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August 11, 2011


Thomas Babcock

I find it hard to pity an old man who wasted his life on self-indulgence and promotion of his indulgent life style. It is unfortunate for society that it took Bob Guccione and Larry Flynt to ecclipse him and make him irrelevant. It may be justice that some of the women he used as objects for his gratification have turned on him. But I sense that some are merely turning the tables and expressing a female (I think "feminine" should be reserved for more modest activities) sexual liberation. The Paris Hiltons of the world may prefer that they, not their male partner, be the center of attention. As you say, "He's made millions allowing and encouraging women to do the same to themselves," but they are no longer doing it for his benefit.

The true losers may be those of either gender that mistake the "fun" in Hef's life style, or that of a Charlie Sheen or a Lindsay Lohan or Casey Anthony as "joy" when it is merely a biochemical reaction in the brain's pleasure center. They may also end up like a decrepit old man who, after speding a lifetime using others for his own purposes, finds few people lavishing him with praises, a crowd pointing at him in ridicule, and most people merely ignoring him because his life did not contribute anything meaningful to anybody.


I definitely agree that Playboy isn't what it used to be. Just like any company it ages and goes through transformations in order to keep up with the times. Posing for Playboy back then was definitely far more daring and liberating for women than it would be now. Back then, regardless of your moral stand-point on the issue of nudity, it was a liberation for women in a sense. Now, however, it's been turned into a mass-marketing carnival side-show where you can't swing a cat and not hit a girl ready to bare it all. It was definitely a defining moment in the growth of women's liberation. But, it seems that once we hit that point, the media, society, men and women, whoever, hasn't let go and as such growth seems to have been stunted as far as women's liberation is concerned. Being liberated and owning your sexuality isn't about taking your clothes off for people to see. It's about knowing yourself, being comfortable with who you are, and not giving into the social demands made on you if it changes who you really are. In my opinion, there seems to be a great many more liberated women who dress more modestly than those who bare-all for the world to see. I see it slowly happening that women are edging towards this idea more, that they don't need to be naked to be justified as a woman. It's slow work.

As far as Hugh Hefner goes, who cares?

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