwriters who butcher their screenplays to meet the twisted whims of those studio heads, superstars and directors.

Putains, each and every one. Yet up on the Silver-Plated Screen, what you see is women. Here's Gloria Swanson in Miss Sadie Thompson, Shirley McLaine in Two Mules for Sister Sarah, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and now Melanie Griffith in Milk Money (right), another tart with a heart who needs rescuing from her pimp, shoved into a flowery frock and given some brats to take care of to be transformed into a domestic goddess. Cue Sappy Ending...

Great news for the planet's penis owners - two male fantasies for the price of one ticket. What's in it for women? Not even the cab fare home. Consider this: American cinema's occasional dalliance with ladies of the night developed into a sick sex addiction only in the Sixties, the era when women en masse embraced feminism and burnt their bras (though torching their other half might have brought the glad day of equality a lot sooner). You can see the thinking - if they weren't going to be girlfriends, wives, mothers and dutiful daughters, they must be sluts! Which means that in Hollywood thinking, Milk Money is actually an advance: whores can be suburban matrons too.

Some might call this progress. Others might say it's not much of a choice...