.. 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.
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.