Critical Issue Analysis: Pornography

Essay by RectifierCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2004

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Critical Issue Analysis: Pornography

In numerous ways and forms pornography is allowing our country to take a second glance and ask ourselves how far we are prepared to go and what we are willing to sacrifice in order to defend free speech and our rights to personal choice. The quarrel over pornography is not simply the question over right or wrong, but also involves the speculation that its survival requires, or possibly even causes, an inequality between men and women. When women are the major contributors to the industry, how could something like pornography cause a disparity between men and women? It would appear that since women are enthusiastically contributing to the business of pornography maybe they should be criticized at least uniformly, if not more so, then the men who watch it.

We all have our own views of what is and is not measured as obscene. Theoretically, a work has to be an insulting portrayal of materials prohibited by state statute and appeal to the erotic curiosity to be obscene.

It also has to be short of serious artistic, literary, political, social, or scientific worth. A work meeting these criteria is regarded as obscene.

In an article written by Donna A. Demac, the account of pornography, censorship, obscenity, and the constitutional rights of the people are conveyed with a particularly moderate outlook. Demac's piece gives an intellectual summary as to the events of various political parties, activists, and groups that have fought for and against some of the issues concerning pornography. The most prejudiced and traditional of the authors included is Catherine MacKinnon. She touches on the idea that there is a great deal of resemblance between slavery and pornography. Her editorial, Pornography, Civil Rights and Speech, states "the harm of pornography does not lie in the...