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Pornography and the First Amendment: A Reply to Professor MacKinnon, 3 YALE L. & POL’Y REV. 130 (1984)


Professor Catharine MacKinnon, in a recent article in this journal,
powerfully and perceptively developed her thesis that pornography
is "[c]entral to the institutionalization of male dominance." Pornography,
she urges, is "a political practice" that "causes attitudes
and behaviors of violence and discrimination which define the treatment
and status of half of the population." I am not sure that I
would draw the line between Eros and dehumanization at the same
point as Professor MacKinnon appears to. Moreover, all the evidence
is not yet in as to the actual impact of pornography, and Professor
MacKinnon may overstate its role in the subordination of
women. Nevertheless, generally speaking, I accept Professor
MacKinnon's basic position and proceed upon the premise that pornography
plays a major part in establishing and maintaining male
supremacy in our society.

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