Essay on The Debate Over Pornography Being Art: Pornography, from Andrea Dworkin

Essay on The Debate Over Pornography Being Art: Pornography, from Andrea Dworkin

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Can art be pornography? Can pornography be art? Does the observer become the judge of what is or is not pornographic, or is the culture in which the images/sculptures/writings originate from the deciding judge? I would argue that only the creator and the original intended viewers of the art or pornography should assign the piece regardless of medium to the classification it is meant to represent.

In reading the essay Pornography, from Andrea Dworkin’s “Pornography’” Pornography: Men Possessing Women (Jones pg. 480 – 482) Dworkin clearly is not only extremely against pornography but cannot or chooses not to separate pornography from rape, and does not separate nudes in any medium, from the much more raw and socially questionable if not unacceptable types of pornography that are part of the current culture. However, Dworkin does bring up some interesting facts such as the word ‘pornography’ itself was derived from the ancient Greek porne and graphos, meaning “writing about whores,’ which implies that pornography tells us not only that pornography has existed for centuries but that the general disapproval of society at no doubt varying levels has seemingly always accompanied it. Yet the very definition she uses also seemingly limits pornography to writings, something that Dworkin herself chooses not to mention.

Quoting Dworkin ‘In ancient Greece, the porne was the lowest class of whore, the brothel slut. The porne was the cheapest, least regarded, and least protected of all women, including slaves.’ This made me wonder if that has always been the case, were those women depicted sexually regardless of the medium always considered to be the lowest of the low? Does this standard only apply to those depicted, and not the artists wh...


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...of Porn Or The Porn Of Art: A Look At Sex In Modern Art. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Live India. (n.d.) Temples of Love – Khajuraho. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.
Muhammad Ibn Adam, Shaykh (n.d.).Is it wrong to Learn about Matters that are of a Sexual Nature? Central Mosque. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
Pappas, Stephanie. (2010). The History of Pornography No More Prudish Than the Present. Web 13 Nov 2013.
"pornography". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2013
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