Playboy and Today’s War Between the Sexes

OR: WHY ARE PROGRESSIVE MEN HARASSING WOMEN?

New Pop Lit

The question isn’t as off-the-wall as it seems. What’s taking place is an internal war between two parts of the sexual/social/cultural revolution which kicked-off in the 1960’s and is ongoing.

ON ONE SIDE you have the hedonists and free-love people. Their first advocate was Hugh Hefner of Playboy magazine fame.

playboy

Recall his ethos? The playboy devotes himself to having as many women as he can, all the time. A generation of men– several generations, really– were raised to believe that their share of the sexual revolution could be summed up in one word, which begins with a “p.” (It’s not “playboy.”) Give women their rights; give them their freedom, and this in return was the payment. Another “p” word, “the Pill,” made this, at least for a time, reality. Woodstock, 1969:

Przystanek Woodstock 2012

Free love. Old-fashioned monogamy destroyed.

THOSE MEN who eagerly embraced this were sexist pigs, yes, but many were on the left– or, if they weren’t to start with, soon enough joined it. Businessmen throwing away their ties and grabbing paisley shirts and beads before eagerly jumping into the pigpen with the rest of the gang. Liberation.

*******

THE OTHER SIDE in this battle is the feminist movement, a huge portion of which has pulled back on this unlimited freedom, no limits, appetite-all-the-time part of the deal. Their avatar is Catherine MacKinnon.

mackinnon

What does this have to do with men accused of sexual harassment in the literary realm?

HAVE progressive men, in sympathy with women and women’s issues, felt at liberty to go beyond normal bounds with them?

I’ll explore this, with examples, in my next post. Coming soon.

-K.W.

(Be sure to follow this blog to get all the updates. Much is upcoming.)

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