I’m throwing up content warnings all over this story because, if you click beyond the links I provide, you will run afoul of some very vulgar language and one man’s violent and degrading fantasies.
Normally, my life and another man’s dreams of engaging in borderline non-consensual, ultra-violent sex with women he despises don’t intersect. This story is a bit different because it was published in Playboy Magazine, which is at least a mainstream publication, and because it involves some women I know and respect greatly.
Here’s the story. Playboy printed a column called “So Right it’s Wrong” written by a lout named Guy Cimbalo. The gist of the column was a Top Ten List, but like nothing I, or any other civilized human being, has seen before. I’ll pass the narrative over to Ed Morrissey to fill you in on the rest.
Playboy likes to claim that it prints pictures of naked women as a means to empower them. Uh-huh. It seems that Playboy and Hugh Hefner only like to empower women to the extent that they’ll take off their clothes, but when they open their mouths and have an opinion … well, then it’s time to roll out the demonization. They have a new feature on the website that features — and I’m not making this up — conservative women they’d like to “hate-f**k” (link NSFW):
Nice, huh? If you don’t know what that term means, you can probably noodle it through without a lot of effort. I have heard the term used before and I can guarantee you it was always associated with extreme and deliberate degradation, violence, and often went over the line into rape. The term assumes that the woman in question is an object of anger, hatred, and humiliation.
It is far worse than Ed describes it. The “hate-****” uses the intimacy of sex and the intense emotional chord it touches in women and uses it as a blunt object to assault a woman at her weakest points when she has made herself the most vulnerable. It is calculated cruelty that has no object other than destruction.
And Playboy Magazine was okay with printing it.
You’ll notice I didn’t link to the article itself. That’s because Playboy pulled the web page without explanation. At least some editor there has a sense of shame. That’s not nearly enough, though. The publishers of the magazine and the editors who approved the story owe every single one of the women named in Cimbalo’s column a personal and very public apology. And then those editors need to lose their jobs. And Cimbalo needs to be made persona non grata. His writing career should be over.
This is not a case of an edgy writer pushing the bounds of good taste. This is a case of a man indulging his hate upon innocent women and laughing while he does it. IANAL, but I would hope that at least one of the women in the column sue him so hard his kids (assuming he’ll ever have any) will be born with an instinctive fear of lawyers.
Ed Driscoll says Playboy has gone the way of Larry Flynt, but I don’t think that’s quite correct. To my knowledge, Flynt never endorsed such violence against women. He had more than his share of hate for conservatives, but I can’t recall that he ever attacked conservative women. I could be wrong about that, though.
You know, when I was a Democrat – and reading Playboy, might I add – the magazine would have rather gnawed off a leg than offer this level of misogyny to women, in any medium that sported their corporate logo. What the hell happened?
Heck, I read Playboy when I was a Republican and can never recall the magazine coming within several light years of this sort of misogyny. I know some of the women on that list and Guy Cimbalo is not fit to exist on the same planet as any of them. Each one of them is smart, graceful, talented, and have writing chops that that make Cimbalo look like a trepanned bonobo banging away on a typewriter. Each one of them are real and formidable women, much different from his normal Friday night entertainment of a badly-abused and vaguely sheeplike inflatable mass of industrial-strength latex and a five-gallon drum of bearing grease.
But to answer Moe’s question, I think the answer is simple. What happened is that the left has made it very clear that there is nothing off-limits so long as it targets the right. Take a quick look at the memeorandum entries on the story. You won’t find much in the way of progressive commentary, not even from the strident so-called feminist bloggers. I do give big props to Whiskey Fire, who kicked Cimbalo around very nicely. Good on you, man. Would that more of your fellow progressives were there with you.
This idiot writing for Salon, however, gives the violence two big, err, thumbs up and only dings the article for not being funny. Yeah, well near-rape isn’t exactly a bucket of yuks, you cretin.
Anne Schroeder at the Politico linked to the story, and wrote, “Playboy has concocted a list of GOP women they ‘hate to love.'”. That is a gross distortion of what the story really said and makes me believe that Schroeder didn’t actually read the story. Great journalism there, Anne.
Twitter is afire about this. I’m guessing the Twitter pressure is what caused Playboy to pull the story down. I hope it keeps up until some editors get pink slips and the magazine apologizes.
UPDATE: This is not the post I really wanted to write. That post would have been much nastier and full of creative ways to say that Guy Cimbalo is less of a man than the average transvestite and that he should be firmly kicked in the groin by every woman he meets for the rest of his life. But I do have to remember that my parents sometimes read my blog and this whole subject pushes the bounds of what I’m comfortable letting them see from their oldest son. Holding to a certain standard really can be a pain in the ass sometimes (oh, “ass” is okay with my folks).
UPDATE: Smart Girl Politics strikes back.
UPDATE 2: Linked by Stacy McCain who likes the headline. I really meant it. I’d love to meet this guy in a dark alley.
Ed Driscoll has more to say about my post as well. I like his observation that anyone to the right of the progressives, including Hilary Clinton (who was perceived as being to the right of the Obamessiah), is a legitimate target for their hate.
UPDATE 3: Little Miss Attilla actually knows what the assault in question is and suggests a series of counterexamples. Ditto Jessica, who asks why the usual aggrieved feminists are so very quiet today.