How'd You Like to Be the First Woman to Write for Playboy?
Susan Braudy has the scoop:
Almost as soon as I arrived in Manhattan to seek my fortune, I backed into a knuckle-bruising battle with Playboy’s Hugh Hefner.
My new city-slick literary agent Lois Wallace had signed me because she liked my articles in a zippy new Yale monthly called The New Journal. So after Playboy editors approached Lois about a piece on something called the new feminism, she lipped a smoke ring into her telephone and asked me, “How’d you like to be the first woman to write for Playboy?”
The year was 1969. I thought Playboy defined cheesy, but I was too timid to say so. Furthermore, I was afraid to admit I’d never heard of any new feminists.
Lois, however sophisticated, was a shouter: “You’re in New York, dammit, not in some ivory tower.”
Jim Goode, Playboy’s articles editor, contacted me that afternoon. Speaking more slowly than I thought a human could, he explained that Playboy wanted an objective account of the entire spectrum of the brand new “women’s lib” movement. “These women have important things to say, and I want our readers to hear them,” he said. “Let yourself go. Write anything you like but don’t pass judgment. Be fair.”
He concluded, “Write in a tone that’s amused if the author is amused, but never snide.”