Let's Put Pornography Back in the Closet. Free speech is one of the great foundations on which our democracy rests. I am old enough to remember the Hollywood Ten, the screenwriters who went to jail in the late 's because they refused to testify before a congressional committee about their political affiliations.
Three articles have opposing viewpoints on laws concerning pornography. All three authors argue their side of this issue while having many of the same ideas as their opposing writers. Susan has written many articles on women's issues for popular magazines such as Glamour, McCalls, and The Nation.
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One by one the images flashed onto the screen, each accompanied by gasps and exclamations from the audience: a naked woman gagged and bound, hanging from the ceiling by her wrists, her back flayed with whip lashes; a woman's body being fed into a meatgrinder; the dismembered body of a woman as a chicken on a plate of cacciatore, covered with tomato sauce or blood. High School in Manhattan. Many among the audience who arrived unconvinced of such assertions had changed their minds even before the opening slide show had ended; the presentation left most of the women profoundly shocked.
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Susan Brownmiller's essay, "Let's Put Pornography Back in the Closet," makes a compelling case for taking pornography out from under the cloak of the First Amendment and exposing it for the offensive anti feminine agenda that underlies it. Brownmiller's point is that although she fully supports First Amendment rights and is not in favor of censorship, there is a limit to the types of material that should be defended under the aegis of the first amendment; pornography is not one of them. We are unalterably opposed to the presentation of the female body being stripped, bound, raped, tortured, mutilated and murdered in the name of commercial entertainment and free speech
If that fallacy still prevails, this only shows how right she was to confront it in the first place. After the article appeared, Brownmiller, who is now 82, expected a gentle upswing in her emails, perhaps the odd visit from a journalist. But, no. There followed a period of radio silence.
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Brownmiller argues that rape had been previously defined by men rather than women, and that men use it as a means of perpetuating male dominance by keeping all women in a state of fear. Her father was a salesman in the Garment Center and later a vendor in Macy's department store, and her mother was a secretary in the Empire State Building. InBrownmiller signed her name to the Ms. She describes herself as "a single woman", even though "I was always a great believer in romance and partnership.