Censorshipt Essay, Research Paper
Censorship!?! The freedom to read is essential to the democratic way of life. Buttoday, that freedom is under attack. Private groups and public authoritieseverywhere are working to remove both books and periodicals from sale, toexclude certain books from public schools, to censor and silence magazinesand newspapers, and to limit “controversial” books and periodicals to thegeneral public. The suppression of reading materials is suppression ofcreative thought. Books and periodicals are not the only ones beingsuppressed by pressures to the political and social systems. They are alsobeing brought against the educational system, films, radio, television, andagainst the graphic and theatre arts. However or whenever these attacksoccur, they usually fall at least one of the following categories: Religion War & Peace (Violence) Sociology & Race Language Drugs Sex Inappropriate Adolescent Behaviour What is Obscenity? Clearly something hard to talk about constructively. “Obscenity” is difficult to discuss honestly. After all,what makes a thing obscene? It is Something too vague perhaps to bedefined. It’s an elusive term we use, but can’t explain. Different peopleoften see things differently. Some see obscenity in nude pictures, statues,paintings, etc. While others find less obscenity in these things. All thesame, “obscene” isn’t the same as “wrong” or “bad”. Clearly obscenity isnot identical with evil. It only covers a single segment of it. But what isthat segment? A look at the words “obscenity” and “pornography” suggeststhat it is a segment that didn’t worry people very much till relatively recently. Though censorship was known in english law quite early on, it wasn’tfor obscenity but for heresy and sedition.”Undue” exploitation of sex” iswhat criminal law in Canada prohibits. This is how criminal law definesobscenity. But it is rather vague. It doesn’t differentiate between “ordinary obscenity” and “hard-core pornography.” The first denoting theordinary run of “girlie magazines and the second denoting pictures ,literature and so on that deal with rape, sadism, masochism, bestiality,necrophilia and other perversions. People tend to object far more to “hard-core pornography.” Another distinction unfortunately overlooked byour criminal law is the distinction between isolated instances of obscenityand the products of vast commercial enterprise. There has been an increasing trend towards children’s literature thatreflects a more realistic approach to the life both fiction andnon-fiction, with subjects that include sex, homosexuality, divorce, childabuse, drugs, violence, etc. And they are these realistic books that havepeople outraged. In school libraries, the most frequent complaints comefrom parents about the school’s selections. And in public libraries,parents were once again the single greatest source of challenges to materials. The world is filled with “obscene” things. And it would seem thatthose parents are just trying to protect their children from the outsideworld. But does it really help? These day, an average elementary school student knows many things. They are influenced by a wide range of sources,from television and other forms of media, their environment at home andschool, their personality and their background. Why they read does notnecessarily mean that they will follow. Literature is a valued source ofknowledge for these children, and should not be held back. So rather thanapplying full censorship, it should be made an age-related censorship. Manyof the complaints that were issued were of the immaturity of the readers.And younger children should be prevented from borrowing material intendedfor an older age group. Controversial materials should still be held eitherin reserve stock, available on request, or under a section for parents andteachers who can decide for themselves whether the material is suitable ornot. Our would is not perfect. We are a world filled with violence, sex,racism, etc. Certain literature like “hard-core pornography” should becensored to the general public. These types of “explicit sex” truly have nomeaning. They degrade the human race by increasing physical, mental andsexual abuse against women, animals, and sometimes against men. Theseinhuman treatments should not be shown to prevent other potential peoplefrom “experimenting” these acts of disgust. “Ordinary obscenity” should becensored closely, but with an objective view. They may also cause anincrease in the violence against women, so they must be reduced and keptout of reach of the immature readers. To make a tree grow correctly, youmust start caring from the very beginning. You must not block its nutrients, water nor sunlight, but allow it to move around a bit. We have a governing social system that mainly frowns upon the violence against women.There should indeed be access to most types of literature, but in varyingdegrees of freedom, determined not by censorship, but by controlled access.Parents are trying to protect their children from the harsh realities oflife, but are they really helping, or hindering?