to have you here tonight. I just want to start
with the title, “The Truth Will Set You Free,
But First It Will Piss You Off!” Did the title
come to you pretty easily? -Yes. The world brought the
title to me very easily, yes. [ Laughter ]
Right, right. -Sort of left it
on the doorstep, and then you had
to write a book for it. -Yes, right, absolutely.
-What is — -There’s too many truths that’s
definitely piss you off, right? -What is most uniquely
or most specifically pissing you off right now? -Well, I guess you could say
the person in the White House. I mean, I can’t —
-Yeah. There’s no other way
of saying it. -There’s no other way,
because he was not elected, and there he is, and,
uh, you know. -Yeah.
And he’s there every day. Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -Fortunately,
he’s making us woke, I think. -Oh, you think
he’s helping awaken us to — -Yes, because I’ve never —
I travel a lot, and I’ve never seen the degree
of activism that I’m seeing now. -So this is sort of
an optimistic — [ Cheers and applause ] I sort of wonder,
because you have this incredible perspective
on this, having, basically, you know —
-It’s called being old. [ Laughter ]
-Well, yeah. I was trying to be —
[ Laughter ] You have such wonderful pers– No, but, obviously,
you became a feminist activist in the late ’60s,
so there must be — You obviously have seen
so much positive change. And yet there are many things to still be upset
and frustrated about. How has the definition
of feminism changed, as far as you see it, from the
late ’60s, early ’70s to now? -I don’t think it’s really
changed because it’s just the radical idea that women
are full human beings. [ Laughter, cheers, applause ] -Very radical.
[ Cheers and applause ] -But I think now
we’re much more likely to realize how deep it goes.
-Mm-hmm. -You know, to realize — to be
really political for a moment — that controlling reproduction
is the first step in every hierarchy,
in every totalitarian regimen and everything — and that means
controlling women’s bodies. So, you know, it was true
of the National Socialists, as they were called in Germany,
it’s true of groups here, and I don’t think
we put that together. I mean, we thought that women’s
issues were women’s issues. We didn’t understand the
connections to everything else. -You sort of began
as a freelance writer. Did you find your activism
through the work you were doing as a writer or did you begin
your writing as an activist? -No. I think I definitely
thought of myself as a writer because I just wanted to be
there with my little notebook, you know, not being
on television and talking. [ Laughter ] -You sort of famously —
Your earliest pieces, I believe, was,
you sort of went undercover at the Playboy clubs
and wrote a piece that sort of brought you to fame
and prominence, Obviously that —
You couldn’t be taking notes — -Yes, I was,
but in the bathroom. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -Putting them down my costume.
-Was that then after that that people thought
that you would just be this sort of
undercover reporter? -Well, yes, I got some terrible
assignments after that. [ Laughter ] I was glad I did it,
because it did improve the working condition of
Bunnies, which was awful. -Yeah.
-But it also typecast me in a way that now, old as I am,
people say, “Oh, she was just
a former Bunny.” [ Laughter ] -Right, they don’t realize
that you were only a Bunny to write the piece
in the first place. -Yeah, and then when I explain,
I think, “No, I don’t want
to desert those women. They were just looking for —
to make a living.” You know?
-Yeah. -So, it’s always
a moral dilemma. -And, you know, I think that,
across this entire issue, you realize, like,
anyone who had seen the idea of what a Bunny was,
at the time, I’m assuming, was like, “Gosh, they look like they’re having the best time
in the world.” So, it was so helpful for you
to write a piece like that. -Yeah, but how can you be having
the best time when you are unclothed and wearing
a costume that’s so tight, it would give a man a cleavage?
-Yeah. [ Laughter ] -And everybody else is clothed. That’s political in itself.
-Yeah. No, that — I would not be happy
in a situation like that. Yeah.
[ Laughter ] As much as I like serving drinks
to my friends. [ Laughter ] -Somebody once did
try a male Bunny thing, but it just didn’t work.
-Yeah, no. I would imagine
it would be pretty bad. [ Laughter ] I don’t even know what animal
is the equivalent. Like, what did they —
What was it? Do you know?
-What? -Like, just a bunch of guys
with, like, elks walking around, with giant antlers?
[ Laughter ] -That’s a good question.
I don’t know. -Yeah, we’re gonna get
to the bottom of it. Tweet us whatever
you think it is.