Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For other meanings, please see Hustler (disambiguation)
Larry Flynt first published Hustler in 1974 as a step forward from the Hustler Newsletter which was cheap advertising for his strip club businesses. The magazine grew from a shaky start to a peak circulation of around 3 million (current circulation is below 500,000).
Flynt also publishes Hustler's Taboo magazine, which specialises in fetishistic material, such as the depiction of sexual bondage and urolagnia. Flynt's Hustler empire also owns the Hustler casino in Gardena, California.
Of particular infamy are Hustler's cartoons, which have often featured blatantly violent and misogynistic themes. Gang rape, botched abortions, and pedophilia, among other lurid subjects, have all been featured at one time or another as recurring motifs in the cartoons. One long-running cartoon, Chester The Molestor, presented the ongoing misadventures of a pedophile in his attempts to coerce young children into sexual activity. While such material has earned Hustler much criticism from feminists and other critics, Flynt and his supporters defend the cartoons as bawdy social satire. Similar apologies have been advanced on Hustler's behalf by more scholarly writers, most notably Laura Kipnis in her essay (Male) Desire and (Female) Disgust , published in 1993.
Hustler has long had a left-wing editorial policy on economics, foreign policy, and social issues. This distinguishes it somewhat from other pornographic magazines, which embrace liberal ideas about free speech issues, but remain conservative or neutral on other matters. Throughout the 1980s, Flynt used his magazine as a podium with which to launch vitriolic, obscenity-laden attacks on the Reagan administration, and even published a short-lived political magazine called Rebel. During the controversy surrounding Bill Clinton's impeachment, Flynt publically announced his sympathy for Clinton, and offered cash rewards to anyone with information regarding sexual impropriety on the part of the president's critics.
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