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“You could say we used the magazine as much as it used us.” Many other women, especially feminists, take a very different view.
They are scornful of Hefner’s self-depiction as a “liberator”, accusing him of “objectifying” women.
“I have gone out of my way to publish in and endorse Playboy, which has been vilified by both mainstream and anti-porn feminists,” she wrote in Vamps & Tramps, a provocative collection of essays.
Among those to pay tribute to Hefner on his death was former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, who has appeared on 14 of the magazine’s covers — more than any other supermodel, film actress or rock star. “You taught me everything important about freedom and respect.” But the Guardian columnist, Suzanne Moore is contemptuous of the view that Hefner was “an icon for sexual liberation”.
Public discourse didn’t extend to such topics in a society that in some respects mirrored our own.
The influence of conservative Christianity was very pervasive.
And the list of those who featured in ‘The Playboy Interview’ slot reads like a Who’s Who of American culture, sport, entertainment and politics.
I interviewed the former model who had won the Miss Sweden title in 1993 in a Dublin hotel.
Even in 1971, a movie such as Carnal Knowledge was being prosecuted for obscenity, despite being described as “pure Hollywood e stablishment” and having no explicit sex.
Indeed, the actress Ann-Margret had been nominated for an Oscar for her role.
It's been the year of dirty, old man scandals — from Donald Trump dragging Bill Clinton's accusers to the presidential debates, to Fox News hosts dropping like flies after harassment allegations, to sexism run rampant in Silicon Valley and most recently, Harvey Weinstein.
In September 1995, the Censorship of Publications Appeal Board lifted the ban on Playboy magazine in the Republic of Ireland, a ban that was first imposed in 1959— six years after the magazine was launched in the USA.