Assault By Paragraph

Catharine MacKinnon, feminist legal scholar and antiporn activist, says she was raped by a book review

Anyone who doubts that words have consequences ought to talk to the feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon. Certainly her words have had consequences. When Canada's Supreme Court decided to uphold the nation's toughened obscenity laws two years ago, they were moved in large part by MacKinnon's argument that pornography prompts men to a whole panoply of crimes against women, from gender discrimination to outright rape.

At the heart of her thinking is the notion that pornography is literally a form of assault by expression, something like saying "Kill!" to a trained attack dog. "Protecting pornography means protecting sexual abuse as speech,"...

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