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 things being suppressed by pressures to the political and social systems. They are also being brought against the educational system, films, radio and television and against the graphic and theater arts. Censorship occurs often in today’s society, much of which is justifiable, but in some cases is simply unnecessary.
What is Obscenity?
Obscenity is difficult to honestly discuss. After all, what makes a thing obscene? It is something too vague to be defined. People often see things differently. Some see obscenity in nude pictures, statues, paintings, etc. While others find less obscenity in these things. This is where the discrepancy is found between what should and should not be censored. The world is filled with obscene things. And it would seem that parents are just trying to protect their children from the outside world. But does it really help? My friend’s sister was upset with her parents for raising her in such a sheltered environment. When she went away to college, she got a taste of what the real world was really like. These days, an average elementary school student knows many things. They are influenced by a wide range of sources, from television and other forms of media, their environment at home and school, to their personality and background. What they read does not necessarily mean that they will follow it. Literature is a valued source of knowledge for these children and should not be held back. So rather than applying full censorship, it should be made an age-related censorship. Many complaints were issued about the immaturity of the readers. Younger children should be prevented from borrowing material intended for an older age group. Controversial materials should still be held for special order, available on request or under a section for parents and teachers who can decide for themselves whether the material is suitable or not. The concept of censorship is a notable effort to clean up society, but can be over used in areas where it does not apply. Our world is not perfect. We live in a world filled with violence, sex, racism, etc. Certain literature like hard-core pornography should be censored to the general public. These types of explicit sex truly have no meaning. They degrade the human race by increasing physical, mental and sexual abuse against people. Ordinary obscenity should be censored closely, but with an objective view. It may cause an increase in the violence against women, so as a result must be reduced and kept out of reach of the immature readers. We have a social system that mainly frowns upon the violence against women. There should be access to most types of literature, but in varying degrees of freedom, determined not by censorship, but by controlled access. Parents are trying to protect their children from the harsh realities of life, but are they helping or hindering?
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