Renaissance Online Magaizne Bytes and Picas

FEBRUARY 2000 | VOL. 4, NO. 2



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MARC CIAMPA, a native of Alberta, Canada, is the staff sports writer for Renaissance Online Magazine.


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Sex Wars: Pornographic Censorship Sex Wars
Pornography's place within society and on the Internet

MARC CIAMPA

Pornography has long been among the most profitable -- and controversial -- enterprises in society. The recent explosion in both popularity and accessibility of the Internet has seemingly reinforced the trade of pornography in both aspects. The perceived "easy accessibility" of pornography on the World Wide Web has created renewed debate regarding its destructive potential, while at the same time making huge sums of money for those running the businesses.

Without question, pornography is a seedy business but in a free society such as this, we must respect the freedoms of those who choose to make it and those who choose to view it. Obviously, any form of pornography in which those being depicted are either underage or appear to be filmed against their will must continue to be illegal because it is infringing on the freedoms of others. But in any other case, a decision made to ban pornography would be step towards eliminating free speech. Clearly, all efforts must be brought forth to put an end to child and non-consenting pornography, both on the Internet and otherwise, but should pornography that is by and for consenting adults be subject to censorship?

I personally disagree with the general idea of pornography and, to be honest, would rather it did not exist in an ideal world. But no matter how much one may disagree with the idea, you cannot disagree that the producer has the right to make the material and the consumer has the right to view it.

I believe that adult pornography, including that which is on the Internet, should not be subject to regulation of any kind for three reasons. First, viewing pornography in moderation has not been proven to harmful. Second, it should be up to the individual user to decide whether or not material is suitable for viewing based on their own value system. Finally, the Internet is a unique and vast communication medium and as such it would be difficult to regulate.

Viewing pornography in moderation has not been proven to be harmful. According to Simpson's Pornography & Politics, one of the main claims against pornography is that it is bad for women because it is degrading and reduces the women to sexual objects in an insulting manner. However, what right do they have to tell these women what to do with their bodies? Clearly they are paid -- and quite well at that -- and they are not forced to pose for Playboy magazine or participate in a pornographic video by any means. Telling the models that they can no longer earn a living would not be helping them in the slightest.

Patricia Peterson, a columnist in the Brisbane Courier Mail agrees: "what any adult fully consents to doing with their body is their business, provided that in doing so, they don't prevent others from attending to their own business. The issue of whether women are degrading themselves by consenting to be photographed for any magazine is irrelevant when we consider the question of legislation. If fully consenting adult females choose to pose for pornographic magazines then that should be their business and theirs only."

[ CONTINUED: Does porn lower sex crimes? ]

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