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Pornography And Feminism Essay

3019 words - 12 pages

Pornography has always existed in one form or another since the beginning of civilization. It has been something that has been people fetish, desired, and devoured by a half of the population that find eroticism through the viewing of another?s pleasure. Today some argue that pornography has been reformed and is forever mutating to encompass domains of sexuality that have never before been permitted into our conservative public sphere and may even generate positive benefits. On the other end of the spectrum some maintain the belief that pornography is an entity that has existed only to serve male supremacy as a tool in the domination and suppression of women.Though it may appear irrational, both of these conflicting opinions surrounding pornography are beliefs enforced by well-known and respected feminists. In this essay I will attempt to present arguments from both sides of the spectrum through the persuasive essays of Catherine MacKinnon and Sallie Tisdale as well as proposing my ideal that pornography is not something that one can hope will ever fade into a non existent practice, but rather something that should be embraced because having even deceiving and flawed images of sexuality is more beneficial than a society that condemns all intimate and erotic images. Pornography is a woman?s issue, a societal issue, and an issue of an extreme power imbalance. I propose that pornography has the capacity to liberate women from many embedded stereotypes in sexuality through new types of pornography that would display women in more realistic manner, and display them as in control of their own sexuality.?One can be for or against this pornography without getting beyond liberalism? (MacKinnon, CP 314). Catherine MacKinnon supports the conviction that pornography has stemmed from a patriarchal society whereby taking, the unfair, advantage of the First Amendment doctrine and claiming freedom of expression, men have been legally able to produce sexual material that present women as powerless objects created for the domination and pleasure of the male population. In these lines MacKinnon exemplifies the relationship of the laws instituted concerning obscenity and political power to gender inequality in the domain of pornography. ??First Amendment doctrine, has made the indistinguishability of the pornographers? speech credible, appealing, necessary, inevitable, principled. To expose the absence of a critique of gender in this area of law is to expose the enforced silence of women and the limits of liberalism? (MacKinnon, CP 313). MacKinnon attempts to expose the hypocritical tendencies of the First Amendment by demonstrating that the freedom of expression given to men in relation to pornography is at the same time denying and suppressing the liberation of women. MacKinnon emphasizes the fact that the women who are portrayed in pornographic materials are real flesh and blood women to whom something physically real is being done. ?Pornography can invent women...

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