I know, as a feminist, I'm supposed to be SUPER FREAKIN' EXCITED about Playboy's announcement that they will no longer line the pages of their magazines with nude images of women. I know I should be celebrating this “victory for womanhood,” viewing this as a major porn giant conceding to the reality that women aren't products or property to be exploited for profit. But, I can't. I can't celebrate that a major pornography giant has come crumbling down under the pressure of seeing women for who they are, and I can't celebrate Hugh Hefner's long-awaited admission that women are actually people. Because none of that actually happened.
I have long held a determined resentment toward Playboy magazine. Maybe I'm old-timey in my more traditional view on sexual ethics, but I loathe pornography. I really do. I hate, especially, multi billion dollar industries which profit off of the sale of women's body parts masquerading as consumer goods for the entertainment of men.
So imagine my disgust when I read that Playboy's reasoning for abandoning its long-time sale of porn-lined pages, according to their chief executive, was simply: “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”
“Passé.” Going out of style. Boring. Normal. Expected. Playboy isn't giving up nudes for any valiant reason (and isn't even trying to claim to); they're jumping the porn ship because society is so drunk on porn it isn't even fazed by it anymore. Pornography is passé. Naked women aren't edgy. Naked women are everywhere, their forms easily accessible and therefore, no longer prime for turning a profit.
Not only are women merely parts for sale, we're no longer profitable enough for Playboy to think we're worth selling. The porn giant wasn't forced to admit that women are more than what they've said we are for over half a century; rather, they've been forced out of the business of porn because women's bodies are more accessible for viewing pleasure, with zero commitment and zero sense of responsibility and zero hangups and strings attached, elsewhere, for cheaper, and without all that “really great articles” shit to stifle through. What Playboy once offered for sale down the street is now not only free but mere clicks away.
What Playboy helped set into motion, it's now reaping the consequences of – and I can't even enjoy watching them burn for it. I really wish I could. I wish we could think of this as women finally being viewed as people and not products. I wish it weren't the case that women are just another thing getting popular and therefore going cheap. But, unfortunately, in a world where women aren't viewed as people, we can expect to not be regarded as people. Maybe someday that will change, but not today, and definitely not as a result of anything Playboy does.
Post by Tori Long