Pornography and Censorship

By David Copp; Susan Wendell | Go to book overview

SOME REMARKS ON OTHER SORTS OF PORNOGRAPHY

As I mentioned before, there is material we would call pornography that is not included in any of the categories I have been discussing. Much of it depicts women as passive objects for men's sexual desire, and the message it conveys to me is that both women and sex exist for men's pleasure. It seems probable that the prevalence of this sort of pornography has bad effects on women's self-images, on women's and men's repertoires of sexual enjoyment, and on our abilities to interact with responsibility and mutual care. Some of its effects are being studied now;13 but even if social scientists prove that non-coercive pornography is harmful to us in these ways (and possibly others), we should not restrict it. To do so would open the door to unlimited efforts to eliminate by law the influences in society that tend toward results we do not want. If we restricted pornography because of its bad effects on our sexuality and relationships, think what we would have to do to television, to non-pornographic magazines and books, and to some sorts of religious teaching, if we were to be consistent.

If we value freedom of expression at all, we must not allow expression to be restricted unless the harm it does outweighs the harm of restriction and cannot be prevented by other acceptable means (see p. 169). In the case of non-coercive pornography, the harm that restriction would cause includes infringing on the freedom of people who want to have access to pornography, infringing on the freedom of those who want to sell or distribute pornography, creating a repressive enforcement apparatus that would inevitably infringe upon other freedoms and catch harmless expressions of sexuality in its net, and setting a precedent for restriction of all forms of expression which could be shown to cause similar harms. In addition, we have other acceptable means of preventing, or at least mitigating, the harm caused by non-coercive pornography. We can present people with more images, stories, and descriptions of people enjoying sex together as equals, more material that depicts the full range of non-coercive sexual pleasures for women as well as men and presents the possibility of combining intense pleasure with mutual respect and caring. 14 In other words, if non-coercive pornography is harming us, then we need better erotic material to compete with it.


NOTES

I thank David Copp, Don Brown, Lorenne Clark, and Bob Hadley for their very helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

1.
Other feminists have been responsible for changing the focus of the debate over pornography to concern with its portrayal of violence and coercion. See, for example, SusanBrownmiller

-182-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Pornography and Censorship
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 414

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.