hugh hefner – should we mourn him?
The outpouring after his death began immediately. Notable women, feminists – Lily Cole, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Courtney Love – hailed him a legend. An innovator. A revolutionary. Even sweet. Should we think the same? He called himself a feminist, but also called women sex objects. He ran the Playboy Mansion for men’s pleasure, but donated to Planned Parenthood. He published writing by Margaret Atwood and an interview with Martin Luther King. But they ran alongside naked young women. Naked women who sold Playboy to the world. Like us, he was complex and contradictory. But most of us don’t reset the world’s sexual mores, and ‘Hef ’ did. Or marry a 23-year-old woman at 83. And maybe he liberated men in a mid-century world of stale sexuality, but in doing so, he reduced women to props. May he rest in peace, but it’s time we chose our own sexual liberation.