The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings
In Harm's Way [is] essential reading. In the Eighties Professor Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin drafted an anti-pornography civil rights law in support of which witnesses to the harm done by pornography were called at public hearings in Minneapolis (1983), Indianapolis (1984), Los Angeles (1985), and Boston (1992). Those horrified by the idea of any form of censorship may be shocked to learn that this is the first time the full texts (transcripts plus excellent introductions) have found a publisher in the United States. -- Bel Mooney * The Times * Dworkin's and MacKinnon's work has informed debates about pornography and its effects all over the world. Though many...have disputed the wisdom of enacting legal proscriptions that may be invoked to suppress literature beyond the contemplation of their framers, the message underlying the campaign is powerful and far-reaching...The voices of the pornography survivors...make the most compelling--and the most distressing--reading...[This is] an important social document. We should be grateful for Dworkin's and MacKinnon's perseverance in bringing it to the light of day. * Times Higher Education Supplement * [In Harm's Way] brings the reader actual transcripts of hearings conducted relative to proposed ordinances in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Massachusetts. MacKinnon wrote chapter one and Dworkin wrote chapter two to introduce the subject of pornography, its victims, and the history of public policy developments on the issue...In addition...MacKinnon...provide[s] elucidation and answer[s] arguments presented by opponents of the legislation [at other points in the text]...Dworkin presents a rather eloquent personal story of her life in a society that she believes routinely and systematically denies rights to women. In relating her story of living with a man who abused and terrorized her, she shares the misery of having unsuccessfully sought refuge and assistance from others...The authors are to be applauded for their evenhandedness in including not only the stories of the victims with whom they sympathize but also the comments of those who made serious arguments against the validity, legality, usefulness, and consequences of [their] proposals. -- Gloria C. Cox * Law and Politics Book Review * Everyone who has ever taken sides in the debate about permissible limits to free speech in our society should read this book. It should be read by those who believe that freedom of speech should be absolute, as well as by those who yearn for more regulation of sexually explicit materials on the Internet, in books and magazines and on film...It is a fascinating collection of testimony on both sides of this issue. It is unlike other books on this debate since...it presents the facts as they stand and lets the reader decide. * Bimonthly Review of Law Books * Highly recommend[ed]...What makes [In Harm's Way] both unique and important is that [it] give[s] voice to unpopular and stifled views. [It] defiantly call[s] for social chance and pose[s] difficult questions in a world addicted to instant gratification and slick PR campaigns...A must for anyone interested in the future of love, sex and gender relations. -- A. J. S. * Media Watch * These hearings provide the underpinnings for a legal initiative that has gotten enormous attention, that raises a host of important and interesting issues, and that has often been misunderstood. [It constitutes] an important addition for academics and for others to the pornography debate. -- Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago Law School There can be no doubt about the sincerity or the truth of the editors' belief that the material in this book belongs in the public domain. In cooperating with legislators in attempting to bring it about that pornography's dissemination be recognized as an actionable form of sex discrimination, MacKinnon and Dworkin's assumption was not only that women have been har
Catharine A. MacKinnon is Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and the James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law (Long-Term) at Harvard Law School. Andrea Dworkin, internationally renowned radical feminist activist, was the author of many books, including the collection of essays Life and Death and the novel Mercy.
Introductions The Roar on the Other Side of Silence by Catharine A. MacKinnon Suffering and Speech by Andrea Dworkin The Hearings The Minneapolis Hearings Minneapolis: Exhibits Minneapolis: Memo on Proposed Ordinance Minneapolis: Press Conference The Indianapolis Hearing Indianapolis: Appendices The Los Angeles Hearing The Massachusetts Hearing Massachusetts: Written Submissions The Ordinances Appendix: American Booksellers Ass'n. Inc. v. Hudnut Index