Pornography, better than having uprotected sex

Concerning her pornography column [Nov. 12 issue], I agree with Melissa Dunson that pornography needs to be discussed, but I disagree with her selective portrayal of what pornography is and what it does to people. I think it is an oversimplification to say it presents a “degrading and dehumanizing portrayal of women.” There is pornography featuring men available for women to enjoy, such as Playgirl magazine. Additionally pornography does not always portray women as submissive, and it does not always focus on women with “perfect” bodies.

As far as how pornography affects men, it is easy to generalize and say it may “encourage” violence, but there is a lot of pornography that is not violent. Pornography is wide-ranging in what it portrays, depending on the audience of focus. If you ask most men, they will probably say they view pornography merely to release sexual tension I think that is far better than having lots of unprotected sex.

Finally, women who feel “convinced” by pictures of skinny models to become sex objects are simply being weak-minded. After all no one is pointing a gun at them and demanding they emulate the models. They have the power to choose whether or not to be affected by them.

Khendra MurdockSophomore English Major

Pornographers, as citizens, have constitutional rights

I would like to respond to the Editor’s Column, written by Melissa Dunson, for the Friday, Nov. 12, 2004 issue.

In her column that denounces pornography, Dunson states, “… the U.S. Constitution prohibits what is obscene …” Her statement is false. In fact, the Constitution says nothing about obscenity (unless if there is some recent amendment that I don’t know about. However, the beauty of amendments is they can be repealed if they are found to be unconstitutional, and if there is such an amendment prohibiting obscenity, it should be repealed.)

The fact is that the federal the federal government has no constitutional authority to censor anyone. Any kind of censorship by the federal government does indeed violate the first Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the right of freedom of speech for all citizens. And while I am not a fan of pornography, I must recognize that pornographers, as citizens, have the same Constitutional rights as everyone else.

If the government were to start prohibiting obscenity, first of all, they would have to define what is obscene, which everyone has a different opinion about. Then they would have to gather a panel of panel of people to view the items that were considered to be pornographic. In essence, this amounts to adult citizens telling other adult citizens what they can or cannot view. This is unconstitutional nonsense.

Perhaps the widespread idea that the government has the right to censor speech comes from the common belief that the United States is a democracy. But we are not a democracy; we are a constitutional republic, and this means that we all have the rights to freedom of religion and speech, and others guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

Tyler DowningJunior Mass Communications Major