“Entertainment For Men” is the tag line for Playboy magazine. At least it was during the years i was looking at it.
Those three words, when attached to pornography, have managed to transform our cultural perspective on pornography with devastating consequences. i blogged about the Playboy philosophy and the damage it has done here.
Those three words effectively re-branded sexuality and nudity, taking them out of the realm of things that are Special, and making them nothing more than mere entertainment.
And our culture has bought the lie. Wholesale.
The Playboy philosophy was Hugh Hefner’s name for what he called a “new morality;” a situational ethic that would set us free from the restrictive Judeo-Christian sexual ethic. Even then Hefner knew that this was about much more than entertainment.
And yet, “Entertainment For Men” is a good ad slogan. It has had far reaching impact, as we can see from Dr. David Ley’s comments on the Katie Couric Show the other day.
When we hear a clinical practitioner say that porn is simply entertainment, particularly when he is discussing the effects of porn on children, we know that Hefner’s slogan has taken full effect.
And yet, anyone who has ever seen pornography knows that the effect it has on us is far from mere entertainment.
By using the slogan “Entertainment For Men,” Playboy gets to have its cake and eat it too. It tells us over and over that what it serves us is mere entertainment, but then it continues to re-shape our sexual ethic by promoting its new morality one image at a time.
It’s cunning and it’s killing us.