I called Hugh Hefner a pimp, he threatened to sue. But that’s what he was
Now that he’s dead, the old sleaze in the Playboy mansion is being spoken of as some kind of liberator of women. Quite the opposite
Long ago, in another time, I got a call from a lawyer. Hugh Hefner was threatening a libel action against me and the paper I worked for at the time, for something I had written. Journalists live in dread of such calls. I had called Hefner a pimp. To me this was not even controversial; it was self-evident. And he was just one of the many “libertines” who had threatened me with court action over the years.
It is strange that these outlaws have recourse in this way, but they do. But at the time, part of me wanted my allegation to be tested in a court of law. What a case it could have made. What a hoot it would have been to argue whether a man who procured, solicited and made profits from women selling sex could be called a pimp. Of course, central to Playboy’s ideology is the idea that women do this kind of thing willingly; that at 23 they want nothing more than to jump octogenarians.
Now that he’s dead, the disgusting old sleaze in the smoking jacket is being spoken of as some kind of liberator of women. Kim Kardashian is honoured to have been involved. Righty ho.
I don’t really know which which women were liberated by Hefner’s fantasies. I guess if you aspired to be a living Barbie it was as fabulous as it is to be in Donald Trump’s entourage. Had we gone to court, I would like to have heard some of the former playmates and bunnies speak up in court – because over the years they have.
The accounts of the “privileged few” who made it into the inner sanctum of the 29-room Playboy mansion as wives/girlfriends/bunny rabbits are quite something. In Hefner’s petting zoo/harem/brothel, these interchangeable blondes were put on a curfew. They were not allowed to have friends to visit. And certainly not boyfriends. They were given an “allowance”. The big metal gates on the mansion that everyone claimed were to keep people out of this “nirvana” were described by one-time Hefner “girlfriend no 1” Holly Madison in her autobiography thus: “I grew to feel it was meant to lock me in.”
The fantasy that Hefner sold was not a fantasy of freedom for women, but for men. Women had to be strangely chaste but constantly available for the right price. Dressing grown women as rabbits – once seen as the height of sophistication – is now seen as camp and ironic. There are those today who want to celebrate Hefner’s contribution to magazine journalism, and I don’t dispute that Playboy did use some fantastic writers. of Hefner’s business acumen was to make the selling of female flesh respectable and hip, to make soft porn acceptable. Every man’s dream was to have Hefner’s lifestyle. Apparently. Every picture of him, right to the end, shows him with his lizard smirk surrounded by blonde clones. Every half-wit on Twitter is asking if Hefner will go to heaven when he already lived in it.
But listen to what the women say about this heaven. Every week, Izabella St James recalls, they had to go to his room and “wait while he picked the dog poo off the carpet – and then ask for our allowance. A thousand dollars counted out in crisp hundred dollar bills from a safe in one of his bookcases.”
If any of them left the mansion and were not available for club nights where they were paraded, they didn’t get their allowance. The sheets in the mansion were stained. There was to be no bickering between girlfriends. No condoms could be used. A nurse sometimes had to be called to Hefner’s “grotto” if he’d had a fall. Nonetheless, these young women would have to perform.
Hefner – repeatedly described as an icon for sexual liberation – would lie there with, I guess, an iconic erection, Viagra-ed to the eyeballs. The main girlfriend would then be called to give him oral sex. There was no protection and no testing. He didn’t care, wrote Jill Ann Spaulding. Then the other women would take turns to get on top of him for two minutes while the girls in the background enacted lesbian scenarios to keep “Daddy” excited. Is there no end to this glamour?
Well now there is, of course. But this man is still being celebrated by people who should know better. You can dress it up with talk of glamour and bunny ears and fishnets, you can talk about his contribution to gonzo journalism, you can contextualise his drive to free up sex as part of the sexual revolution. But strip it all back and he was a man who bought and sold women to other men. Isn’t that the definition of a pimp? I couldn’t possibly say.
Hey everyone! My name is Reem, and I am the editor in chief of a Palestinian American print literary magazine titled Falastin. The goal of this magazine is to reclaim the Palestinian narrative through art! We are currently looking for submissions for our fall issue, and are looking for art, poetry, writing, photography, essays, and more about Palestine. You don’t have to be Palestinian to contribute, you just have to be passionate about the cause! So please please share this with your followers and anyone you know who may be interested. This is a great opportunity for artists and writers who are looking to get their names out there. Please message me for more information on how to contribute!
The team behind the Klaroline Magazine have decided that
once the final season of The Originals ends, we will close our doors too. It has been amazing to serve with you guys the
past four years, but the time has come for us to move on.
Interest and manpower has waned over the past couple of
months and as the magazine costs a pretty penny to keep up we have decided that
this is the best course of action. However, we are looking for ways to archive
the amazing articles that have been featured on the site over the past 4 years.
The idea of the magazine came from a place of pain and
sadness, I was deeply upset about the storyline in The Originals and the way the writers and producers were treating
us, and wanted to channel that energy into something positive, something that
will make fandom members appreciate each other, to showcase talent, to get to
know each other better. I thought if the shows didn’t want us, we could create
a safe space for ourselves. It amazed me when Tanya believed in my idea, and
even more when tons of people over the years have showed interest in wanting to
join in and help create art for this website.
It’s weird to look at where we are now, with The Vampire Diaries behind us, and Candice
playing a part in the final season of The
Originals, this what we dreamt about. And through all the negativity, all
the hate, all the challenges, we didn’t give up hope. We, as a fandom, believed
that our time would come, and it has. It’s like watching a graduating class, knowing
that they made it through every struggle.
@klarolinegivesback and our Gift Exchanges will continue to
run while there is still interest for it, and we will keep our social media
In the next few months, we will still be bringing you
blogger interviews, feature articles, TO recaps etc.
I, personally, would love to thank everyone who read,
participated in, contributed to the magazine, you guys are all wonderful and
amazing, and hope you continue to produce amazing art and fanfics that will
devour with my whole heart.
Today was wild. I spoke in front of 120 people today, and didn’t throw up or pass out. I was interviewed for channel 6 news (in Maine). I got a trophy and became a charter member of the Junior International Cryptozoology Society. I networked with many people in the field I want to flourish in. I bought so much stuff from vendors. I was spoken to about contributing to a magazine. I donated my 1764 newspaper to the International Cryptozoology Museum.
“sanvers and superfriends and wedding planning fluff. I need to smile” prompt from @kirstyn-loftus
They knew everyone would be there around 6:30pm.
They knew, and at 6:21pm, they decided that was enough time for making out.
Just making out.
But at 6:23pm, just making out became Alex’s hands wandering up Maggie’s waistline.
At 6:26pm, Alex’s hands wandering up Maggie’s waistline became Maggie moaning softly into Alex’s mouth.
At 6:27pm, Maggie moaning softly into Alex’s mouth became Alex asking and receiving an enthusiastic yes before pushing her fiancee back against the kitchen counter.
At 6:29pm, Alex asking and receiving an enthusiastic yes before pushing her fiancee back against the kitchen counter became Maggie’s shirt winding up somewhere in the living room and her bra somewhere else entirely.
And, at 6:31pm, Maggie’s shirt winding up somewhere in the living room and her bra somewhere else entirely became a very scandalized Winn, James, Kara, Lena, Adrian, and J’onn in their apartment doorway.
J’onn and Kara pointedly stare at the ceiling and contemplate flying away; Lena strokes Kara’s hand and bites her lip to keep from giggling; James suddenly finds his shoes extremely interesting; and Winn and Adrian break out into massive grins.
“My favorite couple,” Winn tosses his arms out victoriously while Adrian makes a mental note to compliment Alex on her technique later.
Alex grabs the nearest movable thing – fortunately for Winn, a dishtowel – and chucks it in his direction, gallantly stripping off her collared shirt for Maggie to wear, leaving Alex with her sleeveless, ribbed undershirt and a very red face.
“Heyyy, Little Danvers,” Maggie greets with raised eyebrows as she slips down from where Alex had lifted her onto the counter.
“We’re just not gonna acknowledge that this ever happened, okay?” Kara adjusts her glasses, still staring at the ceiling.
“Just be grateful you’re not telepathic,” J’onn murmurs to her, and Adrian chokes on his own spit so hard Lena has to thump him on the back until he can breathe properly.
“I love the Superfriends,” he beams when he can speak again. “But okay, if you two are done – I mean, we can always wait outside if you wanna… um… finish – “
“What? Your fiancee’s the one who taught me about sex positivity!”
“Adrian Rodriguez,” Maggie says sternly, but her smile and the hug she wraps him in gives her away.
“Okay, okay, well – Kara brought over a planner, and I brought my Pinterest board.”
“I brought beer,” James contributes.
“I brought wedding magazines,” Lena smiles almost shyly.
“Kara and I brought pizza and potstickers,” J’onn offers with mock gravity.
“And I brought my lovely self!” Winn jazz-handses, and Maggie and Alex roll their eyes with a matching smile.
By the time they sprawl into the living room – Maggie in Alex’s lap; Adrian next to them, sitting with J’onn and Winn; Kara on the floor with Lena and James, pizza boxes, beer bottles, Adrian’s root beer, and potsticker boxes littered everywhere – everyone’s belly is full and spirits are high.
“Colors?” Lena asks, her eyes on the list Kara’s pen is hovering over.
“Lavender,” Alex and Maggie say at the same time, kissing each other when they hear the other’s immediate response.
“See, I told you we had this thing down, babe.”
“Oooh, are we all gonna walk down the aisle before you guys?” Winn wants to know.
Alex nods. “We want to pick different songs for each of you as you walk down.” She waggles her eyebrows secretively at Maggie, and J’onn looks mildly alarmed.
“Are you going to tell us what these songs are?” he asks.
“Don’t worry, J’onn,” Alex leans forward to take his hand. “You’re walking us both down the aisle, so you’ll be spared a surprise theme song.”
Silence fills the room as J’onn squeezes both of his Earth daughters’ hands.
James snaps a quiet picture on his phone.
“Do we know what kind of cake you’re doing?” Kara wants to know, skipping around on her list according to wherever her stomach takes her.
“No cake,” Alex starts, and both she and Maggie hold up their hands defensively as the protests pour in from all parts of the room.
“Tiramisu,” Maggie tells them, leaning back to kiss Alex. “Don’t blame me, it was this one’s idea.”
“Awwww, she loves you!”
“I should hope so, she’s marrying me,” Maggie tousles Adrian’s hair.
“Yeah, I am,” Alex beams, and Kara chuckles as she takes her vibrating phone out of her pocket.
“Oh, hey guys, shhh, it’s Lucy!” She flips her phone over so everyone else can see the screen, where she’s answered Lucy’s facetime call.
“Awww, aren’t you two adorable,” she greets, mostly sincere but with a touch of teasing that makes Alex blush.
“Hi Lucy,” they all call in somewhat eerie unison.
“Okay, that was frightening, never do that again,” she tells them. “Where are we, what did I miss? Did we talk about a photographer yet? Because Jimmy, I don’t think you should do it, you should enjoy the ceremony and the party, you know?”
“Yeah, we’ve already started that argument with him,” Maggie grins, and Lucy nods on screen approvingly.
It goes on for hours, their collaborative wedding planning.
Their family pre-celebration.
Their cuddle piles and their laughter and their loud debates about the merits of day-of-coordinators and whether or not to have a menu comprised entirely of different kinds of potstickers.
Eventually, they all fall asleep, including Lucy, over facetime.
J’onn tucks each of them in: Kara entangled with Lena; Winn sprawled out with his head on James’s chest; Alex laying between Maggie’s legs; Adrian’s head resting on Alex’s thigh until J’onn wakes him gently to take off his binder, before he groggily crawls back into position and Alex instinctively wraps her arm over his back.
He flies, then, to Washington, DC, to tuck Lucy into bed as well, and to make sure her phone is charging.
When he slips back to the Danvers household to check to make sure everyone is still safe and sleeping and comfortable, he contemplates leaving.
But Maggie’s eyes crack open and she holds out the arm that isn’t being pleasantly mushed between her fiancee and her best man.
J’onn hesitates, and then he smiles and lowers himself onto the floor next to Maggie.
She smiles and sleepily puts her head on his shoulder.
He wraps his arm around her, and surveys his sleeping children one more blissful time before letting himself, too, fall into a peaceful, contented sleep.
Hi! I love your work and I just wanted to ask how did you go about to get your foot in the door in the industry? just curious.
I fell in it…
It was a matter of showing my work to the right people and it started with a domino effect that is still happening now.
I showed my work to one of my friends who work at a comic shop in my local city. then they showed it to the branch manager who was starting out writing comics and we did a 5 page short for a small publisher…then he got me in contact with another writer who (thanks to previous writer) we did a one page short story in the Thought Bubble Anthology 2015.
Though this said comic shop has many, many links and contacts. It’s a major player in organising Thought Bubble.
And then….Said previous friend I did my first comic with, introduced me to Richard Starkings who happened to be doing a signing at the comic shop the week of the convention.
He saw my page I did…and said to me ‘Are you bringing a portfolio this weekend?’
I said ‘Yes, i’m nervous but yes’
He then went to say “I want to see it….”
If you don’t know who Richard Starkings is, he’s the writer of Elephantmen, one of Image Comics longest running series. And he also happened to found the company that would ‘digitise’ Lettering in the industry.
I didn’t know this at the time….
But….I went with my portfolio….in my Doctor Strange cosplay….(Ha I know) around the convention and I took my work to artists and writers. Al Ewing , Kev Walker, Lee Garbett, Ben Templesmith to name a few.
I went over to show Richard, showed him my work and his response was..
“will you illustrate a cover for me?”
I wanted to cry honestly…. overly giddy I said ‘Yes!’
I then ended up spending 2 hours with Emma Rios, sitting with her at her signing table, showed her my work and we talked about Doctor Strange, did an art trade (as you do).
That show was insane! in fact everything at the time was insane, because I saw the premiere screening of Doctor Strange the weekend before. (how that happened is another story entirely)
So I went to do the cover, and here is where is got too good to be true…
Richard messaged me after he saw the cover and said “Would you like to do the interior?”
I screamed at my computer…I fib you not.
I agreed to that.
Did the comic…(i laughed, I cried, I did all-nighters, I punched the air in victory)
And found myself at the next Thought Bubble Convention (2016) exhibiting for the first time!
I have since done some mini-projects, design work for an indie horror film, printed a little art book, Prints, Bookmarks, featured in Imagine FX magazine, contributed to a special 30th anniversary of John Carpenter’s The Thing Artbook (so many big names in that book). And I am now working on a NEW project with Richard that he initially pitched to me about a year ago but has become something quite amazing. So i’m doing the design work on that.
How can I get started in activism? I am still in college and don't drive or have much free time.
This is a good question! I wrote this post specifically for a/Autistic people who want to get started in advocacy/activism, but much applies to other neurodivergent people, autistic cousins, etc. and can be modified for allies. You have some limitations, but maybe one or two of these would work for you? I’ll copy and paste the meat of that post here:
Many advocates get involved in meet-ups with other autistic people. You can see if there is an ASAN chapter near you and attend meetings there, and/or become a member. ASAN chapters organize community outreach events, protests, and events like the annual vigil on the National Day of Mourning on March 1st, which you can attend.
You could form your own group and meet up to fundraise for organizations like ASAN or your local autism society, to discuss and implement the promotion of autism awareness/acceptance, or simply to hang out and encourage and support each other.
Some advocates volunteer with autistic children. I know that there is a mentorship program in Portland, Oregon that places autistic adults with autistic children. You can see if there is something similar in your area, or start your own mentorship program.
Some advocates will volunteer with schools, care programs, or clubs for autistic or disabled children, to read to or play with autistic children and be a role model and source of positivity for them.
Some advocates volunteer in programs for autistic/developmentally disabled adults. Some advocates visit care homes and long-term care facilities for autistic people to visit with the residents, to lead a program (like a yoga class, or an art demonstration and paint-along), or to put on an event. Some advocates will go just to visit the autistic people who don’t get many visitors.
Some advocates get involved politically. In Canada this can mean writing to your MP, mayor, or city council with any concerns or hopes you have regarding the a/Autistic community.
This can mean voting for political candidates that prioritize disability rights. This can mean making, signing, and promoting petitions, like on Change.org (hereare a fewI’ve signed). This can mean protesting (please look into protesting laws in your area before doing so) and handing out information (again, check solicitation laws in your area).
And finally, some advocates will share their knowledge and experience with the world. This can be in the form of blogging or vlogging, producing informational videos, filmmaking and documentary-making, producing comics or webcomics, publishing a book or graphic novel, creating or contributing to a magazine, curating or contributing to zines, showing your art, writing “letters to the editor” for your local paper, and being a part of events that local libraries and The Human Library put on to educate and encourage acceptance.
Your blogging, vlogging, or writing may be more informal and casual or more formal and educational. You can write from life, as someone speaking from their own experience, or focus more on social and political areas. Some autistics focus on creating content, while others focus more on signal boosting, spreading the message, and promoting other advocates’ work.
In short, there are as many ways to be an autistic advocate as there are autistic people, and there is no one right way to do so.
Whatever you feel you have to share, or whatever you feel pulled towards, you should feel free to pursue. Every autistic person is an important and valuable part of the community, and as far as being an activist/advocate, the only real requirements are that you stand up for yourself and for your fellow autistics.
Yay!!! A pleasant surprise came while I was on vacation. My
copies of the November issue of Highlights Magazine came in! I’m
always honored to be asked to contribute to a magazine I used to read as
a kid. Here’s the illustration I did for Charles Ghigna’s poem
“Autumn”. Hope I get to do more illustrations for this magazine next
year. Go out and get your copy!
Hell yeah! it always makes me happy when you reblog something related to lesser known films I like - what'd you think of Snowpiercer?
I loved Snowpiercer! I just stalked my own blog and was surprised to find out I’d never really talked about it here, because it turns out what I remembered was writing a little blurb about it for that online film magazine I contributed to a handful of times when I was living in New York, just in my own little “best of the year” round-up. Anyway, 2014 me ranked it 5th and apparently described it like this (honestly I thought I was more professional over there but apparently Not):
I showed up about five months late for Snowpiercer, and then rattled around the internet hollering “WHAAAT.” In the long-abandoned conversations I found, I was surprised to see people saying “ham-fisted” like it was a bad thing, instead of the natural style of a gloriously unflinching capitalism nightmare fable for the ages. #OccupyTheEngine
I still feel the same way, and would like to add “production design” and “holy shit the production design”