First Amendment Junk Essay

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Although Susan Jacoby’s article, “First Amendment Junkie,” appeared first in the New York Times three decades ago, the issue of censorship and what is viewed as obscene is still being debated in contemporary America. In her article she raises many valid points. However, the one that sticks out most in my mind is her implication that: if the United States was to permit the prosecution of people on obscenity charges it would lead to even more censorship on different topics thus, hindering the freedom of debate and the First Amendment. Jacoby writes that “most of the people who want to censor girlie magazines are equally opposed to open discussion of issues that are of vital concern to women” (para.9). She proves this point by stating that in a court setting Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, would “fair better” (para. 10) than Susan Brownmiller, a vocal feminist, who discusses topics such as abortion and lesbianism. This rings true, even today. The Playboy brand is as popular as ever, with a television show, a line of clothing, and other merchandise. Yet the issues of abortion, contraception, and lesbianism are things we do not discus openly. These topics are treated as dirty things that are not fit for public, or even private debate. In fact,…show more content…
If the government was capable of convicting people of obscenity, who’s to say what would be deemed obscene? Would it be the government ? Would the people hold a national vote? Or would one person decide what is obscene? If the United Stated did have the power of total censorship the ban may start at pornographic magazines and movies, but it could quickly develop into the censorship of fine art, novels, or even the right to state an opinion. The authors of The Constitution were wise to include and believe in the freedom of speech, without the First Amendment, who knows what the people of this country would be allowed to say, create, or

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