Medicine concentrates on preventing viral infection through inoculation. In inoculation, a tamed virus-a weakened, distorted, or dead variant-is introduced to the body. As the body fights off this impotent impostor, it develops antibodies that enable it to resist a future assault by the true virus. Cass Sunstein adopts the inoculation approach towards radical feminism. Sunstein, perhaps unconsciously, recognizes the disruptive power of Catharine MacKinnon's analysis of pornography, which not only expressly questions male dominance and heterosexuality but also, implicitly, challenges mainstream Constitutional legal scholarship and the academic status quo. Like a good doctor, Sunstein introduces a tamed impostor theory, a "weak sister," to invigorate masculinism so that it can virilely resist a virulently fatal disease. In the name of embracing and explicating MacKinnon's critique of pornography, Sunstein rewrites and distorts it in such a way as to leave only a surface similarity, while excising its essential nature. A call for political and sexual revolution becomes an anticrime, antismut bill. As such, variations on MacKinnon's proposed antipornography legislation might be passed or defeated' based on arguments having little to do with MacKinnon's founding analysis. Meanwhile, the feminist critique underlying the original proposal will lack virulence because society has been inured to it, has become tired of the conversation. Sunstein tries to prevent radical feminism by introducing a "neutered" feminism.
Schroeder, Jeanne L.
"The Taming of the Shrew: The Liberal Attempt to Mainstream Radical Feminist Theory,"
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol5/iss1/5