Pornography and Feminism
Length: 1379 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)
It is constantly surrounding us. It cannot be evaded. Pornography is an initial part of the entertainment mainstream. Whether it is in magazines, or in music, pornography is gender-prejudiced. The word pornography can be defined as the depiction of erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement.
Degrasion towards women is its only accomplishment. The poses they take and the acts they perform are all part of the discrimination that women face . The only thing pornography offers is negative effects on women. Pornography, whether on a page, in music, or on screen, is degrading to all females. Magazines, posters, and other materials portray women as something less than human. A women in Florida argued that she was harassed by her male co-workers who put up graphically sexual posters and calendars, some showing women being abused. Among the offensive materials was a poster with a frontal view of a nude women with a dehumanizing USDA choice printed on it. Also , a teacher in Canada asked the Ontario Human Rights Commission to order the removal of pornographic magazines from convenience stores on the grounds that they create a hostile environment for women. Even Playboy and Penthouse , two of the more popular menþs magazines that actually contain insightful articles on current issues or events, degrade women. Psychologist Marty Mckay says that the only way to protect womenþs rights is to prohibit the sale of skin magazines in corner stores. Men are not put into the same portion, and there in lies the discrimination. When speaking of pornography in action, X- rated videos are the first thing that comes to mind. A shop in downtown Toronto that sells dirty movies and frightening looking sex toys has Ultra Great Sex tapes for less than $25.30. One scene contains two men performing simultaneous anal and vaginal intercourse on one women. The obscenity law found in subsection 8 of section 163 in Canadaþs Criminal Code says that a work is absence and illegal if one of its dominant characteristics involves the undue exploitation of sex. A Canada court created three rankings for obscenity. The first, any materials that mixes explicit sex and violence , or include children. The second, works that involves explicit sex and degradation that encourage violence or harm toward women. Finally, other sexual explicit materials is permissible because the obscenity law cannot þinhibit the celebration of human sexuality.
þ From a lyrical view, the 2 Live Crew, a once popular rap group, wrote music containing degrading, explicit and manipulative lyrics directed toward women. Explicit is an understatement : þJust nibble on my D_ _ like a rat does cheese.þ This was a line from one of there popular songs. The group argued that their albums contained a parental advisory label, but the albums , the most popular called þNasty as They Wanna Be,þ were banned in many states because they crossed censorship lines. The exploitation of women on screen in music, and in magazines is degrading to the entire gender.
Sexual crimes are spurred by pornography. In Massachusetts, feminist groups can be found on both sides of the debate over a proposed bill that would allow individuals who can prove that they were assaulted as a result of pornography, defined as a form of sexual discrimination, to recover damages in civil court from publishers of the materials. In Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a law that would allow victims of sex crimes to sue the producers, distributors, and sellers of obscene materials if the victims can prove that the material was a substantial cause of the injury. Proposed laws like the above are steps in the right direction in preventing sexually related crime cases, especially ones like the Ted Bundy case, where the serial killer claimed just before his execution that pornography had fueled his violent fantasies. Pornography currently has more protection than we do, Michigan law professor Catherine Mckinnon said she argued that much of the violence has been inspired by pornography, which she defines as þThe graphic, sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words.þ Also , the Ted Bundy case set off an attempt to put a squeeze play on the First Amendment. Pornography Victims Compensation Act, the one described above in Washington, nicknamed the Bundy Bill is technically targeted towards obscene materials. Ted Bundy changed the way America views pornography, but the material contained in pornographic videos has changed itself. At a Toronto shop called þBooks,þ an entire wall is devoted to bondage videos. Among the selection is a tape called þWomen Ruled by Men.þ The cover advertises it as þone of the most exciting bondage videosþ ever made, and depicts two nude women strapped back to back be a series of chains. One has what looks like a horseþs bit in her mouth, held there by a tight strap around her head. Another video cover shows a leather-clad strong man named þSir Michael,þ pulling open the negligee of a young blond women who is gagged with heavy, knotted rope. The pair is in a room that looks like a dungeon, with whips and chains hanging from the wall. The cover invites the viewer to þJoin Sir Michaels as he teases, torments, humiliates, and disciplines some of the most beautiful and submissive women who have fallen under his powerful will.þ If anything could cause a sex crime , it would definitely be something like this, thatþs why this and similar material should be outlawed. The desire to give or get small amounts of pain or fear is produced by the desire for sexual enjoyment, not by a wish to cause or receive real harm. Pornography is employed by individuals for sexual satisfaction, it is evidently not made or used in order to vent feelings of hostility. The most plausible explanation of the sex-violence link is that another sort of excitement notably from pain, fear, or aggression, provided that they are not too extreme can somehow enhance sexual excitement. Sexual crimes are definitely spurred by pornography.
Pornography exceeds the lines of the First Amendments . The First Amendment briefly states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise , or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. It guarantees freedom of speech , or of all persons a right to speak, publish, and otherwise express their views. But it ends by saying that the guarantees are not all absolute terms and that they may exercised only with regard to the rights of all other persons. Those persons , in this situation are, of course, women. Catherine Mckinnon says that pornography is not simply speech, but active sex discrimination, and is therefor not protected by the First Amendment. Any speech that subordinates women, any pornography, is yelling þfire!þ in a crowded theater, says most anti-porn feminist. Pornography works as a behavioral conditioner, reinforcer and stimulus, not as idea or advocacy. It is more like saying þkillþ to a trained guard and also the training process itself. Religious speaker Jerry Falwell once claimed that sex education caused teen pregnancy, just as feminist claim pornography causes rape. Pornography negatively affects only the female gender. The bleak view of male sexuality condemns heterosexuality for women as an exercise in wish fulfillment or false consciousness. Pornography is brutality toward women, it is not an exerce of the First Amendment. The defenses of the amendment are intellectual, but anti-porn feminist have support with hard- core pictures which cross First Amendment lines. The feminist case against pornography is based on the presumption that the link between pornography and sexual violence is clear and simple. The First Amendment is disobeyed as far as pornography is conceived.
If anything can be said about pornography, it is that the variety has expanded and availability is much more convenient. Pornography creates a demeaning attitude toward women. It abuses the First Amendment. Pornography is a parallel of race discrimination. One of the things that just recently happened in the news the is a positive step is that President Bill Clinton banned pornography on the internet. This is something that just happened and will stop allowing this smut on the Internet. Women have come a long way in our world and they should not let something like get in the way of there equality.