Catharine MacKinnon: Only WordsHarvard University Press, 1993 | Catharine MacKinnon, born 1946

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Catharine MacKinnon is an influential feminist legal scholar and activist, whose work has focused largely on sexual harassment and pornography. MacKinnon’s famous book on pornography and freedom of speech, Only Words, argues that the First Amendment has been unreasonably applied to justify the pornography industry’s violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection guarantee. MacKinnon argues that the subordination of women depicted in pornography contributes to and is even inseparable from the fact of women’s subordination in society as a whole. Thus, like Waldron and Sunstein, MacKinnon extends the harm principle to include much broader and subtler forms of social harm than those recognized by classical liberalism.



MacKinnon, Catharine. Only Words. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.

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Download from Foundations of Gender Studies blog (pdf).



MacKinnon, Catherine. “Pornography, Civil Rights, and Speech.” Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 20, No. 1 (1985): 10–68.

Find it on HeinOnline.



Kaminer, Wendy. “Feminists Against the First Amendment.” The Atlantic, November 1992.

Read it at The Atlantic.

Catharine MacKinnon on Charlie Rose, September 8, 1993