When talking about freedom of speech and censorship, it is important to look at them within the discourses of power: the power to impose views, opinions and ideologies, the power to speak, and the power to silence. When socially privileged individuals are challenged about their right to speak, they vehemently defend freedom of speech. Power differences are ignored, who has power and who doesn’t. In regards to this matter, I will argue that pornography should be censored and socially and legally controlled, due to its immoral content which harms women and violates their right to free speech.
After reading “Let’s Put Pornography Back in the Closet” by Susan Brownmiller, my opinion regarding the censorship of pornography has not changed. Although her essay was very forthright and descriptive, it seemed very biased.
Debates regarding whether or not a work that is deemed to be pornographic should be censored and publicly funded typically depend on controversial claims about various definitions of pornography and guidelines for censoring and public funding. In this paper, I proceed to offer a general description of pornography using specific examples. I then develop an argument in support for public censorship of work’s which relate to pornography. Finally, based on my definition of pornography and support for censorship, I concluded the paper arguing how public funding should not be granted for works depicting pornography.
“Pornography comes from the Greek root porne (harlot, prostitute, or female captive) and graphos (writing about or description of)” (Buchwald 35). Already the word pornography has a negative connotation towards women condemning women of porn to a submissive or exploited role. The pornography industry is predominantly a male owned and run business, hence the male perspectives portrayed versus the female perspectives portrayed in pornography. There is a lack of women, in the controlling ranks of the porn industry, calling the shots; this could be one possible contributor to the majority of pornography having content that belittles women in subtle even in blatantly purposeful ways apparent to any audience member. “In short, pornography is not about sex. It’s about an imbalance of power that allows and even requires sex to be used as a form of aggression” (Buchwald 31).
1. Describe at least three key radical feminist arguments used to justify eradication of pornography, and the research supporting or refuting these arguments. Three key arguments radical feminist have to eradicate pornography are the objectification of women, male domination, and sexual violence toward women. Research shows that pornography is directed to the gaze and satisfaction of men while women actors are the ones being dominated and degraded.
... sexual and violent content should not be censored to any extent because censorship impedes societal progress by giving opportunity to hidden agendas and creating unnecessary boundaries for the film industry.
Snigdha Suvarna Mrs. Szachta English 10 Honors 23 May 2014 The Benefits of Censorship Censorship is a major controversial topic in our society and brings up many political and moral arguments. The main debate that everyone argues and discusses on is whether censorship is morally and politically correct.
Like with everything else, pornography is divided into two sides. Feminists who favor pornography argues that “pornography can be liberating for women, as they explore their own sexual desire and pleasure, and take control of their sexuality, helping them to become autonomous members of liberal society” (Module #4, Lecture #9, slide 27), while its counterpart claims “pornography reproduces and reinforces patriarchy and women’s subordination, objectifying women’s bodies outside of their sexuality, denying women their humanity by degrading and dehumanizing them in the acts depicted in pornography” (Module #4, Lecture #9, slide 28). As how it was grouped in the PowerPoint, our writers for this week have also picked their sides.
Pornography is further defined as including þthe use of men, children, and transsexuals in the place of women.þ It is also said somewhat cryptically that þthe definition does not include all sexually explicit depictions of the subordination of women. Now that we have a greater understanding at the true meaning of pornography, we should look at the radical feminist view on the harm that pornography can cause. Once again the highly acclaimed feminist lawyer Catharine MacKinnon says:
...pornography often objectify women and force them into submissive positions in movies and society. But pornography has a detrimental affect on men as well, in that it “hurts men’s capacity to relate to women” (189). Generally, men consider it is better to have power, and do not recognize the need for men and women to work together. Pornography is one of the largest obstacles that prevents men from seeing this truth, and the practice should be banned. Even according to MacKinnon’s definition of pornography, sexually explicit material could remain legal if it portrayed both sexes equally. However, this can not happen until men and women are equal in society. If this is accomplished, the male need to view pornography would drastically decrease. Women could become part of the power structure and world on their own terms. Gender equality would be a victory for both sexes.