Originally Posted by whitearrow
"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it...." (Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964) 378 U.S. 184, 197 (conc. opn. of Stewart, J.) (italics added).)
I was wondering if someone would post this.
I've avoided answering this question and Stewart's opinion on this case is a perfect example of why.
I know a few ladies who sputter about obscenity and pornography, but heaven help anyone who says a word about their equally titillating romance novels. It's a can o' worms, for sure. I tend to think of porn as depictions of actual people (whether photos or video or even audio) and erotica as text or illustrations, but as I don't have a problem with either porn or erotica (provided no one was harmed in the making of it), my thoughts usually aren't helpful for the purposes of this discussion. Usually when someone asks "what is porn?" or "what is the difference?" they are looking for a place to draw a line of acceptability (not saying that is the case here, but in life in general).
Some people would define erotica as "things with sex that I don't have a problem with" and porn as "things with sex that I DO have a problem with". Others would define porn as "anything with sex 'cause sex is bad!" or "anything with sex that didn't come from Harlequin".
I much prefer my definitions - format or medium is not subjective.