Pornography, Erotica, and Nude Art – There Is a Difference - Art Essay Example

Pornography is a subject that has always been argued and stirs up controversy almost anywhere it may arise - Pornography, Erotica, and Nude Art – There Is a Difference introduction. There are people who are against it, and would like to ban all pornography for the benefit of everyone, while there are those who defend it, claiming it is part of their “guaranteed” free speech, to express themselves in a manner of their choosing. With the issue of pornography being debated and spoken of, one major mistake people make is that they look at pornography according to their own views. Different types of people look at pornography differently, and therefore create their own definition of pornography in their minds.

Usually, pornography tends to be mistaken with nude art and erotica, so some people consider erotic as pornography. Although all three may be similar, they each possess qualities that that can make them distinguishable. There should be a legal distinction among pornography, erotica, and nude art, so that they cannot be confused with each other, and so that there can be a uniform guideline for people to use when distinguishing the three expressions. The goal of pornography is to sexually stimulate and arouse people, and it possesses no artistic value to the artistic community.

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Pornography can be expressed through the form of almost every media, which includes images, drawings, text, sound, and video. Generally, all pornography is sexual and shows, or gives the impression of either an individual or individuals participating in sexual acts. Two main types of pornography in which other types may be classified under are softcore pornography and hardcore pornography. Softcore pornography is not as intense as hardcore, and does not show penetration, but is still considered pornography.

Hardcore pornography, as explained by its name, is much more extreme and intense, and does show penetration in visual/video type pornography. Textual pornography describes the actions of an individual or individuals in a sexual act in words, and can be found in pornographic magazines and novels. Similarly, images and drawings show still shots of people in sexual acts, and sound would express the audio portion of sexual acts. There is also no emotional connection with the partners who are involved in the sexual acts of pornography. So it does not matter what the relationship of the individuals is.

The only important thing that matters is that the individual’s sexual pleasures are achieved. Erotica also has the goal to stimulate sexual arousal, and it can be achieved by being expressed through a visual, video, or literature form. Because of its intent to sexually stimulate people, I would say that erotica contains no artistic or literature value. It can be described almost the same as softcore pornography because erotica may also show an individual or individuals participating in sexual acts without the showing of penetration.

Erotic literature builds a romantic relationship between partners, in which mostly women would enjoy, because of a woman’s closeness to romanticism and emotion. Erotica portrays human sexuality in an artistic theme, but it is non-artistic. Artists may be included as some of the people who create erotica, but just because an artist creates something, it is not always classified as art. An artist can just as well draw something or take a photograph of the ground and call it garbage; so just because it comes from an artist, doesn’t mean that it possesses artistic value.

Nude art is an artistic form, and therefore has artistic value. It is just like any art you can find on paintings, murals, drawings, sculptures, etc. A common example that defines what nude art is one that can be seen in a few television shows, in which there is an art class, and a woman poses topless to be sculptured by the class. Of course the viewer cannot see the woman’s body parts, except for her upper back, but the viewer can understand that the woman is topless and the students get a full view of the subject’s front side to sculpt.

On the two television shows I have seen this take place, the art class consisted of high school students, who I assume, were not even 18. So the students were then allowed to look at the subject’s breasts and ponder the importance of nude art as they made replicas of the woman in a graceful, artistic, position. The students probably submitted a signed note from their parents to be involved in the sculpture session, because I do not know of any public school that would allow its students to take part in this type of class during school hours, on school grounds.

The woman’s nudity is considered as “art” because she is posing for an art class, which was allowed by a public school, although I highly do not think that it would actually happen. Nude art’s purpose is to portray the human body as an art form, and not an object of sexuality or arousal. Both pornography and erotica have the main purpose to sexually stimulate people, but pornography does not show the emotional connection between the individuals involved in the sexual acts, while erotica does.

Erotica is just like nude art, except that erotica possesses no artistic value, and art does contain an artistic value that is accepted by everyone. There is a form of art called erotic art that I guess is a mixture of erotica and nude art. But if guidelines were to be set by the government, art forms that could be on the borderline of erotic art could be easier to distinguish. Pornography is not classified as nude art at all, and nude art is not pornography. Pornography just has the sole purpose of stimulating sexual arousal.

I would assume that the intent of nude art is to appreciate and admire the human body, and to not be sexual at all. Also, nude art either does not show genitalia at all, whether it is male or female, or it is not the main focus, so it is not drawn or painted in detail. Nude art may consist of photographs and paintings of people or angels who are nude and they may cleverly have their crotch area concealed with overlapping thighs. Pornography, erotica, and nude art may be similar in some ways, but need to be distinguished so that people do not argue whether something is pornography, erotica, or nude art.

A popular men’s magazine, “Playboy,” is considered to be pornographic, but it is a softcore pornographic magazine. Women are shown semi-nude in the photographs, so some people would argue the magazine to be erotic because it does not contain hardcore, pornographic pictures. But other people say that it is pornographic because women are explicitly shown. Other people say the “Sports Illustrated” magazine’s swimsuit issue is an erotic magazine, but the magazine does not show women in sexual activities; they are just posing for a camera, advertising the swimsuits. Another debated publication is the Victoria’s Secret catalog.

Some people consider it to be erotica because it can be used to sexually stimulate a person. It does not matter how or what something is used for. What matters is what its intent is. If a child colors in a workbook, it is not called a coloring book. A workbook is called a workbook because its intent is to present problems for students to work out. Since there are differences in what people consider something to be, there needs to be a standard for everyone to follow. The government should make legal distinctions among pornography, erotica, and nude art, so that the confusion of some people may be cleared.

The first step for people to argue something is to have some background knowledge on the subject, or have it defined for them to argue. The federal government should make a legal distinction among the three topics, because court cases involving pornography are usually taken to federal court after their run in smaller courts. Pornography should be defined as material in which extreme sexual acts are depicted, such as sexual penetration, and whose sole purpose is to sexually stimulate people, while presenting no artistic value.

Erotica should be defined as material whose purpose is to sexually stimulate people, but not always depicted as non-extreme sexual acts. Erotica also develops or shows the emotional relationship between the individuals depicted in the sexual acts, but presents no artistic value. Nude art should be distinguished as non-extreme, very mild, non-sexual acts of nude persons expressed through an artistic media, not including video and audio. There is a freedom of expression inferred by the Supreme Court. Some forms of art such as paintings, sculptures, carvings, etc. re protected by this freedom but photographs and movies are not as protected. I think that it is because photographs and movies are made using electronic technology that enables to capture actual depictions of people or actions, while paintings, sculptures, carvings, etc. were made long before cameras, and video cameras, so they are not as detailed like a photograph would be. “The conventions of mainstream film focus on the human form” (Mulvey 2184). Laura Mulvey suggests that film captures the human form, and when photographed or filmed, all the detail is stored in the original content.

There also should not be any restrictions of pornography, erotica, and nude art, except that pornography should be restricted to audiences 18 and older. If there is a restriction places on pornography, people would want restrictions on other things, creating a “domino effect” and eventually restrictions would be placed on almost everything. In “Sexual Speech and the Law,” Nadine Strossen argues that, “if accepted, the feminist procensorship analysis would lead inevitably to the suppression of far more than pornography” (464).

So imposing restrictions on freedoms already given to the American people would endanger other freedoms promised by the constitution. With the intervention of a government law, people will be informed of the characteristics of pornography, erotica, and nude art, and will then be able to distinguish the differences and similarities among each. And if pornography, erotica, and nude art are not restricted, then other freedoms will not be in danger. Instead of getting confused and mixing the three up, people could argue bout the right thing instead of arguing a sculpture which they could consider as pornography. People with conflicting thoughts could be straightened out with a new government law distinguishing pornography, erotica, and art. Setting a standard of how to distinguish pornography, erotica, and nude art, would decrease the number of people arguing over what should be legal. A law stating that pornography will not be restricted, would also decrease the number of court cases filed by people trying to impose antipornography laws.

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