A response to an anti-Pornography Article
A response to the Article 'Lets put Pornography Back in the Closet by Susan Brownmiller."
Susan Brownmiller, the author of the chapter: “Lets put Pornography back in the closet” believes that pornography is by its nature obscene, detrimental to women, and has nothing to do with free speech and the first amendment. She feels that pornography amounts to profiteering off hatred of women. That its purpose is to humiliate and degrade females for the purposes of erotic stimulation.
Essentially she wants to ban pornography because she doesn’t like it.
She makes valid points. Pornography very well may lead to men seeing women as little more then sex objects, disposable and worthless for any activity other than sex. Exploiting a human being for there worth as a sex object may also indeed be morally reprehensible.
But the courts do not only allow what we deem to be morally okay to be published. The right to express oneself in an artistic form far outweighs the personal objection of one woman. The fallacy that because one does not approve of something that they then have the right to force their opinion on others is one that any principled upholder of the law must recognize.
For instance lets take Ms. Brownmiller’s argument and apply it to Pokemon cards. Suppose I wrote an eloquent and well thought out critique of Pokemon cards and its detrimental effect on the youth of America. I may make an impassioned case that the trading and collecting of Pokemon cards, both teaches that rampant consumerism and the trading of essentially worthless goods is a good and desirable thing, is a lesson that should not so forthrightly be marketed to our impressionable kids. Now the issue of pornography may not be as frivolous as the example I put forward I believe the comparison holds. I may make an excellent case that Pokemon cards harm our nations youth. I may in fact truly believe this. However it is still just my opinion and I would have no right, legally or morally, to force my view on anyone else. I may not like it and I may be absolutely correct but still, if the kids want Pokemon cards they should be able to acquire them through legal means. The courts may be able to rule on what types of Pokemon cards can be bought and sold, but they cannot outright ban them based on an individual or even a dedicated group of individuals, who simply feel that they ought not be distributed. It wouldn’t be right and it wouldn’t be fair.
It’s a glaring example of the type of moral absolutism that self righteous fanatics use to try and enforce their personal codes of conduct on what they seem to think are the ignorant masses. They may think it’s for the good of society and that their trying to improve the world they live in. Banning things that cannot be proved to be directly responsible for any harm is just the form tyranny takes when its being pushed forth by the moral crusader. They want to take the choice away from the individual and create an environment they consider to be safer and more conducive to peace, or in this case the respecting of women. The author points to acts such as torture, rape and bondage as examples of why pornography must be kept out of sight. Ignoring the obvious fact that its not only women who are depicted in these videos, she missteps when she forgets to examine the reason that these things exist. Somebody wants to see it. No matter how strange, disgusting or flat out bizarre some of things pornographers film there is apparently somebody out there who is the market for it. If you wish to rid society of these things you have to get to the root of why someone would want to see or engage in these activities, not simply put a strangle hold on the industry that fills this need. It will drive the pornographers underground and any time something goes underground and falls farther from the eye of official or public scrutiny it gets worse.
So in conclusion I think Ms. Brownmiller should mind her own business, stop trying to be the moral police for a vastly diverse group such as the human race and just not look at porn if it bothers her so much.