Elizabeth Lopez
Censorship vs. The First Amendment
Pornography remains one of the most controversial and confusing areas that the First Amendment contains. Supreme Court justices have struggled through years trying to define what it really is by society standards, but it still remains indefinable. People argue whether pornography should be protected by the First Amendment or not, due to its inflicting content and views that feminists have towards it. Among many people are Susan Jacoby, a journalist that is known for her feminist writings, and Susan Brownmiller, an author and a graduate of Cornell University. They both discuss what we should be allowed to say and do, and what we should do regarding pornographic material. Susan Jacoby states in her text “A First Amendment Junkie”, that she believes in the “absolute interpretation of the First Amendment” (48). She argues that although she is a feminist, she firmly believes that the First Amendment should be absolutely interpreted and does not believe in any type of censoring in pornography. She claims that states and people will never coincide on what should be censored, because pornography cannot de defined. She adds that there is no clear line what defines art and what exactly is obscene, therefore it cannot be censored. Susan Brownmiller on the other hand, states in “Let’s Put Pornography Back in the Closet” that the First Amendment is often abused, especially when it comes to pornography. She believes that it “dehumanizes the female body for the purpose of erotic stimulation and pleasure” (62). Brownmiller thinks that because the Court added new guidelines to the Miller case of 1973, it would have given more power to the states to enforce the obscenity laws, but the three-part test only made it more difficult to define “obscene”. She establishes that the First Amendment was never meant to “protect obscenity”, but to make a “distinction between permission to publish and permission to display publicly”(63)....
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