An ‘eco-brothel’? Give me a break

// 21 January 2008

Being an environmental journalist by profession, I’ve seen my fair share of greenwashing. In its purest form, this practice involves taking an inherantly resource-intensive or polluting product and adding a tiny environmental element, then selling the whole kaboodle as ‘green’. One example might be giving free bicycles to all the employees at a coal-fired power plant.

But sometimes greenwashing is used to cover up or prettify noxious activities as well as noxious gases, and the eco-friendly brothel is surely such an example.

Elle got Ariel Levy to interview Heidi Fleiss about her plans for a brothel (or “stud farm”) for women, but she pays precious little attention to how problematic the whole thing is. It made me wonder if quite a bit was cut out. Fleiss’ parrots get more play.

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