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Exploring a Diary-Style Exposé. Background. Born to a traveling salesman and an editor of the Toledo Blade Grew up with a mentally unstable mother Vowed never to let herself become a victim Attended Smith College. Breaking Cultural Norms. Studied abroad

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Born to a traveling salesman and an editor of the Toledo Blade

Grew up with a mentally unstable mother

Vowed never to let herself become a victim

Attended Smith College

breaking cultural norms
Breaking Cultural Norms

Studied abroad

Helped the Gandhians attract female members

Moved to NYC

Didn't identify with The Feminine Mystique

undercover bunny
Undercover Bunny

"Show wanted to capitalize on the curiosity surrounding the new Clubs" (Wheaton).

landing the bunny role
Landing the Bunny Role

Adopted the alias, Marie Ochs, a name "much too square to be phony" (Steinem).

a gendered performance
A Gendered Performance

"We don't like our girls to have any background” (Bunny Mother).

"We just want you to fit the Bunny image” (Bunny Mother).

measuring up
Measuring Up

The costume was "darted and seamed until it was two inches smaller than any of my other measurements everywhere except the bust”

"I was sure it would be perilous to bend over"

extra expenses
Extra Expenses

Costume upkeep and maintenance

Mandatory eyelash fitting and makeup demonstration

Fake eyelashes, rouge, tights, heels

the bunny bible
The Bunny Bible

"They key to selling more drinks is Customer Contact…they will respond particularly to your efforts to be friendly“

“Gender roles in conduct manuals are often reinforced by pictorial representations of the ‘true’ woman…” (Johnson).

willmark representatives
Willmark Representatives

"Our licenses are laid on the line any time any of our employees in any way, engages, aids, or abets traffic prostitution....“

“Use your most attractive and personable male representatives to proposition the Bunnies..."

the demerit system
The Demerit System

A tattered tail, torn tights, unkempt hair, messy makeup, or too short of high heels are all worthy of demerits

"Failure to keep a doctor's appointment, 20 demerits"

bunny mother lecture
Bunny Mother Lecture

“The Club takes 50 percent of the first $30 worth of those that are charged, 25 percent of amounts up to $60, and 5 percent after that”

number one keyholders
Number One Keyholders

"Number One Keyholders are given special treatment..."

steinem s first night
Steinem’s First Night

Steinem describes working as the "Hat Check Bunny for $12 flat”

“The zipper had left a welt over my spine”

bunny convos
Bunny Convos

Steinem says she goes into work early to learn more about her "sister Bunnies”

Confronts them with the false advertising in the recruitment brochures

her final days
Her Final Days

“I said maybe we ought to join a union” (Steinem).

“In programming us with, as one Bunny put it, ‘all that glamour crap’, the Club sometimes defeated itself” (Steinem).

after a bunny s tale
After A Bunny’s Tale
  • Occasional phone calls from Bunnies around the world “with revelations about their working conditions and the sexual demands on them”
  • Other Bunnies tried to unionize