Why Pornography Should Be Protected

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Susan Jacoby’s write-up “A First Amendment Junkie” revolved around the spirit of the First Amendment and how it guarantees absolute freedom to the citizens of America. She was candid in her approach and far ahead of her time in the sense of openness. Jacoby emphasized the fact that it was wrong to ban or censor pornography because such practice would be against the right to freedom of speech and expression granted by the First Amendment of the American Constitution.

She is of the belief that pornography may be disgusting but at the same time no one has the right to censor it because that will violate the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. She expresses her concern about the people she likes and how they have started to ostracize her. Although she is not favor of such pornography, she still supports this explicit expression of right to freedom of choice because of the guarantee given by the constitution. This essay will take Jacoby’s write-up as guidance to establish that pornography should be protected by the First Amendment.

Body In Favor of Pornography

There should be absolute interpretations available for the rights guaranteed by the American Constitution. Jacoby also is of the view that First Amendment should be taken as an Amendment that gives absolute freedom to the American people in relation to their right to express. None of the forms of expression should be seen as controversial. Everything that looks healthy to the society is defended in the light of the First Amendment. Jacoby believes that people defend only those expressions that are acceptable for the society. It is wrong to cut out the expressions that may be negative or unacceptable to the society. Jacoby is right in saying that people see the subjective value of things. They perceive everything from the perspective that they think is right.

This becomes a reason for some people to give verdicts against things that may otherwise be accepted. Only if people start to think by keeping aside their desires, they will know the spirit of the First Amendment and how it guarantees the right to freedom of expression and choice without keeping the views of the people. She establishes that “the feminists carry the implicit conviction that [pornography] poses a greater threat to women than similarly repulsive exercises of free speech pose to other offended groups” (Jacoby). There are certain universal truths. Pornography may be wrong in that sense but then other such practices that are deemed legal should also be kept in view.

How can gay marriage be legalized if universal truths are to be taken in view? That is how Jacoby demands for an absolute interpretation of the American Constitution. She does not fear the wrath of people rather she talks about the broader inspection of the First Amendment and how it awards freedom as a basic right not subjected to personal interpretations. Jacoby is in favor of giving freedom to the expressive and creative self of human beings. She does not want these rights to be interpreted with regards to personal beliefs because she believes that such personal beliefs and desires will obviously deprive people of the things that they can do in the light of the First Amendment.

Such biased approach towards First Amendment will lead to the protection of those forms of expression that everyone likes. On the other hand, the forms of expressions that people do not like will be litigated. This leads to the forming of judgments against all acts. All acts are to be judged for their content and for what they represent. The creativity, expression, and artistic quality of that particular expression would be undermined if it is judged for its content and on the basis of collective morality of the society.

Jacoby’s belief was misinterpreted by the very people that were close to her. They deemed her an anti-feminist lobbyist. She was thought of as someone who was in favor of a form of expression that demeaned women. She has expressed that in her write-up. Her argument gets furthered by her belief that pornography is insulting but all that the world needs to understand is that it is seen from a biased viewpoint. She establishes that pornography is being singled as the only thing that is threatening to the social values. However, there are other things that are also vile and equally demeaning towards women and the society as whole. In this regard, she quotes “it is ridiculous to suggest that the porn shops on 42nd street are more disgusting to women than a march of Neo-Nazis is to survivors of the extermination camps” (Jacoby).

In addition to the argument that revolves around objectification of women, most of the people argue against the production of kiddie porn. The child pornography is not to be deemed legal at any cost. Pornography should be as legal as manufacturing of shoes in a factory protected by labor and civil laws. It is not legal to make children work in such factories. Just likes that, it should not be legal to use children in pornography. If they are used in this explicit form of expression, their parents or guardians should be fined. Jacoby also makes a case against child pornography by saying that it is not something that falls in the jurisdiction of First Amendment rather it is a matter of abuse of power. She quotes “it is an issue of the abuse of power – the power adults have over children – and not of obscenity” (Jacoby). She believes that the parents should not have the right to send their children for the filming of such material and it should be as illegal as it is to send children for coal mining.

Similarly, there should be an argument established to distinguish between art and obscenity. Some of the most prominent paintings made by famous painters depict nude men and women but they do not fall in the list of obscene paintings. They are considered the purest form of art because they depict the true nature of human beings. However, similar depiction of men and women can be considered obscene and trash if they are meant to look trash. If something is meant to demean women or men, it is to be contested on every level despite the presence of First Amendment. Jacoby also interviewed many people in this regard and found different comments on one picture. Some thought of it as lovely and beautiful while others saw that picture as revolting and demeaning (Jacoby).

Rebuttal Susan Brownmiller’s Argument

Susan Brownmiller, one of the writers of Susan Jacoby’s time, put up a case against pornography. She establishes in her write-up “Let’s Put Pornography Back in the Closet” that pornography should not be considered acceptable and legal in the light of the American constitution. Brownmiller takes support of the cases like Miller v. California and James Joyce’s Ulysses in order to deem pornography as demeaning form of expression. She thinks that women are deliberately objectified and raped in porn movies for the purpose of entertainment which she thinks is wrong morally and legally. She quotes “being stripped, bound, raped, tortured, mutilated, and murdered in the name of commercial entertainment” (Brownmiller, 59). She takes the moral view of the case and introduces her own feminist view to it and tries to prove pornography illegal and sick.


Brownmiller’s case is not strong because of her biased view towards pornography. She thinks pornography depicts women as weak where men are raping and torturing her to entertain the audience. She is wrong in establishing this kind of argument against pornography. Women are not treated as weak and they are not by any means tortured, raped or stripped. Women apply to become a part of porn industry. It involves their consent too and they are free choose where they want to work. The feminist school of thought criticizes things on the basis of the viewpoint that they think is right. However, her argument that pornography is anti-female propaganda is accepted even by Susan Jacoby. She thinks that Brownmiller may not be rational in all of her arguments but her argument that pornography has some kind of anti-female element is right to an extent.


The First Amendment of the American Constitution grants freedom of choice and expression to the people of America. The extent of that freedom is not defined in absolute terms. Some people believe that pornography should not be legalized on the basis of the First Amendment. Susan Jacoby is one of the proponents of this belief as she states that it is an explicit form of expression that should not be singled out just because it is not accepted socially. However, she is right in saying that some other practices are equally wrong but they are not viewed from that angle. It is to be concluded that pornography is not illegal in the light of the First Amendment because it is also a form of expression and contrary to the “porn is anti-female” argument of feminists its production involves consent of the actors who are of legal age.

Cite this paper

Why Pornography Should Be Protected. (2022, Feb 10). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/why-pornography-should-be-protected/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out