1 Mich. J. Gender & L. 59 (1993)
Male Sexuality: Why Ownership is Sexy

handle is hein.journals/mjgl1 and id is 65 raw text is: MALE SEXUALITY: WHY OWNERSHIP IS SEXYt$
3ohn Stoltenberg*
This year, 1992, has been getting a lot of dubious attention because five
hundred years ago three wayward ships of European registry rudely
arrived on this continent. Myself, I would have preferred to commemo-
rate a more liberatory event, and I have one in mind-something that
happened exactly two hundred years ago, in 1792. That was the year a
book was first published-Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the
Rights of Womanl.without which this conference would have been
unthinkable.
I suspect that if Mary Wollstonecraft were alive and here in this
room today, she would find that many of the words she wrote two
hundred    years  ago   are  still disconcertingly   current. After    all,
WoUstonecraft was an explorer in quest of sexual equality. And two
hundred years later, not one of us is there yet.
For instance, here is a sentence Wollstonecraft wrote about
men-men then: Men, in general, she said, seem to employ their
reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they can scarcely
trace how, rather than to root them out.2
Now it seems-so far as anyone can tell-that men's justification
of prejudice is still the prevailing wind of social discourse, whether in
forums of public policy or interpersonal relations. And if you look
t   © 1992 John Stoltenberg, all rights reserved.
*   This paper is essentially the speech that Mr. Stoltenberg presented at the Michigan
Journal of Gender & Law Symposium entitled Prostitution: From Academia to
Activism, held on October 31, 1992, at the University of Michigan Law School.
Most of its speechlike characteristics have been preserved so as to maintain its
authenticity. In addition, the punctuation and style are the author's.
*  John Stoltenberg is author of REFUSING TO BE A MAN: ESSAYS ON SEX AND JUSTICE
(Penguin USA/Meridian 1989) and is featured in SEX AND SELFHOOD: NEw ISSUES
FOR MEN OF CONSCIENCE, an educational videotape series in four parts: Sexual
Objectification, Male Bonding, Homophobia, and Pornography (for information
contact Kundschier/Manthey Video Design, (612) 333-7414). He is co-founder of
Men Against Pornography, a group in New York City that conducts workshops to
help men understand how pornography subordinates women. THE END OF MAN-
HOOD: A BooK FOR MEN OF CONSCIENCE-his practical sequel to REFUSING TO
BE A MAN-was published in Fall 1993 by Dutton.
1. MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT, A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN: AN AUTHoR-
ITATIVE TExT, BACKGROUNDS, CRTICISM (Carol H. Poston ed., 2d ed., 1975).
2. WOLLSTONECRAFT, supra note 1, at 12.

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