Exposing the fallacies of anti-porn feminism

Shrage, Laura (2005): Exposing the fallacies of anti-porn feminism, in: Feminist Theory 6(1), pp. 45-65.

Abstract

This paper examines an issue at the centre of feminist debates about pornography and sex work, and that is whether these practices reduce women to sex objects. I question the assumption that the expression of sexual desire is unique in its power to degrade and dehumanize persons. I show that this assumption underlies Catharine MacKinnon’s attack on pornography by considering MacKinnon’s intellectual debt to the philosopher Immanuel Kant. I then examinerecent discussions of sexual objectification in the philosophical literature and argue that MacKinnon’s adaptation of Kant has flaws comparable to Kant’s original account of sexual desire.

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