November 08, 2005
Playboy is clearly not a bastion of feminism. In fact it is quite the opposite. But Playboy has kind of constructed itself as more "thoughtful" and sophisticated porn (though I am sure they don't use that last word). Well, a recent issue of the Journal of Popular Culture published a study of Playboy magazine over the last fifteen years. The researchers found that the text that goes with the photos has changed in tone over this time. Not that many read the text - perhaps that is why someone needed to do a study. Anyway, they found that the language has become more assertive and even aggressive. No longer are the Playboy Bunnies talking about being submissive and catering to a man's needs. Is this the effect of feminism? Are there feminist bunnies? Actually the answer is probably "yes", but I would bet anything that it is a well-thought out strategy by Playboy to cater to those buyers who feel more sophisticated and thoughtful buying Playboy than buying Hustler. In my mind, it is still about objectifying women - assertive language or not.
Below are some thoughts on the study via the Washington Post:
Posted by Russell at November 8, 2005 12:29 PM