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Pornography - Essay Example

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Pornography

Lynne uses his experience as a civil rights campaigner, and his understanding of the constitution, to argue that those who make and use pornography have unalienable constitutional rights. By approaching pornography in this manner, Lynn challenges previous defenses of this subject, who have mainly focused upon aspects of the Freedom of Speech.
Lynn firstly addresses the issue of campaigns by groups attempting to challenge non-pornographic works: "All this is of concern because of the belief that speech, written or visual, has the power to alter (or at least reinforce), perceptionsthus to shape attitudes and in the long run, actions" (Lynn, page 366). Lynn points out that the First amendment prevents such efforts to coerce government into limiting free speech, while admitting that those who believe in free speech also believe in the ability of that speech to change people's minds, or alter their opinions. (Lynn, 366). This, then is Lynn's conception of the battleground between those who wish to ban pornography, and those who believe it should continue to be allowed: do words and images have enough power to permanently affect a person's attitude
Lynn considers the position of certain groups of feminists (Lynn, 366), who have picketed pornographic films; and others which have used civil rights laws to make those who produce or sell pornography uncomfortable about doing so, resulting in a reduction in those making or selling such items. Lynn adds that these laws would include scenarios including those where women are "'presented as sexual objects who enjoy pain or humiliation' to those which depict women in 'posturesof servility or submission or display'". Of course, not all of those images involve women being treated badly, and it is this conception of pornography by those opposed which disturbs many who are not opposed. Lynn states that the definition of pornography is not objective, and that it is as much of a loaded phrases as other anti-pornography words and descriptions.
Lynn does not believe that pornographic images or words are responsible for the behavior of those who make or watch them. In his view, pornographers are as entitled to constitutional speech, insisting that it is necessary to understand that pornography is a communication. While it may not communicate primarily though words, he says, this is no restriction to citing the constitution in its defense. Providing evidence that other laws have upheld this non-linguistic speech: "The courtupheld the claim that live nude dancing was "Speech", and lower courts have accorded First Amendment protection to the 'emotive'communication of rock and roll (Lynn, 368). Though Lynn's argument, the defense of the rights of pornographic communication is the defense of the rights of many other forms of communication which are similarly non-verbal.
Lynn also uses another of speculative methods to suggest that pornography has a positive role to play in creating images of women, being especially important in revealing the sexual needs or desires of older women, differently abled women, and those of shape and size not usually depicted in films or novels, and even invokes feminists in support of this idea: "Depictions or ways of living and acting that are radically different from our own can enlarge the range of human possibilities open to us" (Lynn, 368).
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Summary

The issue of pornography in the Western world is a complex one which evokes passions on both sides of the debate. While some feel that pornography is debasing, others, such as Bill Hicks, have argued that pornography is no-one else's business: "About drugs, about alcohol, about pornographywhat business is it of yours what I do, read, buy see, or take into my body" (Hicks, 2004)…
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Pornography essay example
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