Amanda at Pandagon takes on the myth of Hugh Hefner as a sexual revolutionary. After noting a description of the lives of Hef’s “girlfriends” where they are subject to strict curfews and other oppressive “house rules”, she goes on to ask:
How can someone be considered a symbol of freedom when he thinks he’s entitled to stifle, control, oppress and dictate the lives of adult women? Granted, his “girlfriends” are employees of his, but in this country we generally believe that part of freedom is the freedom of oppression from your employer – my boss is not allowed to tap my phones, tell me who I can date, or give me a curfew. (For the record, it’s shit like this that makes it hard for me to imagine a world where prostitution is ever strictly a labor transaction instead of about giving men power and control over women’s bodies, as I note in the comments of this thread. The “girlfriends” are well-paid whores, but they demonstrate what the problem is when discussing prostitution, which is we assume that it’s about selling sex, but most of the time it’s about selling the opportunity to abuse women.)
The argument that the sexual revolution has bifurcated into a misogynist “revolution” where women’s sexuality is oppressed by being shoehorned into performing for men versus a genuine feminist sexual revolution where women’s sexual pleasure is one of the tools for establishing egalitarian relationships between men and women is one I hadn’t seen so clearly stated. before She’s right that it’s vital not to conflate the two. Read the whole thing.