Topic: Family, Life & ExperiencesParenting

Last updated: March 17, 2019

Virgilia MaasSeptember 9, 2018College Writing IIWeek 2 Writing Assignment In “A First Amendment Junkie” by Susan Jacoby she shines a different light on some issues with censorship and pornography. Jacoby makes it clear from the very beginning that she is a feminist, but she is at conflict with other feminists.

Jacoby states that feminists believe pornography effects women more than anyone else, which may be true considering it is mostly women’s bodies being used in such, so they’d like to censor pornography. Although this may be true, in order for other groups to back this argument, they need to be involved in it. Jacoby argues against the censorship of pornography that other feminists are in support of. She opposes this because of the First Amendment. Jacoby, unlike her fellow feminists, argues that pornography is not the most offensive form of freedom of speech. Jacoby then brings attention to the issue of you children being exposed to pornography via television. She says that this is an issue of parenting not the government. Censorship should be dealt with by the parent of children, or uncomfortable individuals, not the federal government.

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Susan Brownmiller’s essay “Let’s Put Pornography Back in the Closet” showcases her (feminist) view on pornography. Brownmiller argues that the first amendment has not only allowed for freedom of speech, but it has also allowed for women to be viewed as only sexual objects. In her eyes, our right to freedom of speech is not being abused. Brownmiller makes it clear that she doesn’t have an issue with all pornography or censorship, only those that degrade women. She believes that all pornographic material that degrades women should essentially be banned from the public eye. Brownmiller’s whole argument in this writing is based around the idea that pornography degrades, dehumanizes, and humiliates women. I have to say that I agree with Jacoby’s argument more so than I do with Brownmiller’s, although I understand where both are coming from.

Jacoby’s argument that pornography shouldn’t be censored by anyone other than the viewer, to me, is a valid one. Some things that one person might find offensive another may have no problem with. Why should all pornography be censored only for the comfort of people who are made uncomfortable by it? If someone is uncomfortable or displeased by what they are seeing they have several options to redirect their attention to something else. As for children, it is not the government’s responsibility to censor pornography from every child’s eyes-that’s the parents job.

When it comes to Brownmiller’s argument I don’t think it’s as valid. I do agree that some forms of pornography are extremely degrading and dehumanizing for women. But at the same time, some forms of pornography are not degrading and dehumanizing.

Instead they are admired and somewhat worshiped. I don’t think it’s fair to say that ALL forms of pornography are offensive to women.


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