What women are for: Pornography and social ontology

Jenkins, K. (2017) What women are for: Pornography and social ontology. In: Mikkola, M. (ed.) Beyond Speech: Pornography and Analytic Feminist Philosophy. Oxford University Press: New York, NY, pp. 91-112. ISBN 9780190257910 (doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190257910.003.0005)

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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.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:Ebook ISBN: 9780190257927
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jenkins, Dr Katharine
Authors: Jenkins, K.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Publisher:Oxford University Press
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