March 8, 2005

Anti-pornography feminists and the political right.

"What happened to the anti-porn feminists?" is the title of a piece at (via A&L Daily). One answer is that the political success of the anti-pornography movement depended on an alliance between very strong feminists and social conservatives, and that just didn't sit well with enough feminists, who found it easier to accept liberal notions of freedom of speech, especially after they heard about the Canadian anti-pornography law having its harshest impact on gay pornography.
[Catharine A.] Mackinnon bristles at the old charge that anti-porn feminists were, in effect, in bed with the political right. ''I actually know who I'm in bed with,'' she said in a recent interview. ''This was just something created by the pornographers to scare liberals off, which doesn't take much.''

But her language has been adopted by some on the right. Now, according to Janet LaRue of Concerned Women for America, ''It may be that we're not hearing as much from the traditional hardline feminist organizations, but when I write and speak on the topic of pornography, one of the aspects that I point out is that it certainly subjugates and degrades women and reduces us to the sum or our body parts.''

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