The objectification of women in art and pornography is often seen as harmful. However, Martha Nussbaum’s articulation of seven types of objectification shows how it can be benign or positive depending on the context. This paper utilizes Nussbaum’s ideas to examine the objectification of women depicted in shunga, sexually explicit art created in 17th-19th century Japan, and how it differs from European art of the same period. It also explores related issues of equality, sexuality, and agency. understanding the purpose and mechanisms of art censorship across distinct geopolitical and cultural contexts from Iran, Japan, and Uzbekistan to Britain, Ireland, Canada, Macedonia, Soviet Russia, and Cyprus. Its contributions uncover the impact of this silent control of the production and exhibition of art and consider how censorship has affected art practice and public perceptions of artworks.
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