5 Am. U. J. Gender & L. 393 (1996-1997)
Pornophobia, Pornophilia, and the Need for a Middle Path

handle is hein.journals/ajgsp5 and id is 399 raw text is: PORNOPHOBIA, PORNOPHILIA, AND THE
A Review Essay of Nadine Strossen's Defending Pornography:
Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights
Catharine A. MacKinnon's legal scholarship has produced
dominance theory, a feminist discourse in which women's subor-
dination is perceived to result from      male hegemony.1 Some of her
most controversial works argue for the regulation of pornography.2
Professor MacKinnon claims that the production, distribution, and
consumption of pornography causes ... [the] violence and dis-
crimination that define the treatment and status of half of the popu-
In 1983, she and Andrea Dworkin drafted a model anti-
pornography law4 that would authorize private citizens to bring civil
Staff Attorney, Paul, Weiss, Rifldnd, Wharton & Garrison;J.D., 1996 Cornell Law School; B.S.,
1988, Colorado State University. I would like to thank Professor Steven H. Shiffiin and the stu-
dents in his Spring 1996 Constitutional Law and Political Theory seminar, for inspiring this Es-
1. See CATHARINE A. MACKINNON, FEMINISM UNMODIFIED 32-45 (1987) (arguing gender
equality has been incorrectly categorized as arising from gender differences, rather than a sys-
tem of dominance where men set the standards in their own image).
2. See generally CATHARINEA. MACKINNON, ONLYWORDS (1993); Catharine A. MacKinnon,
Pornography, CivilRights and Free Speech, 20 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 1 (1985); Catharine A. MacK-
innon, Not a Moral Issue, 2 YALE L. & POL'Y REV. 321 (1984) (each discussing, at least in part,
constitutionality of model anti-pornography statute co-drafted with Andrea Dworkin).
3. MACKINNON, supra note 1, at 147 (footnote omitted); see also MACKINNON, supra note 1,
at 264 n.9 (citing studies supporting her assertion).
4. MACKINNON, supra note 1, at 262 n.1 (stating that the law would apply to the graphic
sexually explicit subordination of women ... in pictures or in words, that also includes one or
more of the following: (i) women are presented dehumanized as sexual objects, things or com-
modities; or (ii) women are presented as sexual objects who enjoy pain or humiliation; or (iii)
women are presented as sexual objects who experience sexual pleasure in being raped; or (iv)
women are presented as sexual objects tied up or cut up or mutilated or bruised or physically
hurt; or (vi) women's body parts-including but not limited to vaginas, breasts, and buttocks-
are exhibited, such that women are reduced to those parts; or (vii) women are presented as


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