Freedom of Expression
Susan Brown Millers and Susan Jacoby who happen to be ladies have written essays by the names “Let’s Put Pornography back in the Closet” and “A First Amendment Junkie” respectively. Both of these essays are clearly focusing on pornography. The writers try to explain what pornography is, if there is any definite meaning, then go ahead and try to state their case of why it should or should not be allowed to be produced and sold freely.
Both writers seem to feel the same way about pornography, though they do not express it in the exact same ways. They both seem to appreciate the fact that pornography should not be sold in public places. In Susan’s article, she appreciates that most women support the first amendment but are not ready to accept abortion articles and, books and magazines be exposed to the public eye. Though she seems to have mixed feelings, (still thinks that Brown’s article), she is quite clear that pornography should be kept out of the public’s eye if not completely forgotten by the human species.
In Susan’s article, she has tried to give the two sides of two parties that were having different feelings towards pornography. The article states that there should be freedom and that it is simply a free world. However, she does not agree that this issue greatly affects the women more than it affects the men or children (Moon 106).
In her article pornography or sex should not be put at the same level as violence. To some extent, pornography can only be described depending on who has been posed the question. What might be rude, disgusting and absurd to one person, might be an expression of beauty, one’s confidence and a form of expression to another.
In the article, she has tried to explain that our behavior or misbehavior should not be blamed on pornography. To her kid pornography is not an issue of the first amendment but rather an issue of child abuse. Rape, homosexuality and other actions that are considered as evils should not be blamed on pornography but rather one’s level of control. Parents taking children to see some of these movies e.g. (Looking for Mr. Goodbar), as she saw some parents do when she came out from watching, should not be blamed on pornography as the feminists would like to put it but should be blamed on the parents. Parents should be in control of their television sets and should switch the sets off if they feel what their children are watching is not good. They should expect the Federal Communications Commission to play their parts for them.
Miller’s article focuses on the negative side of pornography and insists that it should be done away with and completely forgotten. To him, the freedom of speech and expression should not be equated to the production and viewing of obscene and absurd staff. This brought out by how he agrees with Chief Justice Warren Burger’s comment. One of the reasons he feels that these kinds of materials should not be burned is because the suggestion would only reach deaf ears (Magee 58).
To him in the past, one used to know pornography when they saw it but as time goes by; it has become hard to know the difference due to the definitions and “cover ups” it has been given. It has now become up to one’s responsibility to control them and visit a paper stand knowing that they are going to buy a newspaper and not some obscene magazines.
The writers have tried to show us clearly how they feel about the first amendment and pornography. Susan has tried her best not to lean on one side although, at the end of the article, she clearly shows where and what she is more comfortable with. She has shown us that how people react and how they behave should not be blamed on pornography. Everyone should be allowed to express themselves and people should take responsibility where they are supposed to.
She has given us her own personal examples in order to emphasize on points which help the reader understand the article more. This has been seen when she tells us that she saw children line up with their parents to go watch a movie that was not so child-friendly. This was irritating because the same parents were would later complain that what was being aired was pornographic and not good for the children. She has also made me be stronger with my belief for I feel that there should be freedom of expression.
The writer could have also included other examples to support what she feels. Pointing out that parents should take their responsibilities over their children and switch off what they feel that the children should not watch is very good. However, she should know that parents are not always there monitoring what their children are watching or reading. This is some of the reasons that are making people complain about this freedom.
Miller has also used her skill to show that pornography is pornography and there should be no excuse for it. The first amendment should be no excuse of displaying magazines with naked women on the cover pages and some absurd pictures on the inside. Loving one’s body and feeling good about it does not give them permission to go showing it off with nothing else on top of it all in the name of expressing oneself. According to her, nudity is nudity and it has not changed from how it was some years back (Zeno-Zencovich 109).
To me, there should be freedom of expression and one should be allowed to express themselves in whatever way they wish. I agree that some ways are quite obscene e.g. having children hardly in their puberty pose in some absurd style and position all in the name expressing them. Freedom of expression should be left to what the law defines as an adult (Alexander 92). If I choose to pose as a cover model with a bikini or with a dangling piece of cloth on my lower part of my body and nothing else on top, then let be it. Who knows, someone might see my small burst or another person’s big hips and boost their self-esteem about their body shape.
It is true that we all have all see and have different views about something so if one’s expression is posing without clothes, let be it. It is her body being exposed. Though this might be disturbing to some people, they might as well not go near these stands or simply adjust.
In Miller’s article, it is commented that if one does not want to buy or be near this pornographic material they should not go near them. I totally agree with the writer. When one goes to the newspaper stand, they should only focus on buying the daily and ignore other reading materials that they consider pornographic. People should respect and appreciate the fact that there is freedom of expression. Those models posing in the articles or publications that are said to be pornographic are doing it at free will. Everyone has entitled to his or her own opinions, therefore, no one has a right to condemn the conscience of others.