Pornography is a controversial issue in many spheres, be it of law or morality. As the world became more globlized with the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the reach of pornography too has increased. Pornographic materials, at present, are freely available in both developed and developing countries. Along with the world wide spread of pornography, the debate on the legal validity and social acceptability of pornography has intensified. The present study aims to assess the arguments and concerns on the phenomenon of pornography. It would examine the strengths, weaknesses and influences of liberalism, feminism and moral perspectives on the discourses on pornography. Many a theorist has come up with compelling arguments supporting the ban of pornography from varying and often antagonistic standpoints. The paper would examine the merits and demerits of the arguments in favor of banning pornography from the standpoint of its internal theoretical validity.
The pornography debate itself is started with the invention of mass production, distribution and consumption of pornography. As the effects of pornography spread across the social sections, it was natural for such a debate on pornography to materialize. There were strange combinations and alliances on both side of the spectrum. Curiously, most of the feminists in 1960s even were ready to align with ultra conservatives for the cause of banning pornography. On the other hand, liberals aligned with the new leftists to support the spread of pornography in the name of freedom of expression.
The pornography debate is enriched by various currents of liberalism, feminism and conservatism. However, neither liberalism nor feminism or conservatism has a single standpoint on the issue of banning pornography. The liberal and feminist positions concerning the legitimacy of pornography are essentially heterogeneous and articulated from multiple standpoints.