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The Pornography Debate

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37.5 
  • Words: 5254
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    Suppose one accepts MacKinnon and Dworkin\'s suggested

statutory definition of pornography.   How does one who

generally accepts MacKinnon and Dworkin\'s views on the

pervasively harmful effect of pornography, and who accepts a need

for legal redress of the harms perpetrated by pornography, deal

with pornographic material?

    The ordinance proposed by MacKinnon and Dworkin would deal

with such material by enacting legislation which gives people

adversely affected by the works, which clearly fit their

definition of pornography, a cause of action against the

producers, vendors, exhibitors or distributors for

\"trafficking\", or for an assault \"directly caused by the

specific work.

    I do not think liberals, or others for that matter, should

have much problem with the clause dealing with assault, since a

causal connection to specific works is demanded by it.   However,

s. 3.2(iii) which deals with trafficking would be very

problematic for liberals and legal conservatives because it

creates a cause of action for a person contrary to the

traditional conception of a rights holder\'s cause of action.

This subsection reads:

          Any woman has a claim hereunder as a woman acting

          against the subordination of women.   Any man, child or

          transsexual who alleges injury by pornography in the

          way women are injured by it also has a claim.

          [emphasis added]

    My goal in this paper is to suggest that a slight

modification to this subsection of the ordinance would make it

very difficult for liberals and legal conservatives to object to

it.   This modification would restrict the cause of action to the

same persons as the other sections of the ordinance, namely, the

particular victim of the specified injury....


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