“At first, it was such a gigantic mistake from a career point of view that I really regretted it. I’d just begun to be taken seriously as a freelance writer, but after the Playboy article, I mostly got requests to go underground in some other semi-sexual way. It was so bad that I returned an advance to turn the Playboy article into a paperback, even though I had to borrow the money. Even now, people ask why I was a Bunny, right-wingers still describe me only as a former Bunny, and you’re still asking me about it — almost a half-century later. But feminism did make me realize that I was glad I did it — because I identified with all the women who ended up an underpaid waitress in too-high heels and a costume that was too tight to breathe in. Most were just trying to make a living and had no other way of doing it. I’d made up a background as a secretary, and the woman who interviewed me asked, ‘Honey, if you can type, why would you want to work here?’ In the sense that we’re all identified too much by our outsides instead of our insides and are mostly in underpaid service jobs, I realized we’re all Bunnies — so yes, I’m glad I did it.”
—Gloria Steinem, 77, reminisces to Maria Shriver in Interview about her famous exposé on the Playboy Bunny Club. In 1963, Steinem went undercover as a Bunny for Show magazine and reported firsthand how the Bunnies were badly treated. (This was during the “Mad Men” era, you have to remember, when job listings were segregated as “Help Wanted: Male” and “Help Wanted: Female.”) The article helped Gloria become a household name and further inspired people to join the women’s movement of the 1960s.
After the jump, Steinem talks about her reputation as the “pretty feminist.” Keep reading »
Snip away, San Francisco! A judge ruled yesterday that the city cannot vote on whether to ban circumcision on the ballot next election. The ban, which was spearheaded by activist Lloyd Schofield, would have made “genital mutilation” of minors punishable by a $1,000 fine or a year in prison. The Jewish community was meshuggenah about the ban, as circumcising infants is part of their religious practice. But religious or moral reasons are not why Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi nixed the ballot initiative: she agreed there are compelling medical reasons for circumcision and laws regulating doctors and healing professions must be made on the state level. Schofield is expected to appeal. Keep reading »
I’m not even going to sugarcoat it: I’m basically the poster child for the white girl from the suburbs whose dad just took care of all the bills growing up and never taught me anything about finances. They were traditional that way: Dad handled money stuff and Mom handled childrearing stuff. My parents never gave me spending money and I always babysat and worked after school jobs. However, other than generally teaching me that I had to earn my own money, neither of them talked me to at all about saving, investing, 401ks, interest rates, or any of that other its-like-speaking-another-language stuff. I had to read blogs and buy books to myself about money (Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich by Lois P. Frankel is a good one). Still, I wish I’d made some financial decisions differently. (Luckily, I’m only 27, so it’s not too late to start!) Keep reading »
The other day there was a little incident where I was informed at, oh, 4 p.m. that I’d been walking around all day wearing hot pink boy shorts underneath a see-through dress. Ruh roh. I hustled over to the nearest Victoria’s Secret to deal with this situation. There I found a bunch of cute cotton pairs on one of their sale tables, so I scooped ‘em up. (Us ladies are constantly replenishing our panties-supply anyway, right?) Back in the office I slipped on a pair to salvage my reputation as completely oblivious/the office tramp. But it wasn’t until I was ripping those tiny pink VS tags off my new pairs of “cheekies” and tossing them in my underwear drawer that I thought to myself, I guess some people wash these first? I’ve never been a person who washes anything before wearing it, especially since I have a habit of dashing into Forever 21 or H&M the same day I’m going someplace and buying an outfit for right then. I realize, though, this is a thing people do. Sweaty, gross people try on clothes in stores or just fondle them with their Cheez Doodle dust-ed fingers. As totally neurotic as I am about other germ situations — like washing my hands any time I touch anything inside a fridge — I will wear panties that have been sitting on a display table in a VS for God knows how long and being touched by God knows who. Am I totally gross? Or do other people do this too? Keep reading »
Yay, Vanessa Carlton has a new album out! She sat down with Chelsea Handler to gab about the new CD and of course Chels gets right down to brass tacks: “So you recently came out as a bisexual?” Carlton performed at a gay rights event and told the audience, in an offhand way, that she’s had relationships with both men and women. This came as news to her family! She said her mom called her on the phone upset because “she’s concerned about being a grandma.” Keep reading »