Catherine A. Mackinnon`S ?Only Words? Essay, Research Paper
Constitutionally protected speech that is Clearly sexual abuse is discriminating and
unconstitutional, therefore, must be restricted speech. Catherine A. MacKinnon, in her book
?Only Words? gives persuading evidence that pornography subordinates women as a group
through sexual abuse. She says ?Protecting pornography means protecting sexual abuse as
speech, at the same time that both pornography and it?s protection have deprived women of
speech, especially speech against pornography (MacKinnon, 9). MacKinnon argues this bye
explaining defamation and discrimination, racial and sexual harassment, and equality and
Women are sexually abused for the making of pornography. Torture, rape, hot wax
dripping over nipples, and murdering women are the tools to produce a product of evil.
Literature is the description of these crimes against humanity (emphasized) and cameras are
proof of these crimes.
On the assumption that words have only a referential relation to reality, pornography
is defended as only words-even when it is pictures women had to directly used to
make, even when the means of writing are women?s bodies, even when a women is
destroyed in order to say it or show it or because it was said or shown.
However, assuming words are only a partial relation to reality would mean we would have to
reconsider what reality is. Our wedding vows such as ?I do? would be meaningless and a jury
could never return a verdict that is only partial to reality. These words are ?treated as the
institutions and practices they constitute, rather than as expressions of the idea they embody?
(Mackinnon, 13) Therefore, if these words of pornography are only words, don?t they
institutionalize rape? Since pornography is rape on women.
Pornography is protected by the First Amendment as free speech, but why? Because
the pornographic materials are construed as ideas, and the First Amendment protects ideas.
Pornography is commonly brushed of as some product of fantasy for those who buy it. But
what about the women who were tortured to make it. Also it is brushed off as simulated.
This means that the pain and hurt the women are feeling is just acting. Put a little music and
a smile here and there to cover up the pain, and you are portraying to and giving pure pleasure
for those who buy the product. Just like fantasizing a death, how do you simulate a death?
But discarding pornography as a representation is the most frequent excuse. But how can a
murder be justified on terms of representation? (MacKinnon, 27,28)
. When one fantasizes about murdering another person, this is premeditation of
murder. If he were to express this idea, he would be heard as expressing a threat and
penalized. For the obvious reason, publications that are ?how to? guides on murdering people
are not protected speech. I believe Pornography is the catalyst for premeditation of rape.
Pornography flicks are ?how to? guides for rape. So why are they legal? His idea is
protected, and further more is his threat of ?I?m gonna *censored* her?, because both are seen as
fantasy, but why isn?t murder seen as fantasy? Murder is the loss of ones life, but so is
pornography when women have been killed to produce it. Pornography is proven to be
addicted. When somebody is addicted to premeditating rape, it?s only a matter of time before
his addiction of premeditation becomes a solid plan.
Sexual or racial harassment has been suggested to only be made illegal if only directed
at an individual and not a group. ?The idea seems to be that injury to one person is legally
actionalble, but the same injury to thousands of people is protected speech?. (MacKinnon, 51)
This would be disparate impact which involves ?employment practices that are facially
neutral in their treatment of different groups, but that, in fact, fall more harshly on one group
than another and cannot be justified by business necessity.? (Lindgren & Taub,167)
Pornography is disparate impact on women, because of the sexual abuse, and ironically the
disparate impact seems to be the business necessity. Under Title Seven?s disparate impact
treatment concept, pornography is illegal. ( I just have to prove it now) Also, is there not
reasonable ?harm? (Wolgast, 432, Fem Juris) for a women to visit a place where men are
watching a porno and premeditating her rape? Is she not infringed on her First Amendment
right to congregate with equal respect. The idea of pornography (pre meditated rape) does not
allow her respect. It does not allow respect for women as a whole, living among men as a
whole, who have the idea in their mind. Two groups, men and women, one who is
premeditating rape against the other because of a purchased product, pornography, the
catalyst to rape.
Pornography clearly resembles the theory of Dominance. The important difference
between men and women is that women get *censored*ed and men ?*censored* women? (MacKinnon,
499. Fem Juris) socially and constitutionally. This in turn renders them incapable of an
individual self. When protected dehumanizing speech (pornography) is ramped in the
market, subordination of women occurs. The more violent speech gets, it seems that more
protected it becomes. The more pornography expands, the more protected it becomes.
Therefore, the more pornography is produced, the more unequal women become, and there
speech is less heard and reduced to ?Only words?. (MacKinnon) Women are then left to
If true equality between male and female persons is to be achieved, we cannot ignore
the threat to equality resulting from exposure to audiences of certain types of violent
and degrading material.
name of book is *ONLY WORDS*