Oh boy, finally a feminist TV show coming to an NBC station near you. At least that’s how Hugh Hefner spins it. The Playboy Club, a new show airing this fall, is set in Chicago in the sixties. According to a recent interview with Hef, (Does the man ever get out of his pajamas?) the Playboy Clubs “empowered women and started the sexual revolution.”
How could I have been so wrong? I thought women were empowered by legislation that gave us the vote, prohibited gender and race-based discrimination and provided access to equal education and opportunity, to wit: The Nineteenth Amendment , the Civil Rights Act and Title IX.
And how could I have been so deluded as to believe that the sexual revolution was due primarily to the widespread availability of safe and easy contraception – The Pill – when all along, it was really the Playboy Club? Give the man the Congressional Medal of Freedom!
Asserting that Playboy Clubs empowered women is tantamount to crediting Seagram’s with the founding of AA and MADD. Playboy Clubs allowed women to be exploited by a better-groomed class of gropers in a more exclusive environment. Period.
Wearing a push-up bra and a fluffy tail on your ass may have been marginally better than humping the pole at your local Girls! Girls! Girls! exotic dance club but don’t kid yourself that being a Playboy Bunny was the equivalent of being, say, Secretary of State.
The idea that Hugh Hefner, with the umpteenth Jessica Rabbit on his arm, is in any way responsible for women’s empowerment is as ludicrous as Donald Trump aspiring to the Oval Office. And NBC has them both! How lucky can one network get?
NBC is banking on capturing Mad Men’s audience. Will Playboy Club, like Mad Men, honestly depict the dearth of choices for women in the sixties? Or will it simply provide a vehicle for more T and A than network viewers have ever seen? Call me a cynic, but I expect the audience to be heavily skewed with male viewers looking for a little titillation and sighing with nostalgia for the good old days.
Me? I’ll be looking for a show where women own the clubs and men are changing diapers. That’s what I call a sexual revolution.