The Price of Vice

Help the hookers: I understand that prostitution is seen as a problem by some, but that still does not warrant the utterly stereotypical, judgmental and offensive tone of this article ["The Breakfast Club," by Wendy Grossman, December 11].

"Crack whore" is a term I am disappointed to hear even high school boys use; I never expected to read it in a publication, except perhaps a pornographic one. These women are easy to pick on. They are poor, uneducated and often homeless. Hence, they work as prostitutes not out of choice, but out of necessity.

Instead of making fun of and judging them, the adult thing to do would be to try to help them. The first step is recognizing that they would not be there if: a) there were not a market (men); and b) there were jobs for uneducated women that would enable them to take care of their children and pay the bills.

And I don't doubt there is a higher rate of drug addiction in the profession, but I have a sneaking suspicion the police officer's guess is less science and more stereotype. If you had to sell your body to lecherous men, you'd probably become addicted to drugs to avoid reality as well.

Yes, it is a vicious circle, but poking fun at it and calling people names does nothing to help. The real exposé would be about so-called family men who fuel the prostitution industry by their complete inability to be faithful, caring spouses. When men stop going to prostitutes, the supply will dry up. Until then, who can really blame the women who answer the demand? It may very well be the best option they have, and until you've been in their situations, who are you to judge?

Jessica Crutcher

Lines of Scrimmage

Relevant subjects: Why does it matter if the MFA exhibit was a publicity stunt ["Incest Is Wrong," by Kelly Klaasmeyer, November 27]? Maybe some exhibit viewers will be inspired to see a game. The more publicity for the Texans, the better.

Stop being such a conspiracy theorist, and do some homework before you write.

Or try writing a story about why there aren't more exhibits celebrating local culture.

Colin J. Sweeney

McGee the Master

Meaningful paintings: David McGee makes paintings with narratives, often addressing difficult social and human issues ["My Life in Oils," by Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc, December 4]. This quest for understanding is a powerful engine for the creation of his work. However, the writer of your item has done the artist a disservice by conflating subject matter with his personal life to the extent that it could be harmful to his professional reputation.

I have had the pleasure of exhibiting at the Texas Gallery David McGee's work over the years. I have also had the pleasure of his friendship. Some years ago, the artist made some paintings that featured basketballs. These were plainly cautionary musings on the fact that young African-Americans might think the only way out of the ghetto was to become a player in the NBA, to the exclusion of recognizing and pursuing other options. Even though there were basketballs in the paintings, one could not infer that David McGee was himself a basketball player.

Fredericka Hunter

Getting it straight: Everyone at DiverseWorks was very disturbed to see the reference to David McGee's "history of drug addiction." David is not nor has he ever been a drug addict.

To call someone an addict when he is not is unconscionable and damaging to the artist. Artists have always struggled with negative stereotypes. Black artists also have to deal with stereotypes based on race.

At DiverseWorks we have always enjoyed our good working relationship with the Houston Press and we have been pleased with the quality of your coverage of the arts, culture and other issues in Houston. We are very dismayed that this shocking and completely false statement has been made of an artist whom we and many in the community regard so highly.

I appreciate that you removed the comment from the Web site so quickly and printed a retraction.

Sara Kellner, executive director


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