Can a government legitimately prohibit citizens from publishing or viewing pornography, or would this be an unjustified violation of basic freedoms? This question lies at the heart of a debate that raises fundamental issues about just when, and on what grounds, the state is justified in using its coercive powers to limit the freedom of individuals. Traditionally, liberals defended the freedom of consenting adults to publish and consume pornography in private from moral and religious conservatives who wanted pornography banned for its obscenity, its corrupting impact on consumers and its corrosive effect on traditional family and religious values. But, in more recent times, the pornography debate has taken on a somewhat new and surprising shape. Some feminists have found themselves allied with their traditional conservative foes in calling on the state to regulate or prohibit pornography-although the primary focus of feminist concern is on the harm that pornography may cause to women and children , rather than the obscenity of its sexually explicit content. And some liberals have joined pro-censorship feminists in suggesting that the harms that violent and degrading pornography causes to women's social standing and opportunities might be sufficiently serious to justify prohibiting such pornography on liberal grounds.
Debating Pornography - Oxford Scholarship
Feminist views on pornography range from condemnation of all of it as a form of violence against women , to an embracing of some forms as a medium of feminist expression. This debate reflects larger concerns surrounding feminist views on sexuality , and is closely related to those on prostitution , on BDSM , and other issues. Pornography has been one of the most divisive issues in feminism , particularly in anglophone English-speaking countries. This deep division was exemplified in the feminist sex wars of the s, which pitted anti-pornography activists against sex-positive ones. Feminist opponents of pornography—such as Andrea Dworkin , Catharine MacKinnon , Robin Morgan , Diana Russell , Alice Schwarzer , Gail Dines , and Robert Jensen —argue that pornography is harmful to women, and constitutes strong causality or facilitation of violence against women.
Feminist views on pornography
This book provides a clear, thorough. Andrew Altman and Lori Watson provide strong arguments to support their conclusions, while engaging with various studies on the effects pornography has on its consumers. Their volume is an excellent introduction to the ethical issues pornography raises.
Debates about pornography have raged since the sexual revolution of the s, and the explosive spread in recent years of sexually explicit images across the Internet has only fueled the disagreements. Politicians, judges, clergy, citizen activists, and academics have weighed in on the issues. In this volume, two philosophers add their voices to the debate. Their views conflict in crucial ways.