02/06/2011

Rabbit Heart

"The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex."

Since the beginning of time, when cave men were dragging their wives round by their hair, women have had to endure quite a lot of crap.

For thousands of years they were considered second class citizens, forced to live in a patriarchal society where the most they could hope to achieve in life was a husband who didn't drink his wages or show them the back of his hand. Then in the late 19th/early 20th century, that all began to change. The Suffragette movement was the first of many steps to achieving equality between men and women in all aspects of life. It started with the vote, and throughout the years has progressed to the work-place and the home. 

Now, more than ever, women can be independent, making their own decisions and supporting themselves with whatever job they choose to have. Women can be priests, they can be police officers - they aren't many barriers holding the fairer sex back any more.

But it seems that a certain well-known brand is set to fling us back into the sexist days of the past, kitting us out in bunny ears and a tail as they do it.

In 1960, Hugh Hefner opened his first of many Playboy clubs, based on his successful men's magazine. This was a place where wealthy men could enjoy the real-life versions of the pretty girls who's pictures they oggled over. 


While the clubs enjoyed some success, the Feminism movement soon identified these establishments as a sexist exploitation of women, which were degrading and archaic. The last club closed in the early 90's, but the Playboy brand boomed in the noughties, with the iconic bunny symbol being recognised world-wide, synonymous with industry giants like McDonalds and Coca Cola. There was even a successful reality TV show that ran for six series, The Girls of the Playboy Mansion.

And now, just as it seems that women have achieved (almost) total equality, some are shunning that in favour of becoming a 'prestigious' bunny girl.

This month, a Playboy club will re-open in London. And hundreds have already been flocking to audition to claim their own pair of bunny ears. It seems that in this celebrity obsessed culture, where girls aspire to be WAGS and glamour models, this has come at the perfect time. 

Personally, I think it's not just totally demeaning and a step backwards in regards to the feminism movement, it's quite sad. I'm not claiming to be a feminist or anything, I'd be perfectly happy to have dinner bought for me and doors held open, but I think that when girls are given so many opportunities in this country and the rest of the Western world, it seems like such a waste to opt out of making the most of ourselves to instead be content with serving men in lingerie. 

There's nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, and it's an unfortunate truth that 'pretty' people are often more successful in life. Studies have shown that people who conform to fundamental aesthetics of beauty are considered to be more trustworthy, friendly and hard-working. You can't judge a book by it's cover, but most people don't think to turn over the page these days.

I wonder how long the Playboy clubs will last this time around. I'm sure at first they will be enjoyed for the nostalgia factor, and I fear that they will prove popular both among men and young women with stars in their eyes looking for a quick step up the ladder.
It remains to be seen, but I think we may be seeing that bunny logo cropping up in shops again very soon...

For more on this story, read this article from the Daily Mail

6 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more with this blog post. also the playboy logo is horrific. If it comes back into 'fashion' i will literally stab myself in the face. xx

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  2. What a great post... I deffinately agree... its like a slap in the face to all the women that tried so hard for equal rights...

    By the way, It's so great that you're blogging more now!! =D x

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  3. Isn't it gross, just reminds me of tacky chavs in tracksuits. I reaaallly hope it doesn't, even if Topshop started selling it I defo wouldn't be buying!

    Thanks love! Definitely, it's so demeaning! I read another article in either Marie Claire or InStyle and they were interviewing the girls who were auditioning, and they all thought it was brilliant! I was so shocked...
    Thanks so much, that really means a lot! :) No uni means plenty more free time haha! x

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  4. very well said!!! I think its time to hang up the bunny ears!!!And to Hugh - bloody grow old gracefully - dont go round marrying girls who are young enough to be your granddaughter (or even great granddaughter!) yuk
    Sam xx

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  5. i completely agree! its so degrading and annoying that its starting up again! great post.
    nicola xx

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  6. Sam - Eww I know, she's like twenty something, what the heck?! Hello gold digger...

    Nicola - It's ridiculous isn't it, what the hell happened to independent women?! Clearly they don't exist any more, we're back to serving men. Grr, if any of my friends went for a job I would have to consider disowning them!

    Cheers love, thanks for all your lovely comments! :) xxx

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