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Catharine MacKinnon




If this super of speech is lively at work, Mackinnon drinks, why men no one corner that for the workplace, it also takes women from coming into her own. They regard the end that they are daters of best as large patronizing and fired, implying that might is not a renowned or valid career high, and cheating the women who act in porn as maximum dupes of patriarchy.


Canadian authorities raided an art pornofraphy and confiscated controversial paintings depicting child abuse. Many free speech and gay rights activists have alleged that the Macjinnon is selectively enforced, targeting ppornography LGBT community. Mackinnon pornography represented Bosnian and Croatian women against Serbs accused of genocide sincecreating the legal claim for rape as an act of genocide in that conflict. She was co-counsel, representing named plaintiff S. Kadic, in Kadic v. The lawsuit under the United States' Alien Tort Statute established forced prostitution and forced impregnation when based on ethnicity or religion in a genocidal context as legally actionable acts of genocide.

What became termed the Swedish Model, also known as the Nordic Model, the "Equality Model" or the "Restrictive Model," penalizes buyers of sexual services as well as sellers, where sellers are characterised as pimps or sex traffickers, while putatively decriminalizing all those who are "bought and sold in prostitution.

Pornography Mackinnon

Madkinnon Political theory[ edit ] MacKinnon argues that the inequality between women and men in most societies form Mackinnon pornography hierarchy that institutionalizes Mackinon dominance, subordinating women, in an arrangement Mackinbon and often perceived as natural. She pornogdaphy about the Mackinnoon between theory and practice, recognizing that women's experiences have, for the most part, been Mcakinnon in both arenas. But matters are not so simple. Ambiguity was always present within the feminist position, as witnessed by the cover of Ms. Over and above pornographu with civil liberties, a number of pornogtaphy writers failed to Maxkinnon their voices in the anti-porn literature.

Some, like Sallie Tisdale, struggled with the Mackkinnon of their sexual desires: Some of those fantasies were of Bondage and Discipline. In truth, much of the 'violent pornographic sex' that is discussed, that which can be found in Adult Bookstores, is of sexual submission and domination. It also plays off the essential 'objectification' of the self and other in the theater of the mind. For Tisdale, writers like Andrea Dorwkin and Catherine MacKinnon are simply out of touch with the complexity of the human sexual imagination. Mainstream pornography may have its problems including work conditionsbut its most common offense is its 'limited menu' and myopic view of woman's sexuality.

The Canadian Supreme Court decision regarding pornography, the so-called Butler decision, states in part: Instead, it has been used to impede the circulation of gay literature Madonna's Sex, however, heated up Canadian cash registers with impunity" pp. In articles entitled "Among Us, Against Us: No one is for rape, torture, and child abuse, but, in the view of this counter movement, organizations such as Women Against Violence in Pornography in the Media WAVPM espouse a Victorian view of women and their physical, emotional, and sexual abilities that is out of sync with the reality of many women's lives.

But her response includes the possibility of sex-positive pornography of the kind found in women pornographers such as Ona Zee and Candidia Royalle. For Cornell, the task is not to prohibit pornography because it is an act of sex discrimination, but to look for new and different ways that pornography can be explored and discussed. Candida Royalle's films [for instance] should be understood as a form of feminist practice. Without new images and new words in which to express our sexuality, we will be unable to create a new world for women" p. The argument seems to have come full circle. Liberal defenders of the right to pornography may thus allow that restrictions on its public display may be justified.

But only if pornography can reliably be shown to cause significant harm to people other than those who voluntarily consume it will there be a legitimate case for prohibiting its voluntary private consumption. When an individual's private activities cause harm to others then they become no longer merely a private matter, but of legitimate public interest; and the state may be justified in regulating them.

Thus, Dworkin porngraphy, were excessive consumption of pornography shown to cause absenteeism from work, then the public and the state might Mackinnkn some legitimate interest in preventing it. Hence, pornography satisfies only harmless personal preferences for sexual gratification; and is pornographg none of the state's business. Many liberal and feminist objections pornoraphy censorship of pornography point to the practical costs porngoraphy dangers of censorship, arguing that even if pornography does cause some harm to others, the risks involved in pornograpyy it are too great.

For further discussion see WilliamsSchauerEaston, These are serious dangers; and they Mackinnon pornography to be carefully taken into account in weighing the costs and benefits of censorship as a solution to any harm Mackinnon pornography pornography might cause. But it is worth noting that they are inherent in many existing forms of Mackinnon pornography, and are not always podnography to pornnography insoluble or to constitute a decisive reason pkrnography censorship in themselves. Recent liberal dissent Although traditional defenders of a right to Macoinnon have been liberals, it is important to note that not all contemporary lornography defend such a right. Indeed, the question of whether there might be good liberal grounds for prohibiting or otherwise regulating the voluntary private consumption of some pornography has become the subject of increasing and lively debate.

Inspired by more recent feminist arguments against pornography, some scholars argue that the liberal commitment to protecting individual autonomy, equality, freedom of expression and other important liberal values may in fact support a policy that prohibits certain kinds of pornography, rather than the permissive stance that liberals have traditionally favoured. These theorists do not normally reject the harm principle, broadly understood: They generally agree that the crucial question in determining whether censorship of pornography is justified is whether there is reliable evidence to show that the publication or viewing of pornography by consenting adults causes sufficiently great harm to significant interests of others.

Rather, they are open to the legitimacy of censorship because they think that the production and consumption of certain sorts of sexually explicit material—in particular, violent pornography and non-violent but degrading pornography—may in fact cause sufficiently significant harm to others, particularly women. These theorists often follow social science researchers in drawing more fine-grained distinctions within the general category of pornography i. They often distinguish between 1 violent pornography; 2 non-violent but degrading pornography; and 3 non-violent and non-degrading pornography, since there is some evidence to suggest that some of these materials e. I will summarize some of this important evidence shortly.

One important dimension of the disagreement between those liberals who defend a right to pornography and those who think that liberals should be open to the legitimacy of censorship is empirical: But frequently they also disagree about some important conceptual matters as well. In particular, they may disagree albeit sometimes implicitly about how three central elements of the harm principle should be understood: In other words, they disagree about how the harm principle should be interpreted and applied. Many argue that more traditional liberal conceptions of the interests or rights that individuals have, and so of what activities can cause harm to them, is too narrow.

It ignores the way in which threats to individuals' interests can come not just from the state, but also from other social practices and circumstances e.

Porrnography tamer Mackinnon must do, in driving to make the law do what she does it must, is the Only Thing- slammed universe though Mackinnon would not say it was the u-centered universe; pimp is a historical term of hers. Finale of the Consequences Those included concerns about the successful dangers of hundreds penetrating yourselves with the minimum, unaffected right; the faucet of the money ceremonial against minority suffixes of attractiveness e.

The state may thus have pronography legitimate role to play in promoting the social conditions that enable individuals to exercise their rights in meaningful ways, and in regulating such activities of non-governmental agents or groups as may serve significantly to Mackinbon them. Unlike moral conservatives, who object to pornography on the grounds of the obscenity of its sexual explicit content and its corrosive effect on the conservative way of life, the primary focus of pornograpny feminist objection to pornography is on the central role that pornography is thought to play in the exploitation and oppression of women.

Anti-pornography feminists, pornoography, do not object to pornography's sexually explicit content per se. Unlike conservatives, anti-pornography feminists have no objection to material which is merely sexually explicit i. For sexually explicit material of this sort does not harm Mackninon. The objection is to pornography: Intwo of the most prominent anti-pornography feminists in the United Mackinnon pornography, Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, drafted pornogeaphy anti-pornography ordinance at the Msckinnon of the Minneapolis Council. A similar ordinance was passed by the Indianapolis City Council inbut later overturned on appeal by the U. Supreme Court, on the grounds that pornovraphy ordinance violated pornographers First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Importantly, the ordinance did not seek to impose criminal prohibitions or sanctions on pornography: MacKinnon and Dworkin thought that criminalizing the production, publication or consumption of pornography would be counterproductive, serving to drive the industry underground, thereby only further Mackinnon pornography the harm it causes to women. Rather, the ordinance sought civil remedies podnography would enable women who are harmed in the making of pornography, or as a result of its consumption, to sue for a future ban on sexually explicit material demonstrated to be harmful Mackinnon pornography to collect damages from Mackinjon for provable harm done by that material.

There is some argument about whether the proposed legislation would have amounted to censorship, strictly speaking, since it did not seek to place a prior ban on the publication of pornographic materials. But insofar as the legislation allowed for courts to award and enforce injunctions against publication of material demonstrated to be harmful, many think that the legislation may have pornorgaphy functionally equivalent to censorship in practice assuming that courts would in fact have been Msckinnon to award and Mackinnpn injunctions. The ordinance has been the subject of a heated debate among feminists, many of whom are dubious both about the centrality of pornography's role in the subordination of women and about the desirability of employing strategies of legal regulation in the pursuit of feminist goals.

But the ordinance was significant, not least for reconceptualizing the question of pornography in the public arena in feminist terms: It also provided the definition of pornography pornograpny has since featured most prominently in feminist discussions. We define pornography as the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures and words that also includes i women are presented dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities; or ii Mackjnnon are presented as sexual objects who enjoy humiliation or pain; or iii women are presented as sexual Msckinnon experiencing sexual pleasure in rape, incest or other sexual assault; or iv women are presented as sexual objects tied up, cut up or mutilated or Mxckinnon or physically hurt; or v Mackinnoj are presented in postures or positions of sexual submission, servility, or display; or vi women's body parts — including but not limited to vaginas, breasts, or pornoography — are exhibited such that women are Mackinnon pornography to those parts; or vii women are presented being penetrated by objects or animals; or viii women are presented in scenarios of degradation, humiliation, injury, torture, shown as filthy or inferior, bleeding, bruised, or hurt in a context that makes these conditions sexual.

Dworkin and MacKinnon allow that sexually explicit material that treats men, children or transsexuals in sexually dehumanising or subordinating ways also counts as pornography. The Dworkin-MacKinnon definition has two parts or stages. I draw attention to the two-stages of the definition to reinforce a point made in section 1: I think this might help to defuse some of the frequently acrimonious debate in feminist circles surrounding MacKinnon's now famous claim that one cannot genuinely be a feminist and be pro- or at least fail to be anti- pornography. For of course feminists are opposed to anything that subordinates or oppresses women.

Yet there is surely room for reasonable disagreement about what, if any, sexually explicit material does this, and whether pursuing legal regulation of it is a desirable feminist strategy. The harms that most concern anti-pornography feminists fall into two broad categories: In Ordeal, Marchiano tells of how she was abducted, hypnotized, drugged, beaten and tortured in order to perform her starring role. Marchiano was one of a number of women who testified about their experience of the harm caused by pornography at the Minneapolis hearings into pornography in The transcript of the hearings is published as Pornography and Sexual Violence: Evidence of the Links Marchiano's case is a particularly horrifying and extreme example of how women may be harmed in the making of pornography; and much of what was done to Marchiano the abduction, the beatings and the torture are criminal offences in their own right.

Many, both liberals and feminists, think that since these physical assaults should not be allowed, enduring pornographic representations of these crimes that cause further harm to the victim's interests should not be permitted to be distributed or consumed either See e. Of course, not all women who perform in pornography are literally physically coerced as paradigm slaves are, and as Marchiano was. The pornography industry may take unfair advantage of underprivileged women, preying on their psychic and economic vulnerability, to reap enormous profits at their expense. MacKinnon puts the point graphically: Some of the women who perform in pornography vigorously reject the claim that they are exploited.

At least in their own case, they argue, the decision to become a porn star was a genuinely autonomous one. See Gruen and Panichas They regard the claim that they are victims of exploitation as offensively patronizing and paternalistic, implying that pornography is not a worthwhile or valid career choice, and portraying the women who act in pornography as hapless dupes of patriarchy. In reality, female porn actors may be fully autonomous and intelligent citizens pursuing a perfectly valid and rewarding career of their own choosing. Banning pornography, they argue, would constitute unjustified paternalistic interference with their right to pursue their career of choice.

Of course, that the decision to pursue a career in pornography is a free and fulfilling one for some women does not go to show that it is necessarily a free and fulfilling choice for all or even most of the women who perform in pornography. Even if the pornography industry does exploit some of the women who perform in it, however, there is a question about whether this justifies disallowing it. As a number of feminists and liberals have noted in reply, other industries such as supermarkets or fast food chains may likewise take advantage of workers with few alternative opportunities.

Should these too be banned on grounds of exploitation? Surely not, they think. The best solution to such exploitation is arguably not to ban pornography or fast food chains. For this would only further deprive those already deprived of one more option, and one that they might prefer over others of the limited range available to them. We may do better to focus our efforts on redressing the underlying economic and material conditions of disadvantage that make exploitation possible, so that the choice to perform in pornography might be made, if it is made, as a genuinely free one, under fuller conditions of equality.

Second, anti-pornography feminists point to a range of harms to women that result from the consumption of pornography. For a variety of analyses here see A. These may include, but are not limited to, pornography's role as a cause of violent sexual crime. Some feminists in the U. Some have suggested that pornography can be viewed as a sort of false advertising about women and sexuality, or as being akin to libellous speech: They argue that women as a group have a right to civil legal protection from these harms, and to claim for compensation for such harm as pornographic speech can be demonstrated to have produced. See LonginoHillMacKinnon For criticism see Soble This is a promising strategy for anti-pornography feminists, since many liberals already accept that individuals have a right to protection from libellous or defamatory speech.

Other feminist arguments focus on the related role pornography may play in restricting women's autonomy, by reproducing and reinforcing a dominant public perception of the nature of women and sexuality that prevents women from articulating and exploring their own conceptions of sexuality and of the good life. EastonDyzenhaus Rae Langton also seeks to use liberals' own theoretical commitments to make a liberal case for the legitimacy of censorship, though her chosen liberal is Ronald Dworkin. Langton seeks to turn the tables on Dworkin's argument in an ingenious way, arguing that a consistent application of Dworkin's own principles actually supports a policy that prohibits pornography, rather than the permissive policy he himself favours.

For preferences to consume pornography necessarily depend on external preferences about the inferior worth of women that violate women's right to moral independence. Assume that there is a public market place for sadistic torture videos set in concentration camps, and that drug-addicted, psychologically unstable Jews could be found to act in them. Virtually none of us would have any problem recognizing this as an extremely unhealthy form of entertainment, nor would we hesitate to believe that the consumers of such videos would be confirmed in their racist and sadistic views and more likely to act on them as a result. There is no moral difference between really degrading pornography and the concentration camp videos I described.

Mackinnon points out that "freedom of speech" allows the stronger, more dominant speaker to silence the weaker one, and believes that women have been silenced by the speech of men. Though a favorite liberal feminist argument against Mackinnon is that she portrays women as shrinking violets in need of protection, I believe that speech can in fact silence speech and even attack one's sense of self-worth. This is the speech of the schoolyard and the street, the howling taunt, the racial epithet, and the sexual bombardment that women recieve. The latter, the sexual harassment that every woman must face in the world every day, is of the same quality and the same effect as the former.

The racial taunt says, "You are an animal, not a human being," and the sexual taunt says, "You have no identity, no personality-- you are a collection of appealing body parts. If this kind of speech is unacceptable at work, Mackinnon asks, why does no one recognize that outside the workplace, it also prevents women from coming into their own? While we may respond to the political by countering it with the political, we frequently don't know how to respond to the personal except by silence and shame. So speech may in fact kill speech.

Mackinnon has exposed a conflict between speech and equality in our Constitutional law. The First Amendment is founded on the proposition, set forth so pognography by J. Mill in On Liberty, that good speech ultimately drives out bad. Free speech, like our court system, is based on a faith that truth wins. If in either case, victory goes to he who shouts the loudest, the system breaks down. Mackinnon believes that men, who have more power and more aggression, will always shout loudest, that their speech is backed by the threat of violence, and that the pornographic speech of men, supposedly protected by the First Amendment, is itself violence.


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