Feminist Resistance: An Oral History of the Dworkin-MacKinnon Anti-Pornography Civil Rights Ordinance
Turner, Alicia M.
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Everyday, men beat women. Men rape women. Men stalk, harass, assault, dismiss, degrade, abuse, and use women. Too often, men torture, mutilate, and murder women. In short, men systematically subordinate women in a variety of ways. Everyday. This is the reality of women's lives. And, everyday, men use technology to further this subordination. Now men use cameras, computers, and videocassette recorders. Now the camera rapes as well as the penis, sometimes instead of the penis. Men traffic in pictures that both require the subordination of women for their creation and subordinate women through their existence and use. Gang rape is taken to a new level; groups of men still exploit and violate individual women for communal entertainment, but now the subordination is also reproduced millions of times, neatly boxed and sold, so that millions of men can participate in her debasement from their own homes. I Men use these pictures to perpetrate more abuse; they use the pictures to learn to how to better exploit the women they know; and, believing the lies the pictures tell, they live in the world as if all women are merely the sexual slaves they see in the pictures. This process is called fantasy, sexuality, speech. Rarely is it called harm. Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon have taken women's experiences of harm through pornography and created a law that would give women the ability to redress these harms. The Feminist Anti-Pornography Civil Rights Ordinance is unique in that it was written from women's experience of harm. The law sprang from the intersection of feminist anti-pornography work, feminist legal thought, and grass roots activism to improve the lives of women. Its history is one of feminist theory in action. This project seeks to document that history in order to preserve important information for future feminists and to further feminist anti-pornography activism.