Pornography and Ethics

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Many women engage in viewing different forms of pornography for sexual arousal or for mere interest. It is an interesting phenomenon in our society, while it is also a very controversial issue. When viewing pornography, some women, like Sallie Tisdale, consider it to be just as sexually stimulating and available for women as it is for men, while other women, like Catharine MacKinnon, find it to be offensive and many forms degrading to women.

Tisdale openly discusses the ventures she takes to the adult video stores. She has no problem expressing her sexuality and the fact that she finds pornography to be arousing. She sometimes feels guilty when she engages in pornography, however she realizes that it is not something that should be shamed (). It is perhaps because of society's view of pornography as being dirty and something women should not do to be the reason not more women are engaged in pornography. Mackinnon, a feminist against pornography, feels that it causes attitudes of violence and discrimination against women. She classifies it as a form of forced sex, a practice of sexual politics and an institution of gender inequality (). Tisdale thinks that women can overcome sexual repression by engaging in pornography themselves, and not leaving it to the men to dominate it all. Mackinnon thinks pornography gives the impression that women are submissive, passive and obedient, wanting abuse (). She feels as though these aspects of pornography are reflecting onto our society and being learned by the many men who watch it. Desire appears as lust for dominance and submission, which results in men believing this to be the way women think in real life, then resulting in many women who being abused (). MacKinnon continues to say that women are degraded in two ways, first through the actual acts which are being filmed. She says that the women are being raped and sometimes murdered and the plots are designed to be degrading to women. Therefore, she states that...
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