Pornography and Women Empowerment Essay

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Women today have made strides in narrowing the gender gap with men, beating them in college admission (Francis), and reducing the pay-gap between the sexes by about 17 cents on the dollar over the past 20 years (United States). Despite noticeable advances for women, the notions of sexual female taboo and misogyny still remain ever present. Gender roles and sexuality are a major conflict in American politics today. In the race for the republican nomination for president, Rick Santorum has stated that "America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography (Friedersdorf).” A self-described crusader for family values, he has also detailed in his writing that "In far too many families with young children, both parents are working… Here, we…show more content…
To understand the internal debate of feminists, you have to understand the history of feminist views on sexuality. The sexual empowerment of women has seen two major revolutions. According to Leila Rupp at the University of California Santa Barbara, the first movement began in the 1910s with the push for women’s suffrage and legal equality. In the first revolution, equality was demanded for a more equal partnership within the family, and the institution of marriage. The second revolution in the 1960s gave rise to the idea of freedom and equality outside of the bounds of marriage (Rupp). The two sexual revolutions disperse at essentially the same rift which occurs in the feminist view of pornography, and at the root of the rift is a sexual identity crisis. Does free love, liberation from marriage, and breaking of sexual taboo liberate women, or is a fixation on sex a masculine idea at heart.
Women who see pornography as negative (anti-porn) focus on four major arguments against pornography as a positive force for women, the arguments include the following generalizations: “Pornography is degrading to women, Pornography leads to violence against women, Pornography is violence because women are coerced into pornography, Pornography is violence because women who pose for porn are so traumatized by patriarchy they cannot give real consent (McElroy).” All four of these arguments are oversimplified and/or not true. While it is an easy a seemingly effective argument to say
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