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Beyond SpeechPornography and Analytic Feminist Philosophy$
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Mari Mikkola

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190257910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190257910.001.0001

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What Women are For

What Women are For

Pornography and Social Ontology

(p.91) Chapter 5 What Women are For
Beyond Speech

Katharine Jenkins

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses John Searle’s account of institutional reality to offer an interpretation of two of Catharine MacKinnon’s claims about pornography. The first is that it subordinates women; the second is that it wrongly constructs women’s natures. The chapter argues that these claims about the harms of misogynistic pornography can profitably be understood in terms of the collective intentional imposition of a status function that defines “females” as subpersons for male use. The chapter advocates a broad interpretation of the subordination and constructionist claims that applies to a range of media besides misogynistic pornography, both sexual and nonsexual. Finally, the chapter suggests that the importance of the subordination and constructionist claims as interpreted here does not rest on their being shown to be constitutive rather than causal.

Keywords:   pornography, subordination, misogynistic, John Searle, Catharine MacKinnon

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