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Testosterone Ain't Hormone Pollution
JUNE 13, 2009 5:17PM

Playboy is Good for Teenage Boys

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Playboy cover 

http://www.americaolivo.com/images/504_6_09_Cover_NEWS.JPG

 

Since I was an adolescent, it’s become harder for teenage boys (and girls) to buy a Playboy magazine.  The law says you have to be 18, and show identification to prove it, just as if you were buying cigarettes.  That’s a shame.  There’s a lot a young man can learn from Playboy - and not just about what girls look like without clothes on.

On a whim, I picked up a copy this week.  To my delight, I found the magazine hasn’t changed since I was kid flush with the new freedom of my first driver’s license.

The cover of this month’s edition even jolted me with a pleasant shock of déjà vu.  The model is a minor starlet with what looks like feathered hair, sporting an artfully torn T-shirt - both of which called to mind the late 80s.  She looked like the girls who stole into my mind during math class.  The girls I chased until they caught me.

The teen years are so pivotal.  Not just when it comes to who and what you’ll be when you grow up, but also for how you’ll be.  I have a nascent theory that much of one’s lifetime affect is solidified during that period.  In my circle, it seems generally to be true that those who enjoyed a fruitful, playful and joyful adolescence tended to proceed to a happy adulthood.  By contrast, those who, for whatever reason, had troubled or tortured times seem very often to have carried something burdensome forward.

I was fortunate to have not a wealthy, but a stable childhood.  When I entered my teens, I sometimes got in minor trouble, and was consistently corrected and kindly forgiven.  It was a good time generally, and with girls specifically.  In some part, thanks to Playboy, I was a bit more comfortable talking to and flirting with them.  As things progressed, I had an idea where their functional parts were, what to try, and how to ask for guidance on what they liked.

For me, Playboy represented something simultaneously stimulating and positively socializing.  When you’re mainlining testosterone, it’s not a bad thing to have a guide to manhood that tells you certain things:

·       It’s okay to want to look at naked women, and to want sex.

·       If you want sex, you’d better be responsible about it (contraception & STD prevention).

·       Women want sex too, and their pleasure is as important as yours.

·       Some people are gay.  Get over it.

·       Good writing, fiction and non-, is interesting.

·       Political issues are important in your life.

The June, 2009 edition of the magazine is remarkably, perhaps defiantly, similar to the issues I remember.  Three nude pictorials.  Party jokes.  An interview with a Hollywood actor.  20 Questions with a sports agent.  Some manly instruction on such things as how to build a bonfire.  The Advisor details what’s what, with respect to sex, technology, fashion and social etiquette.  The Forum offers its libertarian take on issues of the day.  There’s an interesting short story, and a memoir by James Ellroy.

It’s a magazine that found and has been faithful to a reasonable philosophy on what a man should strive to be.  Sure, its circulation has fallen since the 1970s peak.  And its founder has drifted toward caricature in his twilight years.  But the publication itself remains relevant – and valuable.  A teenage boy could do much worse than to spend seven bucks on a monthly mentor that proclaims:  “It’s good to be a man.  Here’s how to be one.”

Some will object, naturally, that Playboy is sexist, is pornography, objectifies women, and is shallow and consumerist.  I don’t buy it.  Compared to what?  Compared to what kids can find in 2.3 seconds online?  Compared to the gynecological exam images you could find in skin mags, even when I was younger?  Compared to Cosmopolitan, for God’s sake?

A teenage boy is an interesting creature, and not one who is often the object of much social sympathy.  He’s struggling with learning at school, in the schoolyard, on playing fields, in the backseats of cars and at home.  He’s consolidating messages from media, his friends, girls who like him and who don’t, and from his Mom and Dad (if he’s lucky enough to have them).  He’s a boy building a man, piece by piece.

I’m sorry today’s teen male has a harder time getting his hands on Playboy than I did, and a harder time seeing its pages than accessing the context-free, soulless crap that is 21st century pornography.  He could benefit from a worldview that says manhood is exciting, that sex is good but has rules, that a sophisticated man aims high and strives to be a gentleman.

A female guest was visiting this week, and saw my new Playboy on the counter.  She thumbed through it, pausing here and there to look or read.  She asked if I read the magazine when I was growing up.  I said yes.  Then she asked, if I had a teenage son, would I buy Playboy for him?  I thought for a bit, then answered, with conviction:  “Damn right I would.”

 

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And my girlfriends and I would often read the magazine together, which was fun.
I was a journalist all through the 80s and I read Playboy every month. In fact, I honed my interview skills on their interviews (and at Boston magazine we shamelessly copied them, I fear). I almost went to work for them but the job fell through. I don't mind Playboy in general, although I have a hard time with the way women are depicted in ALL magazines: perfect tits, perfect bush, perfect hair, perfect skin, when those of us who know, know it ain't true. On the other hand, I suppose that is something we all have to learn one way or the other: that real people just don't look like those in magazines, no matter how attractive a real person is. Playboy is, I agree, incredibly tame compared to what I understand is available today. And, at least, the boys are, I hope also reading, and not just whacking off to the ditzy centerfold.

Re: your last line: I NEVER censored my kids reading material. Movies and the internet I put limits on, but they could read whatever they wanted. I guess Playboy counts:) I found my teenaged son's copy when he was 16 and just left it where I found it.
I have to agree with you. Playboy has always had interesting articles, lovely photos and wonderful cartoons.

You make a good point about what the kids can see online vs. in Playboy...with Playboy you at least get the added bonus they might read too.
Yeah, I remember all those good articles. They don't make articles like those anymore.
Lisa, point taken about the "perfection" depicted in the pictorials. And as you say, it's what you'll find in any magazine. I'm not sure how much that matters to normal teenagers. I don't ever remember being disappointed when I got to see the real thing. ;)

Buffy and Rich: The reading part is important! If a few photos of naked women draw boys in enough to read and think about the articles, I see that as a huge win.
I think this is a very thoughtful analysis and I concur with its conclusions.

When certain things are outright forbidden, they become driven underground. That means there are not incidental opportunities for ordinary people (the “above ground” people, to use the terminology of the metaphor) to help, teach, guide. Manners and civilization and honor are not taught cutting people off but by interacting with them. Kids have great difficulty adapting to adult norms, but of course they do: As a society, we don't really make it easy to talk to them about it ever.

The war on drugs has this problem, and similar arguments have been made on trade with various countries that we have political disagreement with. Once you cut people off, they become adapted to not dealing with you, they no longer need your opinion, and they grow apart. If instead you embrace them in spite of disagreement, you have the opportunity to discuss matters. In political terms, a policy of “engagement” is often advocated even where there are small disagreements, in order to keep dialog going.

I have more to say on this, but have made some notes for a post sometime. This will do for now.
Oh, so agreed, MTN! Any thing that draws youth toward excellent writing that will foster maturity physically, intellectually, socially and mentally is a very good thing. I was a first born female in a staunchly Catholic home. If Dad read Playboy, (and god I do so hope he did) it surely wouldn't have been something we girls knew about, My brothers were 8 and 13 years my junior, so I wouldn't have been privy to their copies either. I was a 20 year-old college student when I first opened a playboy magazine and found it to be fascinatin. Lacking high testosterone and being firmly hetero, I appreciated the photos with my artistic eye and found them beautiful. The articles were top rate and the jokes brought me to tears. Glad to know the content quality hasn't changed. I raised 3 sons, found a few stashed copies during their teen years, left them in place and secretly smiled.

Informative post. Thanks.

--rated--
Our household was really conservative during most of my growing up years. One of my dad's students (we think) subscribed him to Playboy. It took 3-4 months before he could get the subscription cancelled, and during that time, I found where he was hiding them. That was my first real taste of a woman's body - and the articles were really well written. Even though those magazines disappeared pretty quick, I have fond memories of them. The objectification aspect of them is like everything else - unfair and messed up - but there was also some serious beauty there.
I wholeheartedly agree. Objectification is in the eye of the beheld, in this case. If you have a beautiful body and you're willing to flaunt it (and of course if you are of age), then by all means, have at it. I myself admire a lovely body of either sex, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Well said, Man. And I would add that plenty of young women, like the girlfriends you allude to in your comment, enjoy Playboy for the reasons you cite also. Lots of information, readily available, and those airbrushed perfections are pretty to look at, too.
near as i can tell, my mother's stepmother bought my dad playboy. i read it carefully, after high school, careful to always replace it where i'd found it.
the only information i remember getting wrong from it was the puzzle of why penises were sharp [from being called pricks]. but other than that, i loved the articles and the pictures equally. the airbrushed perfection? guess i never noticed - more important was the heart-thumping feeling i got.
the magazines disappeared when my brother got old enough to look for them. but for a few years, i guess they didn't think that daughter dear was at risk.



and i wasn't.
Yeah, I was writing last night that growing up queer in Texas in the 70s, "Penthouse"provided practically the only positive images of lezzies I could find. (Which is precisely why the devil made me read them: So I would feel good about myself.) My lover snuck them from her brother's bedroom, and we'd sit against her bedroom door, so we'd have time to stash them at a knock, and kiss and read and look at each other with (devilish, of course) grins at what the night was going to bring once her parents said, "Lights out, girls." Natsukashiiiiii!/Ahhhhh, the flood of nostalgia.....
MTN, glad to see you are steering us back to the original intent of OS (wink). I really liked what you dad to say and how you said it. Enough with all of this lurking in the shadows already. A little contraband enhances the excitement, but enough is enough.
Hell yeah. It's true that most women don't look like the ones in Playboy, but the vast majority of men understand that, and as you said, is it really better than Cosmo? At least Playboy's content isn't vapid. Their interview with Kurt Vonnegut is one of the best I've ever read.
Wonderful as usual MTN. We have GOT to accept that men and women are different animals. Our hormones are different. Our drives are different. It's not objectifying, it's biology. In the small town where I live, the conservative religious zealots have the condoms behind lock and key so a nerve wracked teen has to go up and ask someone to unlock the case. No way. So they move on to other things like unprotected sex, anal sex, or unprotected oral. And big surprise, we're one of the highest teen pregnancy counties in the state. Ugh. I wish everyone would teach their teenage boys that sex isn't dirty, it's great! Buy them Playboy! Now at 42, I totally empathize with teenage boys...:-)
fun..
do you watch "girls next door"? worth a post maybe
yeah I really envy hefner. I dont know how he's degenerated into a charicature as you've stated. those that dont have anywhere near as much fun as he does might assert that. they're the same ones that dismiss playboy mag.
hefner is way more visionairy than many realize. he was highly involved with the "Sexual Revolution"
which arguably is still in process.
re some comments above from the lesbian. yeah playboy almost never featured lesbians in the past, and I liked penthouse for that too, although I think I found an issue once called "girlfriends". yum.
I recall a penthouse, probably, with two incredibly hot lesbians lounging around a pool.. thought they were arousing, wasnt sure what to think about it. hadnt really ever heard the concept much until I saw it on those pages.
yeah maybe if they used Playboy pieces in sex education classes, the world would be a better place.
"sex positive" yep.
I used to read my Dad's when I was a kid and loved it, the articles, the jokes, and the pictorials were always beautifully and tastefully shot.

I subscribed for years in the 90s and thought their movie reviews were among the best. If I had a teenage boy I'd buy him a subscription too. I recall on one of the episodes of "Girls Next Door" Hef mentioned that something like 40% of their readership was female. I can't remember exactly what the number was but I remember being surprised so it had to be up there.
We used to read it alot . . .we still do, just not as much. The articles and jokes are great to read and the photos are very appealing, people would be shocked to learn that some of the most erotic images are those that leave a little to the imagination.
I would rather have a teenage son read Playboy than many other kinds of porn. Well-said.
Jay Leno once observed that boys used to go to the drug store and say,"I want a package of cigarettes," and then whisper, "and a box of condoms." Nowadays they say, "I want a box of condoms," and whisper, "and a package of cigarettes." Great post.
Thank God for a lesbian neighbor who didn't mind a bunch of teenage boys pawing through her trash once a month. Or at least they weren't going to say anything to our parents because "nobody was suppose to know..."
Playboy isn't just for boys. I read it voraciously once I figured out where Dad kept his.

:-)

Nicely done, MTN.

Cover/EP worthy.
Wow. I think these may be the best, most thoughtful comments I've had on my blog. It seems the less I say, the better the conversation!
So just how feathered was your hair during that era?
Hmmmm! I only read the well-written articles for their literary content, never looked at the pictures. I figured if it was "For the man who makes $10,000 a year before he's 30" I should know read it. Oh, and the Gahan Wilson cartoons! Yeah, and the Playboy Forum that helped urge along the sexual revolution of the 60's. And...Shel Silverstein art and poetry. Wait...Vargas artwork of hot women!!! I guess I remember every model and every author from the 50's to the 70's. Why's that?

And didn't Christine Heffner just step down as the editor???
Mrs. Michaels, strangely enough, my hair is longer now than it was back then.
Ralph, yes! The Vargas illustrations were remarkable. They truly do meet the definition of art.
I asked about feathers, not length.
Yes, ma'am. My apologies.

No feathers on me. No scales, either, you'll be glad to know.
Playboy and its "philosophy" more sexist and creepy than Cosmo or any other garden-variety, consumer-driven rag that portrays women as voiceless, interchangeable, there-for-your-convenience-big-fella commodities?

I agree: not at all.

More sexist and creepy than what you call the "gynecological exam images" of some more overtly hateful or "souless" porn?

Well, in my opinion, yes actually. Much creepier. Or much more dangerous, at any rate, precisely because Playboy and Cosmo and the like get to dress up their very unpretty misogyny in a way that can make it seem pretty and "artful" and gentlemanly and downright all-American. It's harmless, kids! It's wholesome and gentlemanly, not like those nasty crotch-shot mag that show yucky stuff like vulvas (ew!)... it's just healthy gals expressing their own sexuality and making their own choices about what to do with their own bodies, and it's really all about empowerment, in fact... yeah, it's about teaching young men to be gentlemanly and young women to feel good about their sexuality.

That's it. Sure, it is. Glad we cleared that up.
Nada Zero, young men want to look at naked women. Nothing wrong with that. They also need to learn something about sexuality and how to aim it properly. Pick up a Playboy and give it a read. There's plenty of context, along with all the locker room stuff we guys, admittedly, enjoy.
jane, where are all these "swimming holes", where teenage boys can see "real women with real flaws" skinny dipping? What year is it? Have we activated the Wayback machine, Mr. Peabody? ;)

My legal counsel also warns that, these days, the skinny dipping real women with real flaws would be risking charges of indecent exposure or nude in public (NIP).

And the enterprising young men watching them would potentially be vulnerable to misdemeanor or felony criminal surveillance or stalking provisions.

Given the unlikelihood of the swimming hole opportunity for most American teenagers, as well as the complex legal situation surrounding the scenario you describe, Playboy seems to me to be a better, safer, more realistic option.

Besides, "real" women don't have "flaws", jane. They have character, distinction and alluring peculiarities. Don't be so negative.
Yes, MTN, having boys "learn something about sexuality and how to aim it" from Playboy, Cosmo, etc. is precisely what I was talking about actually. (And, yes, I have both read and looked at Playboy, both when I was a kid and as an adult.) We'll just have to agree to disagree--and I'll have to hope that the young women I know and love encounter fewer men who've learned how to be men and how to view women that way. (Not likely, of course, but a girl can dream, can't she?)
Nada and jane, I've consulted the accumulated wisdom that I gained years ago from Playboy magazine - and that I mentally archived.

I can only conclude that, by arguing cleverly and passionately with me, you're really flirting with me.

I have to admit, it's working. Shall we meet at jane's favorite swimming hole? (big grin, only moderately suggestive, not a leer.)
I knew where my dad hid his Playboys, and read every single one. I don't have any trouble with some benign objectification of the nude male or female form, but I'd like to see it balanced with some other displays of non-airbrushed fantasy females. My only objection to Playboy was (not sure if it's still this way) that the only portrayal of women tended to be as women to look at and wish you could fuck. Maybe the models weren't great fodder for interview material (then again, maybe they were, at least some of them) but it would have been nice to see women being interviewed in the political column, or included in the fiction. A decent magazine, but one that presented women in two dimensions.
Sandra said: "A decent magazine, but one that presented women in two dimensions."

Well, you surely have a point, Sandra, particularly when it comes to the photos. It *is* erotica or soft-porn or whatever you want to call it, after all.

You're not going to find non-airbrushed/non-idealized images in there. That's just not the nature of the Playboy beast - or of any glossy magazine beast aimed at men or women. Or on television, for that matter. I've never been in a hospital, prosecutor's office, police precinct, or coffee shop that featured as many attractive people as one might expect, based on the TV portrayals.

The content is more layered and more three-dimensional, however, when it comes to the text features in Playboy - especially the Advisor and the political Forum.
Well said, bro! My immersion in Playboy occurred late, at the end of the Seventies, when I was in university and could pay for it. When I arrived in America over a decade later (being neither born nor raised here), one of the first things I did was to access the fledging EBay and hunt down the Playboy issue of March 1980, my personal favorite and one that I still consider formative and a keeper.

In that standout issue of Playboy there is 'pictorial' review of 'All That Jazz', Bob Fosse's celluloid roman à clef (prescient in its portrayal of the manner of his own death); Fosse, Dancer, Choreographer, Director, mensch, than whose life – lived in frenetic faithfulness to his art – one could do worse for lessons on being a man.

Within that issue can be found also my single favorite cartoon of all time, by the late Shel Silverstein, a treatise in some six panels, wordless but for their caption: 'And He Has Never Been Heard From Since.' This genius work of art says as much as several major novel about the animating spirit by which most men live, knowingly or unknowingly. [I know, no fair! – Unless you have seen the cartoon, how can you comment upon this vaunting claim of mine?]

Having tried and failed to find this cartoon via everyman’s state-of-the art tool of information forensics (I speak of The Google), I can only throw you back on the mercy of Playboy, this now your quest: you must yourself scour EBay for a used copy of The Issue, bid and win it for yourself, there to uncover The Cartoon...

And therein is my true point. Playboy, not only in this issue (plangent peculiarly to me) but spanning its decades-enduring incarnations, holds within its manifold pleasures an abundance of tutelary treasures, uplifting for any boy (I borrow your dexterous phrasing, Man Talk Now) ‘building himself a man piece by piece’.
Please! Hefner a “visionary”?? Over the years I’ve heard him referred to as a progressive, revolutionary, a philosopher, etc., etc. *sigh* The guys wanting to see naked girls I get. But, please, even with all the window dressing of smart fiction and nteresting interviews, Hef has always been nothing more than a Pimp in Print. Peddling T&A to the masses, sometimes his own “girlfriends” for profit.

The men and women of Hefner’s empire are merely participants in the World’s Oldest Profession. And there’s nothing visionary, liberating, progressive, or revolutionary about that. Just the same old, same old, women posing, posturing and performing the way men pay and direct them to. So not even an honest or natural portray of female sexuality. Watch an episode or two of “Kendra” to see the type of woman Playboy builds. . .
IBegtoDiffer, when I write about Mr. Hefner someday, it won't be to praise him, but to bury him.

However, it should be noted that he, through his magazine, did support progressive forces during the 70s - for causes such as equal rights for women and homosexuals. He also provided funds for court challenges of such things as sodomy laws.

Anyway, that's not what the post was about. It's about a magazine to which I wish teenage boys had easier access, for a number of reasons.
Thanks for the post Man. I love Playboy too but learned more from my High School English teacher and other older women (late 20's) who seemed to love young lifeguards. The pictures and stories are great but nothing beats the "real thing."
A friend of mine in college had a most impressive stack of Playboys, and even though I'm straight as they come, I loved the articles (good as the Atlantic), and one particularly memorable advice column about cunnilingus. It was also nice to see pretty naked girls, who I resembled minus a pound or two of silicone. And then I saw Internet Porn. It was so clinical. The girls didn't lounge by pools or coyly bathe themselves, they just spread both sets of lips. Good blog, MTN.
Bart, my friend, it sounds like you had a particularly enviable adolescence!

BikeLizard, well said. If a good old-fashioned Playboy can serve, to any degree, as an inoculation against today's horrible porn, I say it serves as a social good.
I remember babysitting -which, in the good old days, was basically smoking and taking nips and discovering porn - for a long distance truck driver and his wife.
My friend came over - which was normal, as we had a lot of mischief to get into -and we found the porn. We laid on the waterbed just laughing and cracking up over Penthouse and Hustler.
The next time I babysat I went straight for the stash - only to find a big note saying:
"This is for adults! Do not touch!"
which for some reason resonated and I didn't even think about looking at their porn ever again.
(Everything else was fair game, of course.)
Ha! Great story, aim. Tell the extended version in a post, please.
Random Playboy memories:

After my mother found them in his room, my little brother, then probably 11 or 12, hid his Playboy stash under MY bed. I guess he was thinking that Mom wouldn't go looking there. I found them while changing the sheets, got pissed off, and told him and his friends not to be jerking off in my room anymore. Then it came out that Mom had found them while snooping through MY room, and thought I was a lesbian, but she was too weirded out to say anything.

My best friend and I in 5th and 6th grade had a secret club totally dedicated to nothing but talking about sex and trying to get our hands on smut. Unfortunately, the smut was then in short supply in our households--all we could find was the dirty parts of the Bible, semi-dirty words in the dictionary, the sexual problems chapters of the 1976 Woman's Day Book of Family Medical Questions, and an ancient copy of Playboy my friend had somehow pilfered from her uncle. The Playboy was probably the least interesting to us--since we were girls, we'd seen naked women of all types in the YMCA locker room since we were babies. As for the dictionary, the Bible, and the medical questions book, however...there was still something mysterious about the whole thing, and that made it fun.

Once when I was home for a break from college and my little brother was still in high school, he knocked on my door and said, "You've GOT to read this." He handed me a copy of Playboy, and wanted me to read a story by Al Franken called "Operation Chickenhawk," in which Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, et al. get drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. After I got over the shock that my little brother was giving me a Playboy to read and the shock that he actually READ the articles, I realized that it was some damn funny stuff.
Leandra, that's perfect. Your little brother discovered that photos of breasts are only the gateway drug to... reading clever articles about things. I know the feeling.
I understand what your post was about, MTN, I'd just say that the man behind the magazine was a powerful influence which of course carried over to the magazine, which of course carries over to the men and women who read it. How could you "bury" him yet praise and recommend his magazine to the young and impressionable? He's the end product, the stellar example of the Playboy Philsophy in the flesh so to speak. As a young woman like Kendra W. is the logical product of his philosophy. Take a good look at him. . .her. . .and there you go, junk in, junk out.

So we'll have to agree to disagree its in any way helpful to teenaged boys who will be dealing with real live women someday. About as helpful to boys in understanding women as romance novels are helpful to girls in developing realistic expectations of men and relationships with men when they grow up. In other words: none. A flight of fantasy, yes. Helpful, instructive? Not so much.
Playboy is honestly one of the most informative unbiased magazines out there. It has great writers and gets interviews with people who are actually worth talking to. People who put Penthouse and Playboy in the same category couldn't be more misinformed, and they piss me off. Playboy is not just a stroke book, it's a quality magazine.
And, I most definitely know why this one did NOT get an EP...
RATED
Three words... "Bo Derek Issue"
Kind of Blue: Tarzan, right? One of the first I ever saw, stolen from a neighbor's dad.
Excellent point on Playboy vs/ magazines like Cosmo/O/Allure/Vogue. I never understood why feminists routinely call for the end of Playboy, being such a sexist magazine that carelessly objectifies women. How is Playboy different than other, more mainstream and more widely read womens magazines? So I guess the point is that it's OK for women to objectify women, but not OK for men to do the same. That's just silly.
Life, that seems like a fair point to me. Not everyone agrees, though. And some just get mad at any "objectification" of women, by any medium. I'm somewhat sympathetic, but getting mad about that seems pointless to me.

Fact is, people pay money for entertainment that airbrushes and idealizes images of women and men, and that is often economical with providing more than two dimensions. I'm not sure how you counter that, short of illiberal societal controls that would cause even more harm.

Human nature is mostly good. It has its base, animal side. Fight it? Fruitless. Exploit it and add some nourishment alongside the junk food? Maybe a more useful approach. In my view, that's one thing Playboy sometimes accomplishes.
"The content is more layered and more three-dimensional, however, when it comes to the text features in Playboy - especially the Advisor and the political Forum."

That's my point - the more layered, three dimensional content is almost wholly authored by males - or at least, it was when I was reading it in the 70s and 80s. There is no good reason to exclude women as contributors from the more layered, three dimensional aspects of the magazine - but excluded they were, systematically. What would be the reason for that? Is it necessary that women be presented ONLY as two-dimensional fantasy? Isn't it possible for a man to fantasize about a beautiful centerfold, AND have room in his head for an interview with a Golda Meier, or Madeleine Allbright....i.e realize and appreciate women that exist in a dimension beyond the fantasy one? Maybe that started happening in the 90s, but it sure wasn't when I was reading it back in the day.
Hell, Sandra, I don't know. I'm not Playboy's PR department.

For my part, I like female writers, especially those with great memories and a gift for turning a phrase. ;)

I shouldn't say this, because it's a cheap and unrevealing debate tactic, but do you find a lot of male writers in women's magazines?
I was raised on Playboy. In the sixties, it gave me Harlan Ellison and Shel Silverstein, and a sense that pretty women could mouth off-- those playmate of the month interviews!

Unfortunately, it also gave me a rather limited view of what women's pussies should look like-- demure pink things, unlike my own. But time and experience fixed that.

I've had Playboy subscriptions off and on as my own kids, one boy one girl, have grown up. I think the magqazine offers a pleasant and comfortable view of the sexual life that they can look forward to as adults. And any failings, such as that still-limited standard of beauty, can be augmented by myself
Studies by Dr.John Court found that in Australia Queensland did not allow easy distribution of pornography but South Australia allowed easy and accessible pornography.He compared the rape rate of 100,000 at risk for more than a 13 year period and found Queensland had no increase in their rape rate,but South Australia's rape rate increased 6 times! In 1974 Hawai allowed easy distribution of pornography and their rape rate increased,then they restricted it and the rape rate went down,and then they allowed wide distribution again,and the rape rate went up again and then when they restricted again,the rapes decreased!


Sociologists Larry Baron and Murray Straus also did a state-state circulation rate of pornographic magazine sales and the connection to states with the highest sales of these magazines including playboy and the rape rate in those states.And in Alaska and Nevada is where the pornographic magazines sold the highest,and those 2 states also had the highest rape rates compared to any other states.They repeated this study the next year and the findings were exactly the same,even when they controlled for other causes,and it was only sexual assault that increased not other crimes.


And,

Linnea Smith By Patricia Barrera

Linnea Smith is your average woman of the 90s. She has a satisfying family life, rewarding career in mental health and interests that include traveling with her husband, spending time with her daughters, babying her dogs and reading pornography. Yes...reading pornography--and using her professional skills and expanding international network to fight it. Like most of us, she never really thought about pornography as a critical social issue until a 1985 media conference where she learned about past and present research on pornographic materials. And what she learned shocked and angered her.


As a psychiatrist, feminist, and woman, she was well aware of the personal and societal consequences of battery, rape, and child sexual abuse. The results of the studies delivered at that fateful conference were an indictment to the connection of pornographic materials, both directly and indirectly, with these violent sex crimes. For Smith, pornography became an issue of public health and human rights that needed to be addressed.


As every critical thinker should, Smith went straight to the source to see for herself what was going on. She turned to Playboy, the nation's first pornography magazine to earn mainstream acceptance and support. By 1984 Playboy had 4.2 million subscribers, and was selling 1.9 million magazines at newsstands (Miller, 1984).


The results of her extensive investigation of the magazine (from the 1960s on) are presented in three brochures. "It's Not Child's Play" is a disturbing brochure that outlines the specific ways in which Playboy sexualizes small children and presents them as sexual targets for adult males in their magazine. The collection of cartoons and pictorials is damning, and made even more so when juxtaposed against pathetic statements made by Playboy representatives denying they ever used children in their publication. Smith very well could have called the brochure "Playboy Exposed".


Right alongside their claims that "Playboy never has, never will" publish such offensive imagery (Playboy, December, 1985), Smith placed pictures the magazine did indeed publish- of children in sexual encounters with adults and references to girl children as 'Playmate' material. In December of 1978, for example, Playboy published a picture of a five year old girl with the caption "my first topless picture," and in March of that same year published a cartoon in which Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz is pointing out the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man to a police officer as having just raped her on the yellow brick road.


Smith did not limit her investigation to the use of children in Playboy. She found jokes about sexual harassment, abuse, manipulation, dehumanization and avoidance of intimacy by men toward their partners and callousness toward women in general, and the promotion of sexual conquest over women instead of sexual intimacy with a woman.


In another powerful and well documented brochure, "As Sex Education, Men's Magazines are Foul PLAY, BOYS!," Smith once again had Playboydo the talking for her. The brochure featuredPlayboycartoons that dehumanized women like the one in which a man was shown holding a pornography magazine over his girlfriend's face and body as they are having sex (Playboy, August, 1974), and another featuring a taxidermist calling a man to come and pick up his wife, who had been stuffed (Playboy, April, 1995). Was she hunted down and killed, too?


Smith's brochures include extensive documentation and commentary by recognized scholars and researchers addressing the impact of pornography on our society. There are chilling statistics, like the finding that 100% of all high school aged males in one survey reported having read or looked at pornography, with the average age of viewing the first issue being 11 years old (Bryant, testimony to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography Hearings, 1985).


In another study she lists, three per cent of the women in a random sample and 8.5 per cent in a survey of college undergraduate women reported being physically coerced into sex by someone inspired by pornography. Ten per cent of the nonstudent and 24 per cent of the student respondents answered yes to the question of whether they had ever been upset by someone trying to get them to do something out of a pornographic book, movie, or magazine (cited by Anderson in Lederer and Delgado, eds., 1995).


Also included is a study conducted by Mary Koss on 6,000 college students in which she found that men reporting behavior meeting legal definitions of rape were significantly more likely to be frequent readers of pornography magazines than those men who did not report engaging in such behavior (Koss and Dinero, 1989).

Smith is one of few people to expand her analysis of pornographic magazines to include the presence of drugs and alcohol, especially important today considering the almost epidemic level of drug and alcohol use by adults and teenagers in this country, Smith agrees that drugs and alcohol are contributing factors to high risk and coercive sex, and that the relationship between them within pornographic materials is an overlooked, and greatly needed, area of research.


As Smith explains " . . . No [other] reputable publication brought positive drug information within easy reach of juvenile (or adult) consumers. Since 1970, Playboy has been glamorizing intoxication as a mind-expanding, sexually-enhancing experience. It is difficult to conclude these magazines have not played a major role in popularizing 'recreational' drug consumption and the myth of its being fun, risk-free, and even sexy. What greater reinforcement for drug taking behavior than to eroticize it?"


In "Drug Coverage in Playboy Magazine," a brochure she developed for the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), Smith compiled a plethora of cartoons that favorably paired sex with drugs and alcohol. Cartoons, articles and columns advise readers on how to use drugs for sexual enhancement. References to negative effects were usually humorously presented and so, easily dismissed.


Playboy's depiction of underage users of drugs and alcohol even included their own version of the Official Boy Scout Handbook in (Playboy, August, 1984). Their suggestions for Scout Merit Badges included "Water Safety" for the scout who ordered his Johnnie Walker whiskey straight up, and "Free-Basing" for the scout who smoked cocaine. A similar feature in 1979 stated that "Today, 'boyhood fun' means cruising and scoring; overnight adventures' involve Ripple and car stripping; and 'survival skills include cocaine testing, bust evasion and cutting into gas lines" (Playboy, December, 1979).


Once Smith contacted the NCAA about her serious concerns, media attention and public scrutiny increased. Playboy denied any wrongdoing, claiming they were only reflecting a "major cultural phenomena", but they did scale back the more obvious pro-drug and alcohol features in the magazine. damage control campaign resulted in a politically correct editorial statement on the magazine's position on drug abuse in the May 1987 issue as well as a few anti-drug articles. To counter Smith's NCAA attempts, the magazine also courted collegiate sports information offices with a mass mailing of a hastily compiled slick, glossy booklet "The Dangers of Drugs", explaining their "real" position against substance abuse. However the magazine still includes covert messages glamorizing substance abuse and pairing sexualized alcohol consumption with easier prey. According to Smith, "we succeeded in exposing yet another dimension of the destructive nature of pornography, and, at the very least, cost Playboy some time and money."


It may also cost Playboy the niche they are trying to carve out for themselves in organized sports. Playboy's strategy for commercial success has been to include respected and well- known public figures in their magazine, an old tactic for aspiring to legitimacy. That way the magazine may be looked at as more of a credible news journal than just a porno rag. Readers too, can feel better about their consumption of pornographic pictures of women when they are "wrapped" in articles about current social issues. It made business sense to Playboy to seek out an alliance with athletes who, in some countries, are accorded hero status.


So they came up with an annual pre-season award for college level athletes and coaches, the Playboy All-America Award. The nominated players and coaches receive an all-expenses paid trip to a luxury resort for a weekend party, photo session and public relations blitz.


The team selection process is unorthodox at best. It is not a panel of sports officials but rather Photography Director Gary Cole, doubling as sports editor when needed, (Playboy, March, 1996, p.117) who chooses players and coaches for the award. The prerequisite is not athletic ability but rather who agrees to be photographed for the magazine. Again, a common tactic for legitimacy. Playboy rejects players unwilling to have their pictures associated with the magazine- -its content and underlying messages--and keeps making "awards" until the sufficient number of players and coaches agree to the photo sessions. The event hit some legal snafus as well. Complaints were officially lodged with the NCAA which included the presence of professional agents at the photo sessions. This charge, like the others, was also denied by the magazine in a letter to the NCAA.


Go to Part II
Rhea from the sadly former Women's Alliance Against Pornography Education Project in Cambridge,back in January 1993 sent me many cartoons from Playboy and Penthouse of women being sexually harassed,used and sexually servicing their male bosses in the work place and they are horrible!

I asked her what are these cartoons from,she said they are from Playboy and Penthouse. I said what are the men doing to women in the cartoons,are they raping them.She said yeah,they are all different things,you will have to see for yourself and then she said,they're pretty bad.

The Women's Alliance Against Pornography put their own captions under the cartoons under a Penthouse cartoon of a man saying to his boss,who is holding a photocopy of just a woman's huge breasts with no head,"This is my Christmas bonus? A xerox photo of your secretary's t**s?" THe Women's Alliance Against Pornography wrote that Porn reduces women to the make-up of her body parts.



The Women's Alliance Against Pornography wrote that Men are threatened by the concept of women's equality under a Penthouse cartoon of a woman sitting on top of a phallic type nuclear warhead sucking on it with her legs open grasped around the tip of it,and The Penthouse caption has a man in a uniform talking to another man,saying,"Miss Oppenhawn,the newest member of our staff is a nuclear warhead specialist."



The Women's Alliance Against Pornography wrote that Porn teaches men that the only way a woman succeeds is by prostituting herself thereby removing the threat of equality.They wrote this under a Penthouse cartoon of a woman journalist with her hand in a man's pants, and the Penthouse caption said,"Here I am again folks,out scooping those male journalists by interviewing an otherwise unapproachable diplomat.I suppose you're all wondering how I do it."Another from Playboy has a female employee with an upset humiliated expression on her face standing in front of her male boss's desk with papers in her hand that she's leaning on his desk, and the male boss says to her,"I had the most asmusing dream last night.Miss Grant-I dreamed you performed an unnatural sex act upon me."



Another Penthouse cartoon shows a woman standing outside of her boss's office with the word President on the door and she's talking to another woman,her co-worker and she has a huge candy cain stuck in her backside,and she says to her co-worker,"Don't expect much of a Chrstmas Bonus this year."The Women's Alliance Against Pornography wrote under this,Pornography elicits contempt for women.



A cartoon from Playboy had a male boss with an angry expression on his face barricading a woman employee on her desk with both of his arms around her,and she's leaning away from him with a screaming upset expression on her face.The Women's Alliance Against Pornography included this cartoon under their heading,Pornography elicits contempt for women.


Another Playboy cartoon has a woman military officer looking upset and humiliated standing with two male military officers while one of them cuts her uniform off into pieces and she's nude.There are other women military officers standing further in the backround on the side.The Playboy caption says,"Usually we just cut off the buttons."


Another from Penthouse has a male news caster sitting at a news desk reporting the news with a woman with big breasts in a low cut top sitting next to him.Penthouse's caption has the male news caster saying, "Chet Carey here bringing you the news along with Miss Clover to provide relief by displaying her t*ts."Another Penthouse cartoon has male doctors operating on a patient,while only a woman's lower part of her body and legs are shown under one of the male doctors clothes,and their caption has him saying,"More suction".


The Women's Alliance Against Pornography wrote under these that Woman's only attributes are in her sexuality.Another cartoon from Penthouse has a nude big busted woman in bed with her male boss,and he's smoking his after sex cigarette and she says,"Incidentally,I'm sorry I turned you in at the office for sexual harassment!"


Another from Playboy has a male boss sitting behind a desk with a sign up behind him that says,Last-Minute Suggestions and his female employee is walking away holding a folder in her hand with an upset expression on her face,and the she says,"*Please* Mr.Fergusen! You can keep those last minute suggestions to yourself!."


Psychiatrist Linnea Smith sent me two huge folders of important research and information on the harms of pornography(she thanked me for my important efforts educating people on the harms of porn,and she said it's especially difficult because the public is desensitized,and the media is reluctant to criticize other media,especially sexually explicit media) back when I wrote her and told her about my experience as a big busted beautiful 13 year old girl being molested by teen boys who used Playboy and how they even made references to the women in it and how one of the boys shoved a pornographic magazine into my face and said,here's a picture of a girl fingering herself.



Included in the research Dr.Smith sent me was other Playboy cartoons of women being sexually harassed on the job by their male bosses.Dr.Smith wrote on top of this photocopied page which has these cartoons on both sides, Job Harassment Sexual Harassment In The Workplace Has Been For Years A Popular Them For Cartoons In *Playboy* Magazine.One of these cartoons is of an overweight male boss with his femalke employee with an upset expression on her face trying to push him away and the caption has him saying,"Ms Beasly why are you resisting I voted for the ERA."(the Equal Rights Amendment that was never passed).Another has a male boss in his office saying to his female employee,You want equality? Next time we'll do it on your desk."


Playboy also promoted child sex abuse, including ,gang rapes of women and children,incest, and sexual murders of women and children as normal and as jokes in thousands of cartoons,articles and even some pictures for over 30 years! Check out psychiatrist Linnea Smith's excellent site talkintrash she has a section,Another Look At Centerfolds where she has *tons* of strong excellent research studies on harms of pornography!
I know sadly all too well the effects of even "soft-core" pornography's sexist ojectification of women,because I was repeatedly treated as nothing but a sex object,and grabbed at in my crotch and breasts as a big busted beautiful girl by many teen boys,2 of the many who treated me this way repeatedly, used pornography but this was in 1979 so hardcore wasn't mainstreamed and accessible like now. One of these 15 year old boys made 2 verbal references to the women in Playboy and another shoved a pornographic magazine into my face and said,Here is a picture of a girl fingering herslf! Not that it ever justifies it in any way,but I just wanted people to know that I wore no make up and never wore any provocative clothes.


When I was 25 in 1990 (before pornography was even on the internet and not nearly as mainstreamed) I spoke to Rhea Becker at the now sadly former feminist Women's Alliance Against Pornography & Education Project .I spoke to her off and on until January 1993 and I asked her to send me any information on the harms of pornography and she sent me a lot. I told her that when a lot of men come to my house to fix or deliver things,they made sexist and inappropriate sexual comments and stared at me which made me uncomfortable and that I never wore provative clothes and had little and sometimes no make up on.I told her they were treating me like I was just someting to F*ck,and she said yes and that all comes from pornography.I had so many experiences like this even when I was as young as 13 by some men even and it really was sexual harassment.Rhea also told me that my experience of being sexually abused by boys or men who use pornography is very common and that she knew quite a few women who had similar experiences.She also always said we live in a society that hates women. And she once said most men hate women and then they marry them. And women give birth to sexist woman-hating pornography users! A woman having a son is the same exact thing as a Jew giving birth a to a Nazi or a black person giving birth to a Klu Klux Klan member or any other racist! I feel sorry for any kind women or geunine feminists who have sons!



I couldn't walk down the hall without some sexist degrading comments made by many other boys as well about how big busted I was and they also grabbed at another big busted girl who wasn't even pretty. But it wasn't just teen boys,when I was 14 I was sitting on the artroom steps with a boyfriend and the artroom teacher who was at least in his late 20's early 30's said to a whole room full of 15 year old boys that the boy I was sitting with said it was his turn after his.I'm sure he was a porn user too and got the attitude I was just a thing for boys and men to use for sex and take turns with! I actually am in some way a little "lucky" that this was in 1979 when images of men ejaculating on women's faces and bodies wasn't mainstreamed and all over the place,(back then women were just things to feel,f*ck and forget,now we are nothing but things to feel,f*ck,ejaculate all over on,call woman-hating names and forget! we have really come a long way baby!)because then they wouldn't just have grabbed at my breasts and crotch,but would have ejaculated or at least tried to on my face and breasts!



When I was 17 a school evaluator said that a lot of guys are going to want to get down my pants! Where do we think the teenage boys learn these kinds of sexist,woman-hating dehumanizing attitudes towards women from,the whole sexist,woman-hating male dominated sick society,the pornography that came from it,and the adult men who use it and are influenced by it all.Dr.Michael Flood said to me in an email back in 2002 after I told him about my experience,that he has no doubt on the connection of young men's pornography use and their sexual abuse of girls and women.And there is plenty of research and testimonies of girls and women about this.

If you,are your mother,daughter,sister or friend is sexually assualted or sexually harassed in the work place by men who show you or them pornography as part of the sexual abuse,as has happened to many women and children,and the men say to you or them,you are nothing but a thing to stick penises into,nothing but cum eating sl*ts,wh*res and B*tches,to f*ck,feel,ejaculate all over and discgard,and they say just like the women in pornography,then lets see how much you support and defend it!
Psychiatrist Linnea Smith's Excellent Important Site On Playboy And Pornography Harms With Tons Of Great Research Studies!

PLAYBOY

Feb 18, 1998 ... ANOTHER LOOK AT CENTERFOLDS ... We All Need to Take A Closer Look ... on getting this brochure with Acrobat go to Linnea Smith's Homepage. ...
www.talkintrash.com/playboy/ -

Letter to advertiser and response to Playboy publisher
Complete version of a letter Linnea Smith wrote to advertisers in ... One method is their centerfold layout, which juxtaposes explicit nude ... or even that sexuality is linked with power over another, .... I look forward to being able to understand and share your view with Seagram's and other corporate sponsors. ...

www.talkintrash.com/playboy/Seagrams.html - Cached - Similar
Show more results from www.talkintrash.comThe Anti-Pornography Activist- We MUST FIGHT AGAINST PORN ...
Linnea Smith's Web Page against Pornography and Exploitation of Women and Children This very articulate and knowledgeable doctor has one of the best ... Bunnies Revisited - Another Look at centerfolds (This is against playboy and the ...
www.cybersexban.com/domains/net/antiporno/ -

genderberg.com - Content
Feb 24, 2005 ... Another cartoon from 1972 features a young girl about age seven emerging from the bedroom of a ... of child images used and child photos in the centerfold biography were suddenly older. ... Dr. Linnea Smith's website ...

www.genderberg.com/phpNuke/modules.php?name=Content... -
"Education Not Exploitation . . .

Don't Play With Playboy" Protest Timeline

by Rebecca Whisnant & Vicki Behrens

Monday, March 16: Beginning of Women's Week, marking 100 years of women at UNC.

Tuesday, March 17: Playboy runs its first ad in the campus paper, recruiting women students for its "Women of the ACC" (Atlantic Coast Conference) pictorial. Serendipitously, on the same day, Wheelock College sociologist Gail Dines visits campus as the keynote speaker for Women's Week. Dines' slideshow and lecture on pornography and sexism in the media inspires several students to begin planning a protest against the Playboy visit. An email listserv is set up for those interested in participating. The protest plans are informally christened "Bunny Hunt."



UNC students protest Playboy's presence on campus soliciting coeds for "Girls of the ACC" photo shoot.

Wednesday, March 18: Cameras and reporters from a local news station arrive at the office of the Women's Issues Network, demanding to know what they are planning to do about the Playboy visit. No one from WIN is in the office at the time, so the reporters harass members of the other two organizations who share the office space. It is unclear how Channel 11 knows that anyone is even thinking of planning anything at this point, since only one impromptu informal meeting has been held. Moreover, those students who are in fact considering a protest are not doing so as part of WIN, but as a new and independent organization formed to respond to the Playboy visit. . . . Later this evening, students develop a petition to present to the staff of the Daily Tar Heel, demanding that they stop publishing Playboy's advertising. They also compose a Statement of Purpose explaining the reasons for their opposition to Playboy.

Thursday, March 19: Word travels fast. The Daily Tar Heel publishes a snide article about some students' plans to present a petition. Meanwhile, the petitions are circulated at a Breaking the Silence T-shirt-making event during the afternoon, and at the Take Back the Night rally in the evening. 103 signatures are gathered. Following the Take Back the Night march and rally, about 10 students go to the Daily Tar Heel office to present the petition. Although they have no signs and are neither loud nor disruptive, the manager rudely asks them to leave since the editorial staff is not there. They politely persist, and proceed to read the petition and statement of purpose. They then hand both documents to the manager and leave.

Friday, March 20: Misogynist, anti-feminist graffiti is discovered in the very early morning. The previous night, at the end of the Take Back the Night event, women and men had written chalk messages in the Pit (a central campus gathering place) concerning their experiences and fears of sexual violence and their hopes for safety and equality. The vandals have marked out these messages and replaced them with such slogans as "Feminists swallow," "Get off your high horse and into the missionary position," and "Give me nudity or give me death"-- and, of course, numerous renditions of the Playboy bunny icon. Fortunately, rain washes away these hateful and threatening messages before most students see them.

Sunday, March 22: A feminist student involved in the protest writes a letter to the editor about this incident of campus hate speech, drawing connections between Playboy, pornography in general, and violence against women. The Daily Tar Heel never publishes this letter. Indeed, they never cover the incident at all, except in a board editorial several days later in which they blandly denounce its occurrence.

The next couple of weeks: Plans continue, via email and meetings, for the protest. Some of the protestors call Playboy under false pretenses to find out where they are planning to do their "interviewing" and to sign up for some of the time slots. They also call Playboy to ask if permission has been granted to use the "ACC" name and logo. Playboy responds that they do not need such permission, since they are using "ACC" merely as a "geographical distinction." One student writes a superb guest editorial explaining the reasons for protesting Playboy, but the Tar Heel refuses to run it, claiming they don't publish guest editorials (a patent lie). They finally publish it several days later as a letter to the editor, significantly shortened, and with text actually altered (e.g. "Feminists have been much maligned in the media" is changed to "feminists have been much ignored in the media"-- hardly a content-neutral, space-saving change). When challenged, the editors respond that "the scanner must have picked it up wrong."

Tuesday, April 7: A female Playboy representative -- formerly a Playmate, now an employee -- visits campus to drum up enthusiasm for the next week's recruiting. She plants herself in central campus locations, handing out free issues and keychains. When asked the reason for her presence, she says that it's because of all the bad publicity.

The next few days: Organizing efforts intensify. Informational flyers are designed and put up all over campus. Since much of the campus discussion of the issue has assumed that Playboy is just pictures of naked ladies, many of the flyers reproduce text and cartoons from Playboy which trivialize or celebrate violence, molestation, and the use of women as objects. Few of the flyers are left more than a day before being ripped down . . . . Meanwhile, students are meeting to make posters and banners for the protest, calling local media outlets to announce it, and getting the word out. The theme of the protest: "Education, Not Exploitation: Don't Play With Playboy!"



WE DON'T THINK SO
The ad insulted its readers' intelligence by noting that many past pictorial participants "have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, scientists, professors, business and government professionals, wives and moms." What the blurb sidesteps is that many more women have gone on to reach those same achievements--and greater--without getting ogled in the all-together by complete strangers.
A much bigger insult came from Playboy spokeswoman Elizabeth Norris when reporter Jeanne Fugate asked how many UNC coeds the magazine expected to attend the April tryouts.
"We find that there are more in the Southern area, because they're used to running around in fewer clothes," Norris answered. "The ACC is very good. We expect to get quite a few there."

Excerpted from Forum edtorial, The Chapel Hill Herald, Thursday, March 19, 1998





Tuesday, April 14: The day of Playboy's recruiting visit -- and of the protest. Flyers have been plastered over central campus by people who choose to remain anonymous: "Freedom of Speech" is emblazoned across the body of a Playmate, and the flyers proclaim that "Playboy is welcome at UNC." We gather at 12:30 in the Pit and march over to the Carolina Inn, where Playboy is holding their "interviews." After some speeches, the gathering is silent for 21 minutes, symbolizing the 21 years during which Playboy has been targeting college women for exploitation. We are standing on a street corner in a light rain, and people passing by in cars look at us curiously while waiting at the red light. They read our posters: "Women of the ACC . . . Anger Causes Change!" "This Bunny Brings Rotten Eggs" "What's Wrong With Playboy? sexualizes children, ridicules feminism, programs male sexuality, trivializes sexual violence, eroticizes inequality . . . PLENTY!" "Carolina Men Don't Want Playboy's Fantasy Objects" "Anti-Sexist College Campus -- No Place for Playboy" "Women of the ACC Cry Foul: Don't Play With Playboy!" We can see some of the parents explaining to their children who we are and what we're doing. Other students pass by on the sidewalk. Some laugh nervously and refuse to meet the eyes of protestors who say "hello." Some men make rude comments; most just stare. Occasionally a woman in a car honks her horn in support, or a woman crossing the street whoops and gives us a thumbs-up. We march up to Franklin Street, the main drag, chanting "Education, not exploitation!"; some protestors are stopped and asked for interviews by local TV stations. Back in the Pit, we reread our Statement of Purpose, and a few male students begin to shout us down. The speakers continue talking, and invite everyone who is watching to discuss the issues surrounding the protest with us. Some protestors stay a while and argue with the angry men, while others head home, having had our say, if only for an hour or so, about Playboy.
Pornography is extremely sexist and woman-hating and it teaches and normalizes sick distortions of women,men and sexuality,and it sexualizes male supremacy,sexist gender inequality,male dominance,women's subordination and submission to men,,male supremacy objectification and dehumanization of women as only sex objects to be used,ejac*lated all over,and disgarded, for men,often calls women woman-hating names like s***s,b******,and w***** and even male violence!


And because it sexualizes and normalizes all of these sick things and sexist injustices, and has been wrongly mainstreamed and made acceptable in a sexist sick woman-hating male dominated society,that created and normalized it in the first place,more women are sadly disturbingly being influenced to think this is what normal hetrosexuality is,and it teaches men that this is what women want and like, and that they want to be treated by them this way! Attitudes like yours really make any hope for change seem hopless!


Many men who used to use pornography when they were younger who are now anti-pornography anti-sexist anti-male violence educators include, former all star high school football player Jackson Katz who wrote the great important book,The Macho Paradox How Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help and he writes about how pornography sexualizes men's power,woman hatred,sexual objectification and dehumanization and subordination of women,and this is all connected to male violence,and gender inequality,and how the pornography industry has sold this woman-hatred and men's power as normal and liberating to the public.


Therapist Russ Funk who is a anti-racist,anti-sexist,anti-male violence educator has written books and articles on this as well and he had a chapter ,What Pornography Says About Me(n) in the book,Not For Sale:Feminists Resisting Prostitution & Pornography in which he said that when he used pornography he saw all women as just f***able even women he saw in classes,business coleagues and women on the street .He said being commited to justice and using pornography is inherently contradictory,because one can not look at others as fully equal,empowered,dynamic human beings if one is also looking at them through the pornographic gaze.


He also did a presentation in 2006 at The Center For Women Children and Families,Pornography What's The Harm? On his site it describes 3 workshops he presents to people on the harms of pornography.He also wrote a book in 1993,Stopping Rape:A Challenge For Men and he includes pornography as one of the causes of rape culture.

The important organization,Men Can Stop Rape also discusses and educates on how men's sexuality is socialized by pornography.

And Robert Jensen has written great articles and his important book,Getting Off Pornography And The End Of Masculinity.And Dr.Michael Flood's recent report is great too.John Stoltenberg's excellent 1989 book,Refusing To Be A Man Essays On Sex and Justice that consists of brilliant important speaches he made from the late 70's -the late 80's also discusses how pornography eroticizes and sexualizes male supremacy, sexism,woman hatred,violence,male dominance and female submission and subordination of women,and makes it feel and seem like sex to people and even makes sexism necessary for some people to have sexual feelings and arousal,keeps it this way, makes it the reality that people believe is true, and keeps people from knowing any other possibility.He co-founded Men Against Pornography In New York.

Paul Kivel who is the founder of The Oakland Men's Project in California who has been a long time anti-sexist,anti-racist,anti-male violence educator,also wrote about how harmful and sexist pornography is in his great important 1999 book,Boys Will Be Men Raising Our Sons For COURAGE,CARING,and COMMUNITY.

He writes that it is not surprising that an industry worth billions of dollars a year,which may be bigger than the record and movie industries combined,has developed many ways to justify it's existence and insinuate itself into mainstream male culture.

Paul then says that there are several books that describe in detail the harm pornography does to men as well as to women.He says these books listed in the bibliography,also contain descriptions of the pornography industry's efforts to suppress and disrupt people organizing against it.The books he lists are,Men Confront Pornography edited by Michael S.Kimmel,Making Violence Sexy:Feminist Views On Pornography by Dianna E.H.Russell,and Pornography:The Production and Consumption Of Inequality by Gail Dines et.al.

Paul also says in this book that talking to another adult can also help you decide if this is a situation in which you want to forbid the presence of porn in your house or if you just want to make it clear to your son how you fell about pornography but will let him decide what to do with the magazines or videos he has.He says in either case,it's important to find out your son's thoughts about pornography .He then says he may no little about the industry,it's exploitation in the production of pornography,or the effects on women,men,and their relationships when men use it.He says it might be useful,if you have the stomach for it,to look through some of the material with him and talk about what you see.



Brooklyn College psychology professor Dr.Robert Brannon was a co-chair with Phylis B.Frank for 20 years from 1990 of The New York NOW's Task Force on the harms of pornography,trafficking, and prostitution and he is co-founder of NOMAS National Organization For Men Against Sexism and he;s the organization's group leader of their Task Force on prostitution and pornography.THere islso a n excellent recent report by pro-feminist Australian gender studies and sociology professor Dr.Michael Flood,The Harms Of Pornography Exposure Among Children And Young People and he also includes a lot of great research studies about the effects on adult users.He explains that Adults also show an increase in behavioral agression following exposure to pornography including non-violent or violent depictions of sexual activity (but not nudity) with stronger effects for violent pornography.He has a lot of researchers as references.


Dr.Flood also then explains that in studies of pornography use in everyday life,men who are high frequency users of pornography and men who use 'hardcore',violent, or rape pornography are more likely than others to report that they would rape or sexually harass a woman if they knew they could get away with it.And they are more likely to actually perpetrate sexual coercion and agression.His reference for this is studies by psychologist Neil Malamuth et al 2000.Dr.Flood also says that perhaps the most troubling impact of pornography on children and young people is it's influence on sexual violence. And he then says that a wide range of studies of the effects of pornography have been conducted among young people age 18-25,as well as older polualtions.


He says across these,there is consistent and reliable evidence that exposure to pornography is related to male sexual aggression against women.This association is strongest for violent pornography and still reliable for non-violent pornography particularly for frequent users. His source is psychologist Neil Malamuth et al 2000.He also says that in experiemental studies adults show significant strengthening of attitudes supportive of sexual aggression following exposure to pornography.He then says the association between pornography and rape supportive attitudes is evident as a result of exposure to both non-violent (showing consenting sexual activity) and violent pornography while the latter results in significantly greater increase in violence-supportive attitudes.He also says exposure to sexually violent material increases male viewers acceptance of rape myths and erodes their empathy for victims of violence.


His source for this is Allen et al 1995.He explains adults also show an increase in behavioral aggression following exposure to pornography including non-violent or violent depictions of sexual activity(but not nudity) with stronger effects for violent pornography.Allen et al 1995.


He also explains there are many studies that show that teen boys who are frequent users of pornography more often sexually harass girls and believe it's perfectly OK to hold a girl down and force her to have sex.




"Education Not Exploitation . . .
Don't Play With Playboy" Protest Timeline
by Rebecca Whisnant & Vicki Behrens

Monday, March 16: Beginning of Women's Week, marking 100 years of women at UNC.

Tuesday, March 17: Playboy runs its first ad in the campus paper, recruiting women students for its "Women of the ACC" (Atlantic Coast Conference) pictorial. Serendipitously, on the same day, Wheelock College sociologist Gail Dines visits campus as the keynote speaker for Women's Week. Dines' slideshow and lecture on pornography and sexism in the media inspires several students to begin planning a protest against the Playboy visit. An email listserv is set up for those interested in participating. The protest plans are informally christened "Bunny Hunt."



UNC students protest Playboy's presence on campus soliciting coeds for "Girls of the ACC" photo shoot.

Wednesday, March 18: Cameras and reporters from a local news station arrive at the office of the Women's Issues Network, demanding to know what they are planning to do about the Playboy visit. No one from WIN is in the office at the time, so the reporters harass members of the other two organizations who share the office space. It is unclear how Channel 11 knows that anyone is even thinking of planning anything at this point, since only one impromptu informal meeting has been held. Moreover, those students who are in fact considering a protest are not doing so as part of WIN, but as a new and independent organization formed to respond to the Playboy visit. . . . Later this evening, students develop a petition to present to the staff of the Daily Tar Heel, demanding that they stop publishing Playboy's advertising. They also compose a Statement of Purpose explaining the reasons for their opposition to Playboy.

Thursday, March 19: Word travels fast. The Daily Tar Heel publishes a snide article about some students' plans to present a petition. Meanwhile, the petitions are circulated at a Breaking the Silence T-shirt-making event during the afternoon, and at the Take Back the Night rally in the evening. 103 signatures are gathered. Following the Take Back the Night march and rally, about 10 students go to the Daily Tar Heel office to present the petition. Although they have no signs and are neither loud nor disruptive, the manager rudely asks them to leave since the editorial staff is not there. They politely persist, and proceed to read the petition and statement of purpose. They then hand both documents to the manager and leave.

Friday, March 20: Misogynist, anti-feminist graffiti is discovered in the very early morning. The previous night, at the end of the Take Back the Night event, women and men had written chalk messages in the Pit (a central campus gathering place) concerning their experiences and fears of sexual violence and their hopes for safety and equality. The vandals have marked out these messages and replaced them with such slogans as "Feminists swallow," "Get off your high horse and into the missionary position," and "Give me nudity or give me death"-- and, of course, numerous renditions of the Playboy bunny icon. Fortunately, rain washes away these hateful and threatening messages before most students see them.

Sunday, March 22: A feminist student involved in the protest writes a letter to the editor about this incident of campus hate speech, drawing connections between Playboy, pornography in general, and violence against women. The Daily Tar Heel never publishes this letter. Indeed, they never cover the incident at all, except in a board editorial several days later in which they blandly denounce its occurrence.

The next couple of weeks: Plans continue, via email and meetings, for the protest. Some of the protestors call Playboy under false pretenses to find out where they are planning to do their "interviewing" and to sign up for some of the time slots. They also call Playboy to ask if permission has been granted to use the "ACC" name and logo. Playboy responds that they do not need such permission, since they are using "ACC" merely as a "geographical distinction." One student writes a superb guest editorial explaining the reasons for protesting Playboy, but the Tar Heel refuses to run it, claiming they don't publish guest editorials (a patent lie). They finally publish it several days later as a letter to the editor, significantly shortened, and with text actually altered (e.g. "Feminists have been much maligned in the media" is changed to "feminists have been much ignored in the media"-- hardly a content-neutral, space-saving change). When challenged, the editors respond that "the scanner must have picked it up wrong."

Tuesday, April 7: A female Playboy representative -- formerly a Playmate, now an employee -- visits campus to drum up enthusiasm for the next week's recruiting. She plants herself in central campus locations, handing out free issues and keychains. When asked the reason for her presence, she says that it's because of all the bad publicity.

The next few days: Organizing efforts intensify. Informational flyers are designed and put up all over campus. Since much of the campus discussion of the issue has assumed that Playboy is just pictures of naked ladies, many of the flyers reproduce text and cartoons from Playboy which trivialize or celebrate violence, molestation, and the use of women as objects. Few of the flyers are left more than a day before being ripped down . . . . Meanwhile, students are meeting to make posters and banners for the protest, calling local media outlets to announce it, and getting the word out. The theme of the protest: "Education, Not Exploitation: Don't Play With Playboy!"



WE DON'T THINK SO
The ad insulted its readers' intelligence by noting that many past pictorial participants "have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, scientists, professors, business and government professionals, wives and moms." What the blurb sidesteps is that many more women have gone on to reach those same achievements--and greater--without getting ogled in the all-together by complete strangers.
A much bigger insult came from Playboy spokeswoman Elizabeth Norris when reporter Jeanne Fugate asked how many UNC coeds the magazine expected to attend the April tryouts.
"We find that there are more in the Southern area, because they're used to running around in fewer clothes," Norris answered. "The ACC is very good. We expect to get quite a few there."

Excerpted from Forum edtorial, The Chapel Hill Herald, Thursday, March 19, 1998





Tuesday, April 14: The day of Playboy's recruiting visit -- and of the protest. Flyers have been plastered over central campus by people who choose to remain anonymous: "Freedom of Speech" is emblazoned across the body of a Playmate, and the flyers proclaim that "Playboy is welcome at UNC." We gather at 12:30 in the Pit and march over to the Carolina Inn, where Playboy is holding their "interviews." After some speeches, the gathering is silent for 21 minutes, symbolizing the 21 years during which Playboy has been targeting college women for exploitation. We are standing on a street corner in a light rain, and people passing by in cars look at us curiously while waiting at the red light. They read our posters: "Women of the ACC . . . Anger Causes Change!" "This Bunny Brings Rotten Eggs" "What's Wrong With Playboy? sexualizes children, ridicules feminism, programs male sexuality, trivializes sexual violence, eroticizes inequality . . . PLENTY!" "Carolina Men Don't Want Playboy's Fantasy Objects" "Anti-Sexist College Campus -- No Place for Playboy" "Women of the ACC Cry Foul: Don't Play With Playboy!" We can see some of the parents explaining to their children who we are and what we're doing. Other students pass by on the sidewalk. Some laugh nervously and refuse to meet the eyes of protestors who say "hello." Some men make rude comments; most just stare. Occasionally a woman in a car honks her horn in support, or a woman crossing the street whoops and gives us a thumbs-up. We march up to Franklin Street, the main drag, chanting "Education, not exploitation!"; some protestors are stopped and asked for interviews by local TV stations. Back in the Pit, we reread our Statement of Purpose, and a few male students begin to shout us down. The speakers continue talking, and invite everyone who is watching to discuss the issues surrounding the protest with us. Some protestors stay a while and argue with the angry men, while others head home, having had our say, if only for an hour or so, about Playboy.
I'm really also so glad that the poster aim,laughed at the Penthouse and Hustler Magazines,did you laugh if you also saw the picture in Hustler of a man drilling a jackhammer into a woman's vagina? Or the June 1978 cover proudly portraying a woman head first into a meat grinder with raw hamburger coming out under her on a plate with Larry Flynt's woman-hating quote,We will never hang up women like pieces of meet again? etc etc for the brutally violent woman-hating pictures throughout the yerars, Or the tons of child sex abuse cartoons Chester The Molester who were drawn by a real life child sex abuser who violently raped his daughter for years and by the time she was 13 she was a suicidal drug addict?

And also in addition to Penthouse's tota sexist woman-hating dehumanization and objectification of women for men's sexual pleasure,their sexually violent pictures and cartoons of sexual abuse of women and children for decades?!