Posted by: arianeleigh | October 15, 2012

Pornography- A Significant Player

As I was reading part four in Media and Society by O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, I began to find myself reminiscing on my undergrad journalism and cinematography courses. I have learned about narratives, mise-en-scene and shot lists and I began to recall the many movies where I identified these terms. As my mind began to drift, I turned the page and saw the bold word “Pornography.” Pornography? What? Never have I had a media related textbook that spends four pages talking about this forbidden subject.

Pornography accounts for 30% of all internet traffic and is worth over $10 billion, rivaling the Hollywood film industry’s annual U.S. box office revenue (Johnston 2007). These are facts  I have heard before, but never within the confined structure that I know as “media.” As an activist for human trafficking, I know that pornography has close connections with the international issue, but it’s censorship in the U.S. tries to keep the subject stifled.

O’Shaughnessy and Stadler recognize pornography as a “genre in its own right,” one that can be analyzed for its “patterns of repetition and variation, and developments” (O’Shaughnessy 295). I was pleased to see that pornography is being critically looked at next to major media sources such as television, the Internet and Hollywood movies. Pornography is a great example of masculine and feminine ideologies, gender relationships and ideologies of sexuality and sexual behavior… but how powerful is the censorship in the U.S.?

As O’Shaughnessy and Stadler describe, we are constantly being fed a diet of gender, relationship and sexual ideologies that seriously impact our culture and society. So really, we are already being exposed to a negative framework in our countries through what we consider “acceptable media.”

If pornography is so tantalizing and laden with negative stereotypes, then why are we not censoring the mountain of media we consider “acceptable” that bombards our lives with negative portrayals of gender, sex and relationships?

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