Comstockery


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Words related to Comstockery

censorship because of perceived obscenity or immorality

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For what these stories do--if we can escape what Davenport has called "our end-of-the-century comstockery and liberal puritanism"--is encourage us to question what kind of world we have built for ourselves.
"Comstockery," which, he predicted, would become "the
Devices and Desires opens with a section on "Comstockery," explaining the 1873 legislation that made contraceptives "obscene." Comstock is a one-dimensional villain in many histories, but Tone explains his motives in a way that makes his efforts understandable, while turning the spotlight on some of his movement allies.
"Another age, beyond our end-of-the-century comstockery and Liberal puritanism may find these works interesting, aber freilich nicht wahrscheinlich," he adds, with an uncharacteristically disconsolate tone.
Sanger conducted speaking tours extolling the need for female contraception and published piercing indictments of "Comstockery" in her short-lived feminist newspaper The Woman Rebel, the International Socialist Review, and privately published pamphlets.
The crusades of Anthony Comstock, the man whose raised eyebrows had the power to prevent booksellers from handling many books and magazines in nineteenth century America, gave us Comstockery, a synonym for overzealous censorship.
And in addition, Solbert hyperbolically added, "month after month Hemingway's work has outsold every other book in every book store in the United States, whether in New York, Atlanta, or [even] Boston," the very cradle of comstockery.
Mencken joined the crusade against Comstockery, and by the time the dazzling verbalist was through, "the mere mention of Puritanism would be enough to instantly vanquish one's opponent."
Both of us are opposed to all such ideas as come from the mob, and are polluted by its stupidity: Puritanism, Prohibition, comstockery, evangelical Christianity, tin-pot patriotism, the whole sham of democracy ....
Anthony Comstock, self-appointed protector of public morals in New York, had complained and called the play "reekings." Shaw retaliated by coining the word "Comstockery." Comstock took the case against Mrs.
Though in his time and later Comstock was ridiculed as a humorless prig--playwright George Bernard Shaw coined the term "Comstockery" as a label for mindless censorship--Heins insists that Comstock must be treated very seriously.
Nonetheless, the new generation of librarians were armed with both the presumptions of expertise and the prejudices of their social class, a combination that led some of them to a position much like Comstockery. Such bibliocrats removed dime novels and other "corrupting" literature--a category some extended to include the works of Mark Twain--from their shelves, and they urged their colleagues to do the same.
It's fin de siecle Comstockery, updated for the digital age.
However, censorship or Comstockery are not the intentions in asking these questions.
In the first few decades of this century, the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice was granted powers of search and seizure and allowed to split whatever punitive fines might be levied on the purveyors of vice, an arrangement that provided it a financial incentive to root out evil [see Bruce Shapiro, "From Comstockery to Helmsmanship," October 1, 1990].