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Pornography

.. s abuse. “We see boys imitating pornography. We see the average age of rapists going down. We are beginning to see gang rapes in elementary schools committed by elementary school age boys imitating pornography.” (Stan p, 28) The number of rapes and the age at which rapes are committed might be positively correlated with the amount of pornography out there. Nevertheless, in my opinion, this correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

I do not feel that pornography itself leads men, boys, or others to rape and sexually violate women. I feel that it is the ways in which pornography is so easily assessable, and the way young boys are taught to look at it. There is also the question of how pornography has become so readily available to people of all ages, via the Internet, television, and paper publications. I fee l that there should be a better way to monitor those that view these images. These images are intended for adults and not boys in elementary schools. At the same time, it is hard to constantly keep tabs on who sees pornography.

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One huge reason for this problem is evidently the Internet. There is virtually no way to ensure that people under the age of 18 do not view pornography. I went on the Internet to further research the availability of pornography, and what I was faced with on every web site was a question, “Are you over the age of 18?” A 12-year old boy can then easily proceed to click on the “yes” button and then be surrounded by pictures of naked girls and other pornographic material. I feel that parents should better scrutinize they young child’s use of the Internet to ensure that this material is not being taken into their homes. Furthermore, I feel that young people should be educated on the issue of pornography, as far as rape and sexual aggression are concerned. Most importantly, they should be taught that pornography is not real.

Like movies, pornography is acting a sexual variety of role-playing in which both women and men agree to the terms before they leap. Andrea Dworkin argues, “Pornography creates bigotry and hostility and aggression toward all women, targets all women, without exception.” (Stan, 34) I would have to disagree with this statement because it is not pornography that promotes the violence, it is the people that are uneducated about the issues of violence that watch these movies and take them out of context. If there were no exception as she says, then taking away pornography would be the clear way of ending rape and sexual violence. Unfortunately, the issue is not black and white. There is a gray area, and the honest truth is that without pornography, unfortunately, there would still be rape, and sexual violence. Ellen Willis can sum up this idea best with a quote: Part of the argument is that pornography causes violence; much is made of the fact that Charles Manson and David Berkowitz had porn collections.

This is the sort of inverted logic that presumes marijuana to be dangerous because most heroin addicts started with it. It is men’s hostility toward women-combined with their power to express that hostility and for the most part get away with it-that causes sexual violence. Pornography that gives sadistic fantasies concrete shape-and in today’s atmosphere social legitimacy-may well encourage suggestible men to act them out. But if Hustler were to vanish from the shelves tomorrow, I doubt that rape or wife-beating statistics would decline. (Stan p.43) A major characteristic of pornography is the issue of sexism.

Does Pornography promote sexism? Is pornography sexist itself? To these questions I would have to answer “yes”. I feel that pornography is sexist. However, I also feel that it does serve a purples in society and should not be gotten rid of, it should only be changed. There are quite a few functions that pornography serves in society. It allows people to express their sexual desired and it allows people to get in touch with their innermost fantasies.

I view pornography as a banishment of humility. It allows people to see that there are others that enjoy doing what they are doing. It can make one feel as if they are not alone in their sexual experimentations. A person might have certain sexual acts that bring them pleasure, and I feel that by seeing it portrayed in pornography, they might feel more open to a greater extent of experimentation that could possibly bring them to achieve a better orgasm, or relationship with their partner. As stated by Ellen Willis, “If feminists define pornography per se as the enemy, the result will be to make a lot of women ashamed of their sexual feelings and afraid to be honest about them.

And the last thing women need is more sexual shame, guilt, and hypocrisy-this time served up as feminism” (Stan, p.43). To put a ban on pornography portraying S would be to make people who enjoy S ashamed. To put a ban on pornography that shows fetishism would just make people who enjoy it embarrassed. To put a ban on pornography depicting homosexuality would make them feel guilty as well. To put a ban on pornography in general would only send a message to everyone that sex is something not to provide enjoyment and pleasure, but to provide shame and guilt.

For this reason, pornography plays a role in our society and serves the important purpose of sexual openness and awareness. We are still faced with the issue of sexism. Is pornography just for men, or can women take joy in it too? In many pornographic films, I would have to say that women are shown as the lesser of the two sexes. This ties back with the issue of censorship within pornography. Pornography is sexist, and in ways it does encourage sexism, but the seed is already planted.

Banning pornography is not the way to end sexism. To end sexism we must start at the root of pornography. If pornography showed equality between women’s and men’s sexual feelings, desires, wants, and needs, then people would not be so quick to blame the porn industry for the unjustness in equality we see between men and women. What it comes down to is that, if a person says that pornography promotes sexism and inequality, and then they should just as easily not hesitate to point to the bible and say that the story of Adam and Eve is sexist as well. But blaming pictures, and other things is not the way to end the controversy.

For if these “sexist” movies, books, pictures, and stories are being produced, then the problem is not with the movies, books, etc. It is obvious that the problem is already out there, and is just being reinforced by these objects. To me, pornography is a way of sexual expression. I am not ashamed to say that I do find some quite erotic, for its goal is to arouse people, entice, and make them less inhibited of their sexual feelings. Pornography is a great way to show people that there are others out there that also enjoy sex, and as many different types of sex one can comprehend.

Like most things in this world, pornography has its anomalies, but if we all work together we can work at the imperfections and improve on them. I have this quote that is on my web page, and I am a firm believer in it, “A world of perfection would be boring.” Human Sexuality.

Pornography

Pornography Pornography is a social problem and is a commodity brought into existence by certain characteristics of a highly developed civilization. The problem with Pornography is that any form of censorship or suppression cannot solve it. These Aggressive methods would merely aggravate the disease and create other deplorable consequences. Prevention is better than cure, and by diagnosing the psychological motives of those who consume pornography, we may be able to change the instincts involved (McCune, 1985). In pornography a visual or verbal image acts as a direct stimulus to the erotic drives or impulses, which are always latent and ready to be stimulated in normal people (McCune 1985: 13).

Television perhaps more than any other medium, is the average persons first glimpse at pornography. It invades your home through regular programming, cable and videos. A large part of this pornographic blitz pairs sexual pleasure with violence and develops the concept that women are expendable (McCune,1985, 18). There are countless plots on television dealing with rape, murder, kidnapping, and beatings. All of this done to the leading man’s wife or girlfriend and has become the rule. Similarly, pornography in movies has become common entertainment.

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These movies leave little to the imagination and exhibit the most violent scenes of bondage, rape, and mutilation. The ultimate being the so-called snuff films where the victim is killed at the culmination of the abusers sexual release. Your telephone has also become a vehicle for pornography through the infamous 900 numbers. Business was so good for these pay per call services in 1991 that sales reached a record $975 million. Dial-a-Porn has flourished as teens and children joined adults on instant phone sex. Social Issues.

Pornography

Feminist positions on pornography currently break down into three rough
categories. The most common one is that pornography is an expression of
male culture through which women are commodified and exploited. A second
view, the liberal position, combines a respect for free speech with the
principle “a woman’s body, a woman’s right” and thus produces a defense of
pornography along the lines of, “I don’t approve of it, but everyone has
the right to consume or produce words and images.” A third view, a true
defense of pornography, arises from feminists who have been labeled “pro-
sex” and who argue that porn may even have benefits for women.

Little dialogue occurs between the three positions. Anti-pornography
feminists treat women who disagree as either brainwashed dupes of
patriarchy or as apologists for pornographers. The liberal feminists who
are personally uncomfortable with pornography tend to be intimidated into
silence.”Pro-sex” feminists, at least in my quick research, often respond
with anger, rather than arguments.

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The most common argument against pornography is that it is degrading to
women. Degrading is a subjective term. I find commercials in which women
become orgasmic over soapsuds to be tremendously degrading. The bottom line
is that every woman has the right to define what is degrading and
liberating for herself.

The assumed degradation is often linked to the “objectification” of women:
that is, porn converts them into sexual objects. What does this mean? If
taken literally, it means nothing because objects don’t have sexuality;
only beings do. But to say that porn portrays women as “sexual beings”
makes for poor rhetoric. Usually, the term sex objects means showing women
as body parts, reducing them to physical objects. What is wrong with this?
Women are as much their bodies as they are their minds or souls. No one
gets upset if you present women as “brains” or as spiritual beings. If I
concentrated on a woman’s sense of humor to the exclusion of her other
characteristics, is this degrading? Why is it degrading to focus on her
sexuality?
Another anti-porn argument is that pornography leads to violence against
women. A cause-and-effect relationship is drawn between men viewing
pornography and men attacking women, especially in the form of rape.

Studies, such as the one prepared by feminist Thelma McCormick in 1983 for
the Metropolitan Toronto Task Force on Violence Against Women, find no
pattern to connect porn and sex crimes. Incredibly, the Task Force
suppressed the study and reassigned the project to a pro-censorship male,
who returned the “correct” results. His study was published. What of real-
world feedback? In Japan, where pornography depicting graphic and brutal
violence is widely available, rape is much lower per capita than in the
United States, where violence in porn is severely restricted.

Longino went as far as saying that pornography is violence because women
are coerced into pornography. I do not dismiss reports of violence, every
industry has its abuses, and anyone who uses force or threats to make a
woman perform should be charged with kidnapping, assault, and/or rape. Any
such pictures or films should be confiscated and burned because no one has
the right to benefit from the proceeds of a crime. However, throughout my
research I could not find a single story of a woman being coerced into it.

Helen even suggested that pornography is violence because women who pose
for porn are so traumatized by patriarchy they cannot give real consent.

Although women in pornography appear to be willing, anti-porn feminists
know that no psychologically healthy woman would agree to the degradation
of pornography. Therefore, if agreement seems to be present, it is because
the women have “fallen in love with their own oppression” and must be
rescued from themselves. If such a woman declares her enjoyment in
flaunting her body, anti-porn feminists claim she is not merely a unique
human being who reacts from a different background or personality. She is
psychologically damaged and no longer responsible for her actions. In
essence, this is a denial of a woman’s right to choose anything outside the
narrow corridor of choices offered by political and sexual correctness. The
right to choose hinges on the right to make a “wrong” choice, just as
freedom of religion entails the right to be an atheist. After all, no one
will prevent a woman from doing what she thinks she should do.

In my libertarian opinion, “a woman’s body, a woman’s right.” This should
apply not only to pornography, but to every peaceful activity a woman
chooses to engage in. The law should come into play only when a woman
initiates force or has force initiated against her.

Pornography allows women to enjoy scenes and situations that would be taboo
to them in real life. Take, for example, one of the most common fantasies
reported by women — the fantasy of “being taken.” The first thing to
understand is that a rape fantasy does not represent a desire for the real
thing. Why would a healthy woman daydream about being raped? Perhaps by
losing control, she also sheds all sense of responsibility for and guilt
over sex. Perhaps it is the exact opposite of the polite, gentle sex she
has now. Perhaps it is flattering to imagine a particular man being so
overwhelmed by her that he must have her. Perhaps she is curious. Perhaps
she has some masochistic feelings that are vented through the fantasy. Is
it better to bottle them up?
Pornography breaks cultural and political stereotypes, so that each woman
can interpret sex for herself. Anti-feminists tell women to be ashamed of
their appetites and urges. Pornography tells them to accept and enjoy them,
and therefore can be good therapy. Pornography provides a sexual outlet for
those who, for whatever reason, have no sexual partner. Perhaps they are
away from home, recently widowed, isolated because of infirmity. Perhaps
they simply choose to be alone. Couples also use pornography to enhance
their relationship. Sometimes they do so on their own, watching videos and
exploring their reactions together. Sometimes, the couples go to a sex
therapist who advises them to use pornography as a way of opening up
communication about sex. By sharing pornography, the couples are able to
experience variety in their sex lives without having to commit adultery.

Pornography benefits women politically in many ways. Historically,
pornography and feminism have been fellow travelers and natural allies.

Although it is not possible to draw a cause-and-effect relationship between
the rise of pornography and that of feminism, they both demand the same
social conditions – namely, sexual freedom.

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