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.