The Antipornography Feminist Movement

.. First Amendment. Unfortunately, as powerful as most of these statistics are, the majority of feminists will not budge in their fights against conservative attempts to help moral material in this country. Unfortunately, most of the feminists have lost track of their purpose in my opinion. I feel that they are institutions created to protect various aspects of womens rights.

I personally think that they are just wrong for ignoring the fact that there are real victims that may or may not care about the way that interest groups battle for their good. They only know the reality of what a sex crime has done to them. These victims know that they have been robbed of their dignity and safety. This seems much more important than mere policy. Another way that the anti-pornography movement uses promulgation is by using a statement entitled Facts and Myths Concerning Pornography. The first myth is that obscenity and pornography are protected in many countries as free speech. The fact is that hard-core pornography is and has never been protected by free statutes in the United States.

The Supreme Court has continually upheld the fact that legal protection does not apply to pornography. The second myth is that pornography is a victimless crime. The fact that 683,000 forcible rapes occur to woman over 18 in the United states and estimates reveal that more than twice that number are casual and date rapes. Not only do 90% of rapists list porn as their main sexual interest, but 81% of serial murderers do as well. The third myth is that if it is in a local store, it must be legal. The fact is that even illegal materials are readily available when laws against them are not readily enforced.

If the citizens demand legal action, local officials will enforce them. The fifth and final myth is that there is nothing that the public can do about it. The fact is that many cities have eradicated hard-core pornography outlets from their communities by passing effective anti-pornography laws. Dramatic drops in sex-crime levels has resulted. The best part is that these efforts have been started by only a few individuals. The third way that the anti-pornography movement uses rhetoric is by polarization.

They have split from the main stream feminist groups for the reasons that I have discussed in the previous paragraph. The anti-pornography groups feel that their rivals are perpetuating the most dramatic abuse of women. The anti-porn movement feels strongly that their adversaries within feminism are attacking small rights and gains when the most basic human rights of safety and dignity are being withheld. One opposite viewpoint is patroned by Betty Friedan who argues that what one woman may view as sensual another may view as pornography. While Friedan does express concern over some content of porn, she expresses greater concern over the anti-porn feminist movement. She believes that to further censorship in the United States to suppress pornography is extremely dangerous to women. She believes that the danger is due to the fact that this movement aligns the liberal womans movement with the right wing of the conservative agenda. Friedan believes that only the conservatives have anything to gain from such an alliance.

By examining the counterpoints on this issue, it is very easy to see why polarization is widely used. I would now like to focus on the movement ideology. I would like to take a closer look at the ideology itself, the barriers faced and the prevalent ideology which is to be overcome. The ideology supported by the anti-pornography movement is complicated. While they are a feminist group and would not want censorship to prevail, there is undeniable evidence that pornography hurts women. The anti-porn movement focuses on the way in which women are portrayed in this medium. They also focus on the way that sex crimes are caused or promoted by the use of pornography.

This makes for a varied support system for the movement. While a great majority of this country does not use pornography and would not suffer in its absence, it is still an issue of freedom which must be addressed. The anti-pornography has one major complaint against the present status of pornography in this country. This is that women are being hurt by the use of pornography. While they do express concern over the actresses involved in the making of the films, they express more concern that this sex and violence against women perpetuates itself to everyday lives and effects innocent women.

The main ideology that the anti-porn movement seeks to advance is to seriously limit the production and consumption of pornography. They feel that this is not an issue of censorship and must be dealt with by legislation. The J. S. Mills principle is one theory that legislators have used in their attempts to ban suggestive material in the past. The anti-porn movement believes that this principle directly relates to their task because it limits the First Amendment rights in the event that people are being abused as a result.

The greatest barriers that the anti-porn movement faces are those of their fellow liberals. Main stream feminists and other liberal movements and groups feel that this is putting a stumbling stone in the way of the freedoms that they have collectively fought for. There has been much conversation between the groups but neither side is wavering on their beliefs. The strange part is that for the first time in my recollection, the anti-porn movement, a part of the feminist movement, has aligned itself with a conservative viewpoint. The main barriers are internal in my opinion.

I feel that the average person in this country would not really care about the lack of pornography. If people knew the ills surrounding the pornography industry most people would surely support legislation to limit its use and abuse. However, liberal followers are not willing to cooperate with other groups that usually have opposing view points. This reminds me of a story about two feuding farmers that both die in a flood along with their families because they refused to join forces and bank the rising river. Because even many members of the anti-porn movement are hesitant about crossing the bridge to join the conservative right on this issue, women are being harmed. I apologize for the injected idea in this section but I feel that when viewed from afar, every situation becomes more reasonable and at the same time irrational.

The questions on page 75 in the text book Contemporary Movements and Ideologies by Roberta Garner bring up some very good points about the anti-pornography movement. First, I believe that the anti-porn movement would define the good society as one where there are equal rights for women in all situations. More importantly, I believe that the movement would state that safety and dignity for all people would be a very cement norm in the good society. The current existing societies, after all, are neither safe nor fair for women. The new set of beliefs and practices would be much more complicated. The anti-porn movement is a feminist movement and would thus contain many of these beliefs.

The difference would be that laws would exist that would maintain the dignity of all people through better portrayal of women and homosexuals in a variety of media. The result would be less sex crimes and rape within the good society. The way that we can change our society to make it correspond to our vision of the good society is to limit the production and consumption of pornography which furthers the abuses that the movement is against. The ideological critique of the state is not yet clear cut. This issue blurs the traditional way in which we like to divide our politics; the right against the left.

However, the economic sphere would be impacted by the passage of anti-porn legislation. There would be protest because, after all, this is a business to many. There would be no hunger or famine associated with the passage of such legislation so it is arguable that, in the grand scheme of things, there would be little impact. Politically, things are vastly different. I stated before that there are altering ideas that are both holding back and advancing the movement. While some of the movement is hesitant about aligning themselves with the conservative right, some of the movement adores the idea.

They like the idea because of the conservative rights ability and numbers. I feel that if they split the left on this issue then the legislation would pass easily. Culturally, the anti-pornography movement would further us as a people. Since some of our largest set backs in the area of equality are in seeing others as objects, this movement would greatly limit that impulse. Social reproduction would be very hard to estimate what impact this movement would have on the sphere of social reproduction.

In some manners, it may limit the sex lives of some people who use pornography to enrich their sex lives. In another way, it may help to make sex more sexual instead of an act. Hopefully, there would be a new appreciation for life both existent and future. In my opinion this movement is very easy to support. The evidence is overwhelming that pornography harms people. I use people here because, as a male, I feel that there are many ills suffered by my sex as well.

Altering perceptions about women is horribly but, to have your perceptions altered unconsciously is almost as bad. Men who are unaware that what they do hurts people are dangerous. There is nothing innocent about pornography. There is nothing free about pornography. Pornography hurts people.

The freedom of a certain few to perform these acts has placed many people in a position of suffering. Though I have never really used pornography, I have had brushes with it back in my fraternity days. I had friends that relished in the gruesome art that always turned my stomach. I feel very bad for those friends that I had who honestly believed that pornography was okay. I wish that I hadnt written this paper. I stayed up late at night and read the articles and then thought until the wee hours of the morning.

There I found something that I hadnt seen before. I found a country that can turn a blind eye and not intervene in spite of the statistics. I found people who were completely unable to see the disgusting residue that pornography leaves all over this country every day. I found anger. Anger towards the users of pornography because they just dont know any better.

Anger directed at the feminists who will fight to the grave for equal pay while their sisters are robbed of their dignity, safety and lives. How do we expect to have anything equal if we cant even recognize these simple things? A person places their hand on a hot stove and gets burned; this we understand. An angry loaner is convinced that women just want to be bent over and screwed then when he rapes some woman on her way through a parking lot we act surprised. I feel that this movement is going to gain rapid support as soon as some of these findings are more main stream. I also would believe that as more of these findings are discovered and researched this country would increase efforts to help its own citizens.

I cant forget the quote by researcher Edward Donnerstein after his 1983 study. The relationship between particularly violent sexual images in media and subsequent aggression..is much stronger statistically than the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. Bibliography Works Cited Donnerstein, Edward. (1985). Unpublished transcipt of testimony to the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography Hearings, Houston, TX, pp. 5-33.

Donnerstein, Edward; Linz, Daniel. (1985). Presentation paper to the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, Houston, TX, pp. 5-33. Donnerstein, Edward; Linz, Daniel; Penrod, Steven.

(1987). The Question of Pornography: Research Findings and Policy Implications. New York: Free Press. Everywoman. (1988). Pornography and Sexual Violence: Evidence of the Links.

London: Everywoman. Goldstein, Michael; Kant, Harold. (1973). Pornography and Sexual Deviance. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Koss, Mary; Gidycz, Christine; Wisniewski, Nadine. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 162-170. MacKinnon, Catharine.

(1987). Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Malamuth, Neil. (1981a).

Rape fantasies as a function of exposure to violent sexual stimuli. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 10, 33-47. Radford, Jill; Russell, Diana (Eds.). (1992). Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing. New York: Twayne Publishers.

Russell, Diana. (1975). The Politics of Rape. New York: Stein and Day. Russell, Diana. (1980).

Pornography and violence: What does the new research say? In Laura Lederer (Ed.), Take Back the Night: Women on Pornography (pp. 218-238). New York: William Morrow. Zillmann, Dolf, and Bryant, Jennings. (1984). Effects of massive exposure to pornography.

In Neil Malamuth and Edward Donnerstein (Eds.), Pornography and Sexual Aggression, (pp. 115-138). New York: Academic Press. Social Issues.