Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hating Hefner

I've always had a dislike for this man, Hugh Hefner. When I was little I just couldn't see beyond the silk pajamas and bathrobe. To me that seemed so hopelessly un-hip even at the age of 8. What grown man wears silk pj's and a yachting captains hat? His smile creeped me out. Now in his 80's his laugh is like a cackle. His power eludes me. I cannot find the appeal. He cannot fathom even after all this time why feminists dislike him. Here's a hint. In 1967 a journalist asked Hef why he chose the symbol of the bunny for his company. Here's Hugh's reply.

"The rabbit, the bunny, in America has a sexual meaning, and I chose it because it's a fresh animal, shy, vivacious, jumping- sexy. First it smells you, then it escapes, then it comes back, and you feel like carressing it, playing with it. A girl resembles a bunny. Joyful, joking. Consider the kind of girl that we made popular: the Playmate of the Month. She is never sophisticated, a girl you cannot really have. She is a young, healthy, simple girl- the girl next door... we are not interested in the mysterious, difficult woman, the femme fatale, who wears elegant underewear, with lace, and she is sad, and somehow mentally filthy. The Playboy girl has no lace, no underwear, she is naked, well-washed with soap and water, and she is happy."

I don't even know where to begin with that one. So much to say. On many levels. I think Hef has issues with women who can talk and not just breathe and smile. Doesn't he sell lacy underwear in his catalog? Well-washed with soap and water? Geez. It reeks of a dirty old man/pedophile like qualities. I almost threw my book at the gym when I read those lines. Let's also keep in mind that he has been known to say that if he wants a conversation he talks to a man. I've heard this from him many times. To think that woman side with this man and wear and buy his stuff because it makes them appear "frisky" as the company purports, just makes it more discouraging. To think that he has a show on cable now with his "girls next door" with their spray tanned, botoxed faces, overlined lipes and eyes and not one real bit about them makes no sense to me. It really is like Ariel Levy says, The Rise of Raunch Culture.

It's everywhere we look these days. From the Bratz dolls wrapped under the tree to the ho's in music videos to the use of the word pimp continuously. It makes me feel like daily I'm fighting a war for my daughter's soul that I can only hope to win in small pieces. To probably only see real victory when she doesn't go away to college and become a bit in 'Girls Gone Wild, Part 136'. Can that be my holiday wish?

*Quote taken from, Ariel Levy's, Female Chauvanist Pigs, Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.

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