Tales of Rock: Meet Connie Hamzy — Rock And Roll’s “Most Notorious Groupie” And Bill Clinton’s First Sex Scandal

There was one drummer who got away, though. “I haven’t had Neal Peart. That I regret,” she said.

“Sweet” Connie Hamzy Parente (born January 9, 1955), also called “Sweet Sweet” Connie or Connie Flowers, is an American woman who is known as a groupie who claims to have had sex with numerous rock musicians. Hamzy also received some attention for her claim that she was propositioned by Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas.

Connie Hamzy Parente
Born
Connie Parente

January 9, 1955(age 64)

Little Rock, Arkansas
Occupation Media personality, groupie

She is mentioned in Grand Funk Railroad’s song “We’re an American Band” (“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act/ She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.”)

Hamzy personally claims to have given oral sex to various members of the many bands that have traveled through Little Rock. Her alleged groupie escapades were detailed in a Cosmopolitan profile in 1974, and in 1992 she wrote a tell-all article for Penthouse.

In 1991, Hamzy was briefly in the news due to her claim that, in 1984, she had been approached by an Arkansas state trooper on behalf of Bill Clinton. She claimed that she and Clinton had looked for “a place where they could have some privacy for an assignation, but couldn’t find one.” George Stephanopoulos later recounted that Clinton told him a different story of his meeting with Hamzy. According to Clinton, Hamzy had approached him in a hotel lobby, flipped down her bikini top, and asked him, “What do you think of these?” Stephanopoulos secured affidavits from three people who had been accompanying Clinton and confirmed Clinton’s recollection. When asked about Hamzy by reporters, Stephanopoulos responded by denying the story off the record and offering to provide the affidavits, also off the record. Although CNN Headline News reported Hamzy’s allegations once, neither CNN nor other mainstream news organizations pursued the story further.[2]

Hamzy published a memoir in 1995 under the title Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures of “Sweet Connie” from Little Rock.

In 1996, Hamzy sought to run as an independent for the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district, but ultimately did not appear on the general election ballot.

Hamzy was featured in a segment of the Insomniac with Dave Attell episode in Little Rock.

Image result for connie hamzy

She was also interviewed on the Howard Stern Show on December 4, 1991, and again on December 8, 2010

As long as there’s an American band around, Connie Hamzy will keep “doin’ her act.”

Connie Hamzy, born Jan. 9, 1955, in Little Rock, Ark., has collected several nicknames over the years. Some call her Connie Flowers, “Sweet” Connie Hamzy, “Sweet Sweet” Connie, or just simply “Sweet Sweet.” A prominent rock groupie, her celebrity status was solidified in two lines from the Grand Funk Railroad’s 1973 song, “We’re an American Band,” which became the group’s first number one single:

“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.”

Connie Hamzy’s early escapades

Bands she was allegedly associated with include Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Bad Company, ZZ Top, and the Doobie Brothers. In 2005, Spin dubbed her“the world’s most notorious rock’n’roll groupie.” But she wasn’t just a 70s groupie. Hamzy was in it for the long haul.

Hamzy was only 15 years old when she was with her first rock star, the drummer for Steppenwolf, Jerry Edmonton. Then she moved onto to Keith Moon of The Who and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

Drummers soon became her niche. “The drummers gravitated to me because they wanted to hear about John Bonham and Keith Moon,” she told Howard Stern in an interview. There was one drummer who got away, though. “I haven’t had Neal Peart. That I regret,” she said.

In the 1980s, while her fellow groupie comrades like Pamela Des Barres and Bebe Buell slowly drifted out of the scene to start families or write books about their wild exploits, Hamzy continued her groupie lifestyle into the 90s.

Connie Hamzy’s affair with politics

Connie Hamzy

In fact, some of the biggest waves she made came in 1991, shortly after Bill Clinton declared his candidacy for the presidential nomination. In a tell-all published by Penthouse magazine, Hamzy alleged that in 1984 she had an encounter with Clinton in a North Little Rock hotel while he was governor of Arkansas and married to Hillary Clinton. Hamzy said Bill spotted her while she was sunbathing by the hotel pool. The two of them went into the laundry room and fondled each other until they were abruptly interrupted.

Hamzy said that the incident fell on deaf ears. Political journalist George Stephanopoulos got affidavits from three individuals who said she approached Clinton and he rebuffed her. CNN picked up the story but dropped it after the affidavits were produced.

In 1995, she wrote a book titled Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures of “Sweet Connie” from Little Rock, but her love for rock stars didn’t stop. In her 2005 interview with Spin, when she was 50 years old, she told a story of a recent encounter with Neil Diamond while she was hanging on a tour bus.

“Then he gets high with us and disappears backstage. A few minutes later, his manager says he wants to see me in his dressing room. So I knock on the door, and there’s Neil waiting for me in a blue robe.”

It wasn’t an unlikely encounter, given that Hamzy was reportedly backstage at every Arkansas gig well into the new millennium. “She’s a legend in Little Rock,” said Chris King, owner of the local music venue Sticky Fingerz.

Howard asked if Connie ever felt insulted that the rockers just passed her around like a plate of potatoes. “Well, a plate of good potatoes,” she replied.

Connie Hamzy, now 63, was back in the news in October of 2016, when she rehashed the sexual episode with Bill Clinton. She took a polygraph test about the alleged Clinton scandal and mailed the results over to Donald Trump’s campaign, who she gave her full support to.

This is Connie now.

Image result for connie hamzy

“Rock and Roll devours it’s own young.”Phicklephilly

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Love Notes

My band was playing a gig at a local bar in Santa Monica. When you do some regular shows at a place you get to know the staff. This one waitress, I don’t know how old she was but she didn’t even look 18. She would always come and chat with me between sets. I think her name was Faye.

This went on whenever we got to play there. It went on for a few months. But one night she hands me a note after her shift and tells me not to read it until she was gone.

Well, I thought a note was a bit weird since that was grade school stuff but whatever. I open the note and it says things like:

“I love you. I want to be with you. You’re beautiful. We need to have children together even though I’m only 16, and it just prattled on and on. An overly attached girlfriend has nothing on this chick.

I used to get lots of phone numbers scrawled on napkins, notes and letters occasionally, but it was nothing like this. The next night, she asks sheepishly if I’ve read her note and I said yes but I wasn’t really looking for a relationship at the time. Her face lost all expression for a second and then she smiled and said something to the effect of ‘No worries, I thought I’d try’ and we continued playing there without incident.

That night, when I left the venue there were about 10 notes taped to my VW mini bus. Long notes too! I have no clue how she wrote this much in a day. The notes said things like ‘I hate you, you’re a fucking asshole, I hope you die’ and other notes said things like ‘I’m sorry for writing that note that called you an asshole. I really like you and want to be with you ❤ ❤ <3’

She would then try luring me with innuendos. When she was on her break she would do things like bring these long cucumbers out from the kitchen, come up and say things like ‘Do you think this pickle is for lunch or personal pleasure?’

She would also still put notes all over my van.

Eventually, after a few months she completely lost interest in me and started chasing a guitarist in another band that would play there on occasion.

Oh, my broken heart!

 

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Cherie – Chapter 61 – Movie Date

Cherie’s been going through a lot as always. School. Graduating in June with a BS in Psychology that she has worked so hard for. Raising her son and working at CHOP.

A bunch of shit I could never deal with. But the last time she was chilly to me was the last time she cam down here. She was never like that. She was closed the whole day until we went back to the house and had sex.

Once that happened she was having explosive orgasms and loving me like she always did.

Noted.

I know what I need to do to break her wall of defense.

It was pretty clear clear cut. She was shitty to me until I fucked her and got all of the negative energy out of her and she came back to me.

My Cherie was back after we had sex and I was walking her to her car.

I have to deal with this. Life could be worse. What middle aged man wouldn’t want a hot, smart, beautiful, fit girl that drives 40 miles to come to your house and makes love to you and wants nothing from you.

It’s uncanny. But it’s worked beautifully for 2 years.  Cherie is busy with medical school and work and I’m building businesses in Rittenhouse. We both work so much it’s nearly impossible to see each other.

But we’ve decided to try to be better. She knows the Saturdays I’m off and we are making it work.

I broke the shell two weeks ago, but she’s coming down today and what will it look like?

I know what works, but Cherie tells me she’s on her period so there will be no swimming in the waters during shark week.

I’m fine with that. My relationship with Cherie isn’t driven by sex. You would think that based on all of the mad sex we have, but no.

If baby says it’s off limits I’m fine with it.

Do you know why?

The sex with Cherie is some mind bending explosive mayhem of joy, but if I can’t have her, I’m super happy to date her.

Our time is limited and the sex is amazing but if she says it’s off limits but wants to come to the city I LOVE taking her on dates. Pizza, the movies! Anything she wants. Because she never wants anything from me. She’s just happy to be with me.

So if I can’t be with her I’m actually happy to take my girlfriend that I love on a proper date and spend some money on her.

Because she wants nothing from me!

I survive a horrible LYFT ride from some crazy woman that actually seems certifiable but make it to the theater on time. I text Cherie and tell her I’ve arrived.

I love Cherie and am happy she’s making the trek to come to the city. She’s stuck in traffic so our chances of seeing the film we were supposed to see is blown.

I don’t even care because it’s my first day off in a month and I’m just happy to see my baby. We can see whatever she wants.

She parks and rolls in late. Again, I don’t even care because I’m just happy to see my girlfriend. The woman that I really love.

We decide on the remake of Deathwish by Eli Roth and it’s awesome.

Cherie complains of tummy troubles but I plow buttery popcorn and diet coke into my gullet.

She seems different.

I’m doing everything I can to pump her up and tell her how much I adore her and how great she is, but it just seems misspent.

At this point I don’t even see it because I’m so happy to be taking my love on a date. I love dates!

Death Wish is a hard film. Bruce Willis. Eli Roth directs. That’s going to be some hard shit. The original in the 70’s is actually worse and one of the gang members was actually Jeff Goldblum! Check it out.

I’ve seen a lot of mad films in my life, but like my father before me, I’ve softened. I can’t take films like that anymore. I’ve been a husband and a dad. I don’t want to see that. It was upsetting, but once retribution happens, I’m, loving it hard.

But I notice Cherie isn’t being her loving, passionate self.

I’m fine. I don’t know what her current deal is so I even compensate with how great she is and how much I love her.

After the movie we kiss in her Saab and I cup her supple breast as our tongues swirl. But it all feels forced. By me. That’s never how I roll. All my love and sex is always a mutual celebration.

What’s up with Cherie?

We drive around a bit and then she ends up dropping me off and going home. I know she’s on her moons but what’s up with my girl?

Things seem amiss.

She texts me that she made it home safe.

But then there’s something else she says.

To be continued…

 

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Tales of Rock: Rob Halford Reflects on Fifty Years of Judas Priest

I LOVE JUDAS PRIEST!

When Rob Halford, one of the world’s most notable voices in heavy metal says, “You and I may be seeing Wickedtogether,” you might be just a little bit confused and a little bit star struck. I had the privilege of speaking to the Judas Priest front man the day before my birthday, and he asked me what I was planning to do to celebrate. Upon answering truthfully that I was going to see a play, we began our in depth discussion talking about our adoration of the theater and Broadway shows—specifically, Wicked. I just so happen to have seen The Wizard of Oz reimagined show on Broadway, as well as having read the books it’s based off of—just as Rob has; he was desperately trying to fit seeing the touring version of show into his schedule—prior to embarking on a tour himself.

If you couldn’t already tell, Rob Halford and I had a conversation that was bursting with energy, honesty, and creativity from start to finish—similar to that of his still-going-strong musical career with Judas Priest—50 years since they formed and changed hard rock music and the metal scene as the world knew it.

You have one of the most distinct voices in rock. When did you know you sing? Or, I should ask, when did you know that you had such a range and vocal ability?

Well, I didn’t really discover all the range and all of the possibilities that the voice has given me until I started kind of playing around in the beginning with the very early bands that I worked with. You’ve probably heard names like Hiroshima and Lord Lucifer and Athens Wood, and I think a lot of musicians, before they have the chance and the good luck and good fortune to become professional—no matter what you are, singer, drummer, guitar player—you all kind of find out what your abilities are in those early experiences. That is how it was for me, really, Debra. I’m probably talking about my late teens, before I went into the twenties. Those bands that I worked with weren’t metal bands, they were more like progressive/blues/rock bands, and so we did a lot of covers, but we also tried to write our own songs, as well. That is pretty much when I discovered the voice and what potential it had. Having said that, all of the wonderful producers that I’ve worked with since becoming a professional musician, including recently with Andy [Sneap] and Tom [Allom] and Mike [Exeter]… great producers will find things about you that are in you that you don’t even know exist. That’s why even the acts that have been around for the longest time need a unique producer, because a producer will get things from you that you won’t be able to find for yourself. That’s basically it. It’s a never ending journey, to be honest.

Oh, absolutely. Now, speaking of the bands that you were in before Judas Priest, did you take anything from those bluesy, progressive groups and those experiences and implement them into your career as a metal and heavy rock musician?

Absolutely! When I was a kid we had the old black and white TV in the house we would sit around as a family—there really wasn’t much going on the TV at the same, we only had one national television broadcasting company, which was the BBC and is still there, and there was one entertainment, commercial network called iTV on the British television, of whom are still there even though they morphed—but, generally, the weekends were known for kind of just sitting around the TV like families used to, and you would watch the TV. More often than not there would be an American movie on, and it could have been anything. Talking about Wicked, it could have been The Wizard of Oz or it could have been Meet Me in St. Louis. What I’m saying is that as a kid, you really soak things up when it comes to creativity and exploring…  musicals and films and whatever it might be… all that visual stuff. My mum and dad were very much particular with their tastes, so I’m kind of quite grateful for them for my viewings, because I took it with me. I know I took it with me, because when you and I were just talking briefly about Broadway and show business in general, I was able to show that, yes, I love all of the great singers of the world of all genres; whether it’s Michael Bublé or Barbara Streisand or Michael Feinstein or John Cafferty or The Grass Roots or Barry Manilow, Elvis, Frank Sinatra. It’s all of it, you know? Whenever I talk with my friends about other singers, I always emphasize that it’s great to have a favorite rock or metal singer, but the human voice is a remarkable instrumental and you can do many, many things with it if you take off the blinkers and get out of the box and just listen to everything else that surrounds you.

Right, and being a singer doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stick to the genre that you’re used to, or you like. You can mix rock with pop, folk, blues, and more to create your own sound.

Exactly, exactly, and this is the blessing of being in a band like Judas Priest, because, say, on this recent record, the guys took me on a journey with my voice; whether it was the intense performance of the “Firepower” track or the very emotionally demanding ballad at the very end of the record called “See it Red.” I loved to be in that world of different experiences, of different voices coming through, rather than one, full on, yelling and screaming performance…. Just to hear myself doing one kind of voice? I love to mix things up and to make it interesting for the band [and] for our fans.

On the topic of your latest record, Firepower, what was it like to go back in the studio and work with Tom Allom 20 years later?

Oh, it’s beautiful! You know, Tom knows everything about Judas Priest. He’s an expert. We see Tom pretty much every time we go out into the world and the idea about Tom coming back as a producer was born out of the idea that we had to kind of focus on all of these certain elements of Priest that Tom was involved with, so putting Tom with Andy, who is from a different kind of generation of producer, it was just remarkable to watch them do what they do sitting side by side. Tom knows everything. He knows everything about my voice, he knows everything about Glenn [Tipton]’s guitar tone, [everything about] Ian [Hill]… just in general. Working with Tom is a gold mine, it’s like a treasure. You mix those opportunities up and you get something special like we saw with the production of Firepower.

That’s fantastic. I think the creative juices really flowed fiercely between the producers and the band, which I personally think paid off.

Thank you, thank you! You know, we feed off of each other in this band. If I watch Scott [Travis] going crazy on the drums and doing these amazing drum patterns and seeing his efforts and determination, then I’m going to bounce off that. I mean, that is what is important about having the love and respect of your fellow players. We all have a job to do, but the best of that job comes out of the teamwork effort and being there for each other and encouraging each other. Much like every Priest album, the end experience is born out of a lot of important team dynamics more than anything else.

That’s a stellar outlook on being in a band and making music, especially over so many years. On the topic of older music of yours, do you ever go back and listen to some of your deep cuts? With a discography as unique and immersive as yours, I can imagine that there are songs that even you rediscover once in a while.

We’ve been doing that a lot recently, Debra, because we are trying to dust off the mantle of songs that we haven’t played in a while. There are so many tracks, but we’re mentioning certain tracks like “All Guns Blazing” and “Out in the Cold.” There are all of these incredible Judas Priest songs that you tend to forget, you know? You’re always out there showing of your latest creation, as we are with Firepower, and then you have to include the songs that your fans are ravenous to hear and are absolutely entitled to hear. So, once you start putting all that together, a bulk of the show has already made itself on the set list, but by the same style, there are always 45 minutes that you can utilize for some new adventures. That is what we’ve been doing recently, so, yeah I listened to Rocka Rolla, our first album, recently and I would love to do the title track live. I’m not sure why I feel that way, but there is just something very special about the Rocka Rolla title track that still resonates with me, and I would love to hear Priest play that track now, how many decades later. There are so many things to listen to and try out that I’m sure we’ll be able to bring to life by the time we come to your parts of the world.

I hope so! If you, yourself, find some of these songs so special even now, then I can only imagine how special it would be for fans to hear.

Yeah, because, first off when you make your first hit record, you think “That’s it. I made it.” [Laughs.] And, “Everything’s going to be great now!” Well, wrong! That’s wrong because that is when the pressure starts. You’re suddenly under limitations that you didn’t have before and so many things get out under the microscope that may have never been under the microscope before. So those songs, those very early Priest songs—some of which didn’t even make it to the first record—for lots of different reasons, you listen to them now and play them to perfection just because they mean so much to you in many different ways. I think listening to the first album shows that Priest was going to be a band that was going to take us all on this great journey together in heavy metal. It’s a good album, still, especially for a first.

Absolutely! Like you said, you’ve done a lot since then, too, but you’re still doing it in the ways that you want to, which I think is important.

That’s a difficult thing to work in, too, because when you do get success and when you do start to see things come back at you, there is a tendency to lose the focus of what you’re trying to be about. What I mean by that is that if you have a very, very successful selling record, there is an intonation that we need to make another one of those. That has never been the case with Judas Priest and our label, Sony, and even all going back to Columbia and Epic, CBS… our labels have been wonderful in giving us free range. They’ve always had a lot of faith in Priest and still do. They know that we are going to deliver the goods and every one of our records have kind of stood on their own legs and shown its own character, so it’s a good thing.

Of course, you’ve been known as the Metal God for decades now, but you’ve also been a hero to thousands of people with all different backgrounds and all walks of life. Your impact on the metal community, the LGBTQ+ community, and the music industry itself is immense. Do you feel—or have you felt any sort of pressure— over the years when it comes to being such a high caliber and influential person?

Oh, thank you! I don’t think that about myself, but those were very kind, generous words and I appreciate that greatly. Thank you, Debra. Here’s the deal, though: these things come along from your own making, but I don’t think you’re aware of them right away. When you start to see the accolades in the press and the praise from your fans and this award and that award, it makes you feel good, you know? It makes you more concerning to do better, to be better. That’s the thing with us in Priest, I don’t know if it’s with our British, working-class background or whatever, but, again, you have to be able to know how to deal with that change and those feelings. You know, the world is a different place than when I grew up. The music is still the same, but the world is a different place in terms of communication. I have a fairly decent social media presence and I see what the fans say, whether it be on my Instagram or my Facebook or Priest’s own Instagram and Facebook. I read what the fans say. I am aware of how they feel. How you digest that can be kind of tricky. You have to have a thick skin in some cases and in some cases, you kind of utilize the information that you’re getting back from them and put it to good use; which goes back to how you take it and how you use it to make you a better musician and a better person for yourself and your fans.

 

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Harvey Weinstein Charged with Rape

Got him!

Shortly after the first day of Harvey Weinstein’s New York sex crimes trial concluded, the disgraced movie mogul was indicted in Los Angeles on similar charges. 

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Monday that Weinstein has been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013. 

Weinstein was charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.

An arraignment will be scheduled for a later date.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” Lacey said in a statement. “I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them. It is my hope that all victims of sexual violence find strength and healing as they move forward.”

On Feb. 18, 2013, Weinstein allegedly went to a hotel and raped a woman after pushing his way inside her room.

The next evening, the defendant is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a hotel suite in Beverly Hills.

Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $5 million. If convicted, Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, which has been reviewing allegations presented against Weinstein by local police agencies for nearly two years, said ahead of Christmas it had eight such cases pending before its task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys.

Weinstein, who was indicted in May 2018 in Manhattan, has been charged with five sex crimes, including rape and predatory assault, involving two women in encounters dating to 2006 and 2013. His New York trial began Monday. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, sexual battery in Los Angeles over 2013 allegations.

 

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Teen Vogue’s Most Disgusting, Explicit Material Of 2019

This is the last thing I want to post from last year…

Although Teen Vogue can no longer be found in grocery stores and newsstands, their polished, obscene brand of smut persists and remains available to any child with internet access.

2019 has been a big year for the publication to become increasingly legitimized as a source of journalism, given the unceasing advance of leftism in politics, but the real meat and potatoes of the online publication is its pornographic sex ed-style how-to guides.

Teen Vogue first caught the eye—and the flame—of Elizabeth Johnston, the Activist Mommy, back in 2017 when they printed a sickening guide to anal sex for tweens and teens.

On Christmas Day this year, we reported that they revived that article, offering their readers an Anal Sex 101 guide. The details are far too graphic to repeat yet again, but suffice it to say that the article literally teaches its 11- to 17-year-old readers all about the mechanics and purported joys of sodomy.

The magazine also closed out the year with a thorough guide, complete with trendy watercolor illustrations, to female anatomy, and a gift guide for readers’ “horniest” friends. Because that’s exactly what teens need, apparently.

Believe it or not, these aren’t the worst stories to come out of this digital rag.

Here’s a round-up of the absolute worst content to come out of Teen Vogue in 2019, proving once again that they’re long overdue for a shut-down:

“When Is It Safe to Send a Partner Nude Photos?”

Some of the most obscenely immoral content to come out of Teen Vogue comes from writer Nona Willis Aronowitz’ column, Down To Find Out, which launched back in May and aims to answer readers’ “biggest questions about sex, dating, relationships, and all the gray areas in between.”

Its inaugural entry, a guide on “safe sexting,” celebrates that sending nude photos to “admirers” is now expected and commonplace. Aronowitz gives an intimate guide on how to execute the best nudes as a form of “radical self-acceptance,” telling readers to “Get very familiar with yourself. Pose in the mirror, caress your silhouette, know your naked angles…”

Imagine your child’s school counselor suggested nude selfies as a means of overcoming body image issues. You’d want their head on a spike, and rightfully so, and yet it is somehow perfectly fine for a complete stranger to offer this advice to children on the internet?! Come on!!

“Why Sex Work Is Real Work”

Back in April, Teen Vogue published a guest op-ed from Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, a “reproductive justice” advocate working to bring sexual revolution to South Africa. Mofokeng declares that the rights of prostitutes are “women’s rights, health rights, labor rights, and the litmus test for intersectional feminism.”“So, what exactly is sex work,” Mofokeng asks. “Not all sex workers engage in penetrative sex, though, undeniably, that is a big part of sex work. Sex-worker services between consenting adults may include companionship, intimacy, nonsexual role playing, dancing, escorting, and stripping. These roles are often pre-determined, and all parties should be comfortable with them.”

She goes on to urge readers to “support the global demand for sex work decriminalization, and fund evidence and rights-based intersectional programs aimed at sex workers and their clients.”

“Having Sex When You’re Fat: Tips on Positions, Props, and Preparation”

“Yes, fat people have sex — and it’s great,” writes “certified sex educator” Elle Chase, rounding out the inclusivity with an article on the right of overweight people to enjoy sex.

While addressing the issue of body image can be an edifying way to point young girls to their true worth in Christ, not their own beauty, Teen Vogue predictably steers the premise into a smutty, desensitizing ditch.

Along with tips and tricks on pillow placement and sex toys, Chase gives readers a run-down on basic sex positions and their dynamics for overweight couples. “…Don’t let the size of your body stop you from trying any position that floats your boat,” she encourages readers. “You may need to refine the position to better fit your needs, but there’s nothing wrong with that,” she concludes, giving readers the retch-inducing reminder that “We all deserve to f*** our fat hearts out.”

“How to Get an Abortion If You’re a Teen”

While the other articles may be disgusting and immoral, the last item on our list is downright evil. In Aronowitz’ Down To Find Out column, she helped her young readers navigate the dangerous waters of obtaining an abortion without parental knowledge or consent.

“First of all, I’m here to tell you that you have nothing to be ashamed of,” Aronowitz writes. “Accidents can happen even to the most careful among us. And it’s only logical that if teens are mature enough to become parents, they are mature enough to decide whether or not they want to give birth. Having access to abortion should be your right, regardless of your parents’ beliefs.”

Now, to be perfectly clear, no parent should “consent” to their child having an abortion—effectively murdering their own grandchild—to begin with. Parents who do allow or pressure their young daughters to kill their babies are an abomination. That’s all there is to it.

But, thanks to Aronowitz’s guide, children across the nation are equipped to take advantage of laws allowing them to procure an abortion on their own, regardless of their mental capacity as children to understand or consent to the procedure. This is to say nothing of the danger children are placed in when they receive an inherently risky procedure in secret. To put it quite plainly, Aronowitz has blood on her hands for every child who receives an abortion without parental knowledge, suffers, and possibly even dies from complications of the procedure.

This article was even published via SnapChat, a social media app incredibly popular with young people, allowing children to access the information without Teen Vogue showing up in their browser search history for parents to see.

There is no reason on this green earth why any child should have access to material like this. Teen Vogue serves no purpose whatsoever beyond grooming and desensitizing children to obscene sex, prostitution, pornography, and abortion. It is well past time to put an end to this sickening publication.

 

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Philadelphia’s New Year’s Tradition Reflects Our Racist Past — And May Overcome It

The Mummers Parade is growing more diverse, showing how longtime traditions can be recast.

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Frank Rizzo’s quoted comments came during a 1978 mayoral campaign. In reality, they came during a campaign to change the city charter so that Rizzo could run for a third consecutive term the following year.

 

For more than a century, Philadelphia has celebrated New Year’s Day with the Mummers Parade, a regional tradition that brings thousands into the streets to wear costumes, play music, dance and perform satirical sketches on local and national politics.

Almost every year, however, the parade sparks controversy. In 2019, for example, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke denounced the mummers because he incorrectly thought that the rapper Jay-Z had been portrayed by a white man in blackface, not an African American. While Clarke was wrong, the mistake was plausible, given that black Philadelphians, who make up more than 40 percent of the city’s population, have never participated in the parade in large numbers. And until the city imposed a ban on blackface makeup in the parade in 1963, many mummers marched in blackface, a practice inherited from the 19th-century minstrel show.

Even today, the Mummers Parade is imbued with performances reminiscent of blackface minstrelsy. The “strut,” the mummers’ signature dance step, for example, can be traced to the cakewalk, an antebellum plantation dance adopted by the minstrel show.

In many ways, the history of the Mummers Parade is a microcosm of the halting movement toward racial integration in the United States. The persistence of minstrel-show stereotypes in the parade mirrors and magnifies the persistence of racism in American society at large. But the parade is also one of the most prominent expressions of Philadelphia’s distinctive history and culture and, thus, also a potential source of civic strength in an increasingly diverse city.

Throughout much of northern Europe and colonial North America, groups of costumed “mummers” roved from house to house during the Christmas season, entertaining their hosts and expecting food, drink or a small tip in return. As early as the 17th century, immigrants from England and Sweden introduced this custom to southeastern Pennsylvania.

By the 19th century, most mummers were young, working-class white men, and their streetside antics were infused with forms of racial impersonation borrowed from the Indian melodramas and blackface minstrel shows popular in the contemporary theater. According to the Philadelphia Public Ledger, New Year’s Day 1876 witnessed impromptu parades by men dressed as “Indians and squaws, princes and princesses, clowns … [and] Negroes of the minstrel hall type.”

Philadelphia’s new, central police force eventually cracked down on unruly holiday celebrations, and H. Bart McHugh — a newspaper reporter and theatrical agent — led the effort to corral the mummers into an organized parade, with prizes funded by the city. In 1901, the city government sponsored the first official Mummers Parade, and the Public Ledger reported that “three thousand men and boys in outlandish garb frolicked, cavorted, grimaced, and whooped while the Mayor and members of Councils, Judges, and other officials, State and municipal, looked on.”

From the beginning, most mummers’ clubs specialized in fancy dress, music, dance or comedy, leading to an elaborate structure for judging a varied assortment of parade performances. Three African American groups competed for prizes in Philadelphia’s first city-sponsored Mummers Parade, and regular African American participation in the parade continued through 1929, when the Octavius V. Catto String Band (named for a martyred 19th-century civil rights leader) made its final appearance.

Sociologist Patricia Anne Masters attributes the withdrawal of independent African American clubs from the 1930 Mummers Parade to the Depression, which hit Philadelphia’s black community especially hard. Deteriorating economic conditions, along with the Catto String Band’s last-place finish in 1928 and 1929, clearly discouraged African American groups from competing, but black brass bands continued to march as paid accompanists for white mummers’ groups through the 1930s, a practice that remains common today.

Yet, Mummers documentarian E.A. Kennedy III suggests that the prolific use of blackface by white mummers also contributed to black disillusionment with the parade. This disillusionment erupted into full-blown conflict in December 1963, when Cecil B. Moore, head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP, and Louis Smith of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) successfully pressured parade director Elias Myers, a city official, to ban blackface from the Mummers Parade. This ban precipitated an unsuccessful legal challenge, as well as protests and counter-protests by mummers and civil rights activists.

The result was an uneasy detente over the issue of race in the Mummers Parade. Even in 1975, 12 years after the blackface ban, the New York Times described it as “essentially a white man’s event,” overseen by Mayor Frank Rizzo, who famously enjoined his white working-class base to “vote white” during a 1978 campaign to change the city charter so he could run for a third consecutive term.

 

Over the past six decades the parade has grown considerably more inclusive, even as brownface, redface and yellowface makeup have remained common sights in the parade, and blackface still appeared at the nighttime party after the official parade has ended. In the 1970s, most mummers’ clubs began admitting women for the first time. (Women had long worked behind the scenes, helping to stitch costumes but rarely appeared as performers). In 1984, the Goodtimers Comic Club, with an African American president and hundreds of minority members, started competing in the parade, just as W. Wilson Goode, Philadelphia’s first African American mayor, took office. And in 1992, a group of Cambodian American artists and students teamed up with the Golden Sunrise Fancy Brigade to stage a Khmer dance drama along the parade route, reflecting the rapid growth of the city’s Cambodian American population.

Over the past six decades, the Mummers Parade has grown considerably more inclusive. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)
Over the past six decades, the Mummers Parade has grown considerably more inclusive. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

By 2016, participants in the Mummers Parade included a Caribbean steel band, a Mexican American carnival organization, an African American drill team, a Puerto Rican bomba group and a brigade of drag queens — even as videos of individual mummers using racist and homophobic slurs along the parade route have also gone viral in recent years.

This bifurcation captures the complex state of the parade when it comes to race as we enter a new decade. Some mummers embrace the growing diversity of the parade out of conviction, whereas others view it as a pragmatic antidote to the declining participation and attendance that have afflicted the parade since the 1990s. Indeed, many if not most new mummers over the past decade have come from outside the white ethnic communities that traditionally sustained the parade.

 

Progressive and racially integrated mummers’ groups like the Vaudevillains, the Rabble Rousers and the Lobster Club have sought to change the political tenor of the parade, with performances that confront climate change, nuclear proliferation, big agriculture, student loan debt, access to health care and fracking in rural Pennsylvania. (Full disclosure: I was a member of the Vaudevillains from 2009 to 2012). These groups have realized that joining the parade is the only way to bring about a more pluralistic future for the mummers, offering a local lesson in direct political action that applies to struggles over diversity, equity and inclusion at the national level.

The Mummers Parade offers a carnivalesque bully pulpit to communicate directly with one’s fellow citizens, and as a city-sponsored event, participation is open to anyone. The reach of the parade has diminished from its peak, but roughly 8,000 marchers and 50,000 spectators crowd the parade route each New Year’s Day, and hundreds of thousands watch the parade on local television. Because Philadelphia is the largest city in America’s second-largest swing state, the vibrancy of the city’s political life has national implications, especially in a presidential election year.

A populist tradition like the Mummers Parade has the potential to point the way toward a more inclusive future or to remain mired in the racism that has characterized America’s past. Rather than abandon or decry the parade for its attachment to minstrel-show stereotypes and its history of racial exclusion, Philadelphians of all backgrounds would do well to embrace mummery as a powerful civic rite, with the potential to make the city’s growing diversity a force to be reckoned with.

 

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