Final Draft WR121-3
Is Pornography harmful to women?
Pornography is the collection of pictures, writing, or other material that is sexually explicit and sometimes equates sex with power and violence. This brief description would be helpful to understand the meaning of pornography, but not the effects that it has on society. Women are the main subject matter in most pornography. This is dangerous to the future of womankind as it causes rape, reduction in women’s self-respect, and reinforces negative stereotypes of women. This is why pornography is considered harmful to women.
Men by far are the degradation that is pornography’s largest consumers. (Richards) In order for rape to occur, a man must not only be inclined to rape, but his internal and social self-consciousness against acting out his rape urges must be damaged. Pornography entices the male to commit the rape. It predisposes some males to rape women and intensifies the predisposition in other males already so predisposed; undermines some male’s internal inhibitions against acting out their desire to rape, and undermines some males’ social inhibitions against acting out their desire to rape. (Walsh) There are many factors such as the background of the male rapist, the sexuality and open mindedness of the proposed rapist. However, by being exposed to pornography, sexual violence is promoted. In this case pornography is still a major factor of most causes of rape.
The fact of a woman being seen as an “object” is a great controversial issue in the history of pornography. (Christensen) The sexuality of the woman is looked highly upon, but the actual dehumanization is completely overlooked. Even though there is nothing at all degrading about sexual explicitness, to women or to anyone else, the perception of women has traditionally suffered. (Christensen) It is evident that the image of the nude woman’s body would be reduced to her uncovered body parts. This is sexual degradation to the female. The most prevalent theme in pornography is one of utter contempt for women. In movie after movie, women are raped, ejaculated on, urinated on, beaten, sodomized, and left permanently scarred. Pornography’s theme is sexual degradation, and women are the objects of the degradation. (Richards) This puts forth the question about weather or not pornography is the grounds for which these events occur.
Women are entitled to their basic human rights. They consistently struggle for the equal rights as men. (Goodman) These rights include equal job opportunities and equal paying salaries. Pornography is degrading to women as it dehumanizes them. Then again, these women aren't forced to do this either. They are not forced to take off their clothes or have sex in front of a camera. It is always heard that they do it to pay the bills, but it is sad that there aren't enough good, well paying jobs for women out there so they don’t need to. (Goodman) (para 4)
This “battle of the sexes” would also apply for the male domination in the social life we live in. Men seen in pornography are looked as careless, dehumanizing creatures of the female gender. (Walsh) Respect for the woman’s body is lost by the way the male treats a female in the porn. This shows the pornography can be harmful to both genders by the perceptions people take from the actions taken in the pornography. However, the female figure is seen to have more influence on the vast variety of male audience, degrading their humanistic rights.
Many problems in society for women are usually considered more by the feminists in the world. The points of view by feministic organizations play a role in choosing whether pornography is harmful or not. Nonetheless, a high percentage of women oppose or feel indifferent to that fact. Michael A. Goodman, a philosopher at the Department of Philosophy in California, strongly believes in the harms that would come from pornography. His opinions would include those such as:
Women are presented dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities.
Women are presented as sexual objects who enjoy pain or humiliation.
Women are presented as sexual objects who experience sexual pleasure in being raped.
Women are presented as sexual objects tied or cut up or mutilated or bruised or physically hurt.
Women are presented in postures of sexual submission, servility, or display.
Women’s body parts including but not limited to vaginas, breasts, and buttocks are exhibited, such that women are reduced to those parts,
Women are presented as whores by nature, or women are presented being penetrated by objects or animals.
Women are presented in scenarios of degradation, injury, torture, sown as filthy or inferior, bleeding, bruised, or hurt in a context that makes the conditions sexual. (Goodman)
These perspectives act as a backbone to the reprimanding of woman rights. However, the intimate sex that is shared between a loved couple doesn’t necessarily have these traits. These opinions on pornography would only apply to the context of pornography that would degrade the woman themselves, not necessarily the act of intimacy between a couple.
Sex and violent crime offenders have a critical link to pornography. Sex offenders had a high exposure to pornography as adolescents, and it carries on with them during their lifetime. This fact is particularly significant when one considers that sex offenders were from the low end of the socioeconomic scale. Thus, they would financially have more difficulty getting pornographic materials. (Richards) At times, the prior exposure to the pornography changed the lifestyle of the person. It would cause them to live their lives according to their past, which would be to violate sexual rights of women through rape.
Besides feministic reforms, there are particular cases of government intervention put toward regulating pornography. Obscenity was found in many cases in the past. The first six decades of the twentieth century saw an ever-increasing number of obscenity cases taken to court. (Norwick) These cases would pertain to sexual violence against women, rape, prostitution and freedom of sexual orientation. It is written in the Amendments that a person has a right to their freedom of speech. This would relate to the women and their exposure to the world. Pornography enables them to expose themselves freely, as they would see fit in their lives. However, this may lead to moral corruption, antisocial conduct and sex crimes in particular. It may demean and depersonalize sex turning something beautiful into something dirty and distasteful. Also, pornography is without artistic merit, and that as a result has a negative impact on the esthetic and intellectual quality of life. (Norwick) This is the reason for most censorship being established, so to regulate the pornography that is so widespread across the globe.
Overall, the population has its varying views on pornography. If we interpret it to be a horrible aspect of life, it will be assumed that it was bad. The facts show that pornography has its critical effects on young children, where it would affect their sexual appeal in the future to come. Pornography has its much harm for many types of people. Nevertheless, the greatest harm that has been done was on the women of society.
Pornography is the collection of pictures, writing, or other material that is sexually explicit and sometimes equates sex with power and violence. This brief description would be helpful to understand the meaning of pornography, but not the effects that it has on society. Women themselves have different levels of support to whether pornography is harmful or not. For some reason, every person has a feeling on whether pornography is good or bad and it seems the main contributing force behind this are the feminists and many women's organizations. Pornography has is great effects on people. Nonetheless, pornography is shown to have its terrible effects on women both socially, physically and emotionally.