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By Catharine A. MacKinnon

While is rape now not a criminal offense? while it really is pornography--or so First modification legislations turns out to claim: in movie, a rape turns into "free speech." Pornography, Catharine MacKinnon contends, is neither speech nor loose. Pornography, racial and sexual harassment, and hate speech are acts of intimidation, subordination, terrorism, and discrimination, and may be legally handled as such. Only Words is a strong indictment of a felony method at odds with itself, its First modification selling the very inequalities its Fourteenth modification is meant to finish. within the daring and compelling sort that has made her one among our so much provocative felony critics, MacKinnon depicts a society stuck in a vicious hypocrisy. phrases that supply bribes or repair costs or segregate amenities are handled through legislation as acts, yet phrases and images that victimize and aim at the foundation of race and intercourse aren't. Pornography--an act of sexual domination reproduced within the viewing--is safe via legislation within the identify of "the unfastened and open trade of ideas." however the right main issue of legislation, MacKinnon says, isn't really what speech says, yet what it does. What the "speech" of pornography and of racial and sexual harassment and hate propaganda does is advertise and enact the ability of 1 social team over one other. slicing with surgical deftness via situations of harassment within the place of work and on collage campuses, via First modification situations related to Nazis, Klansmen, and pornographers, MacKinnon exhibits that so long as discriminatory practices are secure as loose speech, equality can be just a observe.

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