What happens at the mansion...

I am addicted to The Girls Next Door, and I have some questions.

I know, I know, you may revoke my right to ever talk feminist smack again. I deserve that much. What kind of a new millenium woman am I? I'm trying to figure it all out.

The thing is, that show is just so sweet! I love the three women that live in Hef's mansion, and I have to admit that I even find myself liking the old lecherous bag himself. I hate to say it, but it doesn't seem like such a bad deal to be one of Hef's gals. Their accommodations are lovely, they seem genuinely happy, and SO MANY opportunities for personal or even professional growth seem open to them. Hef seems like a nurturing father figure, although I'd never in a gazillion years want to sleep with him so I can only say so much here. But I can say, not knowing the price, that the benefits are outstanding. The girls want to snowboard? No problem - off to Aspen with custom-designed equipment and a lesson from Olympic gold medalist Shawn White. The girls want to go horseback riding? No problem - off to the Hollywood hills for the day. Bridget wants to direct a horror movie? No problem - done. Bridget wants voice-over lessons and her own radio show? Hef's got a contact for that. Kendra wants to direct an exercise video? Done. Kendra needs a new car? Happy shopping, gorgeous.

A whole world is open to these women that they likely wouldn't otherwise have gotten to experience. And Hef's old girlfriends are all doing very well for themselves and still enjoy reconnecting with the big guy when they're presented with the chance. Now in their fifties or sixties, you'd think they'd have turned on him, realizing that he took horrible advantage of their youth and naivete. You'd think they'd rebuke him as a sexist, manipulative, disgusting man. But they don't. So I'm wondering: how bad can Hef be? I want to despise him, but I can't seem to find grounds. Yet it's got to be wishful thinking that he could really be an okay guy, right? I mean, he's built his life around objectifying women. Hasn't he? Or... is he a decent guy who just likes the company of women but also respects them and cares deeply for their wellbeing?

I can't help but notice that the women in the mansion are friends with one another, not competitive enemies. What sort of system has Hugh set up that allows the household to run so smoothly? How has he arranged things so that there aren't the catty, bitter squabbles you'd expect from a bunch of women all vying for the perks of the situation? And the biggest question weighing on my mind: what's the price? What does he expect of these women in return for the lifestyle and opportunities he affords them?

I guess I want to know, what's the catch? It can't be as great as it seems. Although I have to admit: I want it to be. I want Hef to be a good guy. I don't know why I want that, but it'd sure be a fantastic twist to what I'd previously boiled down to an open and shut case of the degradation of women. And I for one would rather be pleasantly surprised by than blindly vilify people based on what society says we're supposed to believe and think about them. I'd prefer the story be filled with gray - I like not being able to sum it all up in one neat and tidy conclusion, wrapped up tight and tied with a big ribbon. It's harder to accept a story with two sides (and much harder to criticize or indulge in moral superiority), but it leaves room for optomism and possibily. Two things it's easy to hastily stamp out, but much harder to maintain faith in.

So, if anyone can clarify for me exactly what these women are required to do, besides take their clothes off, it'd help me figure out where I stand. Is Hef running an upscale prositution ring? Are these women his scantily clad minions, or do they have a voice? Is Hef a doting father figure, a provider of otherwise unattainable opportunity, or is he a corrupt and abusive man who deals in human property? Or is he somewhere in between? Any thoughts?



HeatherPride said...

I don't know, but I've kind of been wondering the same things! Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

3:03 PM
shopgirl said...

OMG! I'm sooooooo glad I found another non-hater of the GND!! I love the bunnies!! And I love Hef - yes, I should be all "he's a dirty old man and blah blah blah" but really? If I had 'bunny dna' I'd sooooooooooo be a girlfriend - past or present! That house is awesome and I have to admit, even though he's quite eccentric (i so spelled that wrong I know) he seems to be a good guy.

If you do find some "dirt" on him or the whole show - please don't burst my bunny bubble! ; )

4:01 PM
Michelle said...

Well according to Kendra there isn't any sex going on there so I am guessing they live there and keep him company and they get treated well in return. I think Holly made the mistake of falling in love and wanting the forbidden while the other two knew the rules going in.
The 3 he has living there now are not likeable at all. Yuck. I am going to miss watching the show. If nothing more than to make fun of all of them.

4:57 PM
Fertilized said...

i am a huge fan of hte show myself. I ask myself the same questions. I want in on some of that girlfriend chat htey have and pure love for eachother. The whole dynamic is just so perfect, there has to be a catch

7:56 PM
Bob said...

I've seen it a couple of times..and to be truthful, not that interesting. Probably because I grew up with the Hef in the news all the time and the Playboy mansions in the different cities (no, I never visited one). To a 57 year old male, it's old news. I'm NOT saying the view isn't good, just that it's not intriguing. And yes, I'd trade places with him!

9:18 PM
Anonymous said...

I also loved that show. Not happy about the new girls. :(

9:05 PM
Bina said...

I would like to know, too! I watched it one time when he flew in snow to put in the back yard and the girls were out there having a blast, and everyone was so freaking happy! And I'm thinking "WTH is going on?" I would really, REALLY like to know!

9:36 AM