In 1981 Dworkin published a book called Pornography: Men Hating Women. This book, more than any others that she later published, brought her to the attention of the general public. In it Dworkin firmly rejects the view that pornography is a form of expression and argues that it is an issue that should even be debated as worthy of the protections given to freedom of speech by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
To consider pornography a free-speech issue would be, in her opinion, to gloss over the horror of what pornography really is. Liberals who oppose censorship and defend access to pornography on the grounds of freedom of speech do not understand, she contends, what pornography is all about: the violent hatred of men against women, behavior comparable to terrorism. In its turn, the terrorism of pornography leads to further harmful acts by particular men against particular women, including rape and spousal abuse. Just as important, Dworkin took pornography to be a means for men in general to harm women in general, by confining them to a “sexual underclass” within society.
Together with law professor Catharine A. MacKinnon, Dworkin actively tried to influence public policy concerning pornography. In the early 1980’s, the two proposed antipornography ordinances for the cities of Minneapolis and Indianapolis that would have enabled women to bring civil lawsuits against those involved in the pornography industry....
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