PORNOGRAPHY IN THE MEDIA
Unfortunately most of what is broadcast or transmitted in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media taking criticism of society. Other forms of mass media, specifically movies and television programs containing pornography and violence have been heavily criticised. The underlining concept is that society is negatively influenced, specifically, by images of pornography and the result is an increase in violence against women. This assumption is completely fallacious, however, as no conclusive evidence has ever been formulated in support of the theory. The key premise is that the mass media does not cause undesirable social behaviour and in actuality, the media executives should not be dubbed as the 'bad guys'. They simply use their power in the most constructive ways possible in order to promote their ratings and popularity. One way to do that is to concentrate on what sells: sex, violence and disaster.
Having said this, why is it then, that many in society still believe otherwise; why do they continue to believe that pornography is 'evil' and is the major cause for violence against women? There are numerous reasons for this misinterpretation and through the following few points, an attempt will be made to show that pornography has almost no correlation with violence against women. In order to demonstrate this, it must be made evident that pornography is not 'evil' and does not cause undesirable social behaviour by displaying nude women in sexually explicit circumstances, regardless of an individual's moral abhorrence of pornography. Thus, it is important to indicate that women are not treated only as sexual objects through the media. This is done in an attempt to quash any traces of 'evil' in pornography.
It would be senseless to assume that women in this society are treated as sexual objects only because the media releases or broadcasts pornographic material. It should be obvious then that the media does not portray women as being only to fill male sexual desires. To say that pictures featuring nudity, etc., are making objects out of women is inane. One should consider females who pin-up posters of male music stars, or children who collect football or basketball cards. Society, however, does not say that objects are being made out of these music stars and sports heroes; pictures of clothed people are no less objects than pictures of naked people.
Many complaints are also made to the effect that pornography only offers a one-dimensional view to life; that women are seen as nymphomaniacs who are hysterically addicted to sex. It should be noted that events such as football games, boxing matches, horse races and operas all offer a one-dimensional view of life. One does not attend and opera hoping to see a horse race. The underlying problem here is that the above mentioned events are socially acceptable; media displaying pornography is not.
Realistically, to say that women are singled out in the media is fallacious due to the many examples of media where men are seen catering to the needs of women; something known as chivralic sexism. Take, for instance, the old television show 'Man-o-Man' where men were used to cater for the needs of women by flaunting around in their underwear, ultimately, to win prises. There were no line-ups of men aching to announce their displeasure with the sexist program; and this is precisely why male stereotyping in the media goes unnoticed. Having discussed the untruthfulness of the claims against pornography, it is now possible to consider the violence issue. It is tempting to believe that media influences males and overstimulates them through pornography to the point that become aggressive towards females. But this is baseless; just as pornography arouses or stimulates, it also satisfies.
Having considered the issues at hand, it can be said that pornography in the media does not cause undesirable social behaviour due to the lack of evidence to the contrary. As mentioned above, sexually explicit movies and magazines do not just arouse, but satisfy. To suggest that pornography promotes men to commit acts of violence amongst women is as ludicrous as suggesting that pictures of food cause the hungry to steal more food. This point can also be compared with the recent furore of 'Lolita'. Although 'Lolita' depicts a relationship of a man and his twelve year-old stepdaughter, it does not promote or condone paedophilia and will not singularly cause a man to become a paedophile.
Despite this stance I do not, in anyway, condone or promote pornography and I believe there are many issues in relation to pornography still to be sufficiently rectified, but the underlying premise is that there is almost no correlation between female violence and pornography within the media.