Pornography is a subject that has always been argued and stirs up controversy almost anywhere it may arise. There are people who are against it, and would like to ban all pornography for the benefit of everyone, while there are those who defend it, claiming it is part of their “guaranteed” free speech, to express themselves in a manner of their choosing. With the issue of pornography being debated and spoken of, one major mistake people make is that they look at pornography according to their own views. Different types of people look at pornography differently, and therefore create their own definition of pornography in their minds. Usually, pornography tends to be mistaken with nude art and erotica, so some people consider erotic as pornography. Although all three may be similar, they each possess qualities that that can make them distinguishable. There should be a legal distinction among pornography, erotica, and nude art, so that they cannot be confused with each other, and so that there can be a uniform guideline for people to use when distinguishing the three expressions.
The goal of pornography is to sexually stimulate and arouse people, and it possesses no artistic value to the artistic community. Pornography can be expressed through the form of almost every media, which includes images, drawings, text, sound, and video. Generally, all pornography is sexual and shows, or gives the impression of either an individual or individuals participating in sexual acts. Two main types of pornography in which other types may be classified under are softcore pornography and hardcore pornography. Softcore pornography is not as intense as hardcore, and does not show penetration, but is still considered pornography. Hardcore pornography, as explained by its name, is much more extreme and intense, and does show penetration in visual/video type pornography. Textual pornography describes the actions of an individual or individuals in a sexual act in words, and can be found in pornographic magazines and novels. Similarly, images and drawings show still shots of people in sexual acts, and sound would express the audio portion of sexual acts. There is also no emotional connection with the partners who are involved in the sexual acts of pornography. So it does not matter what the relationship of the individuals is. The only important thing that matters is that the individual’s sexual pleasures are achieved. Erotica also has the goal to stimulate sexual arousal, and it can be achieved by being expressed through a visual, video, or literature form. Because of its intent to sexually stimulate people, I would say that erotica contains no artistic or literature value. It can be described almost the same as softcore pornography because erotica may also show an individual or individuals participating in sexual acts without the showing of penetration. Erotic literature builds a romantic relationship between partners, in which mostly women would enjoy, because of a woman’s closeness to romanticism and emotion. Erotica portrays human sexuality in an artistic theme, but it is non-artistic. Artists may be included as some of the people who create erotica, but just because an artist creates something, it is not always classified as art. An artist can just as well draw something or take a photograph of the ground and call it garbage; so just because it comes from an artist, doesn’t mean that it possesses artistic value. Nude art is an artistic form, and therefore has artistic value. It is just like any art you can find on paintings, murals, drawings, sculptures, etc. A common example that defines what nude art is one that can be seen in a few television shows, in which there is an art class, and a woman poses topless to be sculptured by the class. Of course the viewer cannot see the woman’s body parts, except for her upper back, but the viewer can understand that the woman is topless and the students get a full view of the...
Cited: Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” 2181 – 2192.
“Softcore,” “Hardcore,” “Erotica”. The American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. 2001
Strossen, Nadine. “Sexual Speech and the Law.” Left, Right, and Center: Voices from Across the Political Spectrum. Eds. Robert Atwan and Jon Roberts. New York: Bedford/St. Martin Pr., 1996. 462 – 472.
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