Censorship Essay No Need To Censor Pornography

1370 words - 5 pages

No Need to Censor Pornography

    Pornography is often considered an ugly word and possibly an ugly act. The pictures and words of pornography can be vulgar and degrading to many of us, but is it the evil of all things? Is it, and it alone, responsible for sexism, rape, racism, battery, and child abuse? No! The media is loaded with many sexist, racist, violent material, and most of it is not considered pornography. The issue of violence and oppression is much deeper than pornography. Most people are not in favor of pornography; however, the public should not be in favor of censoring pornography. Freedom of speech is more logical than censorship because of the lack of a definition of pornography, individual rights and the claim that pornography causes violence against women.


First of all, in order to censor something you need to define it. One of censorship's biggest supporters is Andrea Dworkin. Dworkin's definitions is, "It [pornography] means the graphic depiction of women as vile whores"(168). This definition, is very broad. Wnat constitutes a whore? Does what a woman wear make her a whore? Does the way she dances make her a whore? Do sexual acts make her a whore? I have heard the word whore used to describe women in all of these examples. The next part of the definition is "...the graphic depiction of women as vile whores" . What is a graphic depiction of a whore? Is it a woman scantily dressed, dancing provocat lively? Is it a woman in black leather with whips and chains on a music video? Maybe it is a work of art such as Manet's painting Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe. There is no definite answer to these questions. Ones idea of pornography could be another's idea of art. There is no specific definition that tells us what is to be censored and what is not. Censoring has no end. This allows for a censoring downpour of art, literature, music, sex education and much more. Freedom of speech; on the other hand, is vital for discussion of pornography. Willis states that, "Pornography-which, my dictionary and I agree7 means any image or description intended or used to arouse sexual desire..."(182). This definition of pornography is very different from Dworkin's previously stated definition. Who's definition is correct? An individual or group may not agree with either definition, but they should not be restricted from expressing their own definition because they have that freedom. If censorship of pomography were in place, the courts would decide for evetyone how pornography is defined regardless of individual opinions. It only makes sense that freedom of speech be protected otherwise individual beliefs or definitions will be suppressed. Freedom of speech is logical to have in place if for no other reason than the definition or the lack of a definition for pornography.


Another issue in this controversy is individual rights. Women's interests are at the top of the list. McEntee suggests, "Studies indicate that porn addicts are...

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