A feminist blogger on the Bunny Business

I don’t intend to go over old ground again on the Playboy for Kids issue as I think I made my position clear but for those of you who are interested in the discussion, Pooter Geek has responded here. He raises a number of related issues and a few barely related ones that I might return to at some time in the future.

For the moment though here is a feminist blogger’s view on the issue:

In the Playboy universe women are for conspicuous consumption by men, feted for their body parts and not for their thoughts and characters. Even if we disregard pornography’s presence on the continuum of sexual violence, it is near impossible to see how association with this outmoded symbol of patriarchal sexuality can be helpful to young women. To uncritically accept that young women must advertise their sexual availability before young men will trouble themselves to know them is both deplorable and a depressing bellwether of feminism’s stock.

I shall take my stationery business to Office World.

The same blogger, Emma, also responds to Pooter’s original post here.

Both Emma’s discussion and a large part of Damian’s are about Playboy in general, porn and sexuality. My point was more specifically about the marketing of a porn brand to the little kids who buy pink pencil cases.

On that specific issue a reader has had a response from WH Smith’s Customer Relations Manager Richard Ryan where he says:

Whilst we appreciate your views, I would like to clarify that we market this range to the late teen market and it is not our intention to position this range near items for younger children, for example our ‘Winnie the Pooh’ range. We are currently instructing all our stores to check the merchandising position of this range. The ‘Playboy’ range was introduced as response to current trends that appeal to our customers.

I’m not convinced at all that pink pencil cases appeal to a ‘late teen market’ but there you go – that is the corporate line. Perhaps in the future I’ll return to this issue and we can discuss the broader ‘current trends’ that he refers to.

Update: Are you, or have you ever been, a Neo-Playboy?

PS: Here is another feminist view on the issue.