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ERIC Number: ED192422
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Protection from Assault.
Ewbank, H. L.
John Sparrow, British attorney and educator, argues that the current rejection of limitations on public decency in the name of freedom of speech needs reappraisal. His comments can be used as a basis to consider whether in the field of public decency the right of public expression in any medium is being upheld at the loss of respect for the personal right of individuals to protect themselves from such indecencies. If it is socially acceptable that people should be able to walk the streets without being physically assaulted, then perhaps they should be able to walk the streets without having their sensibilities assaulted by someone shouting four-letter words, by someone expressing himself nonverbally by exposing his genitalia, by graffiti or posters with objectionable words, or by sexually explicit pictures. It seems that laws must be interpreted by juries seeking to determine what might outrage a person of ordinary sensibilities. While many could become comfortable with laws permitting the protection of sensibilities in public, they still strongly object to the thought of censoring in the more private sphere of theatre, film, literature, painting, and sculpture. This belief in never censoring art and literature must also be reconsidered, since people also are affected by exposure to art and literature. (MKM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Obscenity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Portland, OR, February 16-20, 1980).