I come not to praise Hefner, but to bury him…
Let’s be honest, Hugh Hefner’s legacy is a very mixed bag.
That’s probably obvious to folks who get their news from more than one source. Hefner’s passing two days ago has elicited a vast number of obituaries.
Some have looked back on his life as very much a net positive.
From that viewpoint, Hefner’s greatest legacy may be the vast business empire he built. For one group of folks, that sort of business acumen is a good unto itself.
Hugh will certainly be well remembered by some for the sexual taboos he broke.
In the same vein, others respect the barriers he broke with Playboy. Some will even say Playboy empowered women all across our country. I can’t argue with any of that.
Obviously, there’s a dark side as well. Certainly, it can be argued that Hugh Hefner’s entire business empire was based on the exploitation of women.
I’ve read obituaries blaming Hefner for everything from pornography addiction to promiscuity.
More than a fair number of people have portrayed “Hef” as something far less than a nice man. Perhaps some of those portraits are the product of jealousy and/or personal recrimination.
I won’t take great issue with the majority of the negative portrayals either. It’s a simple guess, but probably accurate to say it’s all really just a matter of perspective.
And, whether you love or hate Hefner, there’s no denying the ways Playboy helped change the sexual landscape of the United States.
I can see both good and bad in Hugh Hefner.
He may have been a celebrity, but in leaving a complex legacy, in being seen as good by some and awful by others, he ends up being like every other man.
A Life in Quotes ~ Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner & Holly Madison
The Playmate of the Year used to get a Porsche.
Now she gets a Mini Cooper that she has to return after a year!Carla Howe
Today the world lost a legend. #HughHefner started my career. For 22 yrs I got to wish him happy new year at his mansion. I’ll miss him.”Ron Jeremy
My best pick-up line is ‘My name is Hugh Hefner.’Hugh Hefner
When it first gets started his main girlfriend gives him [oral sex], then she has sex with him. She’s the first to go because that’s the safest for her. No protection and no testing. He doesn’t care.Jill Ann Spaulding
At about the minute mark, I pulled away and it was done. It was like a job. Clock in, clock out. It’s not like I enjoyed having sex with him.Kendra Wilkinson
Hugh Hefner absolutely revolutionized the persona of the American male. In the post-World War II era, men’s magazines were about hunting and fishing or the military, or they were like Esquire, erotic magazines with a kind of European flair.
Hefner reimagined the American male as a connoisseur in the continental manner, a man who enjoyed all the fine pleasures of life, including sex. Hefner brilliantly put sex into a continuum of appreciative response to jazz, to art, to ideas, to fine food. This was something brand new. Enjoying fine cuisine had always been considered unmanly in America. Hefner updated and revitalized the image of the British gentleman, a man of leisure who is deft at conversation — in which American men have never distinguished themselves — and the art of seduction, which was a sport refined by the French.
Hefner’s new vision of American masculinity was part of his desperate revision of his own Puritan heritage. On his father’s side, he descended directly from William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower and was governor of Plymouth Colony, the major settlement of New England Puritans.
But Hefner’s worldview was already dated by the explosion of the psychedelic 1960s. The anything-goes, free-love atmosphere — illustrated by all that hedonistic rolling around in the mud at Woodstock in 1969 — made the suave Hefner style seem old-fashioned and buttoned up. Nevertheless, I have always taken the position that the men’s magazines — from the glossiest and most sophisticated to the rawest and raunchiest — represent the brute reality of sexuality. Pornography is not a distortion. It is not a sexist twisting of the facts of life but a kind of peephole into the roiling, primitive animal energies that are at the heart of sexual attraction and desire.Camille Paglia