UPDATE: The legacy of Helen Gurley Brown | Rock Candy

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

UPDATE: The legacy of Helen Gurley Brown

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 11:20 AM

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Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmo and Green Forest native, got  pushed out of the top spot at the legendary magazine in '96 because of a series of politically incorrect gaffes, according to a forthcoming tell-all bio.

Like:

When asked if sexual harassment existed at Cosmo in the wake of Anita Hill's testimony that Supreme Court pick Clarence Thomas had harassed her for years, Brown cheekily responded: "I certainly hope so. The problem is that we don't have enough men to go around for harassing."

At 86, she remains international editor of Cosmo. Last year, Slate named her the 13th most powerful American over 80 (above Hugh Hefner and Jimmy Carter).

Jezebel considers her legacy. Was it "an open attitude towards sexuality or a bunch of college girls putting rouge on their nipples — or are they the same thing?"

UPDATE: Screw the octogenarian list, in this month's Playboy, the 55th anniversary issue, Brown comes in at number 11 in a list of the 55 most important people in sex in the last 55 years (right behind Madonna). Kinsey's number one. Hef, magnanimously, puts himself at three. The most glaring problem with the list, as Daniel Radosh points out on The Daily Beast, is that no African Americans figure in. Um, Chuck Berry? Magic Johnson? Dolemite?

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