Pornography In The Media (1058 words) Essay

Pornography in the MediaIt started by way of messengers and scribes, evolved through the
presentation of newspapers and radio, brought us together with
television, and now serves us world- wide via the ever-popular
Internet. It is the mass media, and even from the earliest days of its
existence, it has contributed greatly in ways that both enlighten and
enrich society, and ways that deteriorate and perplex it. It is not a
surprise to learn, then, that the mass media is the most powerful
source of information we have, and nothing else in today’s world
influences public perception quite as heavily.

Unfortunately, however, most of what is broadcast or transmitted in the
news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or
something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or
damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media
taking the criticism of society. Other forms of mass media,
specifically movies and television programs containing pornography and
violence have been heavily criticized. The underlining concept to be
debated here is that society is negatively influenced, specifically, by
these images of pornography and the result is increased violence
against women. This assumption, and it is indeed only an assumption, is
completely fallacious, however, as no concrete and completely
evidence has ever been formulated in support of the theory. The key
premise here is
that the mass media does not cause undesirable social behaviour and in
actuality, the
media people should not be dubbed as the bad guys. They simply use
their power in
the most constructive ways possible in order to promote their ratings
and popularity.

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One way to do that is to concentrate on what sells: sex, violence and

Having said this, why is it then, that many in society still
believe otherwise; why do
they continue to believe that pornography is evil and is a major
cause for violence
against women, specifically rape? There are many reasons for this
misinterpretation and
through the following few points, an attempt will be made to show that
has very little to almost no correlation with violence against women
(of course nothing is
absolute in society). In order to demonstrate this, it must be made
evident that
pornography is not evil and does not cause undesirable social
behaviour by displaying
nude women in sexually explicit circumstances. Thus, it is important
to indicate that
women are not treated only as sexual objects through the media. This
is done in an
attempt to quash any traces of evil in pornography. Subsequently, a
second point, that
some may consider to be completely bizarre, can be addressed; that
actually reduces the amount of violence against women.

For thousands of years, sex itself has been considered evil
and revolting. This is
exactly why the concealment of the sex organs and teaching feelings of
shame toward
human sexuality is so common worldwide. These same feelings of shame
are the chief
reasons that sex is considered a personal and private matter. Contrary
to the beliefs of
many, the mass media did not create these settings; society creates
this image. In some
societies, women have no reservations with regard to living their
entire live completely
naked, while in other societies, females cover themselves from head to
toe, only
revealing their eyes. The media has been bombarded with criticism,
from the female community, relative to the amount of sexually explicit
material that is
published in magazines and that appears on television and in the
cinemas. A common
argument against pornography is that the media portrays women as being
nothing more
than sexual playthings and objects to satisfy male sexual desires. As
before, the media
once again, is not to be held responsible for creating this image;
these views are
products of society.

It would be absurded to assume that women in this society are
treated as sexual
objects only because the media releases or broadcasts pornographic
material. A
magazine associated with make-up and skin care, for example, will quite
obviously not
be concentrating on much else. Such a magazine would not display
pictures of women
who mountain-climb or women who water-ski; only images of make-up and
referring to skin care would be relevant. Clearly, society does not
consider women to be
beings who’s only purpose in life is to worry about make-up and skin
care; but why are
the complaints only directed towards pornographic media then? The
answer to this
question may be more complicated, however, what remains obvious is that
the media
does not portray women as only being able to fill male sexual desires.

To say that
pictures featuring nudity, etc, are making objects out of women is
foolish. One should
consider females who pin-up posters of male rock stars or children who
collect hockey
or baseball cards. Society, however, does not say that objects are
being made out of
these rock stars and sports heroes; pictures of clothed people are no
less objects than
pictures of naked people.

Many complaints are also made to the effect that pornography
only offers a one-
dimensional view to life; that women are seen as nymphomaniacs who are
addicted to sex. It should be pointed out that events such as hockey
games, boxing
matches, horse races and operas all offer a one-dimensional view of
life. One does not
attend an opera hoping to see a horse race. The underlying problem
here is that the
above mentioned events are socially acceptable; media displaying
pornography is not. It
is also said that the media reduces women to a collection of body parts
pornography. But why then are their no complaints of advertisements in
displaying only ears, for example, or a nose, or feet? The reason is a
simple one; society
considers certain body parts to be shameful or disgusting and once
again, the media
can be let off the hook.

Realistically, the only way to prevent women from being seen
as sex objects is for
them to be seen as other things as well; but to say that women are not
sexual beings
would be misleading because both men and women are very much sexual.

Similarly, to
say that women are singled out in the media is fallacious due to the
many examples of
media where men are seen catering to the needs of women; something
known as
chivralic sexism. Take, for instance, a recent television ad portraying
young men
groveling at the feet of supermodel Cindy Crawford, almost begging to
be the one to
cater to her needs. There were no lineups of men aching to announce
their displeasure
with the sexist ad; and this is precisely why male stereotyping in the
media often goes
unnoticed. Similarly, it is pornography in the media that is noticed
and shunned by anti-
pornographic and censorship organizations because it seemingly singles
out females for
their bodies. It should be well noted, however, that paperback romance
novels, which
make up an incredible 40% of total paperback sales, depicts males as
sexual objects,
performing what is called Sweet Savagery (rape), just as pornography
depicts females
as sexual objects. But once again, this goes unnoticed.


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