Pornography's Hold Over Women Essay

2867 words - 11 pages

There exists a fundamental difference between men and women, which has nothing to do with education, class status, or even the existence or lack of a penis - the difference is that men are (generally) physically larger than women. Couple this understanding with the realization that men are capable of raping women, of using their size as a weapon and one may begin to comprehend the restrictions and fears that women are faced with on a daily basis. It is a fear that men can only imagine until they care strongly enough for or understand the apprehensions of a girlfriend, wife, mother or daughter. The fear of walking alone at night has nothing to do with the darkness or loneliness, but rather what lurks in the shadows. It is arguable that my inability to travel safely across campus at night infringes on my liberty rights. Add to this restriction the very real world experience of pornography - a medium, which promotes the sexual subordination of women, and the fear increases. In the words of Gloria Steinem, "Pornography is to females what Nazi literature is to Jews and Klan propaganda is to Blacks." The following is my take on the issues of rights, power and harms with regards to the pornography industry.RightsBalancing the rights of individuals in society requires that we look at liberty rights through the principle of freedom of expression as well as the equality rights, which are insured by imposing limits on freedoms of expression. "Rights are valuable for the interests they protect and promote. Expressive rights are valuable because freedom of expression is intimately connected to two kinds of interests: some of our most basic interests as individuals and as citizens - recognition, self-respect, political participation, empowerment, and the like - and equally important social interests, including the search for truth, diversity of forms of life, artistic experimentation, and the effective functioning of democratic government." With respect to the expression of pornography, the question of who's interests are being protected and promoted is extremely relevant. The pornography industry caters primarily to men. It is, with men in mind that directors produce pornography films as is evidenced by the lack of attractive men and the abundance of beautiful young women in such films. The message - young, attractive women are eagerly receptive to any man, regardless of what he looks like. To break down the issues of our basic interests - recognition is achieved through pornography the trouble is that women are being identified merely as objects for men's sexual gratification. The values of self-respect, political participation and empowerment have no place in a form of expression that advances the mistreatment of women. As far as social interests are concerned, there are often criminal offences that are being committed as well as portrayed in pornography. Pornography can take on many different forms. From magazines and erotic literature to actual rape,...

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