by Rachel Bell on March 24, 2011Share on twitter
While Hooters have brought their tacky ‘family friendly’ sexism to Bristol, this May sees undead misogynist Hugh Hefner opening his ‘exclusive’ Playboy club in London’s Mayfair once again.
Continuing his crusade to make lots of money under the guise of sexually liberating womankind, the pornographer has been looking for a new generation of Playboy bunnies. The Evening Standard ran an ad reading, ‘Tip to toe, beauty and grace, welcoming smile and friendly face. Join the Playboy bunnies.’ Excuse me while I go throw. Well it’s illegal to advertise for ‘Fit birds with nice tits wanted to work as serving wenches for men whilst wearing uncomfortable costumes that sexualise and infantilise them all at once. Expect to work late shifts and sort your own cab home.’ April’s issue of Marie Claire reports that over 1600 women applied for 80 ‘bunny’ positions. The magazine sent a reporter to the ‘interviews’ in which the women were judged wearing the bunny costumes and encouraged to parade in bikinis. The reporter noted that no information was given about exact wages, promotion, maternity rights or sick pay. When she enquired about salaries, the response was ‘vague’. When the judging was over and the reporter was finally interviewed, the only reference to working conditions was the question, ‘What do you think about shift work and how would you get home late at night?’
Leaving such a venue late at night / in the early hours will be potentially dangerous for the women working there. Evidence has shown that crime rates and harassment of women is known to increase outside strip clubs for example, for both the women working in them and those using or living in the area. The clientele is bound to include some sad characters who believe the bunnies’ flirting is about them and not the tips, which they are allowed to keep. The employees should be guaranteed a safe, paid for ride home.
When the original Playboy Mayfair club closed in 1981, reports of bad pay, long hours and women being routinely weighed had feminists in uproar. How depressing that 45 years after the club opened in 1966, when young women have made significant gains in the workplace and being recognised as human, compared to the lot of their 1960s sisters, so many buy into the myth that this waitressing job in which they must advertise their tits and ass and suck up to gambling men is empowerment. Being a Playboy bunny will get these women noticed by the clientele of course. One of the applicants in the Marie Claire report likened the attention she’d get to ‘being a celebrity’. So lets be clear about the facts about porn empire Playboy and try to dispel some of the hideous myths. If you or anyone you know thinks the Playboy brand is sophisticated, classy, harmless, sexy, empowering, fun, or anything else connected with positivity, consider these truths, brought to you by the empowered people at binthebunny, who staged regular protests outside the Oxford street Playboy store, now closed.
Pornography magazine Playboy featured cartoon jokes about gang rape and domestic violence.
In 1992, Playboy published the article ‘Presumed guilty’ by Harry Stein, claiming child abuse is a fantasy.
Playboy markets to children through school stationery, duvet covers in the kids bedding section at Argos and too much other tat to list here. In 2003, when questioned on the ethics of marketing to children, Hefner responded, ‘I don’t care if a baby holds up a playboy rattle.’
Here’s my article, It’s porn innit? on Playboy’s grooming of girl children.
Playboy runs six porn channels in the UK. Playboy titles include Barely 18 anal virgins, Wait your turn bitch!, Fresh and juicy Lolitas, Cum drinking sluts, Ripped, stripped and shagged, Cock hungry fuck sluts, Submissive sluts, Piss loving lesbian sluts and Double entry.
According to ex playmate Jill Ann Spaulding, pornographer Hefner, the ‘women loving’ chum to the stars that he is, imposed a 9.30pm curfew on his girlfriends. (I remember another feature, in UK Glamour magazine I think, featuring a Playmate complaining of all the uncomfortable clothes Hugh made her wear. He wouldn’t allow her to wear the jeans she longed to wear etc). Controlling women in this way is recognised as a form of domestic violence.