The history of pornography is as old as time. The word “pornography” derives from the Greek words for “sexual slave”, “harlot”, and “description of”. Originally, it was a mean for describing scenarios of sexual slavery or the purchase of sex from women, both of which involve an imbalance of power, mostly between men and women. (Carse) In the earlier times, pornography focused on standards of abuse and degradation rather than on the goal of eliciting pleasure from the viewer. Because of this, there was an early emphasis in the inequality of the sexes and the subordination of women depicted in pornography. In short, according to Andrea Dworkin, “pornography is simply one of the grosser manifestations of the male will to power.”
In the United States, there is a strong feminist objection to pornography. It is not based on purity, but rather the fact that it represents the hatred of women, and that its intent is to “humiliate, degrade, and dehumanize the female body for the purpose of erotic stimulation and pleasure.” (Brownmiller) In modern pornography, there are examples of over exaggerated forms of; the male and especially the female body and sexual scenarios. This issue brings up uneasiness among American women in regards to their sexuality, with nonconformity, with the existence of marginal groups and behaviors, and with “deviant” practices. (Heartney) Any type of pornography text, even the most “correct”, contains a distorted image of the social and sexual relations between men and women of the society in which it takes place.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that pornography is a necessary evil. While it may be somewhat of an inaccurate display of sexual interaction, pornography is a forum of the persuit of ki...
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... of monster that was frowned upon by higher authorities. Watching pornography has become less acknowledged as an improper action, and more as a tool to help people come to terms with their sexuality and help revive the sex lives of couples everywhere. Pornography is not a detriment to society, but rather a benevolent force that is helping those who are sexually confused and in need of guidance.
Heartney, Eleanor. “Pornography.” Art Journal, Vol. 50, No. 4 (1991): 16-19. College Art Association.
Carse, Alisa L. “Pornography: An Uncivil Liberty?” Hypatia, Vol. 10, No. 1 (1995): 155-182. Hypatia, Inc.
Sherman, Jeffrey G. “Love Speech: The Social Utility of Pornography.” Stanford Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 4 (1995): 661-705. Stanford Law Review.
Teitelman, Jill. “Pornography.” Chicago Review, Vol. 29, No. 4 (1978): 118-124. Chicago Review.
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