Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

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Richard Dawkins, the patron saint of nonbelievers, caused a stir earlier this year during a debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who noted that his opponent is often described as the world’s most famous atheist.


“Not by me,” Dawkins replied before providing his standard explanation—a supreme being is possible but highly improbable—which led a London newspaper to proclaim that the world’s most notorious skeptic was hedging his bets. Far from it. Dawkins, at 71, remains an unbending and sharp-tongued critic of religious dogmatism. Like any scientist who challenges the Bible and its lyrical version of creation, he spends a great deal of time defending Charles Darwin’s theory that all life, including humans, evolved over eons through natural selection, rather than being molded 10,000 years ago by an intelligent but unseen hand.

Dawkins, who retired from Oxford University in 2008 after 13 years as a professor of public understanding of science (meaning he lectured and wrote books), stepped into the limelight in 1976, at the age of 35, with the publication of The Selfish Gene. The book, which has sold more than a million copies, argues persuasively that evolution takes place at the genetic level; individuals die, but the fittest genes survive. Dawkins has since written 10 more best-sellers, including most recently The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True. Since 9/11 he has become more outspoken about his skepticism, culminating in The God Delusion, which provides the foundation for his continuing debates with believers. Published in 2006, the book has become Dawkins’s most popular, available in 31 languages with 2 million copies sold. That same year he founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science “to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering.” His books have made Dawkins a popular speaker and champion of critical thinking. In March he spoke to 20,000 people at the Reason Rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; a week later he was at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, offering encouragement to the first gathering of atheistic and agnostic soldiers ever allowed on a U.S. military base.

Dawkins lives in Oxford with his third wife, Lalla Ward, best known for her role as Romana on Doctor Who. But he is rarely home for long, and Contributing Editor Chip Rowe had to travel to three cities to complete their conversation. He reports: “Dawkins is a careful speaker with little patience for foolishness (which is everywhere, especially among the faithful and the occasional journalist), but he straightens and his eyes dance when he is asked to explain an evolutionary principle. We met for the first time in Las Vegas at a convention for skeptics. We talked again when he visited New York to lecture at Cooper Union and in Washington, where he spoke at Howard University, checked in with the director of his foundation, thanked its volunteers and visited the impressive human origins exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. During a tour with the exhibit’s curator, Dawkins looked pained anytime he was compelled to chat, glancing furtively at the fossilized eye candy in every direction, including a wall of progressively modern skulls. At one point two young women approached. ‘This is Richard Dawkins!’ one told the other, wide-eyed. I suppose it’s like bumping into Bono at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

PLAYBOY: What is the A pin you’re wearing?

DAWKINS: It stands for “atheist.”

PLAYBOY: Like a scarlet letter?

DAWKINS: It’s not meant to reflect that. It’s part of my foundation’s Out Campaign. It means stand out and reach out, as well as come out for the beliefs you hold, and give the reasons. It’s a bit analogous to gay people coming out.

PLAYBOY: Although atheists can marry one another.

DAWKINS: True.

PLAYBOY: Is there a better word for a nonbeliever than atheist? Darwin preferred agnostic. Some have suggested humanist, naturalist, nontheist.

DAWKINS: Darwin chose agnostic for tactical reasons. He said the common man was not ready for atheism. There’s a lovely story the comedian Julia Sweeney tells about her own journey from devout Catholicism to atheism. After she’d finally decided she was an atheist, something appeared about it in the newspaper. Her mother phoned her in hysterics and said something like “I don’t mind you not believing in God, but an atheist?” [laughs] The word bright was suggested by a California couple. I think it’s rather a good word, though most of my atheist friends think it suggests religious people are dims. I say, “What’s wrong with that?” [laughs]

PLAYBOY: You’ve described yourself as a “tooth fairy” agnostic. What is that?

DAWKINS: Rather than say he’s an atheist, a friend of mine says, “I’m a tooth fairy agnostic,” meaning he can’t disprove God but thinks God is about as likely as the tooth fairy.

Written By: Chip Rowe
continue to source article at playboy.com

117 COMMENTS

  1. Its too bad that the only South Park Richard has seen is their awful show on atheism. The stuff with RD and Ms. Garrison wasn’t just dumb it wasn’t funny and it was totally a cheap shot at Richard. There are other South Park episodes that people who believe in critical thinking would like. My favorite is Biggest Douche in the Universe, a show that is one of the best debunkings of “cold reading” psychics I’ve ever seen, and also much funnier than the atheist two parter.

  2. The standard of questioning in this interview was first-rate. I will have to accept that it is actually possible that people buy Playboy for the quality of the articles!

    And why not give an interview to this publication? I am sure there is a good chance that some people who buy the magazine have never read a RD interview before.

  3. “Even if he’s fictional, whoever wrote his lines was ahead of his time in terms of moral philosophy.”

    I strongly disagree. What about Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Zeno of Citium to name a few most famous moral philosophers who had lived centuries before new testament was written?

  4. The particular venue for this nice interview somehow brought to mind a line from the 1945 film “Love Letters”. Joseph Cotten plays a WWII soldier with strong feelings for a woman he has only known through writing letters, as he explains: “Call her a pin-up girl of the spirit.”

    The screenplay for the film was written by none other than — wait for it — Ayn Rand.

  5. Why Playboy? For the exposure of course!  They have a massive readership. When someone tells you that they read it just for the articles, give some consideration to maybe believing them.  The Playboy interviews are an institution!  Richard is in some very distinguished company.  

    Hey!  Did you notice that off to the right side of that Playboy website interview picture of Richard is none other than Jenny McCarthy of anti-vaxer infamy.

  6. Yes I can see how that would probably be quite embarrassing! [laughs]

    Just so you know, you don’t have to click on a link to find out where it will take you. If you are using Firefox, all you have to do is hold your mouse pointer over the link and then look in the bottom left hand corner of the browser. This works in IE as well, as long as you have your Status Bar enabled.

    I thought that was an excellent interview with Richard by the way. Shame it wasn’t recorded.

  7.  The Playboy Interview has a rather distinguished history.  While the magazine’s circulation is down considerably from its peak, like virtually every periodical printed on paper, it is still a significant force in popular culture.  Playboy also has an impressive history as a venue for short fiction, cartoons, and, of course, photography.

    It is also worth noting that Playboy’s editorial positions have a long history of being on the correct side of history.  Whether the issue is integration and racial equality, gay rights, legalization of cannabis, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, or women’s rights (in particular reproductive rights, including easy access to contraception and to safe and legal abortion), Playboy has consistently espoused viewpoints that the secular community can embrace. 

    It can be credibly argued that Hugh Hefner is one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.  Assuming that photos of unrealistically beautiful nude women represent the sum total of Hefner’s contribution to popular culture is a serious error. 

  8. Same old questions.  You must get bored Richard.  It seems anytime you would like to speak of something you are currently interested in you have to write a book.  Thank goodness for close friends.  Take some time off and enjoy life a bit.  

  9. My educational institution has blocked playboy website.  So I had to resort to an anonymous proxy website to read the full interview.  Generally I am lazy enough to find an unblocked proxy website and use it, but I could make an exception to read Prof. Dawkins’ interview.

  10. It really was an excellent interview and, for those who complain of the “same old, same old” remember that these questions and answers are, potentially, reaching  a new audience each time.  Although I must admit – as a real-world male – that the image of the young lady’s bum, bottom left, (sorry) was a bit distracting.

  11. Darn. Couldn’t get the Edit button to work. I wanted to change “ladies” to “lady’s” but the the ghost of David Walliams wouldn’t let me. But then it did. Oh dear! Just can’t get the hang of this “edit” function.

  12. I don’t see them doing that anytime but if they did I would personally hand copies to each of my lady friends and gay male friends to get them to discuss religion.

    This one’s a pretty good interview. If only all interviewers would do their homework…

  13.  That unfortunate episode was the result of false equivalency tendency in mainstream media which stems from fear of being perceived as biased and, more in the South Park case, of being perceived as uncool to not criticize such controversy-generating symbolic fields as RD is.

    That’s one of the reasons I stopped watching Jon Stewart, he’s probably the biggest fan of false equivalency in all of media.

  14. I agree in part. I also just think that as much as South Park can be one of the funniest TV shows ever, Trey and Matt aren’t the deepest thinkers in the world. And because they do their show so quickly, its all done the week before it airs, sometimes they just go to dumb sex/fart jokes rather than insightful ones which they manage to get quite often compared to any other show. 

    I actually liked the parts in that South Park that showed the various atheist factions fighting each other. “Science damn you Otters!” it reminded me of some of the discussions on this site actually. And I’m big enough to see people that I admire (and there aren’t many of them living these days besides RD) made fun of. It was just such a stupid cheap joke and not even funny. If you are married to Romana you don’t have to go for Ms. Garrison. 

    But as for not watching Jon Stewart I think you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. I agree Stewart can display false equivalence sometime but that is just a way to say I don’t agree with all his satire and I’m actually kind of glad I don’t. If I did it would indicate to me that he’s just preaching a specific ideology rather than trying to mock all sides equally. All I do when I see Stewart raising a false equivalency is scream at the top of my lungs, throw my shoe at the computer and move to a different web site. You know. apply reason and critical thinking  ;-)

  15. It bugs me that there is no “Cancel” option as well but you can always just move off the page, navigate to a new page and any comment you were creating or editing but didn’t post will be gone. 

  16. >PLAYBOY: Assume there is a god and you were given the chance to ask him one question. What would it be?

    >DAWKINS: I’d ask, “Sir, why did you go to such lengths to hide yourself?”

    Sir?  Wow, you are in BIG trouble if god turns out to be a woman.  You know, the Big She of Infinity. 

  17. Great Interview! The person conducting it actually didn’t have an agenda for a change. 

    For those complaining about the venue of this article, might I suggest a little more tolerance and understanding and the MESSAGE there-in.  jcw

  18. I loved the comment under the interview on the site: “Where are the pictures of naked Richard Dawkins?” :D

    Good interview, didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know about Richard or atheism though, really. Although the interviewer certainly had gone to a lot of trouble to be very informed about the subject, kudos to him/her. 

  19. Great interview from both RD and Chip Rowe with more than enough humour to retain one’s interest in RD’s excellent (albeit “cut ‘n’ paste”) responses.

    The level of comment here though is particularly disappointing and for the most part negative towards the media in question. It appears that only one or two commentators here have any knowledge of Playboy or have bothered to go and do a little research, and this strikes me as – dare I say it – hypocritical.

    While images of “impossibly beautiful women” may not be to everyone’s taste, it is usually those of an illiberal and/or religious persuasion who would seek to criticise a publication like Playboy.

    Without examining the cases made by those offended by nudity, offended by overt soft-focus sexuality, offended by the perception of women as sexual fantasy fodder for men, it is entirely possible that those who are “offended” are as closed-minded as those who we criticise so openly at RDFRS.

    Playboy has a rich and distinguished history of liberal comment, extensive in-depth interviews with controversial figures (like RD) and short stories by writers ranging from “superstars” like Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen King to cult fiction authors and biographers and total unknowns.

    There are I’m sure, lively and ongoing debates on the status of pornography, whether it be soft and fluffy like Playboy, or hard and coarse as is to be found all over the internet, but those who make childish and smutty comments are as guilty of ignorance as those who are easily offended by nudity and sexuality are guilty of intolerance.

    Al

  20. Ooops!

    I just blindly clicked the link to finish reading the article – at work – thinking the interview had been reproduced (RDFS wouldn’t link *directly to Playboy* would it? Yes)

    Perhaps a NSFW warning at the top of the page…?

  21. Just a few days ago, I watched their episode poking fun at agnostics. Until that point, I’d thought Parker and Stone were a bit on that annoyingly arrogant side of agnostics who say that acting uncertain about everything, including. absurdly, personal belief, was somwehow the most resepctable intellectual position. This episode about agnostics who practically abuse children for not being uncertain about absolutely (no wait, relatively) everything (no wait, almost everything), having created a sort of faith system based on committing only to committing to nothing was a nice punch at those people.
    It’s just the manner of their show to always top off the point with some totally ridiculous extreme that makes no sense at all.

  22. Christians often “counter” this by asserting that Jesus was the first and only one to propose “love your enemy”. But they ignore that this ideal completely misses all practicality and ignores human nature. As evolutionary humanism explains, the most appropriate ethical development can come only from taking into account as much knowledge and observation from reality as possible. Loving someone you’ve never met, and who could just drop an airplane onto your head for living in a country he doesn’t like, makes no sense at all, and doesn’t improve the world a bit. Commanding such love is the absurdity underlining the futility.

  23. ” sometimes they just go to dumb sex/fart jokes rather than insightful ones which they manage to get quite often compared to any other show. “

    That’s their prerogatives I suppose. Can’t be on the money every time. They have much stronger shows when they tone down the poop. Cartman Sucks, Up The Steroids, Good times with weapons, Chef Aid, Quest for ratings, Vote Or Die, Best Friends Forever, and many many more… Good show but spotty.

  24.  I am very glad to see the proud tradition of Playboy interviews continues.  For those of you who look down your nose at Playboy, I suggest you watch the documentary on Playboy that you can find on Netflix (I am just getting up and cannot recall the title, but it came out maybe 3-4 years ago).  Playboy has a proud tradition of social activism and a devotion to liberal ideals and rationality.  I recall in the documentary, one of the feminist critics claimed that the social activism and great interviews and such were just a way to make looking at naked girls palatable to a large audience.  I disagree — I think the naked girls are a way of making the social activism palatable to a mass audience.

    Moreover, I really don’t know why there is such a stigma admitting that men like looking at attractive naked women.  I guess I “get it” for the religious right.  I suppose I “get it” as far as the feminist movement goes (although my wife, a strong feminist, absolutely has no problem with Playboy and sees them as a strong agent for good).  I just don’t the rest of the folks who look down their proverbial noses at Playboy and those who would dare to admit to liking to look at very attractive naked women.

    To be clear:  I like looking at pretty women.  I like looking at naked pretty women even more.  I make no apologies.  I see nothing wrong with Mr. Dawkins agreeing to be interviewed by a magazine that posts pictures of such women.  I have seen the word “pornography” used here.  I see nothing pornographic about Playboy, but then again I didn’t grow up in a household that thought sex and sexuality was wrong in any way, so I don’t have to pretend to like the interview despite the fact that there are pictures of naked women.  I can actually openly enjoy both.

  25. Richard, I am disappointed a bit. I am not particularly offended by Playboy, but I do find it distasteful. Most of the comments praising the quality of Playboy interviews are possibly correct. Notice they largely come from men. But no amount of quality in the interview will erase the fact that this is a publication men to buy to masturbate to.
    What did Ms. Cornwell think about it? I heard her in the Washington rally and she seemed very much a feminist. Did she approve of this? If you want to expand your troops with more women, and this is not the way to charm us.

  26. Richard, I am somehow disappointed. It is not that I am offended by Playboy, I simply find it distasteful. Regardless of all the comments (largely by men) on the quality of Playboy’ s interviews, it does not erase the fact that this is a publication for men to masturbate to.  What did Ms. Cornwell think about this? I heard her in the Washington rally and she seemed very much a feminist. In any case, if you want to expand the RDF base to more women, this is not the way to charm us.

  27. What makes Playboy primarily a “publication for men to masturbate to”?  Because, in addition to interviews, articles, humor, politics, sports, etc., it includes pictures of very attractive naked women?  It may ALSO be a publication for masturbatory purposes, but that isn’t all it is — in fact, I would argues that is actually the smallest percentage of what it is.  If anything, I think that the use of pictures of very attractive naked women to make give it’s social agenda a broader audience.

    I don’t even read Playboy, but whenever I see one lying around at an old school barber shop, I pick it up and read it — and when I do, I read it for the pictures AND the articles.  Obviously giving an interview to a magazine aimed at men isn’t targeted to expand the RDF base to women.  I don’t see what charming women has to do with anything.

  28. Why Playboy?  Professor Dawkins is much more upper class than that!  I am a christian,  but I respect the man’s intellect and honesty. Imagine what he could do if he, “crossed-over” to our side!  Brilliant man!

  29. Some of the greatest figures in history have been interviewed by Playboy. One of the most popular interviews was John Lennon. Especially considering that it turned out to be among his last before he was assassinated.. It is actually considered quite an honour…..

  30. Judea was a Roman province and before that, since Alexander the Great, had been a part of Hellenistic civilisation with it’s moral philosophy and many schools of thought which influenced Judaism. Besides there were other rabbies who had similar teachings to Jesus in NT.

    There are bizarre things like scapegoat redemption from mythical sin and most of Jesus teachings are incomprehensible without religious context. What’s left and could be extracted and distilled is by no means better than moral philosophy of Aristotle or Plato. You really cannot compare NT ramblings and Nicomachean Ethics.

  31. Oh come on with that crap…it is a niche. The women in it are willing participants. And there is more to it, it is a medium for articles and short stories. It simply doesn’t happen to share the stale idea that porn is so bad and naughty and forbidden.

  32. Playboy has interviewed some of the most interesting people of the 20th Century. And some of the greatest journalist have written for them. There are actually people who read it for the articles.

  33. LizaLaLomia cut the crap that people buy it for the articles and short stories – it is a porn mag providing silicon enhanced airbrushed women for one reason only. That is absolutely fine and dandy, I have no problem with that at all, but please stop pretending that anyone will be reading that article beyond the folk directed to it from here. Or that anyone buys it  for its ‘fine journalism’. Or that it purchased because it is a ‘medium’ for articles and short stories.

    Check the comments here. Those directed to it don’t seem to have been concentrating very hard  on the article. Many seem to have been distracted from what was said by imaginary centrefold girlfriends they never had or the surrounding pictures and tissue abuse. And that is absolutely fine but not really of interest or relevance on this forum.

    I’m personally disappointed that RD appeared in it. Not because I object to playboy at all, it serves a purpose and is a bit of harmless fun,  but because this site in the past has had issues with sexism that I thought had been addressed. Playboy is hardly a promoter of womens equality to be anything other than silicon enhanced playmates, and this interview has reopened this site to pointless sexist comments yet again.

    It was a mistake on his part. If he really wants to be taken seriously by women he needs to be seen to take them seriously as people not images – and appearing in playboy does not really acheive that.  Unless of course he now redresses the balance in some way.

  34. If you think that Playboy hasn’t promoted women’s equality, you really have no clue about Playboy’s history.  And what sexist comments have occurred on this thread?  How is it sexist for men to be attracted to and like to look at very attractive women?  Seriously, I don’t get how I am a sexist because I happen to like looking at attractive naked women, airbrushed or not, enhanced or not.  Is anyone coming on here and saying women are incapable of doing x, y, or z as a result of the pic in this mag?  What, is it because they promote an idealized version of what a woman should look like that most women will never attain?  Well, in that case professional sports are equally sexist against males because they promote an idealized version of masculinity and athleticism that most males will never attain.  I guess shows on lifetime are equally sexist against men because they portray men either as predators or as some idealized handsome, yet perfectly sensitive man.

    Men are more visual than women.  We like to look at women.  I don’t see how doing so degrades women, particularly when the women are willing participants getting paid so that men can look at them.  I guess you have a far looser standard of ponrography than I do.

  35. Enkidyou9000 sexist cos you’ve just come out with a load of stereotyped comments about what men like and what women like – woman are just as visual just quieter about it. If playboy is such a promoter of womens rights, or indeed is really about sex - why are there not equal numbers of very fit naked men in the magazine, making it a magazine for both men and women to read?  And why are  all the women silicone enhanced and airbrushed if it promotes the rights of women?

    As for the idealised sportsmen, they tend to be real. They may be at the perfect end of the physical spectrum but their physiques are real. And they will be known and paid primarily for their sporting prowess with advertising playing a secondary role. But I’d agree they are redressing the balance at last, though are rarely naked. Very few of  the women in playboy are totally real, or have attained their body shapes naturally, in fact the sorts of body shapes in there are rarely found in nature. Most will have had surgeryof some form or another, along with hair extensions and the rest and thats fine.

    And I didn’t say it degraded women, they are paid very well for doing a job, and why shouldn’t they. It is a just a job like any other. That is something you’ve read into my comment for some reason. And that job is partly bolstering male egos by not appearing next to the equally good looking men that they’re most likely to go out with in real life rather than the average reader. Which is why I assume the magazine hasn’t widened its target audience to encourage women readers by including fit men.

    It is a magazine for men to  look at naked idealised images of women for one purpose only. There is nothing wrong with that just stop trying to pretend it is anything else or that it has done anything at all for women other than encourage thousands of them to undergo surgery to fit playboys increasingly unreal idealised images. How many women are now carrying around toxic pip implants for example? And what fraction is that of the total number of implants per year? As for the sexist comments on this site as far as I’m aware there was a very long thread devoted to it a year or so ago, after which the situation improved.

    As for buying it for the articles? How does that actually happen when it is sold in a modesty cover that only allows the title to be shown? How does anyone know what articles are in there or whether or not they’d be of interest?

  36. Alonthemed this is an interesting comment of yours
    “While images of “impossibly beautiful women” may not be to everyone’s taste, it is usually those of an illiberal and/or religious persuasion who would seek to criticise a publication like Playboy”.

    given that elsewhere on this site there is an article about the growing sexual harrassement of women in Egypt to which people on the forum rightly pointed out is a primitive outdated religious response. So when muslim males see women as tits and arses up for anything it is primitive, when playboy presents them as tits and arses up for anything it is liberal and trendy and right on atheist? Do you not realise considering women the playthings of men is not considered liberal any more? Hasn’t been since men had to stop groping them like they still do in Egypt. Liberal is  the notion that women now have sex lives and jobs of their own and should have higher aspirations in life than simpering with their new painfully acquired silicone funbags and giving pretend outlines of their sex lives to keep the playboy mentality happy. Liberal and relevant to the 21st century would by the inclusion in playboy of equal numbers of impossibly attractive, airbrushed and enhanced males to make it open to all. Playboy stopped being edgy and liberal about 1950 I’d guess.

    And don’t forget it is run by a man who must be about 103 and is positively dessicated yet keeps and leers at women young enought to be his great grandaughters. If  he was in a school at worse he’d be sacked for making the girls uncomfortable at best would be (is) a figure of ridicule to any woman under the age of – well any women. I can’t find any exact comparisons to that in modern, liberal, secular societies at all. But less exact ones can be seen in more religious backward societies where young attractive girls are married to elderly men who discard them once they’ve aged a bit, the playboy owner just pays a hell of a lot better. Whatever his attitudes to other issues his attitude to women is that of a dinosaur. Not that far removed from that of the religious right in attitude really, just less hypocritical about sex. Stop pretending he is some kind of hero. 

    Nobody has a problem with the magazine being purchased for what it is, that isn’t what is actually offensive at all. what is offensive and illogical is the claims that it is something radical or edgy or liberal or empowering to women – with articles that people buy to read. If that were true why  the tits and arse surround to the RD interview? And why have all the males here felt the need to comment on that tits and arse surround? After all tits and arses can’t be that relevant to the interviews they claim playboy is so well known for? Nor do they seem relevant to this interview unless I’ve missed something?  The other issue is the fact that RD has dignified that dinosaur attitude to women by being interviewed for it. What does that say to women about his attitude to women?
     
    So can all the men just get over themselves and just admit that it is an aid to masturbation. Produced as such by a man that has paid  for sex all his life not some kind of empowering hero to women or originator of the sexual revolution – that was the advent of safe effective contraception, the right to abortions and safe maternal care fought for largely by women! Not playboy!. You don’t find women claiming they read 50 shades of gray for its literary merit, or plot. At least we’re honest.

  37. Which begs the question of why someone with so many important things to say, and a high enough profile to get listened too did something as stupid as appearing in Playboy. Lady Gaga, Tulisa and a host of other very attractive women with real jobs had the sense to turn it down rather than risk their credibility and alienate female fans, and I suspect they were offered far higher sums than RD. By any ones reckoning it was a stupid move.

  38.  Okay, you’ve listed a few people who have turned down an interview with Playboy.  And here are the people interviewed by Playboy over the years:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L

    I would prefer to keep company with the important figures that appear in those Playboy interviews over the last 60 years than the likes of Lady Gaga who have turned them down.  Seriously, take a long hard (pun not originally intended, but now that I notice it, I’ll take credit for it) look at the list of luminaries who have been interviewed by Playboy over the last 60 years and tell me again how stupid it is to be interviewed by Playboy.

  39. Ah a rich legacy of interviews aimed at 50% of the population who don’t buy the magazine to read anyway. It may interview famous people but nobody actually knows that. It is sold for one reason. If you wanted to read articles and interviews why the naked women? And if it is liberal where are the naked men?

    But speaking of its rich legacy here are a few of its other contributions to humanity.
    http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/resear...
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/panarama/hi/fron...
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/200...
    If they don’t come thru just type sexual bullying in schools into google. See what we’re putting up with in the real world with the more vulnerable girls and the lads who start with playboy like magazines a bit to early and move on. Not that porn isn’t absolutely normal for teenage boys, its just the way playboy started a revolution in fakery that has spiralled out of control.

    Or perhaps its effects on the aspirations of girls in what it has spawned, magazines like Loaded and Nuts
    http://www.americanhumanist.org/HNN/d...
    Or perhaps this interview with the ex editor of Loaded which would not have been possible if playboy hadn’t led the sexist way
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...
    from which the following quotes come. And children do access this stuff.
    “When I edited Loaded, I’d often get asked ‘Would you want your daughter to appear in topless photos?’ and I’d squirm, but feel obliged, but ashamed to say ‘yes’.

    Fortune gave me a son, but not on my life would I want any daughter of mine to be a topless model.

    Looking back at my old job, I think it kept me and my team in a morally-retarded state. We became numbed to nudity. We treated our models as crude sales devices….”

    “But we must tighten up the current laws to make it unavailable to children, as it can be so damaging.

    It sells boys the debasing view of women as one-dimensional fakes: fake boobs, fake hair, fake nails, fake orgasms and fake hope…”

    “How will these tainted children be able to interact with real women later in life if the first ones they ‘meet’ are on-screen mannequins?… “

    That is part of playboys rich legacy, the birth of internet porn of a vile nature.

    Or perhaps there is playboys contribution to relationships.
    http://www.livescience.com/20684-porn...

    Or from an website called artofmanliness.
    “A real man sees a woman for who she is. He respects her and her individuality. He sees her as his equal and as a person that deserves respect. It takes a lot of work and effort to interact with women, but a real man has the cajones to do it.

    Porn, on the other hand, objectifies women. It turns women into “things” that are only there to gratify a man’s sexual urge. Porn eliminates any need to connect with a woman emotionally or intellectually.

    If you want an idea of how insiders in the porn industry feel about women, just ask Bill Margold, a long time performer. For Margold, his “whole reason for being this industry is to satisfy the desire of the men in the world who basically don’t care much for women and want to see men in [the porn] industry get even with the women they couldn’t have.” One writer for porn movies (they have writers?) said that pornography creates the illusion “that women are really in their rightful place and that there is no serious challenge to authority.”

    If you have to view porn so you can feel like a man, you’ve got some problems. Real men don’t have to turn women into things to feel like a man.”

    and
    ” It will mess with your expectations of sex

    Porn creates unrealistic expectations in the minds of men about love and sex. In porn, the women are always hot and ready to go and have perfect airbrushed bodies. Best of all, the women don’t talk. Men don’t have to worry about nagging or having to interact with the women they view in magazines and videos. Men can just have their way them, and be done with it.

    The reality is that women don’t want to have sex all the time, not all women have cantaloupe-sized tatas, and women like to talk. Sometimes a lot.

    Porn-obsessed men thus have a hard time starting any type of meaningful relationship because the girls they meet don’t measure up to the women in their magazines and on their websites. And when a man does establish a loving sexual relationship, many sociologists have noted that men who have used porn view their partner through a “pornographic filter.” They’ll resort to impersonal fantasy of some porn scene when they’re having sex because the love for their partner isn’t enough to satisfy them.

    The porn-brained man also pushes his woman into doing things she’s not very comfortable with, seeking to act out the exotic scenes he’s seen on film. And he’ll think women are all about it. On sites like Jezebel (the writers of which are far from prudish women) women complain that men of this generation will sometimes do things like ejaculate on their face the first time they have sex, thinking that every women thinks that’s really hot. What a sad commentary on today’s men.”

    And the fact remains that many women find playboy tacky for anyone who has finished going thru puberty. You may not but if RD is supposed to be relevant to all than the views of 50% of atheists should count for something. So using it as an ocassional aid to masturbation is fine, pretending it is part of something meaningful from some kind of liberal hero and champion of women is just insulting.

  40. “And if it is liberal where are the naked men?”

    You’ve said this a couple of times now and I got bored of reading it so I’ve had to stir myself from my obvious pastime of furious masturbation to reply.

    They are in another magazine. Playgirl. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

    Complaining that a magazine aimed at men contains nothing for women is like buying a yachting magazine and then screaming “But where are the CARS?!?!?!”.

    The rest of your rhetoric I can’t be bothered addressing. It’s just shrill noise based on ignorance and little more than your personal opinion. You certainly haven’t attempted supporting it with anything other than copypasta – of other peoples’ opinions. I’m sure this website has ‘reason and science’ in it somewhere.

    I count amongst my acquaintances a former (male) escort, a model of latex wear and a porn star (in Russia). None of them consider themselves objectified, mere items or degraded in any way despite your fervent shrieking that they absolutely must and absolutely are. That’s entirely in your head.

    You seem to have an irrational hatred/fear of Playboy (despite your somewhat odd
    claim early on that you don’t object to it – followed by half a dozen posts objecting to it and its ‘legacy’) and women who choose to have cosmetic surgery. Good for you. I don’t care. You’ve spent all this time objecting to the publication and all the ills and calamaties you feel it’s brought down on society and not once have you commented on the actual interview. Somewhat of an oversight.

    You don’t like Playboy. We get it. So don’t buy it. But don’t whine just because RD has an interview in it. There is no single publication that is ‘relevant to all’ because it would need delivering to homes on a flatbed truck. This is why Richard is interviewed by lots of publications, each with a different target audience. I didn’t really think that needed spelling out.

    And, finally, women complaining about how models in magazines are ‘airbrushed’ and ‘photoshopped’ would be more credible if those self-same women didn’t trot around wearing make-up…

  41. So let me get this right… because YOU weren’t aware of that Playboy has interviewed many famous and influential people, nobody else knows that?  Uh, okay.  Hate to break it to you, but Playboy interviews are incredibly well-known and respected and have been for decades, whether you and your circle knew about it or not.  Furthermore, since when does a magazine aimed at men, in order to be liberal, have to include pictures of naked men?  How does that make it liberal in any way?  I don’t think that word means what you think it means.  I also love how you repeatedly assert that there is only one purpose for Playboy and only one purpose that people buy it.  Just because you cannot possibly imagine a man might read the magazine for any other purpose than as a masturbatory aid doesn’t make it so.  Do yourself a favor and actually look at a playboy some day… notice how tiny a percentage of the magazine are pictures of naked women.  Notice all the articles on things that have nothing to do with your claimed objectification of women.  Interestingly, I find your assumptions about men to be highly sexist. 
    You seem to think men are controlled so completely by our hormones that
    we could never possibly have any other purpose for ever opening such a magazine.

    Not to be outdone, you then continue to assert some bizarre connection between the women posing naked in playboy (airbrushed or not, plastic surgery or not) and pornography and the supposed ills associated with pornography.  Ridiculous unsupported assertions to the contrary, the pictures of the women in Playboy can hardly be labeled as pornographic.  Your attempts to lump Playboy together with all sorts of other magazines and videos are dishonest, and in my opinion, intentionally so.  Fine, you object to the supposed ills caused by unattainable idealized images of the women appearing in Playboy.  If you limited your objection to that and other reasonable arguments (even though I disagree), perhaps a rational discussion would be possible.  Instead, you launch into a diatribe against the ills caused by pornography — a clear strawman argument, no matter how many times you call Playboy pornography and lump it together with hardcore porn movies and magazines.

    As pointed out by BenS, for someone who claims to not have a problem with Playboy, you sure do seem to have a lot of problems with Playboy — most of which appear to be simply asserted and lacking any real evidence.  To you, apparently, it doesn’t matter what else Playboy does (and the list of support for liberal concepts is long and distinguished — and yes, it took every ounce of my energy to not make a joke out of that), so long as it includes pictures of impossibly beautiful women, it is nothing but a masturbatory aid that somehow harms women.

    Thankfully, I think most educated secularists aren’t as horrified by women’s naughty parts as you.  The funny thing is, I don’t even enjoy porn (every past girlfriend and even my feminist wife are more interested in it than me), and maybe glance at a Playboy a couple times a year at the barber shop — and when I do, it is both because of the hot naked girls AND the non-sexual magazine contents,  Sorry you are so offended that I (and most men and many women) find the naked female form particularly attractive.

  42. Sorry I was slow to respond, I had not seen this post until today.  I certainly regard myself as a feminist, and have been for 40 years (since I was 16).  However, as an evolutionary psychologist when it comes to sexuality and how men and women respond to stimuli – my view is somewhat outside the box. Men are very visual, thus images of women (dressed or undressed) will stimulate desire in most men (remember, psychologists look at statistical probability – individuals vary). It does not mean that men lose all control. There is a lovely little Italian saying: It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite, as long as you eat at home.  Women are not so much visually stimulated (not that we are immune) as we are stimulated by narratives. In other words, those dime store romantic novels and chick flicks. 

    In terms of masturbation, it is healthy – and in fact for men it can reduce the risk of prostate cancer – and women who masturbate tend to have better sexual satisfaction with their partner.  Honestly, does it matter that men will masturbate to an image of a woman – whether it be in a magazine or in his head? Or for a woman to do so thinking about some perfect partner?

    Feminism is about respecting both women and men for their accomplishments. Sex, sexual fantasies, and the dance that men and women have done for 100,000 years in terms of finding a partner – in terms of what makes someone attractive to us – is not about feminism.  Unfortunately, we tied the two together without considering the psychological science behind attraction and the differences between men and women. Asking men to suppress visual stimulation is ridiculous because it is impossible. Asking women to suppress their desires is also ridiculous.

    The real issue regards respecting the contributions both men and women make in society, understanding that women, like men, have goals and ambitions and desires and hopes is how we need to move forward.

    You asked what I thought about the Playboy interview, well I arranged it. We are reaching an audience that might not have given much thought to  not-believing. Chip Rowe spent a great amount of time with not only Richard, but with our staff and he took an interest in our mission and our work.

    If there is any issue that concerns me about Playboy and other such magazines, it is that women perhaps fall into the mindset that being attractive is an achievement rather than a genetic luck of the draw.  However, over the last 40 years what I’ve witnessed is that women now feel they can be women and be attractive and be brilliant.  If I were to point to something that is harmful to women, I would suggest beauty pageants – especially those involving young toddlers, girls and adolescents.  The idea that winning something based on beauty is far more harmful than the idea that men will always find visual imagery interesting. And let’s admit, the female body is very beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Feminism helped us get to the point when women could accept their own beauty. We have come a long way, and I am so grateful to the many many women who paved the way for me, and I hope I contributed in some way for the women who are now able to enter the workforce without having to act and dress like a man.

  43. Wow!! What a list. I would like to read many of those back issues. As far as wanking material goes, Playboy was well down the list of preferred choice of magazines depicting titillation back in my army days. Granted, if ones particular fantasy starlet was appearing in an issue, that was different, but generally, as nude depictions went, Playboy was pretty lame. On the other hand (pun also intended), its other features though, are very professional and very good entertainment, interviews included. 

    There is a level of what I would call ‘religious fervour’ being displayed in some comments here. All a bit fusty from a fuddy duddy IMO.

  44.  You don’t find women claiming they read 50 shades of gray for its literary merit, or plot. At least we’re honest.

    Hardly. Women are calling the trilogy erotic literature…I can tell you it’s sado-masochist porn of a sort you would never find in Playboy…it’s not even very good porn at that, it’s a meme that has runaway with itself and made a fortune for the author. At least call a spade a spade. Were is your feminist exploitation rant when it comes to 50 Shades, one rule for one is it?

  45.  “As far as wanking material goes, Playboy was well down the list
    of preferred choice of magazines depicting titillation back in my army
    days.”

    I was in the Marines and I don’t think I ever saw Playboy in the field.  Way too tame.

  46. “”In terms of masturbation, it is healthy – and in fact for men it can reduce the risk of prostate cancer – and women who masturbate tend to have better sexual satisfaction with their partner.  Honestly, does it matter that men will masturbate to an image of a woman – whether it be in a magazine or in his head? Or for a woman to do so thinking about some perfect partner? “

    This is just a simple statement of fact. Everyone masturbates, it is normal and healthy. I’m not sure of its relevance unless you are assuming that objections to this interview and porn as it is at this moment in time are objections to masturbation and the fact men look at naked women cos they aren’t. The issues are more complex and to do with its attitudes to women. Something has changed with porn and I’m not quite sure what.

    “Women are not so much visually stimulated (not that we are immune) as we are stimulated by narratives. In other words, those dime store romantic novels and chick flicks.  “

    I think we are very visually stimulated. From early adolescence teenage girls fancy the good looking boys in their classes, boy bands are attractive and that continues to adulthood. We do add narrative to make that visual attraction more realistic but we are visual. The fact men and women like looking at each other naked is not the issue. The issue is in the attitudes and like it or not they are changing for some reason or other.

    “If there is any issue that concerns me about Playboy and other such magazines, it is that women perhaps fall into the mindset that being attractive is an achievement rather than a genetic luck of the draw.”

    But being attractive is an achievement these days! The days when genetic luck of the draw were sufficient to get you into playboy are long gone I’m afraid. Today it takes time, effort, pain and lots of financial outlay to be pretty and then some airbrushing on top! And women are falling into the mindset that that is what they need to be. But that doesn’t exist and that causes problems! Thats partly why these magazines are seen as damaging.

    “However, over the last 40 years what I’ve witnessed is that women now feel they can be women and be attractive and be brilliant.”

    And over the last five years or so that has started to reverse (as the internet has exerted a greater influence at an earlier age). Teachers have noticed that boys attitudes to girls has changed and so has girls attitudes to themselves! Now implants are what they are saving for – not cars or holidays. Being sexy is an greater aspiration than doing well or having a career. And after years of girls expecting and wanting to earn lots in their own right, suddenly being a WAG or lap dancer is supposedly empowering.

    And boys are suddenly expecting them to be up for anything (whether they want to do it or not) automatically or they are frigid. Boys and girls are now getting a lot of their early sex education from porn (see channel fours sex education show which tried to deal with this) where the women are willing and mute. I work in a ‘nice’ academic school now with lovely kids, but I have worked in the rougher schools where I’ve joined the other female teachers in tears after the being on the receiving end  of the latest crude ‘why don’t you go into playboy, loaded, nuts, zoo miss’ style comment. Or seen the girls feeling they have to do certain things cos that is what porn has led the boys to expect of them.

    The issues have become more complex than simple attraction to naked humans for some reason. When I was 18 we had sex we enjoyed. We didn’t feel the need to lez up just for the lads (unless you wanted to) or do anything else we didn’t fancy. It was for our fun as well. Now the expectation is girls do what the porn mags say they should – no matter how little they want to. If they don’t there is something wrong with them. A hell of a lot of girls that should be enjoying sex are going back to the its something you do for men attitude.

    And why brilliant and attractive? Why can’t they be brilliant but not attractive? Or attractive but not brilliant? Or even better seen as brilliant when at work – dressed conservatively so people concentrate only on what they say and dressed to be attractive when they go out and want to find a partner? The two are not seen as linked in men so why in women?

    “If I were to point to something that is harmful to women, I would suggest beauty pageants – especially those involving young toddlers, girls and adolescents.  The idea that winning something based on beauty is far more harmful than the idea that men will always find visual imagery interesting.”

    What is playboy but a well paid beauty pageant? Beauty pageants are about visual imagery aren’t they? As for those involving young toddlers and girls, their parents must have got the idea that dressing toddlers in padded bras constitutes beauty from somewhere. When my oldest child dressed up it was in my old dresses and shoes and make up that looked like the joker from batman so she could be a princess that killed dragons. When my youngest dressed up last week it was in my high heels and her pants so she could be sexy! At four! And she doesn’t know what it really means but she should be eating mud and worms not aspiring to be just a toy for boys.  

    Those are the reason I’m disappointed RD dignified a porn mag no matter how tame or how good its articles.

  47. “There is a level of what I would call ‘religious fervour’ being displayed in some comments here. All a bit fusty from a fuddy duddy IMO.”

    Thats very interesting. Why do you say religious fervour? What exactly is the attitude of the religious right to women? Or the catholic church? Is it that they only exist to serve men and should know their places? Is it that they shouldn’t enjoy sex cos that is for men to enjoy – albeit guiltily?

    What exactly is the attitude of playboy its women? And why is questioning being interviewed in it cos of its presentation of women a religious view point particularly? Are you perhaps mistaking objections to its attitudes to women with objections to sex or masturbation or fancying naked women? That is rather an old fashioned take on the role of women.  

    How much effort did it take to limit yourself to fusty and fuddy duddy as adjectives? Did you not consider the more usual stereotypical terms for anyone objecting? 

    You’re exhibiting bit of a fuddy duddy fusty old opinion of anyone objecting IMO.   

  48.  So over the last 5 years you claim that things have taken a turn for the worse in terms of the treatment of women and girls and expectations men and boys have of them.  You reference the Internet, porn, strippers, desire for implants, and so forth.  Even if I accept your anecdotal assertions about the supposed change over the last 5 years towards women and girls as true (which I don’t), do tell, what does Playboy have to do with any of that, particularly given that Playboy has been around for 60 years or so?  So how did Playboy all of a sudden become responsible for all these ills?  Playboy includes a few pictures of insanely attractive naked women who, in addition to hitting the genetic lottery, also had work done as a small percentage of a larger magazine that also includes tons of non-sexual content on a range of subjects aimed at a male audience.  You really have to stretch logic well-beyond the breaking point to attribute all sorts of alleged social ills at the feet of Playboy.

  49. That is my point. Why do those that love it, love it? It  is advertised as ‘erotic’ and any women I’ve challenged has claimed it isn’t ‘porn’, but erotic literature. It’s what I call double standards. We need to define what you assert as ‘pornography’ before continuing, but lets not be silly about this, 50 Shades is being read all over the world buy horny women as titillating porn. By your on admission, it ain’t erotic and it has no merit as a literary tome, and you are spot on. So, with 40 million copies sold and untold numbers of women reading it on borrowed copies, WTF is going on here? Imagine all those women getting there jollies off by reading about the exploitation of a young lady, heavens ta murgatroyd, I’d never have believed it.

    Ana later goes on a date with Grey where he takes her in his helicopter to his apartment. Once there, Grey insists that she sign a non-disclosure agreement forbidding her to discuss anything that they do together, which Ana agrees to sign. He also mentions other paperwork, but first takes her to a room full of BDSM toys and gear. There Grey informs her that the second contract will be one of dominance and submission and that there will be no romantic relationship, only a sexual one. The contract even forbids Ana from touching Grey or making eye contact with him. At this point, Grey realizes that Ana is a virgin and agrees to take her virginity without making her sign the contract. The two then have sex.

    Your generalisation that Playboy is “a rich legacy of interviews aimed at 50% of the population who don’t buy the magazine to read anyway”, is pure conjecture. You do realise that Playboys readers are not just male? I’m sure you must be aware that many women enjoy watching and reading pornography?

    On a more sociological level, generations of women have been told that porn is evil: that it exploits, objectifies, and degrades women, and that a woman who enjoys porn is a betrayer of Women. Some may still feel this is true, (and there are plenty of women who feel uncomfortable with porn), but there are also plenty of women who would beg to disagree and look at porn as a fairly innocuous form of erotic escapism that’s a personal choice and not a big deal.

    http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/… 

    As for the women that read Playboy, well here’s the opinion of one..

    Yes, you read that right.I am a woman, and this is my perspective of Playboy Magazine. What you will read here is not your typical man-bashing, media-hating, closed-minded review. If that’s what you would like to read, please look elsewhere. What you will read is an honest, open-minded, clear-headed view of what has become an icon of mass-media and pop-culture, coming from a woman who has actually (GASP!) read the magazine. 

    http://www.epinions.com/review… 

    So given the audience and the company he is in by interviewing in Playboy, yes indeed, Richard Dawkins would’ve been silly not to have taken part.

    BTW, adolescent boys will get their visual stimulation from all sorts of places, spotty teenagers are perverts. A favourite source, there will be few smirks out there, those that know, know, was the lingerie section of  clothing catalogues. Low and behold, a quick Google and the ubiquitous activity pops straight up…another pun….

    A while back I brought up the Catalog of Shame. Sears and JC Penney catalogs lingerie sections were familiar stroking stomping grounds for young boys coming of age back in the days before the internet. Indeed, you might say the Montgomery Wards bra section was a rite of passage for young lads of the seventies…. or you might just say it was a primitive 1970s wanking tool.

    http://my-retrospace.blogspot…. 

    Ahh, the memories and the ‘exploitation’ of catalogue models.

  50. Thats very interesting. Why do you say religious fervour?

    Because it is ignorant intolerance…sound familiar?

    What exactly is the attitude of the religious right to women? Or the catholic church? Is it that they only exist to serve men and should know their places? Is it that they shouldn’t enjoy sex cos that is for men to enjoy – albeit guiltily?

    Some strawmanning in there much. Women’s sexuality is repressed by most religions. Religions also often treat sex and sexuality as if they were inherently evil. You have made a number of assumptions about women, sex and Playboy magazine, then decided that Playboy is a mysoginistic rag that should be avoided at all costs.

    What exactly is the attitude of playboy its women?

    That’s the wrong question.  What exactly is the attitude of Playboy women, models and readers, to Playboy?

    And why is questioning being interviewed in it cos of its presentation of women a religious view point particularly?

    It’s not a religious viewpoint, your line of questioning displays a religious attitude.

    Are you perhaps mistaking objections to its attitudes to women with objections to sex or masturbation or fancying naked women? That is rather an old fashioned take on the role of women.  

    Not at all, but you have yet to show what Playboys attitude is to women. You have a subjective view, an opinion, which you are entitled to, but it is not a universal opinion held by every member of the girls club. See the other opinion that I linked to earlier and the section ‘Exploitation’.

    How much effort did it take to limit yourself to fusty and fuddy duddy as adjectives? Did you not consider the more usual stereotypical terms for anyone objecting?

    No effort at all. You are entitled to your objections, you are entitled to your reasons for objecting, but at least show some evidence for your assertions. 

    You’re exhibiting bit of a fuddy duddy fusty old opinion of anyone objecting IMO.

    And you are entitled to your opinion. Playboy magazine has been contributed too by world statesmen, philosophers, sports stars, actors, pop stars, scientists, writers, etc, are they all misogynist? Even the gay ones? …. Many female celebrities have posed…here’s a list of a few… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P… women weren’t posing because they needed the money, so I don’t think they were being exploited, I’d go further, some are exploiting Playboy, it is a worldwide read periodical after all. So what is Playboys attitude to the women again?

  51. Alphcat:  I have read, and looked at, Playboy off and on, and cover to cover, for over 40 years.
    The magazine – I’ve never seen the on-line edition – cannot be considered ‘pornographic’ compared to all other available magazines or videos.  The photos have never been very explicit, and have always been of beautiful ladies (not all surgically enhanced, which turns me off) in beautiful settings, and nearly always alone.

    On a spectrum of mild to gross, Playboy has always been at the mildest end of what we consider erotic depictions of female structure.  From what has been reported historically, the models have always been treated very well, and very professionally – as they are in the version for females, called Playgirl.

    I have learned much of my attitudes and feelings towards females from Playboy, and I consider myself to be psychologically the type of man that most females would like to know and interact with, and I have many platonic lady friends who support that, along with my secular humanism.

    My attitude and esteem for the opposite sex are very healthy, very normal, pro-equality, pro-choice, pro-independence, respectful and knowledgeably understanding of their feelings and needs.  Playboy has been on the forefront of all these attitudes for 60 years, and has contributed a huge amount to the liberation and equality that women have gained since that time – while educating millions of men.

    From your comments, you are demonstrating an attitude born of intolerant, one-size-fits-all labeling, and a lack of any evidence.  The links you put in your comments have virtually nothing to do with Playboy, unless you KNOW that it is a gateway to the hard-core pornography and sad mindsets discussed in those links.

    Much of the imagery of women as sex objects seems to come from women’s magazines, clothing, advertising, make-up, tv & film depictions, etc. so I hope you are as intolerant of the women who support those industries.
    Peace….

  52. “And let’s admit, the female body is very beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Feminism helped us get to the point when women could accept their own beauty. “

    Can you actually justify that statement in terms of this thread which is about playboy? Ignorant Amos has kindly provided a list of playboy women and also available are several long lists of female celebrities that have turned them down recently. On that list of recent celebrities were Tulisa and Lady GaGa. Any other list containing those two musical luminaries (Brit awards, Grammys, current musical influences, record sales etc) would also contain their peer – Adele. So can you actually explain in terms of YOUR statement why Adele is not on either list? Shes the same age and a stunningly pretty, multi million selling singer/songwriter and very much their contermporary. 

    Now my informed guess (having now seen a copy that a friend found under her sons bed – not the RD one) would be that far from thinking the female body is beautiful in all shapes and sizes Playboy presents the female body and females in general as a limited range of wank templates – fairly anti that feminist view.  What is your informed guess? 

    Richard Dawkins was my hero – the start of the God Delusion had a paragraph on the consciousness raising the book was to address. And he used feminism and tacking sexist language and sexism as his analogy. Now he’s appearing in a frame of tits and arses in a magazine that clearly presents women as just tits and arses (no matter how well it treats them,  no matter how favourable the ratio of pouting women to wonderful articles/interviews with famous men)  And the first few comments following the link, and many subsequent ones, referred to those tits and arses and the impossibly beautiful women. Why? How were those arses relevant to anything in the interview? 

    The fact men look is fine but hardly the big news that the men here seem to think it is. The fact magazines have them is fine, IN CONTEXT. Discussing them here when they have no relevance whatsoever is not that context! It’s not sexy its sexist cos its the sort of low level shit that women put up with daily and want to escape from. And RD IS dignifying that limited sexist attitude to women by not only being interviewed but allowing himself to be presented in the centre of a montage of mute, posing, totty.

    Perhaps RD needs to access some more up to date sites showing just how bored and fed up women are with the sorts of comments his interview raised. Even when they are directed at someone else. Perhaps he needs to realise that the playboy persona is just a little bit dull and old hat.
     
    Tell him to try this one]
    http://www.everydaysexism.com/index.p...
    http://www.everydaysexism.com/ 

    Oh and before we get the screams about the religious right, I was directed to the everyday sexism project from a Skeptics in the pub website.

  53. “And what sexist comments have occurred on this thread?  How is it sexist for men to be attracted to and like to look at very attractive women? “

    They’re not a sexist for looking. Not sexist for being attracted. You’re confusing sexual arousal with sexism – you haven’t understood a thing. The sexism was the fnarr fnarr comments, like the ones you made. Sexual arousal fine, wittering on about it out of context not.

    Going on about ‘beautiful women, nice arses, so distracting etc’  on this particular site is derogatory and sexist. This is not supposed to be this sort of site. And the first few comments about imaginary girlfriends and distractions were sexist – they referred to those women as objects which is exactly what they were presented as. This is not supposed to be a site where women are presented as objects is it? In playboy they are but not here. RD is supposed to be liberal and see women as people. Playboys images present them as objects and worse as mute pouting naked fantasies next to serious articles where clothed, unposed, un backlit, un made up men say serious ‘important things’. How much more sexist a contrast do you want? That contrast between nude purely decorative objects and articles with  ‘serious’ men make it far worse than the honest porn mags. 

    Thinking the fnarr fnarr comments were of interest or even witty was sexist. Making the same old tired stereotyped comments about the people that objected (religious right, prudes, repressed, unaware of masturbation, unaware that teenage boys like sex etc – and they’re just the ones people dared put in tho ignorant amos was clever enough to find an article that referred to playboy objectors as man haters hence avoiding saying it himself) is sexist. Not responding to the actual arguments was sexist.

    Sexist cos its the same old boring shite that women put up with day in day out in one form or another. Today some pot bellied moron shouted nice arse at me – I was wearing a suit that came below my knees walking out of a school in front of kids i clearly taught! It wasn’t abuse, nor awful, nor even upsetting in isolation but boring same old same old low level crap that more enlightened, experienced men have learnt to avoid. I would never go up to a good looking bloke and say nice nuts!

  54. “Not at all, but you have yet to show what Playboys attitude is to women. “

    I’ve now seen it under the bed of my friends son. Its attitude to women? They are naked, mute, plastic, decorative, airbrushed and there for men to look at. There is a limited range of idealised body types to appeal to men, not women particularl. What exactly do you know about it to suggest anything different? Fine they were paid well, that doesn’t make that attitude acceptable. Fine the owner was ok with contraception, that still doesn’t change that fact.

    “You have made a number of assumptions about women, sex and Playboy magazine, then decided that Playboy is a mysoginistic rag that should be avoided at all costs.”

    What assumptions have I made exactly? The RD interview isn’t surrounded by a totally irrelevant tits and arse montage? The women aren’t naked? Comments here didn’t refer to them rather than concentrating on relevant points in the interview?

    “You do realise that Playboys readers are not just male? I’m sure you must be aware that many women enjoy watching and reading pornography?”

    You are aware that women have very little aimed at them so make do with what they’ve got? You are aware that playboy isn’t their first choice? You are aware that whatever playgirl is it certainly isn’t on the shelves in WH Smiths? You are aware that many prefer male gay porn as more appealing but still far from ideal cos still not marketed at women? And you are aware that porn in context is fine but out of context is sexist and that this thread isn’t about wanking over playboy but RD dignifying an attitude to women? Or that attitude to women going beyond and into attitudes to them as people? You are aware that there has been a backlash against women recently? And that backlash seems to have come just as they started to be as sexist as men had always been.

    “BTW, adolescent boys will get their visual stimulation from all sorts of places, spotty teenagers are perverts. A favourite source, there will be few smirks out there, those that know, know, was the lingerie section of  clothing catalogues. Low and behold, a quick Google and the ubiquitous activity pops straight up…another pun….”

    Gee stating the bleeding obvious is not an argument. The point is for years most have not treated women as objects to do sex for them. Suddenly more of them are! Playboy may not be the main cause but it is part of the path that led to the sites that do push that belief at increasingly younger boys and girls. It is the originator.

    It’s not a religious viewpoint, your line of questioning displays a religious attitude.”

    Explain how it displays a religious attitude? Lets just look at the reasons women are now giving for appearing in playboy or associated magazines. Empowering, choice, expressing myself. Now if you were to interview, say 20 modern women wearing burkhas, not the old school forced to or abused by the taliban but the new breed of politicised ones from cultures that have never traditionally worn it, what do you think you’d get? Believe it or not, much the same.

    The question isn’t that women making these choices, whether it be flashing fake tits in playboy by choice or covering themselves in black cloth by choice, it is why. Cos like it or not both groups are behaving as men want them to. Both groups are choosing to be objects not people. You see tits and arses not a person or you see a moving dalek not a person, either way it is men that have dictated the image and conned them into thinking it is their choice to live up to it.

    “So given the audience and the company he is in by interviewing in Playboy, yes indeed, Richard Dawkins would’ve been silly not to have taken part.”

    Yesterday I got into a debate with a muslim colleague. Moderate hijab wearer apalled by Islams attitude to women. Would never wear a burkha nor consider herself secondary to a man. Ignore the fact that Islams attitude to women stinks and really does negate nearly everything she is saying and just take on board her comment about wearing the hijab. Her comment was in dressing moderately she was encouraging men to see her for what she had to say not as a sexual object and she referred to this interview and rightly pointed out that RD appeared in a magazine that presented women as sexual objects. As all your comments would prove. I really didn’t know how to answer. How do I answer that one particular point?

    Take a look at this site
    http://www.everydaysexism.com/index.p...
    Playboy isn’t the worse it is low level. But it is sexist. How now can RD take on the horrendous sexism of Islam or christianity or the RC church when people can just point out his apparent support of playboys low level sexism. How can he say anything about the horror that is FGM carried out on little girls – so they will be attractive to men – when he has apparently been complicit in an industry that encourages women to surgery to be attractive to men? There is no comparison in pain and damage, but thousands of women choosing surgery to fit a male stereotype is not healthy. And at the end of the day the mothers choose the  horror of FGM as the very best for their daughters.

    Luckily for him the religious right are too hung up on sex rather than sexism to really take him to town but they could.

    As for me I’m disappointed. This has just confirmed that this is a site for slightly older, unenlightened men. So good luck but I’m off. Which no doubt will delight you all.

  55. I’ve now seen it under the bed of my friends son.

    Good for him. Definitely better that a Sears catalogue. Maybe in between pleasuring himself, he might read an article or two, something he won’t get from the Sears catalogue. I still don’t
    understand the relevance of it being looked at by an adolescent boy.

    Its attitude to women? They are naked, mute, plastic, decorative, airbrushed and there for men to look at. 

     

    Naked? Mostly but not always. Mute? Its a magazine ffs, all images in magazines are mute. Saying that, many of those modelling for the magazine give accompanying interviews. Plastic? Anything but. Decorative? Absolutely. Airbrushed? Probably, most images in modern media are ‘doctored’, so what?

     There is a limited range of idealised body types to appeal to men, not women particularl.

     

    Only in your narrow minded opinion I’m afraid. Having worked for sometime as a returns clerk for John Menzies, I was privy to a wide variety of erotic genres…there is no idealised body types that appeal to men I’m afraid…haven’t you ever heard the comment…”beauty is inthe eye of the beholder”?….one size clearly does not fit all.

    What exactly do you know about it to suggest anything different?

    From a woman’s point of view ? Nothing, which is why I cited women’s perspectives in my
    comment, and you? What  exactly do you know about it to suggest anything different?

    Fine they were paid well, that doesn’t make that attitude acceptable.

    What attitude is it that you find unacceptable….be specific…obviously money is not an issue with many of those modelling in Playboy. There is prestige involved in being asked to star in the mag, as the list of celebrities that agreed to star clearly demonstrates.

    Fine the owner was ok with contraception, that still doesn’t change that fact.

    I’ve no idea what that is about.

    “You have made a number of assumptions about women, sex and Playboy
    magazine, then decided that Playboy is a mysoginistic rag that should be avoided at all costs.”

    What assumptions have I made exactly? The RD interview isn’t surrounded by
    a totally irrelevant tits and arse montage? The women aren’t naked? Comments here didn’t refer to them rather than concentrating on relevant points in the interview?

    I’m sorry. I thought your grievance was that RD had let himself down by appearing in a magazine that exploits women, no? I suggest you familiarise yourself with the definition of the word exploit’.

    You made assumptions that the magazine is only read by men, its not. You made assumptions that those that read it are more interested in the ‘tits and arse’, they are not. You made assumptions that women don’t enjoy looking at images of naked women and men, they do. You
    made assumptions that pornography is not enjoyed by women, it is. Given this to be the case, I can’t understand what your problem is with men enjoying looking at naked women…or men if that is their want…as long as all involved are willing participants.

    You are aware that women have very little aimed at them so make do with
    what they’ve got?

    Your ignorance on this subject is astounding. Do try and keep up….

    http://www.oprah.com/relations… 

    http://www.independent.co.uk/v

    You are aware that playboy isn’t their first choice?

    Conjecture….why would a female reader pick up a playboy at all if it weren’t their first choice?

    You are aware that whatever playgirl is it certainly isn’t on the shelves in WH Smiths? You are aware that many prefer male gay porn as more appealing
    but still far from ideal cos still not marketed at women?

    Really? Someone forgot to inform Playgirl.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages… 

    And many gay men read Playgirl…so what? Try Googling erotic fiction at WH Smiths to see the pile of classics ya get back.

    http://www.whsmith.co.uk/Catal… 

    And you are aware that porn in context is fine but out of context is sexist and that this thread isn’t about wanking over playboy but RD dignifying an attitude to women?

    In what context is porn fine, but RD’s interview supports a sexist attitude? What exactly makes it sexist? Bearing in mind that you have yet to define what, in your opinion is porn and what is eroticism. You keep banging on about attitude to women but fail to represent what it is you are actually saying. What attitude to women is RD dignifying to women and why do you think so?

     

    Or that attitude to women going beyond and into attitudes to them as people?

    Define this attitude you are referring to and how it is manifest in this case please.

    You are aware that there has been a backlash against women recently? And that backlash seems to have come just as they started to be as sexist as men had always been.

    Perhaps, but isn’t that all about the enlightening attitudes to women and their sexuality? I
    mean, do you think that because of the new found freedom, women should be free to behave exactly in the way they despised men for doing in the past. Would you say a group of women visiting a male stripper was sexist? I don’t think the Chippendales would.

    Gee stating the bleeding obvious is not an argument. The point is for years most have not treated women as objects to do sex for them. Suddenly more of them are!

    I think you have that arse backwards I’m afraid.

    Playboy may not be the main cause but it is part of the path that led to the sites that do push that belief at increasingly younger boys and girls. It is the originator.

    Bollocks! Next you’ll be saying that the eroticism of the nude paintings of the great masters are the originators. They were the gentleman’s porn of their day ya know. Or the Karma Sutra was the originator.

    Explain how it displays a religious attitude?

    You are being dogmatic.

    Lets just look at the reasons women are now giving for appearing in playboy or associated magazines. Empowering, choice, expressing myself. Now if you were to interview, say 20 modern women wearing burkhas, not the old school forced to or abused by the taliban but
    the new breed of politicised ones from cultures that have never traditionally worn it, what do you think you’d get? Believe it or not, much the same.

    Is it fuck the same, it’s a false equivalence and you know it.

    The question isn’t that women making these choices, whether it be flashing fake tits in playboy by choice or covering themselves in black cloth by choice, it is why. Cos like it or not both groups are behaving as men want them to. Both groups are choosing to be objects not people. You see tits and arses not a person or you see a moving dalek not a person, either way it is men that have dictated the image and conned them into thinking it is their choice to live up to
    it.

    So the many men that pose are doing it for different reasons…get over yerself will ya, I think this is a personal issue with you.

    Yesterday I got into a debate with a muslim colleague. Moderate hijab wearer
    apalled by Islams attitude to women. Would never wear a burkha nor consider herself secondary to a man. Ignore the fact that Islams attitude to women stinks and really does negate nearly
    everything she is saying and just take on board her comment about wearing the hijab.

    No, lets not. If she is all the things you say she is, then she is as thick as pig shit for remaining a Muslim, or she is lying.

     

    Her comment was in dressing moderately she was encouraging men to see her
    for what she had to say not as a sexual object and she referred to this interview and rightly pointed out that RD appeared in a magazine that presented women as sexual objects.

    This from a women who adheres to a religion that presents women as property…and sexual objects. Your friend is entitled to her opinion too of course, but people in glass houses shouldn’t chuck stones. Women ARE sexual objects. Men are also sexual objects. It depends upon who, where and when your looking. That’s nature I’m afraid. You are conflating an object of sexual desire with exploitation. 

    As all your comments would prove. I really didn’t know how to answer. How do I answer that one particular point?

    You are crazy if you believe that women don’t objectify men in the exact same way. From
    adolescent girlies swooning over boy bands to middle aged ladies fantasising over images of Brad Pitt, George Clooney or that fictional man of the moment Christian Gray…its just the same.
    Whether the image is in a magazine, on the the big screen, in a book, or just a thought in the head, its all the same. The problem occurs when exploitation really does take place. You have yet to prove this to be the case with Playboy magazine and you stereotype and generalise the
    readership. That is not very rational.

    Playboy isn’t the worse it is low level. But it is sexist.

    You keep making the same assertion, but you haven’t explained how it is sexist. Have you looked at the definition of ‘sexism’? 

    The Oxford English says…sexism: n. prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

    You have yet to prove this accusation against Playboy magazine. I’m sorry, but until you do, you cannot be taken seriously.

    How now can RD take on the horrendous sexism of Islam or christianity or
    the RC church when people can just point out his apparent support of playboys low level sexism. How can he say anything about the horror that is FGM carried out on little girls – so they will be
    attractive to men – when he has apparently been complicit in an industry that encourages women to surgery to be attractive to men? There is no comparison in pain and damage, but thousands of women choosing surgery to fit a male stereotype is not healthy. And at the
    end of the day the mothers choose the  horror of FGM as the very best for their daughters.

    You’ve completely lost the plot with that comment….seriously, you’ve moved from having a yet unproven opinion till going barking, you no it too…as you said, there is “no comparison” at all, so why make it?

    Luckily for him the religious right are too hung up on sex rather than sexism to really take him to town but they could.

    It’s because the religious right are so hung up on sex that they are sexist…but you don’t get it.

    As for me I’m disappointed. This has just confirmed that this is a site for slightly older, unenlightened men. So good luck but I’m off. Which no doubt will delight you all.

    Probably best, because you have no idea of what it is you are talking about I’m afraid.

  56. “I still don’t understand the relevance of it being looked at by an adolescent boy.”

    No neither do I, cos I don’t recall giving it any relevance beyond explaining where it was found! Lest you thought I’d purchased it. So what is your point yet again?

    The magazine is for wanking, that is not the issue. The fact  it objectifies women to do so is not the issue. That objectification in that context is in a limited way ok, we all objectify when having sex or masturbating to a certain extent – and teenage boys use such material to grow up.

    The issue is that objectification should stay within that context! Bring it into the wider context and you are objectifying women instead of valuing them as people who you may like or hate, but still as people listened to for what they say not their cup size. Where they want to be seen as such and do not want to listen to the same old crap from men about titties and bums. There are plenty of places where you can do that already. Pubs for one, the workplace, the streets. We’re used to it there but shouldn’t be here.

    Do you understand yet? Or are you having difficulty cos I haven’t posted a breast either side of the paragraphs? 
    Sex with another person – or for playboy afficionados, alone - then focus on their bodies and drool. Outside of that, the person is not interested in and does not want to hear your sexual ratings of them or anyone else. Outside of that context you should not be viewing women in terms of their bodies alone or articulating your views.

    You mention the chippendales, but nobody actually discusses their bodies here – or what they’d like to do with them. I would never dream of discussing what I like in a man here, nor would I dream of discussing RDs wrinkles when I’m supposed to be listening to what he is saying. This is supposed to be a site for ideas and discussion where both sexes are equal. Not one where one sex is presented naked for discussion of their body parts and the other tells them they’re wrong for objecting! 

    This site had a real problem with sexism not so long ago. It had literally become a place where men were stating what sort of women they facncied and stating they really wouldn’t like fat, old or wrinkly ones. WTF, is that to do with athiesm and equality?

    “Mute? Its a magazine ffs, all images in magazines are mute”

    Sorry the magazines I read are full of words not pictures. Playboy also has lots of words as you have pointed out ad nauseum, or have you forgotten in the excitement?  The naked women weren’t really chosen for their words were they! Otherwise I suspect they would be completely different women. RD was wasn’t he! Or were the words underneath his picture just magic fairy dust?

    Plastic? Anything but. “
    Is that a wind up cos even for a playboy reader that is naive in the extreme! At least three of my friends have had new breasts, none look remotely Jordanesque. And no I don’t judge just wonder what had made them so insecure. Myself and my friend went thru it in detail before returning it and found only one possible pair of real breasts when we looked – the rest we were pretty sure were fakes (as hers are). No original noses and plenty of false hair, lips, eyelashes etc. Most men I know can actually tell fake from real from their actual experiences with women. I’m surprised you can’t, or maybe I’m not. Fake does not mean ginormous.

    “Decorative? Absolutely.”

    Actually no. That was the biggest surprise. They were pretty enough but even with the airbrushing (which it IS well known for) not what I’d expected. They were pretty but that was as much because they were posed correctly and naked. They looked like the vast majority of women do when they make an effort and dress up to go out. Not when trolling round tescos or doing the school run admittedly but when done up. I teach far prettier girls who are desperately insecure, the the only real difference is they playboys lot were nude and no personality shone through.

    So you are actually paying to look at women who are not that different from women you could actually talk to and have real sex with but won’t cos you’ll have to see them without their make up in the morning? Cos the night before image won’t last? That is a very idealised lonely world to live in just to hold the perfect playboy image. women in your head I think.

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