Pornographic Subordination: How Pornography Silences Women

In Claudia F. Card (ed.), Feminist Ethics and Politics. University Press of Kansas (1999)
Making sense of MacKinnon’s claim that pornography silences women requires attention to the discursive and interpretive frameworks that pornography establishes and promotes. Treating pornography as a form of hate speech is promising, but also limited. A close examination of a legal case, in which pornographic images were used to sexually harass, focuses on the hate speech analogy while illustrating the broad and lasting impact of such depictions when targeted at an individual. Applying the distinction between Absolutist and Reclaimer approaches to hate speech and derogatory terms, the article concludes with a discussion of the possibility of creative development of discursive practices within a context that undermines the semantic authority of members of certain groups.
Keywords pornography  hate speech  semantic authority  sexual harassment
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