For those who insist that morality in this country is not crumbling—that things are no worse than the “good old days” and in some respects are better—my question is, could you imagine, even 10 years ago, a prime time network television show about a Playboy Club, complete with uncensored scenes of what really goes on in such a place? Didn’t think so.
The Parents’ Television Council (PTC) is fighting a rather lonely battle protesting the impending broadcasts of this new fall “offering.” However, Gloria Steinem, a former Playboy bunny herself and the strident leader of the feminist movement, has actually spoken out against the show and hopes that the public will boycott it. It remains to be seen whether the National Organization for Women and other feminist groups and individuals will join the chorus in any meaningful way.
Of course, this protest by Steinem, even if joined by other feminists with left-of-center views, is coming pretty late in the game. There’s been relative indifference to many other shows, advertisements, movies, etc. that over the years have transformed women from at least attempted equality to mere sex objects. How else do you explain the popularity of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, etc. in recent times to the exclusion of women who have actual accomplishments on their resumes? Even those who have such accomplishments—athletes for example—now attain or maintain their celebrity as much or more for being sexualized as well as for their on-field performance. One name—Danica Patrick—exemplifies this trend more than any other. This woman has won exactly nothing on the race track, but her good looks have gotten her out-sized attention from the sports mavens at ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
The PTC has a great game plan for those who prefer to take concrete action rather than just complain about such things. First, contact your local NBC station and tell them (not ask them) to not air this raunchy program that no doubt will try to glorify the Hefner lifestyle. Second, if they refuse, then let them know that local businesses that advertise during the show will be contacted about your displeasure and the possibility they will be boycotted if they continue. Third, consider joining the PTC for a nominal annual membership fee and learn more about their efforts, which despite the incredible odds against them have been surprisingly effective at times.
As in the political arena, the left is trying to convince us that fighting the cultural war is a lost cause and, after all, if we don’t like the program all we have to do is change the channel. That argument is dead wrong on both counts. The culture war is inextricably intertwined with the political war—this is where libertarian arguments fail—and losing one means we have lost the other. We can afford to lose neither if America is to remain a free nation.