Are Women Human? is a scary book. Mostly, this is by design. It contains pages and pages of descriptions of various incidents of violence against women, including beatings, torture, rape, sexual enslavement, murder, and genocide. It also contains many terrifying statistics. For example, in the United States, forty-four percent of all women are victims of rape or attempted rape, and between one-quarter and one-third of women are battered in their homes. In many places around the world, the rates for both rape and domestic violence are even higher. These accounts and statistics amply support MacKinnon's point, raised most starkly in the final chapter, that violent death is a reality for a startling number of women every day and that states and the international bodies they comprise should wake up to this reality and respond to it. Failure to do so, MacKinnon persuasively argues, represents a profound hypocrisy on the part of the international community; indeed, it represents a failure to treat women as human at all.
Tracy E. Higgins,
Book Review: Are Women Human? and Other International Dialogues by Catharine A. MacKinnon,
Yale J.L. & Feminism
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol18/iss2/6