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Sexual revolution for whom?

If you're younger than 40, you might mistake Hefner's topsy-turvy world for normal, since it's the world you were born into. Hefner succeeded at inverting traditional sex roles.

First Hefner took men out of the field and stream and into the living room. As Chris Colin of Salon says, "The Playboy universe encouraged appreciation of the 'finer things'—literature, a good pipe, a cashmere pullover, a beautiful lady. America was seeing the advent of the urban single male who, lest his subversive departure from domestic norms suggest homosexuality, was now enjoying new photos of nude women every month.”

Key to this extension of bachelorhood was the need to fend off any suspicion of homosexuality, something Playboy and pornography have had in common since their inception. The supply and demand for pornography, after all, is overwhelmingly from men to men. As the porn star Annabel Chong said in Harper's magazine of her World's Biggest Gang Bang, “It's a very homoerotic thing… . I'm just there to guarantee the heterosexuality of it all.”

Thanks largely to Hefner's pioneering spirit, where women are free and equal, they are free and equal to be as promiscuous as men. Just go shopping at The Gap or pick up any women's magazine published in the last few decades. In it you will find an article, essay, or questionnaire demonstrating or demanding that women should have more sex than they are having. Is there an escape, a way out, a means by which a woman can choose not to have her social norms and sexual drives dictated by porn culture?

The Playboy philosophy, which requires women to be thin, infertile, and always available, essentially requires childlessness. And you can bet your birth control packet that abortion is the natural bedfellow of the successful playboy.

The Playboy Foundation, the (ahem) philanthropic wing of Playboy Enterprises, provides grants and donations to a wide range of projects, most involving reproductive rights and freedom of speech—industry code for promoting sexual license as a natural right, and abortion as a failsafe guarantee. Hence the heavy support of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and similarly single-minded organizations.

Of course, Hugh Hefner is on the side of women's liberation—as long as it supports his “incredible machine that brings to me the most beautiful young women … already wanting to be … part of my life.” What could be better for an irresponsible and sexually aggressive male than an entire culture that considers women sex objects, treats pregnancy as a disease, and offers abortion as its cure?

Just ask Hefner himself. Here he is, in the first issue of Playboy, telling real women where to go: “We want to make it clear from the very start, we aren't a ‘family magazine.’ If you're somebody's sister, wife or mother-in-law and picked us up by mistake, please pass us along to the man in your life and get back to your Ladies Home Companion.”

This is the boys club, in other words, and you girls are not allowed.

So when Hefner says, “The major beneficiary of the sexual revolution is women, not men,” you're right to be scratching your head in confusion. Porn culture demands of women precisely what real women don't need or want: skinny bodies, huge fake breasts, no babies, and men who are unwilling to commit to anything more than a quick shag.

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Hugh Hefner’s Hollow Victory