While I’m seeing articles about how he built a career on misogyny, one commenter here makes an interesting point. If Playboy objectifies women, why is it ok that Playgirl objectifies men? And what is objectifying anyway? Reducing someone to a being only a sexual object? Because frankly, that’s how a lot of my own sex hook-ups happen. They aren’t romantic candle lit dinners. We’re objectifying each other and breaking it down to animal urges based on body types and even body odors which signal we’re compatible. Is it wrong to want to be turned on by images of sexy females or males? I get it. As in the fashion industry, unrealistic standards of beauty like anorexic 16 year old models may not make average-looking women or men feel better about their average bodies. (I’m not being dishy–my own porky figure is below average.) But all I know is that every gay magazine has a shirtless, ridiculously buff, young and often white model. Yet when Hugh Hefner put out these images, it was misogynistic? Isn’t that a double standard?
Clearly, I’m not attracted to women and didn’t read Playboy. So for all I know, he published sadistic images of abused women in his magazine. But those weren’t the pics I heard most about or saw. I heard about Marilyn Monroe, Elle McPherson, Anna Nicole Smith and Pam Anderson. It was an honor These gals peddled beauty and sex appeal. Were they forced by the male-dominated entertainment industry to strip to further their careers against their will or did they actually seek that out? If you want to get into a debate about how women should be valued for more than their beauty, I’d wholeheartedly agree. But should that stop people from enjoying sexy images of either sex? I’m not really a porn fan, so I don’t know. But I do know that a ton of people get off on porn and it’s definitely objectifying. I’m never sure what the newish buzzword “sex positive” means, but doesn’t it seek to remove the shame from healthy sexual urges? Which includes porn. I mean, can we fault the guys who wanted to jerk off to a nude Marilyn Monroe and the man who provided the pics?
Many have come out in defense of Hef for the great writing, addressing civil rights issues, and trans activist Janet Mock thanked him on twitter for giving her her first editorial job at Playboy. So sure, he promoted the platinum goddesses. His reality show struck me as dreadful, but somehow a “christian” nation is cool with a high end brothel as entertainment. But there was a lot more to the guy than that. Some of it quite commendable.
And then there is this clever tweet from @tommygun07:
“Hugh Hefner lived so long that his first wife’s name was Mildred and his last wife’s name was Crystal.”