This essay will briefly look at the historic aspect of pornography, from ancient times, through the risque Victorian period to what preceded the page three girl. It will look at the feminist theories, which say that, pornography leads to the subordination of women, and how men's exposure to pornography can lead to sexual violence towards women. However, pornography has a lighter side and can be used for entertainment and educational purposes, these avenues will also be explored.
Pornography has been around for thousands of years. The Egyptians, as far back as 3000 B.C, depicted sexual behaviour on the walls of temples, and sex was considered to be normal and pleasurable. In Greece many wall paintings and mosaics have been unearthed portraying, what we would call, pornographic material. These murals obviously were thought to be art forms and sex and sexuality were a part of their culture, which suggests few people saw the sex act as licentious and obscene. It is only in recent times that sex, particularly in the west is seen as dirty. Religion and the church have had a tremendous affect on this view, although nude paintings which illustrate women in provocative positions were deemed to be art, as in the work of Gauguin 1896 The Queen. The term pornography originates from two Greek words, porne, which means prostitute and graphein, which means to write. (Penguin Dictionary) It is my belief that the combination of the words was originally meant to describe, in literature, the sexual escapades of women who were deemed to be whores. Thus as time has passed the definition has grown to include all obscene pictures and literature.
Pornographic material in the form of photography has been around since the Victorian era, .
" When they invented photography nearly 170 years ago .
they also invented a new medium for pornography. What.
started off as a cottage industry soon became a growth .