Are Women Human? Hefner, Angelwish, and the Patriarchy Say No

Angelwish is a charity whose mission is to provide gifts to children living with HIV/AIDS, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, and other chronic illnesses.

On Feb 12th, Angelwish gave Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine and worldwide misogyny promoter, its Humanitarian of the Year award “for all his charitable efforts over the years.”

Angelwish, a charity dedicated to an uncontroversial cause, provides strong approbation and endorsement of Hefner by giving this award. It has not seen his lifelong commitment to hate speech against women as inconsistent with the descriptor “Humanitarian”.

But why exactly are Hefner’s actions and lifestyle inconsistent with the term “humanitarian”?

The term “humanitarian” is defined as follows:

a person promoting human welfare and social reform

Through Hefner’s Playboy magazine, women are photographed and portrayed as submissive, surgically enhanced objects existing only to please men. While Hefner did not invent pornography, these images in his magazine have done so very much to normalize the cultural practice of degrading of women as sex objects. As Gail Dines says, “Hefner eroded the cultural, economic, and legal barriers to mass production and distribution of porn” (Pornland page 1).

Playboy magazine’s existence has made it socially acceptable to objectify women. It has opened the door for much more hard-core and dangerous images. It has glamorized the sale of women’s bodies for the male gaze.

These days, the Playboy brand also distributes hard-core pornography through websites and pay per view. The money Hefner donates to Angelwish has been wrung out of the objectified bodies of the women he exploits.

Surely, the creator of this empire of misogyny is no humanitarian.

Additionally, Hefner exchanges money, fame, and centerfold status for sexual relations with his “girlfriends”. These women are prostituted- they are f’ked by a man 60-70 years their senior without using protection for a chance at fame.

Apparently, Angelwish believes that exploiting, degrading, and f’king prostituted women promotes human welfare and social reform.

But how can that be?

Because according to Angelwish, women are not human.

If Angelwish does not believe women are human, where did this charity get this idea?

Perhaps it is through the patriarchal society we live in, where women in the US are paid 23% less than their male counterparts  and 1/6 of them will experience an attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes. Worldwide, ¼-½ of all women have been abused by intimate partners, and 160 million women and girls are missing from the population.

Angelwish’s decision to make Hugh Hefner their Humanitarian of the Year indicates that this charity does not believe that women are human. Indeed, radical feminists know that our patriarchal culture also does not believe that women are human.

Hefner’s son Marston has well learned the lesson that women are not human. Just this week, Marston Hefner’s girlfriend filed a restraining order against him after he physically assaulted her. Says  Marston of women, “My, like, expectancy for what girl I’m going to get is, like, so f*****-up. ‘I’ve just been around really hot women my entire life, so the average high school girl won’t do it for me.”

Radical feminists pay attention to who is lauded in our society. This information tells us what values the lauders hold, and by extension, what values our society holds. We know that Hefner believes and teaches that women are not human. We know that Angelwish’s actions exist within a system of oppression that dehumanizes women. We know that Angelwish does not support the humanity of women.

We demand to be recognized as human.

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17 comments
  1. zeph said:

    Good post Smash!

    One charity behaving like this, brings all charities into disrepute. A man who has made his wealth pimping off the backs of women is no humanitarian. It starts to look like charities will proclaim just about anything if you give them funds.

    “Marston Hefner’s girlfriend filed a restraining order against him after he physically assaulted her. Says Marston of women, “My, like, expectancy for what girl I’m going to get is, like, so f*****-up. ‘I’ve just been around really hot women my entire life, so the average high school girl won’t do it for me.””

    Thank god, average high school girls will find Marston easy to avoid! I suggest all other women around him cultivate the average look! That way, they may all have the good fortune to avoid him too.

  2. smash said:

    Thanks zeph!.

    I learned way more than I ever wanted to know about this sick SOB. He gives his “girlfriends”plastic surgery as gifts. He wants them to be his little dolls. Most of the women who become “centerfolds” have f’kd him; it’s considered difficult to become one w/o having done so.

    The rabbit hole of misogyny never ends.

  3. zeph said:

    When you think of how long he has been plying his nasty trade, how many generations of women he has abused and who’s backs he has become a parasite upon, it makes you sick. A lifetime of immoral earnings gets him an award instead of a jail Sentence.

    We should set up our own charity and get it to award us medals and honours! We actually deserve some, for taking on the establishment.

  4. Hecuba said:

    Angelwish obviously believes ‘a humanitarian’ is one who promotes male welfare; male reform and male only benefits. Women don’t exist in Angelwish’s view otherwise they would not be awarding pimp Hef an award. But perhaps Angelwish believes pimp Hef has done great service to promoting male supremacist system and continues to help maintain male domination and male oppression of all women! In which case Angelwish are correct! Does Angelwish charity even consider the idea that ‘children’ are not all males but happen to include females and as such female children’s experiences are not identical to male children’s ones. HIV/Aids is a political issue since it cannot be separated out from what radical feminists term ‘sexual politics’ – the male supremacist politics which claims only males are default human and females exist to serve males 24/7.

    Hef has always sought to ingratiate himself with charitable causes – because he is a very clever manipulator and knows good publicity erases his decades and decades of pimp work and profiting by sexually exploiting young women and girls who have just reached the age of ‘consent’ and are legally available for men to consume and then discard.

  5. smash said:

    zeph, I like the idea of our own awards. After all, we have the clear sight to know who deserves them. Not that an award really helps anything at all for us; it just makes us the target of more misogyny.

    Hecuba, you are right. Given their values, why is Angelwish raising money for children? It should only be raising money for male children, since these are the only individuals who help make their organization “humanitarian”.

  6. Isis said:

    I think we need to steal his magazines en masse and burn them or recycle the paper into blanks to make radical feminist pamphlets for ourselves.

  7. Isis said:

    Sort of use his own stuff against him! Distribute in all languages!

  8. karmarad said:

    As they consider their mortality, men who have spent their lives doing evil want to leave something behind that will mitigate their damage. I think this old man understands the damage he has done. There is no resurrecting his reputation, no way to mitigate the harmful influence he has had. He should be shunned.

  9. Feuerwerferin said:

    Well, this will sertainly serve to “legitimize”/normalize porn even further. I am not surprised but still stunned that someone like him got a humanitarian ward. That’s a slap. To be charitable towards children as long as it is not girl-specific has always been seen as more important that the rights of women. I think that children are used here as an excuse in order to forward patriarchy “legitemately”. Although, girls are sometimes also played against women. It’s like: what could women complain about when children are suffering? A nice strategy, don’t you think? Divide and conquer with women and children. They sure play dirty.

  10. zeph said:

    “Well, this will certainly serve to “legitimise”/normalise porn even further. I am not surprised but still stunned that someone like him got a humanitarian ward.”

    Politically we are in a period of regressive thinking, Feuerwerferin. Too right it feels like a slap in the face! But not so long ago people who owned slaves were considered pillars of society. In the USA, one way an indigenous American could become “civilised” was to take up the ownership of slaves. You had to own slaves to be civilised!
    People have simply lost touch with reality, with the horror of living in those times, with the sheer brutality of that kind of existence, and the terrible sacrifices it took to move beyond it. We have romanticised our past to the extent that we cannot see our present and are therefore destined to return to it. It is tragic.

    Lionising pimps and sleeze-bags is a clear symptom of that regression.

  11. survivorthriver said:

    This is really irritating thanks for bringing this to our forefront, and while I enjoy reading you all very much I try not to jump in but sometimes I can’t help a reply.

    I felt compelled to review the IRS 990 forms of this Angelwish nonprofit and to write a letter to their ED, Mr. Mehta, here’s a copy of what I wrote, wish I had all you gals talent and brains to have written a better letter, but I am now waiting to his reply to my questions:

    I read that Angelwish has awarded Hugh Hefner a Humanitarian award? Is that correct?

    The mission you serve is noble and worthy, but your awardee has actually done more to hard the human rights of women than can be calculated.

    I did review your Guidestar information and am not quite clear on all your revenue sources and expenses, but, to use Playboy magazine person as your role model is quite disappointing. A promoter of hard core pornography is a humanist? There are too many problems here for quick email, but contemporary porn as researched by reliable nonprofits, includes 85% images containing violence to females. And, the images cannot be guaranteed to be consensual, as trafficked victims are often filmed in their coerced sex acts and those videos sold to maximize profits off the slave. Also, the hard core images are illegal to distribute to minors, and yet the online free Playboy site asks , “are you 18?” as their flimsy diligence to conform to law.

    I am extremely interested now in the Angelwish mission, supporters, board, staff and programs. I see you distribute toys. Does your organization have a policy to background check all volunteers and staff who interact with children? Sadly we often find pedophiles in positions of leadership such as in church adn boy scouts and charities that gains them access to victims. An organization that shows such poor taste to honor a cultural scoundrel like Hefner might be making glaring mistakes in other of their value decisions.

    Does the recent experience of the Susan G Komen scandal not cause your group to have more concern for the sensibilities of constituents? Is Angelwish a charity linked to right wing extreme fundamentalist beliefs, using the cause of HIV and AIDS for its own purposes?

    I also noticed your 990 showed 2010 income of $43x,xxx and your salary at $95,000. You take a quarter of income and you produce international programs that distribute toys with the remaining donor dollars? What are you delivering, Walmart throwaways on your political junkets to help support notorious persons such as Hefner? A $95,000 salary, at that size of revenues, really Mr. Mehta? You also make it difficult to look at your finances by having us go to Guidestar, a few extra steps some may not do. It looks like your salary is larger than some of the grants you disburse for Haiti relief and toys. Really? There’s quite a network right now chewing over Susan G Komen for an issue equal in my mind to this issue with Angelwish promoting a sex deviant as a humanitarian role model.

    Thank you for your attention, (signed real name)

  12. smash said:

    Nice work, survivorthriver! What well researched, well thought out letter!

  13. survivorthriver said:

    Thanks Smash, a few typos and redundancy but I had not heard of this disgusting news, so thanks for posting! There has really got to be something wrong with Angelwish. Getting big national attention for a charity that brings in $400,000 a year? Unheard of. I’m very suspicous of this group and will be watching and trying to learn more. Angelwish gives charities a bad name. Something does not smell right at Angelwish, and I hate scams off misery by profiteers and bogus nonprofits.

  14. sea said:

    Oh. My. @#$%^. Did anyone else read the DISGUSTING press release by anti child prostitution organisation Children of the Night (provided by p-watch) heralding Hef as their lord and saviour? http://www.childrenofthenight.org/pdf/Hugh_Hefner_Founders_Hero_of_the_Heart_Award.pdf

    Honestly – could anyone else think of anything except Hef smugly saying “prostitution is wrong… until they hit 18 and then i”ll bang ‘em, film ‘em and sell ‘em!”

  15. smash said:

    sea, EW! He is so disgusting. Great reporting. That flyer is unbelievable.

  16. Riled said:

    I hadn’t heard about this until today, but was so shocked and disgusted that I had to voice my opinion. I just sent them this email;

    To Angelwish,

    I’d like to clarify for you what a Humanitarian is. A Humanitarian is “concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare.” If that stumps you, perhaps I should explain that “human” means people of both the male and female genders, and as such, Hugh Hefner cannot be considered a Humanitarian because he has spent his life, his time, his money, and his influence on degrading, stripping, devaluing, pimping, debasing, exposing, selling, and exploiting women – and if that’s not enough, he has made himself famous for keeping, using, penetrating, and then discarding a constant and revolving group of women as his personal harem. The last thing he deserves is an award that claims his selfish, destructive, misogynistic behaviour is applaudable.

    When you laud someone like Hugh Hefner, whose motto is “you’re as young as the girl you feel,” how can you then turn to the little children you’re supposed to be helping – half of them girls – and tell them that he is the kind of person who embodies the “positive” future you want for them? You’re not just being hypocritical, you’re also being incredibly harmful and repressive. Your charity has lost all respect as an organisation.

    Rest assured I nor anyone I know will ever be giving any money to your charity. Hefner can enjoy the pretence of being a Humanitarian, while the children your charity purports to help will suffer for your monumental mistake, if not immediately by a lack of donations, then long-term by growing up into a world where their bodies are commodified, sexualized, and objectified. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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