Drunk History – Gloria Steinem Goes Undercover at the Playboy Club


Hello. I’m Katie Nolan, and today we’re gonna talk about Gloria… Steinem.Our story begins
in the year 1963.
Gloria Steinem was a graduate
of Smith College,
very smart,
she’s 28 years old,
and she’s a journalist.And “Show Magazine” was like,hey, Gloria, we have a story
for you.
We want you to go
undercover
at one of Hugh Hefner’s
Playboy clubs.
And Playboy clubs were
advertising themselves
at the time as, like, being
in a real live version
of “Playboy.”So, you would have, like,
beautiful women everywhere,
and drinks and food
and “dude stuff.”
– Yeah!
– Boobies and vaginas!
– [laughs] And Gloria was like,I don’t think
this is what I want.
I want people
to take me seriously.
And her editor was like,I think this could be
your chance
to call Hugh Hefner
out on his Goddamn bullshit.
And she was like,
you’re right. I’m in.
Let’s [bleep] do it.Um.Uh, what was I talking about? – Uh.
– So she says yes to the thing… to the assignment.And so she goes
to the audition
which is at a Playboy club.So she’s this alias
she’s created for herself
which is Marie Catherine Ochs.And the woman that she goes
up to says,
take off your coat.
Let me see your body.
Gloria was like,
um, okay
and, like, took her coat off.And the woman was like…you look a little old
for 24,
but your body’s great.Come back on Saturday
for a fitting.
And so Gloria comes back
a couple of days later,
and she sees this woman named
Sheralee.
And she’s like,
I’m the bunny mother.
So she goes,
and she gets sized.
She puts on this leotard,
and she’s like, this fits.
And they’re like,
no it doesn’t.
And they keep going
in and in.
And Gloria’s like,
I think that’s tight enough.
I can hardly breathe.– [laughs] – I just had an ice–
– Are you good? – An ice cube
just assaulted me. – You got ISIS-ed. – [laughs]
– Sorry.– So the bunny mother,
Sheralee, is explaining
to the bunnies…there’s all these things
that they can take
your money away for;like, if your ears are
crooked,
that’s a demerit.If your bunny tail’s dirty,
that’s demerits.
If you’re not smiling enough,
that’s a bunch of demerits.
They also give her
this “Bunny Manual”
which is a list
of all the rules
that you have to follow.And in the Bunny Manual,
it says…
you’re not allowed
to date any customers.
But then they were toldunless they hold
the special key.
These special key memberswere allowed to do
whatever they want.Ew.That’s [bleep] up.Anyway. So, they’re like,
great, you’re all set.You’re going
to start work soon.
We just need you to complete
your physical.
And Gloria’s like,
what do you mean?
I’m going to be a waitress.And, like, oh, we just need
you to complete a physical
with this doctor,and then you’ll be fine
to start.
That’s gross.
– Yeah.
– That’s just gross.So, she goes to the doctor.She sits on the table,
and she sees there’s stirrups.
And the doctor walks in,and the first thing
he says to her is…
so you want to be a bunny.Which is alarming,
as a doctor.He exams her,which to a woman means…you know. – Pap smear? – Did you say “patch”
smear? – I’ve never had one.
– It’s not a bagel, Derek.
It’s a… – It’s a–
– I’m from New York, eh. [together]
I’ma gettin’ a pap “schmear.” [both laugh] So, she finishes the exam. And she goes the next day
to train for this job.That’s a fancy word foryou’re going to work
and not get paid any money.
She’s training
as a table bunny.And they teach her
that she has to follow
the other bunny servers
around,
and so she’s going around,
asking these people, like,
hello, I’m bunny Marie.
What can I get for you?
And they would say things
like,
yeah, girl, let me
see your titties.
Open it up.Which is bullshit. How many times are you allowed to say bullshit on Comedy
Central? I’ve said it a whole bunch. – Whenever you want.
– Okay. – It’s some bullshit.
– [laughs] – Do you want me
to teach you how to bunny? – Yes, all right.
So, when I walk– How do I walk? Well, so, it will be
on a tray, and I need you
to be on your tippy toes all the way up. Higher than that.
– This is all I can go. – And then cross your legs
when you walk. Bend over the table
to serve the drink. Butt out.
– Mm-hmm. Titties out. Go away, you slut. Anyway.She’s working
all of these shifts,
and she’s like,
in her journal,
she’s writing
all these injustices.
They’re, like, working
these long hours.
They’re not making
any money.
On top of that,it’s basically
a prostitution ring.
And finally, after working
in the Playboy clubs
for four weeks,Gloria was like,
[bleep] this shit.
I have enough
in my journal.
I’m gonna publish this shit.I’m out.It’s just all the stupid
sexist dumbass bullshit.
She just wanted
to get the [bleep] out. And so she quit.And soGloria writes an expose
on these Playboy clubs.
She’s like these women
were like…
not making as much moneyas they were told they were
going to make.
It’s insane hours.They’re being grabbed
all the time.
They’re treated
like prostitutes.
They’re basically being used
as a tool
for the male sexual
revolution.
But the women themselvesdon’t get to
own their sexuality,
and that’s shitty.So they publishes–they publishes–They publ–They publish…
– Mm-mm.They publish the story
in the magazine.
So, the world reads
this article,
and to his very tiny credit,Hugh Hefner says
wow…
Yeah, maybe they won’t have
to go
to these physical exams
anymore.
And you know what,I’m going to
stop making them
have to give so much of
their money to us
if they make a mistake.Which is, like,
a really cool thing… that Hugh Hefner did. But also, not as cool as just,
like, always treating them
that way.This article made Gloria
Steinem a household name,
and she went on to be this…huge feminist icon.It’s tough, but I swear
to God, if it weren’t
for Gloria Steinem I wouldn’t be able to be
on TV. It’s very hard to be a woman
that’s like, I love sports. – And you have stuck
to your guns ever since you’ve started. And that… is what… – You cried. – I’m sorry. – Can I get somebody else
to do– to do this? – [laughs]

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