Mark R. Wicclair, “Feminism, Pornography and Censorship”

"Feminism, Pornography and Censorship" Mark R Wicclair

In this article Wicclair explores why it may be a negative to censor pornography. Wicclair first asserts that the principle of freedom of expression is to be considered when contemplating any move towards censorship. He points out that freedom of expression is what makes society free to explore the arts, the sciences, and permits advances in society in general. And so pornography is freedom of expression but to some is seen as degrading so believe it should be censored. However, Wicclair states that different people have different criteria for deciding when something is degrading or humiliating and therefore it may be difficult to censor pornography without a clear-cut definition of what exactly it is that should be censored.

He states that the reason some people want pornography to be censored isn’t because it is objectifying to women but because of the alleged adverse effects it has on society. He states that simply because society may restrict the access of a would-be rapist to pornographic material related to rape, does not, by any means imply that he will have been stopped from committing the crime of rape in any way. He goes on to say that even if the depictions in pornography and actual crimes committed in real life were somehow linked, censorship wouldn’t resolve them. Wicclair later states that pornography could maybe decrease crimes or violent sexual happenings from happening in real life, due to people having access to express those desires by watching pornography instead.

This idea links to Freud’s theories of sexual repression and is something I’m going to explore.

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