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Old 03-23-2005, 02:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smut's Insidious Threat

I always thought that Catherine McKinnon was a marginalized extremist, comical, and not deserving of serious consideration on the legal or political arena.

But she refuses to go away. She just came out with a new book, published by Harvard Press, "Women's Lives, Men's Laws", in which presumably she continues her war against pornography as the root of all evil in America today.

Her basic thesis seems to be that pornography sets standards for behavior, including at work. And because pornography is ubiquitous, it threatens sexual harassment law.

Is that completely crazy, or what?

She's been saying this for at least 30 years, and now she's saying it again in her new book. My feeling is that she's nuts, basically. But why does she continue to get so much respect among academics, and now with Harvard Press?

Quote:
The single most powerful force in undercutting sex equality at work remains the cultural sexualization of women, which has gained momentum over the same 30 years. During this time, pornography has increasingly saturated the world, both public and private, making itself ever more legitimate. Major corporations and mainstream media increasingly distribute what the pornography industry produces, trafficking women and girls for sexual use. With pornography infusing daily life more and more, its power to turn women into sexual objects, to eroticize domination as the meaning of being a man and subordination as the meaning of being a woman, and to desensitize its users to sexual abuse effectively sets standards for behavior, including at work.

. . . .

At stake in Lyle vs. Warner Bros. is nothing less than whether the pervasive pornographization of women will be permitted to destroy the law against harassment at work. Few institutions have the power to stand up to the well-documented effects of pornography, including making violation normal and inequality sexy.

Will sexual harassment law collapse under this onslaught or continue to be a force for sex equality for women at work?

--Catherine McKinnon

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...mment-opinions
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Somebody's a few beers short of a six pack. I'd suggest she needs a stiff one in it, but that'd make me look sexist. Whoops, too late...

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Old 03-23-2005, 02:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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did we get a west coast ann coulter?
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dksuddeth
did we get a west coast ann coulter?
Not quite......

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"No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wonder what Ann Coulter thinks about pornography... :-/
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oktjabr
I wonder what Ann Coulter thinks about pornography... :-/

Didn't she date the Pres of Penthouse, Bob Guccione?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Stewart, Former Minister of the Environment of Canada
"No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The single most powerful force in undercutting sex equality at work remains the cultural sexualization of women, which has gained momentum over the same 30 years. During this time, pornography has increasingly saturated the world, both public and private, making itself ever more legitimate. Major corporations and mainstream media increasingly distribute what the pornography industry produces, trafficking women and girls for sexual use. With pornography infusing daily life more and more, its power to turn women into sexual objects, to eroticize domination as the meaning of being a man and subordination as the meaning of being a woman, and to desensitize its users to sexual abuse effectively sets standards for behavior, including at work.

Geez I thought this tired rhetoric died with the dinosaurs,..or was it feminism. Yaaaaaaawnnnnnnnnnnn. I think I'll learn the tango by myself now.

Or maybe I'll ponder the thought that during the last 30 years more and more women have entered and stayed in the workplace. Oh,..can't do that now, the second showcase is starting and Bob Barker hasn't leered once at one the his highly paid, there by their own choice models.
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I notice that conveniently there's no mention made of male, especially homosexual male, pornography and how that aspect of the industry has been growing ever more quickly. Of course, we can't take that into consideration or her whole "women are inferior because of pornography" argument would suddenly become visible as the opininated drivel that it is.
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Not quite......

ah... that makes so much sense now. it'd be funny, but i think i'd like to poke my eyes out.
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe she's the evil opposite of Ann Coulter.

But of course that implies that Ann Coulter herself isn't evil, and that's just crazy talk...

Extremes and extremists just suck, that's all there is to it.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Why isn't anyone worried about the "cultural sexualization" of men? The fact remains that sexual harrassment laws and rules are much tougher and much more fiercely enforced than they were 30 years ago.
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Old 04-07-2005, 02:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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To me, this is conflating two issues. The first is whether or not porn should exist and the second is whether most porn that's out there today encourages the objectification of women (and gay men) in a way that undermines their social status. She's arguing the latter but trying to incite action over the former. That's plain stupid... but while I'm on the topic, do I think that it should be illegal to create pornography (as in 'people engaging in sexual activities on tape/film')? No. There's woman-friendly porn out there, too. Do I think that the porn that most men watch has the insidious effect that this woman is describing over the population in general? You bet. Do I place all of the blame on the media corporations who distribute the porn or on the men who watch it for not supporting more woman-friendly porn? ...Yes.
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Old 04-07-2005, 04:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Do I think that the porn that most men watch has the insidious effect that this woman is describing over the population in general? You bet.
Well she's saying that the existence of porn is going to "destroy the law against sexual harassment at work." I see only two explanations for that statement: (1) she's intentionally fear-mongering; or (2) she's just plain loony. Or I guess both.
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Old 04-07-2005, 08:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Okay, in place of "has the insidious effect that this woman is describing," I should have said "has an insidious effect that is akin to what this woman is describing." Basically, I agree that she's fear-mongering, but to call her loony because she's exaggerating is the same thing as dismissing her entire argument... and I happen to think there's a valid point in there somewhere. It's just too bad she chose to frame it this way because anybody who wants to advocate for what I think is the valid part of her argument is going to receive the same kind of dismissive response thanks to her.
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Old 04-08-2005, 05:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well I'm aware of a lot of studies that conclude that viewing of porn has negligible (and transient) or no effect on men's attitudes toward women, as well as the obvious truth that porn consumption is correlated overall with liberal attitudes (incl. of men toward women).

There are lots of other correlational studies that show some positive relationships between porn use and measures of antisocial behavior tendencies, but without any attempt to sort out cause and effect (eg. by an experimental comparison) these have little value.

Here's a nice example of a controlled experimental study (I added the underline):

Quote:
Title: Men's interactions with women after viewing sexually explicit films: Does degradation make a difference?
Author(s): Jansma LL, Linz DG, Mulac A, Imrich DJ
Source: COMMUNICATION MONOGRAPHS 64 (1): 1-24 MAR 1997
Document Type: Article
Language: English


Abstract: Short-term exposure to nonviolent sexual media stimuli can produce cognitive changes in men, which, in turn, can affect their attitudes toward women. This study sought to build on past research by reliably distinguishing between (a) sexually explicit and non-sexual films and (b) sexually explicit films that are either degrading or non degrading to women. We tested whether men's viewing of these materials affects their judgment of women in subsequent face-to-face interactions. Sex-typed and non sex-typed men (Bem, 1974) viewed one of three equally stimulating film stimuli determined by an independent set of viewers to be: (a) sexually explicit and degrading, (b) sexually explicit and non-degrading, or (c) non sexual film. After viewing the men interacted with women and then evaluated their partners' intellectual competence, sexual interest, sexual attractiveness, and sexual permissiveness. Women rated the men's sexual interest, dominance, and their own feelings of degradation during the interaction. No effects for film exposure alone were found for any of these variables, and no interaction effects between film and partners' sex-role orientation were found for women's evaluations of their partners. However, men's sex-role orientation moderated film effects for men's evaluations of their female partners' intellectual competence and sexual interest. These findings are discussed in terms of their consistency with other studies and the potentially negative social implications for everyday male-female interaction.
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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"SMUT!
Give me smut and nothing but!
A dirty novel I can't shut
if it's uncut, and un su(b)t-le!

who needs a hobby,
like tennis, or philately(sp)?
I've got a hobby,
rereading Lady Chatterly!"

/sorry, will stop singing and typing now....
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Old 04-13-2005, 09:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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On a slightly related note, didn't Andread Dworkin die this week?
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Ouch, my eyes....

*crawls away in utter agony*
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey guys, the woman in that picture may have the same name, but it's not the feminist Catherine MacK. It looks like somebody's nice mom having a blast at a college reunion . . . .
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