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A response to an anti-Pornography Article

Updated on April 21, 2011

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.


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    • profile image

      Romeo 3 years ago

      That damn Dirk is having tiankg too much space in this comic. Where are the other three white ferris-wheel's friends, specifically the maid (or maybe Trap Maid )?

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 5 years ago

      In reading your well-written article and the accompanying responses, I would just like to say that pornography should not be considered a "freedom of speech". It should, however, be considered indecent and depraved.

      Having the right to take off one's clothes or have sex in front of a camera should not be protected by any legislation or constitutional ammendment. I do not care if 5 out of 9 black robes in Washington D.C. said it's okay, because this is the same group that said it's also okay to kill 50,000,000 babies over the next 40 years since Roe-v-Wade. Just because the Supreme Court says it's legal, doesn't mean it's moral, decent, good, or right.

      Now the same courts that say the 10 Commandments are offensive in the courtrooms across America, are quick to give pornography the thumbs-up and green light to continue, somehow finding protection for it under the first ammendment ("free speech").

      Secondly, I do not think women are exploited sexually, at least not in America. I think American women wholeheartedly embrace the freedom of sexual expression and have found their niche in the smut industry.

      As soon as the economy hit the skids about 4 years ago, it was America's women that flooded the "skin" industry looking to make more money. No one forced them to do it...they did it under their own free-will and the decision to prostitute their dignity and morality in order to make more money was a "no brainer" for most of these women.

      Of course women are very quick to say that men force them to take off their clothes, because they are offered money to do so, and in the same breath they blame market forces for forcing them to derobe in magazines, strip clubs, and in porn films. The only source they do not blame for their licentious behavior is themselves. But, I suspect it has always been this way and it will always be this way.

      Peace out - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • snigdhal profile image

      snigdhal 5 years ago from hyderabad - India

      It is next to impossible to judge where the line between personal choice of consenting adults ends exploitation begins. Individual psyche and the environment in which it has been conditioned is what dictates most actions of men and women. Having said that and not being a sex offender , I cant really say if the availability of pornography of a wide range somehow feeds the sickness of the minds of people susceptible to criminal activity . So maybe the solution lies in evaluating the probability of individuals to commit such a deed with or without pornography .

      I am not against pornography as a rule but maybe the laws surrounding it should be a little more stringent to promote healthier views on sex atleast among malleable minds like those of children .

    • DanielBing1 profile image

      DanielBing1 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      I just think banning pornography, even violent pornography is like treating one symptom of cancer and ignoring the root cause. I agree that much of what is out there is disgusting and morally indefensible. But this is just my own point of view and I would never attempt to legislate my own personal morality and impose it on those who don't share my views. Obviously there are some things we can all agree on. Murder, rape, robbery, etc are a good example. But legislating those things goes beyond morality and would cause a fundamental breakdown of society if left unchecked. Trying to make a law that restricts consenting adults from practicing what ever sort of non-lethal sexual activity they wish goes beyond that boundary and becomes a privacy issue. In my opinion of course.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 6 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      hmmm...agree with some of your points, they are valid, but at the same time it still does exploit women & children. I guess it is the eyes of the beholder, but children as well get a hold of it on the internet, learn from it as all children did back in the day with no internet. Sex and Porn are the number on sellers on the internet. That is basically why virtual worlds allow, and other millions of sites for writers, artists etc. There is a difference in art forms, you can go to an art museum and it displays the naked and nude body as something pure and beautiful, where you open some porn magazines, books, media, and its just exploiting to make a profit off someone, depends on the artist, and the writer, the motivation behind it. There is all kinds of things most people don't even want to know about out there, fortunately there is nothing you can do about it. As long as society makes it a number on seller, that is what is out there. Fortunately even though I think some ways it does exploit our children and women, as a social worker I under stand the psychological effects, as well as the social effects. It comes down to basically what people use it for to harm others or be harmless. Think people are more concerned when it harms others depending on what you are viewing, what it teaches, and what kind of message it sends out there. Also depends on the person and what they are exactly teaching the next generation. There are people that think that is love, and how to treat a women. Fortunately being on the internet the last year having guys hit on me some of them infesting their mind with this stuff, it really does offend you, because I am not a peice of meat. They think that it is ok to go around trying to act out these sexual acts they see, push it on women, and if you have morals or values, they just down right call you a prude. Well why should I give into them, or any other women. What is the necessity of having voice sex, acting out bondage, porn crap to boost up someone elses ego, and fortunately the stuff this women probably doesn't even know about is very sick. Some of it is controlling and manipulating. Some of it is harmful where people suffocate die, they are inflicting pain on one another because of their own psychological problems. Fortunately it's just not about the freedom of expression. Express yourself! But don't allow it to harm others psychologically, and physically!