Although a very respected female journalist, Susan Jacoby was labeled as a “First Amendment junkie” by many other women for her personal views concerning the censorship of pornography in society. Ultimately, she believed that censorship of any kind against pornography was wrong. Feminists were infuriated that another female acknowledged pornography’s right to exist. Susan Jacoby did not necessarily agree with pornography, but she felt that its rights guaranteed under the First Amendment should not be excluded.
There is no universal definition for the interpretation of the First Amendment in which every single American can agree upon. It was created with the basic understanding that everyone share the same rights. Trying to appeal to feminists that pornography is protected under the First Amendment is almost an impossibility. Susan Jacoby refers to the feminists as a social group entity that wants to use their powers of the state to try and change what has not been able to be changed. She believes feminists lack any real rational reason for the censorship of pornography and that it is wrong simply because they say it is. In the eyes of feminists, all types of pornography will undoubtedly lead to violence, destruction, and the immoral downfall of mankind, as we know it. Evidently, feminists understand the viewpoints for all women and know exactly what is good and what is not for them.
Feminists believe themselves to be an unfairly treated minority in society. They have banned together to defend other women across the nation from becoming victims of sexual obscenities and foul vulgarity. It is more important that the freedom of speech granted to pornography be censored more than the freedom of speech granted to other ideas such as lesbianism or abortion. Truly, it is amusing to see how feminists have assigned a level of tolerance towards different ideas and that pornography is at the top of their list. The single-mindedness and tunnel vision of feminists for the approach on pornography causes them to completely disregard other ideas that can also be constituted as wrong and accordingly be denied the First
Susan Jacoby did an excellent job of staying neutral in her views of supporting pornography and primarily focused on presenting the First Amendment rights. Pornography is a hard subject to defend and enlighten people about because the industry is built around the controversial and taboo ideas of sex. Although everyone is doing it, not everyone is freely talking about it. Also access to pornography is regulated preventing under aged children from viewing it; therefore, giving it more of an impression that it is wrong. Despite all the negative implications, Susan Jacoby understands that if society denies pornography’s rights under the First Amendment, then society must in turn deny every other idea their rights as well. The very foundation of the First Amendment granting freedom of speech and press to everyone should not have loopholes or exemptions for anything simply because one type of social group disagrees with the views of another.
Jacoby, Susan. “First Amendment Junkie.” Critical Thinking. Barnet, Sylvan and Hugo Bedaw. Boston: Bedford St. Martin, 2005. 41-43.