Professor Mark Harrison
18 April, 2012.
Pornography – Reality and Delusion
Imagining that one day you came home after hard-working hours with you feeling exhausted, you’d love to go see your sons/daughters to give them a hug but to find out that they were watching pornography on the Internet. What would you feel right at that moment? You feet betrayed? Yes, you may. You feel disappointed? Absolutely, you will. Ironically, you are the defender for freedom of speech guaranteed for pornography. Would you still want to support the so-called “freedom of expression” or “freedom of speech” given to pornography industry? If you had always asserted that pornography deserves the First Amendment’s protection, I would have betted that you would think of that type of entertainment the other way around that pornography is harmful. The point is that you’ll never know what influence that pornography imposes on your family until you experience it. Specifically, what is that influence? No, you don’t want to even think about it. You only want to stop your children from viewing it. That’s it. Right there, you want it to go away somewhere from your family so that you still can defend “freedom of speech” for pornographers and their customers, ironically. Therefore, it does not make sense to say that pornography is harmless and its freedom of speech can outweigh the negative influence it puts on where it spreads to because, indeed, pornography is too dangerous and “poisonous” for people to keep protecting its freedoms of speech. There is not doubt that the issue of pornography has been at stake in term of its influence on the American society. Even though the Supreme Court has struck down several regulations upon this industry, there have been still many different opposing ideas along with supporting opinions toward this type of adult entertainment. Its defenders focus on the issue of freedom of speech and claim that pornography is protected by the First Amendment, on which I totally disagree due to many reasons. 1. First of all, pornography’s defenders argue that pornography is protected by the First Amendment in term of freedom of speech and expression. What does this mean? Simply, the actors in the movies have the right to perform in the movies. Specifically, they have the right to bring their message to their audience, which is mainly sexual pleasure and enjoyment; and the so-called “gender equality” (which means women should have the right to enjoy sex as much as men do). Briefly, the pornography must have their freedom of expression. If they love to perform sexual acts on movies, they should be able to do that, without involving children or “obscene acts”. However, in my opinion, pornography industry does not receive any kinds of First Amendment’s protection because the government and the office in charge need to project a holistic view on pornography’s influence on society before considering its legality. Speaking of hateful speeches, the majority of people agree that the least popular speech would be protected the most by the First Amendment. Therefore, someone may question why pornography can not be treated the same. The answer is that pornography is a totally different notion from “hateful speech.” Pornography is not a kind a speech that can do nothing but advocacy. Worse than that, pornography is the kind of speech that “incites” people into behaviors. Let’s stop right here before discussing about what behaviors pornography can lead viewers to. Pornography is not a “speech” about society, environment, politics, education, or whatsoever. Pornography is all about people having sex with one another, explicitly. Therefore, pornography may be considered as “sex speech”, which focuses on sex. Speaking of freedom of speech, the Supreme Court concluded that despite its hateful contents, every single speech must be protected based on the First Amendment values. Now, what kind of hateful speech (or unpopular...
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