Playboy Bunnies and Porn Stars?
When one thinks of the words empowered and feminist, a certain image comes to mind.
An empowered feminist is often thought of as an independent, non-passive woman who thinks
for herself and does not succumb to peer pressure. In the larger context, empowerment and
feminism relate to women’s rights, gender equality, and civil rights movements. In Female
Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, author Ariel Levy characterizes a new
group of women as being overtly sexual and detracting from traditional goals such as “female
empowerment.” Levy states that this new group of women claims that “rebellious” actions such
as dressing promiscuously are empowering and liberating. Through hyperbolic examples and
terminology, Levy attempts to persuade the reader that even though women say that this open,
“tongue-in-cheek” sexuality makes them feel “liberated” and “rebellious,” they are not really
empowered. Levy’s use of hyperbole creates unrealistic examples that detract from her
credibility and fail to support this overarching idea.
Levy conveys the idea that these “empowered” women are dressing in promiscuous styles
that give them a false sense of liberation, but poorly supports it. She tries to emphasize her idea
by saying that women wear shirts that were “emblazoned with the Playboy bunny or say Porn
Star across the chest” with jeans “cut so low they exposed what came to be known as butt
cleavage” (Levy, 2). Levy’s use of the terms “Porn Star” and “Playboy” are clear references to
sex. Levy doesn’t just say that women dress in low-cut outfits, but rather chooses to describe
these women as dressing in shirts “emblazoned with the Playboy bunny.” Levy specifically using
the word Playboy instead of simply saying “low-cut shirt” creates a certain image. When one
thinks of the word Playboy, images of attractive, promiscuous women come to mind. Playboy
itself is a sexual magazine that...