[Milton-L] Re: porno vs. art?

James Rovira jrovira at drew.edu
Fri Nov 25 15:41:01 EST 2005

Absolutely, Jacob, but wouldn't you define those who are sexually 
stimulated by nude photos of children "borderline cases" to be 
distinguished from those who have "normal sexual responses"?  Yes, this 
does assume a norm.  I don't think we can talk sensibly about 
social/aesthetic standards for pornography unless we do so, or make the 
grotesque assumption that all nudity is pornography.  I think we have to 
take a middle way between thinking we can define an abstract standard 
that covers all cases without complications, or reducing the issue to 
the unpredictable particularities of individual responses.

This is something like different readings of Milton.  I have my 
preferences, but see some differing readings as sensible and some as 
nonsense.  Most of us think this way.

Here's an interesting read on the issue:

The Cult of Chastity: Lauren Winner and the Purity Brigade


Jim R.

BlevinsJake at aol.com wrote:
> Jim,
> Part of the issue is of course that the intent of the producer can be 
> very different from the intent of the "consumer." I am fairly confident 
> that Sally Mann's or even Jock Sturges' nude photographs of children 
> (her own in the case of Mann, children in a nudist colony in the case of 
> Sturges) both of which are controversial though typically accepted as 
> "art," can also be the source of "unnatural" sexual stimulation when in 
> the hands of a particular person. In the case of such photographers, you 
> can indeed see the photos both in a contemporary photography museum and 
> ALSO on a website trying to titillate those who are sexually aroused by 
> children. Intent of user versus producer makes classifying the 
> production itself somewhat complicated--not in all cases (Debbie Does 
> Dallas) but in many.
> Jacob
> Jacob Blevins

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