Essay on Plaboy Magazine and the Trivialization of Women

2970 Words 12 Pages
Plaboy Magazine and the Trivialization of Women

It is difficult to set an explicitly pornographic magazine aside and hold it singly responsible for the degradation of women in society because we see pornographic images in every facet of contemporary media culture. But Playboy, as the "spearhead of the sexual revolution" (Stern and Stern 389), carries disproportionate responsibility for the cultural devaluing of women because of its powerful role as the world's leading pornography magazine and because of its iconic status in U.S. popular culture. In Playboy's crusade to liberate human sexuality from its puritan past, it was apparently unable to distinguish liberation from the exploitation and objectification of women as a
…show more content…
It defines itself as a handbook for a world view-- a world view inspired by Hugh Hefner, the magazine's creator, and peddled by the magazine itself (Stern and Stern 390). Playboy Magazine has been so successful in peddling its message and its women that at its peak in the 1970's over eight million readers purchased the magazine through subscriptions alone (Zarembo 44).

Playboy's reign as the periodical of sexual liberation seems to be drawing to a close, however. Because the age of internet pornography has hit with full force, there is little reason to purchase porn when it is so easily available elsewhere free of charge. It would seems then, with purchase profits dwindling, that perhaps many of Playboy's buyers weren't as interested in Playboy's philosophy as they were interested in Playboy's women. And with magazines such as Maxim, Stuff and FHM stealing the young male audience with their "short reads for short attention spans" ("Overhaul" 3D) and Esquire and GQ snagging the thirties and up crowd, Playboy is losing its niche. There's really nothing that makes Playboy special any more and its current circulation of just 3.2 million proves the magazine's waning success ("Hef's Magazine" 3D).

Although Playboy may be nearing the end of its hey-day, the magazine has had a long and

Related Documents