One of the all-time most famous female activists and feminists, Gloria Steinem, who has a new HBO documentary coming out on her life, is using the power of her words and decades of experience as a women’s rights activist to encourage American society to boycott a new NBC series.
The new series, entitled “The Playboy Club,” will be set in the 1960s in Chicago and revolves around a woman, or rather a “bunny,” which becomes involved with a powerful male lawyer that helps her evade looming legal troubles.
NBC’s production team claims that the show, which will make its debut on September 19th, will be a “fun soap opera” and will be about “empowering women to be whatever they want to be.”
Producer of the upcoming series, Chad Hodge, says the show will be empowering because it will illustrate “how (women) can use the club to be anyone they want.”
However, Steinem believes that the ‘The Playboy Club” will most likely not offer a true portrayal of the circumstances women faced in the club and argues that the show is likely to glamorize and extremely unglamorous place.
She has called the Playboy Club the “tackiest place on earth.”
Her perspective of the former club is not unsubstantiated as Steinem knows firsthand just how unglamorous the Playboy Club could be because she worked undercover at a New York branch of the club in 1963.
She used her experience to write an expose that detailed the terrible conditions women were subjected to while employed there.
Prior to Steinem going undercover and exposing the company, women that worked at the club as waitresses were forced to undergo evasive medical examinations including an internal exam and a test for venereal disease.
Because of Steinem’s expose the club was forced to change its policies.
Steinem is encouraging people to boycott the series that she, and many other critics believe, will be demeaning to women.
She argues of the series, “It normalizes a passive dominant idea of gender. So it normalizes prostitution and male dominance… I just know that over the years, women have called me and told me horror stories of what they experienced at the Playboy Club and Playboy Mansion.”
In her decades as an activist, Steinem has served as a powerful force behind the modern women’s liberation movement. She is an activist, journalist, and founder of Ms. Magazine. She is currently on the board of the Women’s Media Center.