ploratory Essays Research Papers’Legislation and Prostitution: Do They Coincide? Throughout research the question: ‘What exactly is the definition of pornography?,’ has been asked several times. This is the answer to this very common question, “according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1973), pornography is ‘Written, graphic, or other forms of communication intended to excite lascivious feelings.
‘” Pornography being such a broad topic as it is has been reduced and in this reading the basis of pornography, will be centered around, Legislation in part with Prostitution. Prostitution. What comes to mind when one hears this word? Cheap, degrading, trashy, offensive,. . .
any other adjectives come to mind? What about accepted? Shocking as it may seem, but research has shown that in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, prostitution was accepted. Prostitution is defined as “a socially identifiable group of women (who) earn their living principally or exclusively from the commerce of their bodies. ” There were certain rules however, a prostitute was not allowed to be with good men and could not be near the church. Prostitution became institutionalized by the Fifteenth Century and if a prostitute lived on a public street she was punished.
Their punishment for their first offense was only a fine, but by their third offense they had to pay a fine and were also punished by “running the town, beating, and banishment from the town. ” These were the laws and if disobeyed, that was the punishment. At the time this book, Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures, was written there were no laws against pornographic material in any form. In fact, ‘The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution’ states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This right is either absolute or it does not exist. ” Anywhere in the First Amendment was there any violation of what pornography stands for? There was not any laws that prove the violation of pornography. These are laws against things that are considered obscene or too explicit. If there were no laws, movies would not be rated and magazines of any sort, would be available anywhere and to all age groups. Some attempts at legislation have back-fired, one such attempt was in Indianapolis where, “local feminists were deliberately kept ignorant of the hearings on pornography, which were set up by right-wing legislators in an attempt to use ‘liberal’ arguments to promote their own goals.
” This is what started ‘feminism’ and this the back-fire. When the local feminists did find out they were ‘furious’ and “they were vocal in their opposition to the legislation. ” Sex workers is another word for prostitution. The argument for sex workers is that it causes “men to regard all women as sex objects. ” One woman, Barbara Rogers, “complains that ‘pornography is basically saying that all women are like prostitutes. ‘” What classifies a person to be a prostitute? The way she dresses for instance, or which street she walks down, or maybe the way she walks.
What about the person who works for an escort service? Do these women have better names just because they are more exclusive, than working on the street? Studies do not talk much about this but it could be that the way a person addresses themselves, dictates wether they think of themselves as a prostitute or not. Jane Anthony is an activist scholar, teacher, and a writer and she wrote an article titled, “Prostitution As ‘Choice.'” In her article she points out that, “traditionally, prostitution has been considered a necessary evil that helps to preserve the institution of marriage by providing a readily available outlet for men’s sexual desires.” In writings by feminists, “a pro-prostitution stance” has been portrayed, “in which prostitution is portrayed as a “career choice.” WHISPER stands for Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt, and Evelina Giobbe founder of this organization states, “Dismantling the institution of prostitution is the most formidable task facing contemporary feminism.” WHISPER considers prostitution .