Is Censorship Justified? Essay, Research Paper
Ever wondered the reason behind racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, children committing crime or violence? The main reason is that censorship is not properly imposed or there is a need of censorship in the society. Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain people, individual, groups or government officials find it objectionable, offensive or dangerous on others. There are varieties of other definitions but all have in common the concept of withholding information and/or resources from those who seek it. Hence censorship is essential in society to eliminate discrimination on basis of race and sex, protect children, maintain stability and restore what censor sees as lost moral values. Censorship occurs when expressive materials like books, magazines, movies, videos, music or work of art are restricted to particular audiences based on their age or other characteristics. (http://www.ala.org/oif/intellectualfreedeomandcensorship.html)
Censorship is not a recent development. It wasn?t imposed properly or there weren?t strict regulations before. In the article ?Hate Radio? by Patricia J. Williams, the writer says that radio was a powerful source of media. It had influenced a lot of people. The power of media can change the course of history. The host on the radio such as Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern were also influencing a lot of people. The theme was not merely the specific intolerance on hot topics as race and gender, but a much more general contempt for the world, a verbal stoning of anything different. Most of the audience on this radio shows were white and male. Most of the callers have spent their lives walling themselves off from any real experience with blacks, feminists, lesbians or gays. Rush Limbaugh tell his audience ?what you believe inside, you can talk about it in the marketplace.? Unfortunately what?s inside is then mistaken for what?s outside, treated empirical and political reality. Most of the talks on the radio were being racist against the blacks. This had influenced so much that a statistics showed that 53 percent of people in America agree that blacks and Latinos are less intelligent than whites, and a majority believed that blacks are lazy, violent, welfare-dependent and unpatriotic. Hence this stereotype among the people was due to the lack of censorship.(Williams,502)
The Rap and Rock music has influenced a lot of youths and being subjected to these types of songs, children and teenagers are committing crimes, drinking alcohol, using drugs and forming racist or sexist opinions. Rap music is a powerful source for young people. These people are expressing the reality of their lives and their culture, which includes drug use, sexual activity and violence. Generally foul language has rapidly increased with modern popular song lyrics. An increase in explicit violence and misogyny in popular music has been recorded. Song lyrics have been judged to be inspirations for violent, suicidal and other criminal acts. For example, Mr. Raymond Kuntz referred to his son?s incident, ? When his wife went to wake his son for school, they found him dead of a gunshot wound, still wearing his headphones with Marilyn Manson?s Anti-Christ Superstar CD still in the player. The boy?s favorite song was ?Reflecting God? (Nina Crowley, ?Senate Hearings on Music, Newsgroup, Page no.2, November 15,1997). Teenagers listening to popular music learn from the words of the artists. Therefore if the artist sets an example of being cool and performing harmful acts, the listener may reproduce his learned actions. Modern rock artists such as Marilyn Manson are demonstrating some extremely unethical performances. During his shows he exposed his genitalia, sodomized himself with a stick, which he then threw into the crowd, and asks fans to spit on him. These types of models that common people replicate are sometimes hideously horrifying and may cause many innocent people to perform violent and mischievous acts. It stands that prolonged exposure to such hate filled lyrics could have an effect on one?s attitudes, assumptions, decisions and behavior. These problems can be only solved with censorship.(Dority, 557).
The censorship of pornography has a positive effect on United States of America. Pornography leads to crime and sex discrimination and it has no positive effect on the society. About 81 percent of criminals rate pornography as their highest sexual interest. This means a majority of criminals love pornography and find it highly interesting. Psychologist Edward Donnerstein (University of Wisconsin) found that brief exposure to violent forms of pornography can lead to anti-social attitudes and behavior. Male viewers tend to be more aggressive toward women, less responsive to the pain and suffering of rape victims, and more willing to accept various myths about rape. Censorship of pornography does not censor thoughts and ideas. It doesn?t say that one needs to not ever have a dirty thought or even that one cannot talk about it to someone else, it means that by censoring material published in the media form will bring protection to the society. Hence pornography does not have a positive effect. If children need to be educated about sex, they can get it better from the school. Pornography if not censored can also lead to sex discrimination. Pornography is mainly the graphic, sexually explicit subordination of women or women presented as sexual object who enjoy pain or humiliation. This suggest the viewer whether a male or female that women are inferior and hence causing sexual discrimination. (Dworkin, 543).
Censorship should also be imposed on the work of art if it is related to any sexually expressive materials because it shows the women as a sexual object, which will lead to gender discrimination. In the article ?Perils of Pornophobia? the writer Nadine Strossen does not feel the need of censorship on the work of art. In the third paragraph she finds nothing wrong with a nude picture on the classroom wall. However, the picture will surely distract the students. The teacher and the female students feel uncomfortable. As there were no men nude pictures, this would make the women feel inferior. This could also cause gender discrimination. She also mentions about her research that there is no casual connection between exposure to pornography and commission of violence, but this research was conducted in 1993 which is now outdated. Another point, which she emphasized, was that a greater availability of sexually explicit material seems to correlate with higher indices of gender equality. But when the sexually explicit material shows the subordination of women or women presented as sexual object who enjoy pain or humiliation, how can they be equal as men when the men are shown as the gender that enjoys subordinating women. (Strossen,550). Feminist author Diana Russell notes in her book Rape and Marriage the correlation between deviant behavior (including abuse) and pornography. She also found that pornography leads men and women to experience conflict, suffering, and sexual dissatisfaction.
Hence censorship is essential in order to maintain peace and stability in the society. It will decrease the crime rates. Children can be exposed to sexual matters in school in a different manner as education. Excessive amount of sexual explicit material would surely be harmful. Censorship does not have a downside and it will be a better society.