When I think of Playboy, I think of silicon implants, bunny ears, and Holly Madison dancing around in an X-rated Marie Antoinette costume. I don't necessarily think of feminism (at least, not at first). However, after a quick, and surprisingly safe for work visit to the new and improved Playboy.com, I discovered feminism might just have a place in famed men's magazine after all. That's right, Playboy.com is now posting feminist articles, among other content beyond the scope of naked ladies. But are they just in it for the clicks?
According to Think Progress, Playboy recently relaunched its website in an effort to provide more "shareable content" for a wider audience. In a press release for the relaunch, representatives for Playboy explain that several new verticals were introduced to the "new Playboy.com," including: Humor, Entertainment, Nightlife, Style, and Girls (because, of course!). So far, not one, but two of the new site's articles have featured subjects related to feminism.
So what are these feminist articles about, you ask?
Well, in case you weren't aware, Playboy.com is the original source of graphic designer Shea Strauss's "Should You Catcall Her?" flowchart — a clever and very feminist approach to the issue of street harassment. The site also recently posted a piece by comedian/writer Sara Benincasa, titled "Jennifer Lawrence is Not a Thing to be Passed Around." In the article, Benincasa reasons why she, or anyone, shouldn't look up the actress's leaked nude photos on 4chan — despite her immediate desire to see Lawrence's hot bod minus the Dior gown. The piece is honest, insightful, and, among all things, pro-feminism. And it's on Playboy.com — which, when you think about it, seems pretty awesome.
Now of course there's going to be some skepticism over the fact that a magazine famous for it's nude pictorials is now posting very, very sharable content on the very, very hot topic of feminism. Salon recently posted a piece in response Benincasa's article, questioning whether or not this was just a "ploy for clicks." Seeing as the initiative of the relaunch was to make the site more "safe for work" as well as increase traffic among a wider audience (including women), it only makes sense that they would get on the feminist band wagon. But are these efforts genuine?
Personally, I think it's wonderful that positive views of feminism are finding their way into so many corners of the internet — even ones that also feature topless women. Sure, it might be for more clicks, but both Beninseca's article and Strauss's flowchart are excellent examples of modern feminism — with or without the Playboy logo attached.