A discussion on pornography and censorship

The fact, if it is one, that the majority of people in a society prefer that pornography be banned because they regard it as immoral or offensive is not a legitimate reason for interfering with pornographers' freedom of speech or for preventing consenting adults from consuming it in private.

I believe that we need to draw a line and pornography is where I draw my line. So if lesbian erotica is presented with sensitivity, then I must say that yes, it's OK. They have not gained much that I can see. ONE of the reasons it will remain a problem is that obscenity is not merely about sex, any more than science fiction is about science. In these cases, MacKinnon claims, specific pornography directly causes the sexual assault: the rapist would not have raped in the particular way he did, had he not consumed the specific piece of pornography on which he modelled the rape. Georgina: I come from what I would define as a lesbian feminist position, and for me that is about demanding a world in which the integrity of all women, not just a chosen few, shall be honoured in every aspect of culture. Pip: It would be nice if we lived in such an uncomplicated world that you could just make a rule and say, "We don't like these images so they are not going to appear". It doesn't simply happen at home in relationships, although many women are subjected to that, but also in their daily lives on a whole range of levels, from unequal pay to not getting promotions that they justly deserve. Censorship, they think, may well cause more harm to women than it removes. Censorship only creates an interest in what is censored. What about the claim that pornography violates women's right to freedom of speech? Read it here. Inevitably, perfectly infantile way, that it was all his mother's fault. You almost have to look at it anthropologically, in that you have to see certain sexual practices within the context of their sexual culture. For of course feminists are opposed to anything that subordinates or oppresses women.

Second, pornography creates a social climate in which, even where women do speak, their opinions are frequently paid little serious attention-especially where what women say contradicts the picture of women contained in pornography. It is a principle that continues to provide the dominant liberal framework for the debate over pornography and censorship.

A discussion on pornography and censorship

For Mill, the individual person is in the best position to judge what is in his or her own best interests; and, even if individuals may sometimes make bad choices, it is better in general that they be left free to make these mistakes. There may thus be a theoretical reason to conceive of pornography more broadly than simply sexually explicit material that is bad in a certain way, or perhaps simply to invent a new term that captures the theoretically interesting kind.

By authorizing and legitimating the subjection of women, pornography makes the very real harm of women's subordination invisible as harm: rape, harassment and other forms of oppression come to be seen simply as sex. Representations of violence are different to actual violence, even though they may reflect reality at different points in peoples lives.

Some of the images I find in mainstream films, books and videos are often more disturbing and offensive than the images I have seen in pornography. Also, in this age of global communications and mass media it is impossible to have global censorship laws that are going to stop the marketing of images and sexist representations of women. For liberals take freedom of expression to be an especially important right that takes precedence over most other rights and interests including equality should they ever conflict. We have no problem in contrast ing repressive laws governing alcohol and drugs and to bacco with laws regulating i. Or, to put it more precisely: in this version of democracy, the people took some care not to let themselves be governed by the more infantile and ir rational parts of themselves. There is no evidence whatsoever that minors would be harmed by seeing sexually explicit expression, let alone by the sight of a nude sculpture. What is your response to the libertarian position that we shouldn't have censorship because there should be freedom of speech? When we say pornography, people immediately think of violence, or they think of hideous things like kiddie porn, snuff movies and rape, whereas the reality is that most pornography is non-violent erotica that shows nudity or sexual activity between consenting adults, and what makes it pornography is that it is very explicit. If the speech causes sufficiently great harm to others then the state may have a legitimate interest in regulating or preventing it. My concern is that men and boys who view pornography become desensitised to the repulsion of rape and its humiliation to women. Women are subject to violence in some relationships, in the street and elsewhere. Pornography might be defined, not as sexually explicit material that is obscene, but as that sexually explicit material that harms women.

She also, at her own expense, purchased a replacement set for the library. See MacKinnon ; Sunstein ; Scoccia Joel Feinberg, another well-known liberal defender of pornography, agrees. This is not a new development: Notwithstanding the fact that, historically, the nude has been one of the central subjects of art, it has been subjected to regular censorship attempts.

BEING frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters in life begin when you get what you want.

censorship and obscenity

Of course, how this version of the harm principle applies depends crucially on the nature and relative importance of the rights that individuals have; and this is the subject of much ongoing debate.

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Should pornography be censored?