‘Adult’ Has Never Looked So Juvenile

Much discussion in the papers this week about the reopening of the Playboy club in London. One side claiming it’s good old-fashioned fun, the other that it’s the home of Satan himself.

I’m not a fan of Playboy. Or pornography in general. For a brilliant, brilliant insight into this world check out Tim Teeman’s article in the  Saturday’s Times, (Review section) on Larry Flynt and ‘Hustler’ magazine. (You’ll have to pay for it, but it’s worth every penny).

Saying that, I think there’s a bigger problem than a rather dated boy’s club, headed by a pathetic old man in his dressing gown. Porn is as ubiquitous in the shopping centre as the massage parlour, the playground as the newsagents. And nor is it perpetuated simply by the boys.

Little girls wearing padded bras or T-shirts reading, ‘Barbie is a slut’. Teens dressed like prostitutes but outraged to be mistaken for them. Women talking about empowerment but starving and slicing themselves like racks of meat. Girls’ nights out at Spearmint Rhino.

Packaging abuse in the rhetoric of freedom doesn’t change it. Wrapping it up in postmodern vocabulary doesn’t make it ironic. And sticking bunny ears on an industry built on oppression and exploitation, doesn’t make it funny.

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