Hugh Hefner — the legendary publisher of Playboy Magazine — has passed away at the age of 91. The publishing magnate was credited with helping found the sexual revolution — but at the same time doing so at the expense of women, objectifying women in a way that our culture is still recovering from. However, he also created a brand — one that many have aspired to, for better or for worse. The idea of being an unbelievably classy gentleman being that of a guy surrounded by women at his beck and call was an invention of Hugh Hefner — one that still permeates the culture. Hugh Hefner’s social steps forward however are also impossible to untangle.
By allowing the culture to more openly discuss sex and politics he’s opened up conversational channels that were yet to be explored — including helping make conversations about race and birth control easier. He’s pushed forward a lot of progressive issues which were unheard of in the 50’s that — as times go on — seem not particularly special — including marijuana legalization, birth control and abortion rights. His magazines and publishing empire were an unavoidable cultural juggernaut that has influenced culture both in complex ways.
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