One doesn't have to look too hard these days following Hugh Hefner's death to find a feminist complaining about how awful they perceived him to be. So it's refreshing to get another take from a different kind of feminist. See Camille Paglia on Hugh Hefner's Legacy, Trump's Masculinity and Feminism's Sex Phobia.
She was asked about feminist icon, Gloria Steinem. After praising Steinem for starting Ms. Magazine and trying to normalize the image of feminism while others in the feminist movement were coming across as crazy man haters, she gets to the point. Here's an excerpt:
But aside from that, Steinem is basically a socialite who always hid her early dependence on men in the social scene in New York. And as a Democrat, I also blame her for having turned feminism into a covert adjunct of the Democratic party. I have always felt that feminism should transcend party politics and be a big tent welcoming women of faith and of all views into it. Also, I hold against Steinem her utter, shameless hypocrisy during the Bill Clinton scandal. After promoting sexual harassment guidelines, which I had also supported since the 1980s, Steinem waved away one of the worst cases of sexual harassment violation that can ever be imagined — the gigantic gap of power between the President of the United States and an intern! All of a sudden, oh, no, it was all fine, it was “private.” What rubbish! That hypocrisy by partisan feminist leaders really destroyed feminism for a long time. So now feminism has rebounded, but unfortunately it's a particularly virulent brand of feminism that’s way too reminiscent of the MacKinnon-Dworkin sex hysteria of the 1980s.
Enough about Steinem. What about Hugh Hefner? Well, she liked what he tried to teach men. More from the article:
We can see that what has completely vanished is what Hefner espoused and represented — the art of seduction, where a man, behaving in a courtly, polite and respectful manner, pursues a woman and gives her the time and the grace and the space to make a decision of consent or not. Hefner’s passing makes one remember an era when a man would ask a woman on a real date — inviting her to his apartment for some great music on a cutting-edge stereo system (Playboy was always talking about the best new electronics!) — and treating her to fine cocktails and a wonderful, relaxing time. Sex would emerge out of conversation and flirtation as a pleasurable mutual experience. So now when we look back at Hefner, we see a moment when there was a fleeting vision of a sophisticated sexuality that was integrated with all of our other aesthetic and sensory responses.
Many an adolescent male who came of age during Hefner's heyday looked at the magazine for the photos, not the articles. After all, males have always been more aroused by visuals than females. Hefner recognized that and made a fortune off of it. As for any cultural contributions, read Paglia.
1:52 PM 10/2/2017