Essay on Censorship1

This essay has a total of 911 words and 7 pages.

Censorship1






Censorship


The freedom to read is essential to the democratic way of life. But
today, that freedom is under attack. Private groups and public authorities
everywhere are working to remove both books and periodicals from sale, to
exclude certain books from public schools, to censor and silence magazines
and newspapers, and to limit "controversial" books and periodicals to the
general public. The suppression of reading materials is suppression of
creative thought. Books and periodicals are not the only ones being
suppressed by pressures to the political and social systems. They are also
being brought against the educational system, films, radio, television, and
against the graphic and theatre arts. However or whenever these attacks
occur, they usually fall at least one of the following categories:


Religion
War & Peace (Violence)
Sociology & Race
Language
Drugs
Sex
Inappropriate Adolescent Behaviour


What is Obscenity? Clearly something hard to talk about constructively.
"Obscenity" is difficult to discuss honestly. After all, what makes a thing
obscene? It is Something too vague perhaps to be defined. It's an elusive
term we use, but can't explain. Different people often see things
differently. Some see obscenity in nude pictures, statues, paintings, etc.
While others find less obscenity in these things. All the same, "obscene"
isn't the same as "wrong" or "bad". Clearly obscenity is not identical with
evil. It only covers a single segment of it. But what is that segment? A
look at the words "obscenity" and "pornography" suggests that it is a
segment that didn't worry people very much till relatively recently.

Though censorship was known in english law quite early on, it wasn't
for obscenity but for heresy and sedition."Undue" exploitation of sex" is
what criminal law in Canada prohibits. This is how criminal law defines
obscenity. But it is rather vague. It doesn't differentiate between
"ordinary obscenity" and "hard-core pornography." The first denoting the
ordinary run of "girlie magazines and the second denoting pictures ,
literature and so on that deal with rape, sadism, masochism, bestiality,
necrophilia and other perversions. People tend to object far more to "hard-
core pornography." Another distinction unfortunately overlooked by our
criminal law is the distinction between isolated instances of obscenity and
the products of vast commercial enterprise.

There has been an increasing trend towards children's literature that
reflects a more realistic approach to the life both fiction and non-fiction,
with subjects that include sex, homosexuality, divorce, child abuse, drugs,
violence, etc. And they are these realistic books that have people outraged.
In school libraries, the most frequent complaints come from parents about
the school's selections. And in public libraries, parents were once again
the single greatest source of challenges to materials.

The world is filled with "obscene" things. And it would seem that
those parents are just trying to protect their children from the outside
world. But does it really help? These day, an average elementary school
student knows many things. They are influenced by a wide range of sources,
Continues for 4 more pages >>




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