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Law Pornography

Pornography & Civil Rights: A New Day for Women’s Equality

Pornography & Civil Rights:
A New Day for Women’s Equality
Andrea Dworkin,
Catharine MacKinnon
Organizing Against
Pornography
1988

Pornography is central in creating and maintaining the civil inequality of the sexes. Pornography is a systematic practice of exploitation and subordination based on sex which differentially harms women…”

With those bold words began the groundbreaking local anti-pornography law drafted by writer Andrea Dworkin and lawyer Catharine A. MacKinnon. Their completely new legal approach – in which pornography is defined as sex discrimination and therefore a coalition of civil rights – would allow anyone injured by pornography to fight back by filing a civil lawsuit against pornographers. First passed in December 1983 in Minneapolis, where it was supported by a grassroots coalition of women, people of color, neighborhood groups, and the city’s welfare poor and working poor, this new law has already transformed the way people of conscience understand the devastating impact of pornography on women’s right to equality. This new law also offers hope: an effective legal tool for making sex equality real.

In this comprehensive and easy-to-read guidebook, the coauthors of the antipornography civil-rights ordinance explain:

• How Pornography hurts women and how and why the vivl-rights ordinance would make a difference
• Why the pornography issue is so important to women’s equality
• The truth about the antipornography civil-rights ordinance – what it is, what it does, what it means, how it works
• Answers to the lies about it – lies that the media have spread to protect the pornography industry
• What you can do to stop the pornographers and further women’s equality

The Ordinance does not take ‘rights’ away from anyone;… it takes the power to hurt women away from pornographers.

Pornography and Civil Rights

Table of Contents

The Meaning of Civil Rights
The Nature of Change
Authority and Resistance
Equality as a Social Goal
Pornography and Civil Rights
The Ordinance
Statement of Policy
Findings
Definition
Causes of Action

… Coercion
… Trafficking
… Force
… Assault
… Defamation
Defenses
Enforcement

… Civil Action
… Damages
… Injunctions
Technicalities
… Severability
… Limitation of Action
Civil Rights and Speech
Questions and Answers

Table of Authorities
Appendix A: The Minneapolis Ordinance
Appendix B: The Indianapolis Ordinance
Appendix C: The Cambridge Ordinance
Appendix D: The Model Ordinance