Defending Pornography

Defending Pornography

Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights

Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
Argues that censorship against "pornography" actually harms women rather than protecting them--by weakening efforts to punish sex offenders and repressing information vital to women's sexuality, health, and reproductive autonomy

Book News
Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, devotes most of the book to arguing that antiporn feminists such as Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin are puritanical and antisexual, noting that their pursuit of censorship has ironically allied them with conservatives. Women's rights are more endangered by censorship than by sexual words or images, she asserts, and censorship would not reduce sexism or violence. However, she blithely glosses over crucially connected economic and social issues and, moreover, some may find themselves unconvinced by her portrait of pornography as liberating for those involved in it. (Why are only well-educated, financially thriving sex industry workers interviewed?) Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
The newest attacks on the First Amendment and on free expression have come from a vocal and influential segment of the feminist movement that has launched a successful - and puritanical - crusade against "pornography" as the root of discrimination and violence against women.
But, as Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, forcefully argues, this view of sexuality as inherently dangerous does profound damage to human rights in general, and to women's rights in particular. In Defending Pornography, Strossen shows that, since the late 1970s, a new and startling alliance has been fused between "procensorship" feminists, most notably Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, and conservatives, many of whom oppose women's rights causes. Together they are campaigning against a wide range of sexually oriented expression, including not only art and literature, but also materials concerning abortion, contraception, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, sexism, and sexual orientation.
One of America's most visible and articulate advocates of both feminism and free speech, Strossen is in the vanguard of an increasingly vocal group of feminist women who adamantly oppose any effort to censor sexual expression. Women's rights, Strossen demonstrates, are far more endangered by censorship than by sexual words or images.
Strossen eloquently argues that women do not have to choose between speech and equality, between dignity and sexuality, between safety and "our freedoms to read, think, speak, sing, write, paint, dance, dream, photograph, film, and fantasize as we wish." Offering a feminist's unique perspective on the history of obscenity laws, she shows that censorship has long been - and continues to be - used as a tool to repress information vital to women's equality, health, and reproductive autonomy.
As Defending Pornography makes devastatingly clear, those who would restrict freedom of expression ultimately restrict women's rights.

Baker
& Taylor

The president of the ACLU argues that censorship against "pornography" actually harms women rather than protecting them--by weakening efforts to punish rapists and sex offenders and repressing information vital to women's equality, health, and reproductive autonomy. 60,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, c1995
ISBN: 9780684197494
0684197499
Branch Call Number: 363.47 STR
Characteristics: 320 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 22cm

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