The Legacy of Hugh Hefner: Media and Cultural Pioneer – or Merchant of Death?

Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazine died September 27 2017.

The Playboy brand, beginning with the magazine’s premier issue in 1953, promoted a wealthy Gentleman’s Club vibe.  The pages were filled with cultured and enlightened urban bachelors enjoying the finer things in life; jazz, the best food and drink, exotic travel, trendy fashion…and of course, beautiful women.

Yet while Hefner filled his clubs and magazine with scantily glad women dressed in ridiculous and demeaning bunny outfits, he also set out to be a key player in the unfolding cultural revolution of the 1960’s.

Hefner’s son Cooper shares:

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom…”

One of those movements was the support of “abortion rights”:

“…throughout the 1960s and 70s, Playboy also helped transform Americans’ perceptions about female sexuality—and became a prominent supporter of abortion rights. The magazine published pro-choice articles and interviews as early as 1963, a decade before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion across the country… (Playboy Campaigned for Abortion Rights)

At the height of its influence in the late 60’s and early 70’s Playboy had a million monthly subscribers and used that platform to play an influential role in the unfolding cultural and sexual revolution.

This paradox found in the Playboy movement between the objectification and exploitation of women while promoting racial equality and women’s rights – reflects a shared fatal flaw found in the cultural revolution of the 1960’s.

A movement that supported the noble causes of civil rights for African Americans and women, also worked to legalize the abortion procedure. In a tragic irony, abortion centers have targeted African American communities.  The department of health in New York City reported that in 2009, six out of every ten African American pregnancies ended in abortion.

The Buffered Elites

Elites like Hefner, a man who lived his life behind the walls of the playboy mansion,  have the wealth and privilege of their positions to protect themselves and their families from the painful and destructive shockwaves of sexual revolution.

The professionals and cultural elite that continue to promote the values and lifestyles of the revolution, make sure they and their children are buffered from the worst effects of the destructive winds of change they unleash on society.

It is the working class and poor communities, already reeling from the loss of manufacturing jobs, open borders and the globalization of the economy, that are especially vulnerable to the chaos and disintegration that follow the revolution’s erosion of bedrock moral and religious values and practices.

Sexual revolution has not only led to the death of millions of unborn children, it continues to breed disease and death:

“Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the United States. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that in 2016, Americans contracted over two million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis – the highest number ever reported.”

Hugh Hefner’s Legacy

It is understandable that Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper would want to see his father’s legacy in a positive light. According to Cooper, his Dad was “a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time.”

But like so much of the cultural and sexual revolution that continues to attack the heart and soul of this nation, it’s grounded in lies.

Heffner’s final years on this earth reflected how the sexual revolution and pornography have not brought liberation and enlightenment, but an increasing sense of loneliness and isolation.

From NPR 2003 interview with Hefner:

“Hefner shared his mansion with seven women, all young enough to be his granddaughters. But the man who set out to surround himself with sexuality and extravagance looked isolated and lonely.

He said his eventful life had convinced him romance was an illusion:

“… Romance is something that we invented…Romeo and Juliet, where everybody dies. … In the fairy tales it’s pursuit, and then ‘they lived happily ever after.’ But we never really deal with “they lived happily ever after.”

 

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