Bachelors and Bunnies

Bachelors and Bunnies

The Sexual Politics of Playboy

Book - 2011
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For a lot of people, thoughts about the sexual politics of Playboy run along the lines of what Gloria Steinem reportedly once told Hugh Hefner: "A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual." Hefner's magazine celebrates men as swinging bachelors and women as objects of desire; ergo, it's sexist.

Not so fast, says Carrie Pitzulo. With Bachelors and Bunnies , she delves into the history of the magazine to reveal its surprisingly strong record of support for women's rights and the modernization of sexual and gender roles. Taking readers behind the scenes of Playboy 's heyday, Pitzulo shows how Hefner's own complicated but thoughtful perspective on modern manhood, sexual liberation, and feminism played into debates--both in the editorial offices and on the magazine's pages--about how Playboy 's trademark "girl next door" appeal could accommodate, acknowledge, and even honor the changing roles and new aspirations of women in postwar America. Revealing interviews with Hugh Hefner and his daughter (and later Playboy CEO) Christie Hefner, as well as with a number of editors and even Playmates, show that even as the magazine continued to present a romanticized notion of gender difference, it again and again demonstrated a commitment to equality and expanded opportunities for women.

Offering a surprising new take on a twentieth-century icon, Bachelors and Bunnies goes beyond the smoking jacket and the centerfold to uncover an unlikely ally for the feminist cause.

Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9780226670065
Branch Call Number: 051 PITZU
Characteristics: ix, 240 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

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Feb 21, 2018

In reference to the user comment below - (*past quote*) "To each their own. Everybody is a critic." Isn't it just so noble and gallant of the user below to come to Steinem's defence. But I strongly suspect that the below comments are really just another sneering, below-the-belt attempt on that user's part to try to undermine what Fuzzy Wuzzy has written. And instead of going after that sickening, plagiarist, troll-monster, TheeAverbury-pest, allowing that vile creep to trample all over everyone's comments, below user totally wimps out trying too be so high'n'mighty.

Feb 20, 2018

Based upon the previous review and conclusion, I found it important to include a reference to and something of a defense of Gloria Steinem, as she has written about her experience of being a Playboy Bunny, for a magazine article.
In 1963, while working on an article for Huntington Hartford's Show magazine, Steinem was employed as a Playboy Bunny at the New York Playboy Club. The article, published in 1963 as "A Bunny's Tale", featured a photo of Steinem in Bunny uniform and detailed how women were treated at those clubs. Steinem has maintained that she is proud of the work she did publicizing the exploitative working conditions of the bunnies and especially the sexual demands made of them, which skirted the edge of the law.[31][32] However, for a brief period after the article was published, Steinem was unable to land other assignments; in her words, this was "because I had now become a Bunny – and it didn't matter why." (wikipedia with citations to check)

Feb 20, 2018

Since "Bachelors and Bunnies" was written by feminist/author, Carrie Pitzulo - I was certainly expecting her to get into seriously slamming the hell out of both Playboy and Hefner, big-time.

But, on the contrary - (Surprisingly enough) - Pitzulo took quite a different stance on the matter. Here she delved into the history of Playboy magazine to reveal that behind the glorified cheesecake centrefolds there existed a strong support in this publication for both women's rights and the modernization of sexual and gender roles.

Throughout Bachelors and Bunnies' chapters - Pitzulo included glaring quotes from out-spoken feminist, Gloria Steinem who was clearly in opposition to what she believed both Playboy and Hefner stood for in the realm of sexual politics.

Well - (Irony of ironies) - To me - Steinem's caustic remarks sure did come across as being somewhat absurd and laughable when one takes into account that in her youth she was (Indeed) employed as a Playboy Bunny, herself.

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