Opposition To Pornography


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opposition to pornography Women's Rights Movement 1848-1998

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." That was Margaret Mead's conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world. Her insight has been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours. Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom, having a voice in the government you support with your taxes, living free of lifelong enslavement by another person. These beliefs about how life should and must be lived were once considered outlandish by many. But these beliefs were fervently held by visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes. Now these beliefs are commonly shared across U.S. society.

Another initially outlandish idea that has come to pass: United States citizenship for women. 1998 marks the 150th Anniversary of a movement by women to achieve full civil rights in this country. Over the past seven generations, dramatic social and legal changes have been accomplished that are now so accepted that they go unnoticed by people whose lives they have utterly changed. Many people who have lived through the recent decades of this process have come to accept blithely what has transpired. And younger people, for the most part, can hardly believe life was ever otherwise. They take the changes completely in stride, as how life has always been.

The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life, in religion, in government, in employment, in education - these changes did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature. Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance. They have worked very deliberately to create a better world, and they have succeeded hugely.

Throughout 1998, the 150th anniversary of the Women's Rights Movement is being celebrated across the nation with programs and events taking every form imaginable. Like many amazing stories, the history of the Women's Rights Movement began with a small group of people questioning why human lives were being unfairly constricted.

A Tea Launches a Revolution
The Women's Rights Movement marks July 13, 1848 as its beginning. On that sweltering summer day in upstate New York, a young housewife and mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was invited to tea with four women friends. When the course of their conversation turned to the situation of women, Stanton poured out her discontent with the limitations placed on her own situation under America's new democracy. Hadn't the American Revolution had been fought just 70 years earlier to win the patriots freedom from tyranny? But women had not gained freedom even though they'd taken equally tremendous risks through those dangerous years. Surely the new republic would benefit from having its women play more active roles throughout society. Stanton's friends agreed with her, passionately. This was definitely not the first small group of women to have such a conversation, but it was the first to plan and carry out a specific, large-scale program.

Today we are living the legacy of this afternoon conversation among women friends. Throughout 1998, events celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Women's Rights Movement are looking at the massive changes these women set in motion when they daringly agreed to convene the world's first Women's Rights Convention.

Within two days of their afternoon tea together, this small group had picked a date for their convention, found a suitable location, and placed a small announcement in the Seneca County Courier. They called "A convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman." The gathering would take place at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848.
In the history of western civilization, no similar public meeting had ever been called.

A "Declaration of Sentiments" is Drafted
These were patriotic women, sharing the ideal of improving the new republic. They saw their mission as helping the republic keep its promise of better, more egalitarian lives ... more

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Censorship and the Internet

by Josh Klein

For centuries governments have tried to regulate materials deemed inappropriate or offensive. The history of western censorship was said to have begun when Socrates was accused "firstly, of denying the gods recognized by the State and introducing new divinities, and secondly of corrupting the young."(fileroom.aaup.uic.edu) He was sentenced to death for these crimes. Many modern governments are attempting to control access to the Internet. They are passing regulations that restrict the freedom people once took for granted.

The Internet is a world wide network that should not be regulated or censored by any one country. It is a complex and limitless network which allows boundless possibilities and would be effected negatively by the regulations and censorship that some countries are intent on establishing. Laws that are meant for other types of communication will not necessarily apply in this medium. There are no physical locations where communications take place, making it difficult to determine where violations of the law should be prosecuted. There is anonymity on the Internet and so ages and identities are not known. This makes it hard to determine if illegal activities are taking place in regards to people under the legal age. As well, it is difficult to completely delete speech once it has been posted, meaning that distributing materials that are obscene or banned becomes easy.

The American Library Association (ALA) has a definition that states censorship is "the change in the access status of material, made by a governing authority or its representatives. Such changes include: exclusion, restriction, removal, or age/grade level changes."(www.eff.org - ALA) This definition, however, has a flaw in that it only recognizes one form of censorship - governmental censorship. (www.eff.org - ALA)

Cyberspace, a common name for the Net, has been defined by one author as being "made up of millions of people who communicate with one another through computers." It is not just people that make up cyberspace. It is also "information stored on millions of computers worldwide, accessible to others through telephone lines and other communication channels" that "make up what is known as cyberspace." The same author went on to say "The term itself is elusive, since it is not so much a physical entity as a description of an intangible."(Steele)

The complexity of the Internet is demonstrated through its many components. The most readily identifiable part is the World Wide Web (WWW). This consists of web pages that can be accessed through the use of a web browser. Web pages are created using a basic programming language. Another easily identified section of the Internet is e-mail. Once again it is a relatively user-friendly communication device. Some other less publicized sections of the Internet include : Internet Relay Chat (IRC), which allows real time chatting to occur among thousands of people, Gopher, which works similarly to the WWW but for a more academic purpose, and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which allows the transfer of files from one computer to another. Another service that is not Internet but is carried along with it in many instances is Usenet or News. In Usenet there are many newsgroups which center their conversations on many varied topics. For example, rec.music.beatles would focus the discussion on the Beatles. This would be done through posts or articles, almost like letters sent into a large pot where everyone can read and reply. Many controversial newsgroups exist and they are created easily. It is possible to transfer obscene and pornographic material through these newsgroups.

There is no accurate way to determine how many people are connected to the Internet because the number grows exponentially everyday. Figures become obsolete before they can be published. "[The Internet] started as a military strategy and, over thirty years later, has evolved into the massive networking of over 3 million computers worldwide". (Krumholz) One of the most prominent features of the young Internet was its freedom. It is "a rare example of a true, modern, functional anarchy...there are no official censors, no bosses, no board of directors, no stockholders". (Sterling) It's an open forum where the only thing holding anyone back is a conscience. The Internet has "no central authority" (Sterling) and therefore it makes it difficult to be censored. As a ... more

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  • A: Sex, Erotica, nude women, three some, these are so A: Sex, Erotica, nude women, three some, these are so Sex, Erotica, nude women, three some, these are some keywords for finding pornography on the internet. The censorship of pornography has a positive affect on the United States of America and is a good thing because pornography leads to crime, pornography has no positive affects on society, and censoring pornography is not against the constitution. Crimes and pornography have a direct and apparent link. Eighty-one percent of criminals rate pornography as their highest sexual interest ( ). This me...
  • P: Censorship in Grapes of Wrath P: Censorship in Grapes of Wrath Censorship in Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is considered a classic novel by many in the literary field. The trials and tribulations of the Joad family and other migrants is told throughout this novel. In order to gain a perspective into the lives of Oakies, Steinbeck uses themes and language of the troubling times of the Great Depression. Some of these aspects are critiqued because of their vulgarity and adult nature. In some places, The Grapes of Wrath has been edited...
  • H: The Road of Censorship H: The Road of Censorship The Road of Censorship Censorship violates our First Amendments rights to free speech. It does this by suppressing information contanied in books, magazines and other publications as best said by Berger, Censorship is the control of communication between people. It includes restriction on what can be written in books, newspapers and magazines; what can be show in movies and play on television, and what can be said in speeches and on radio. Mostly, censorship practiced by governments, but religio...
  • Y: Censorship Y: Censorship Censorship Sex, Erotica, nude women, three some, these are some keywords for finding pornography on the internet. The censorship of pornography has a positive affect on the United States of America and is a good thing because pornography leads to crime, pornography has no positive affects on society, and censoring pornography is not against the constitution. Crimes and pornography have a direct and apparent link. Eighty-one percent of criminals rate pornography as their highest sexual interest (...