The AntiPornography Feminist Movement Essay Research Paper

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The Anti-Pornography Feminist Movement Essay, Research Paper The Anti-Pornography Feminist Movement ?I don?t need statistics to tell me that there is a relationship between pornography and real violence. My body remembers.? This chilling testimony from a female rape victim to a grand jury in 1983 represents the evils that pornography represents in the United States. There are strong correlations between sex crimes and pornography that have divided feminists over whether free speech is worth the sheer magnitude of sex-crime victims. Free speech is protected by the First Amendment and most people have differing views on its meaning. One thing that cannot be ignored is the fact that 90% of sexual offenders have used pornography ?frequently.? I believe that the anti-pornography

movement is not only just, but essential. I would like to explore various aspects of the anti-pornography movement including the history, players, rhetoric and the impact. I believe that shedding light on the ways that pornography effects human beings, we will feel differently about the ?freedom of speech.? In the 1960?s and 1970?s, debates over pornography mirrored the counter-culture?s battle with conservative values. The 1969 case Stanley v. Georgia, ?community standards? were challenged and the court upheld the civil rights for consumers to possess pornography in their homes. However, the 1970?s brought about the VCR and feminists began to redefine pornography to explore the impact of the porn industry on women and their place in society. Though many feminists were frightened

by the prospect that they may be working hand in hand with conservatives to regulate this practice, many women jumped to action when new surveys and statistics were revealed about pornography and women. To most of these women, the immorality was not the sexual content, but its violation of a woman?s dignity, a lie about who women are and what they want. Out of these theories, writers like Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon and Dr. Diana Russell founded and encouraged many anti-porn groups around the country. Though movements against pornography had existed prior to feminist anti-pornography groups, they were previously conservative or moral majority inspired. Then came groups such as the Anti-Porn Feminists (APFEM) and the Women Against Violence in Pornography in the Media

(WAVPM). These groups had limited following because of the feminist ideology of freedom of speech and expression. Due to this lack of agreement on terms and standards, the supporters have never been centralized. Supporters may be varied and polarized but most believe that there is a real problem and there must be suitable action. The reason that this movement exists are due to findings of surveys and studies as well as testimony of women who have suffered from pornography at one time or another. The studies are varied and numerous. To provide examples of these surveys I would like to illustrate the findings of several of them. The first finding comes from a 1983 study by Edward Donnerstein. He polled male high-school and college students on 37 states and came to the following

conclusion. 25% to 30% of male students who admit that there is some likelihood that they would rape a woman if the could be assured of getting away with it, increases to 57% after exposure to sexually violent images depicting women enjoying rape. This means that as a result of one brief exposure to pornography, the number of males who are willing to consider rape as a plausible act for them actually doubles. On such brief exposure to pornography also increases male subjects? acceptance of rape myths and interpersonal violence against women. This essentially means that porn viewers have lower inhibitions than exist in the absence of pornography. They are more likely to act out violent desires and fantasies including submissive and domination sex. This evidence is overwhelmingly