Volume 92, Issue 66

Tuesday, January 26, 1999


OPINIONS

Howe wrong the comparison is

Ways to handle the whole incident

Ways to handle the whole incident



Re: Porno degrades more than models, Jan. 22



To the Editor:

Putting aside for a moment the arguments for freedom of expression, I have to admit pornography does indeed degrade women. Whenever you turn a woman into an object it cannot have a positive effect on society. A contest by Hustler, associating an elected Canadian official with pornography may even be the rudest thing printed that I've been aware of for a long time.

Given this however, we can do two things from my point of view. We can take the moral stance of the majority of Canadians and censor pornography, removing it from store shelves or shutting down its publication altogether. This quick solution would quiet the vulgar minority and restore the propriety and politeness Canada is known for.

Or, those offended can do what the cretins at Hustler did and voice their opinion. A condemnation by Sheila Copps or a reputable journalist will send a much stronger message than any that comes out of a porno magazine.

Since I value my freedoms as much as I do, I cannot endorse the censorship of pornography no matter its content. This sets the stage for the quieting of any voice that strays from the mainstream. Slowly and surely only one voice of majority will remain in the end and our freedom will have been removed from right under our noses.

In closing, I would like to draw the distinction between an idea and an action, which some people seem to confuse when they equate pornography to hate crimes and violence in general. Ideas are not illegal, violent actions are and though it's easy to blame the idea when someone acts it out, it's not so easy to prove.

On that note, I would like to contest Mr. Johnston's statement that there is a proven, conclusive link between sex crimes and pornography. In researching a paper I wrote about pornography last year, I did not find such a link. The only association it has with sex crimes is that those sick individuals who commit sex crimes are also more likely to buy porno magazines. Like many of the other 20th century distractions that have been implicated in sociopathic behaviour – like television and comic books – pornography as a CAUSE of crime has not been proven.

Evan Joanette
Biology III



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Copyright The Gazette 1999