(K. Brent Tomer),
ON MARCH 10th, Chloe Stillwell opined that “Ed Sheeran has a Toxic Masculinity Problem”. The British pop star is “low-key misogynistic”, she argued, peddling “reductive revenge songs” and “romanticising women’s bodies from the male gaze”. To say nothing of Ms Stillwell’s writing or line of argument, the article elicited a snort from your correspondent: the purveyor of this particular piece of criticism was Playboy, which now publishes under the banner “entertainment for all”.
If the article was straight-faced, it is because Playboy has long been keen on the idea of itself as a champion of women’s rights: it describes itself as “a vanguard for political, sexual and economic freedom for almost 60 years”. Hugh Hefner, the magazine’s nonagenarian founder, has said that he “was a feminist before there was such a thing as feminism”. In an interview with Esquire, Mr Hefner noted that the publication supported the women’s liberation movement, backing the legalisation of birth control and abortion (“we were the amicus curiae in Roe v…Continue reading