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Anorak | RIP Hugh Hefner: breaker of taboos

RIP Hugh Hefner: breaker of taboos

by | 28th, September 2017

 

RIP Hugh Hefner (1926-2017), the man who made your feel less guilty about looking at nudes. Hefner was the man who gave us the enjoiner: “I only buy it for the articles.” And, boy, were those stories good. So good that the protectors of our minds and bodies branded Playboy magazine “obscene”. We lapped it up. And in the 1960s Hefner moved into teasing punters with actual flesh and satin-eared women in Playboy clubs. Punters drank in the wit of black comics Dick Gregory and Jewish enemy-of-the-state Lenny Bruce, a man Hefner could not stand to watch “persecuted or prosecuted for his words and his ideas”,  proving that when it came to entertainment and escapism, segregation, whether born of race, gender or rudeness, is for losers.

This was social revolution.“

Hefner was the first publisher to see that the sky would not fall and mothers would not march if he published bare bosoms; he realised that the old taboos were going,” Time magazine said in a 1967 cover story. “He took the old-fashioned, shame-thumbed girlie magazines, stripped off the plain wrapper, added gloss, class and culture. It proved to be a sure-fire formula.”

The Hollywood Reporter:

Hefner became the unofficial spokesman for the sexual revolution that permeated the 1960s and ’70s and he was both lauded and criticized by feminists of the era, with some accusing him of objectifying women while others said he liberated and empowered them. During a conversation with Gloria Steinem in 1970, Hefner dismissed feminism as “foolishness,” and Steinem told him: “What Playboy doesn’t know about women could fill a book … There are times when a woman reading a Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.”

Hefner was a staunch supporter of abortion – including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 — and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. “By associating sex with sin, we have produced a society so guilt-ridden that it is almost impossible to view the subject objectively,” he wrote in 1963 in one of his many broadsides aimed at Christian leaders.

Cheers, Hef.

Image:  Hugh Hefner (April 9, 1926 – September 27, 2017) at his kitchen table working on the first issue of Playboy (1953)



Posted: 28th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink