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Catharine A. MacKinnon
(1946- )

Life and Works
Internet Sources

Feminist legal scholar Catharine A. MacKinnon has taught in both Canada and the United States; she is presently Professor of law at the University of Michigan. She and Andrea Dworkin are the authors of a model ordinance for the prohibition of pornography, and of the book Pornography and Civil Rights (1988).

MacKinnon has written extensively about the relationship between the sexes in contemporary society. Her Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination (1979) was instrumental in providing a firm foundation for contemporary litigation on sexual harassment in American jurisprudence. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law (1987) is a collection of speeches on feminism, sexual inequality, and pornography. Her Gauss Lectures at Princeton, focusing on hate speech and sexual harassment, are reprinted in Only Words (1993)

Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989) is systematic presentation of MacKinnon's political theory. She begins by exploring both the disparities and the relationship between feminism and Marxism. In addition, MacKinnon describes the institutionalization of sexual inequality in modern society, focusing especially on the consequences regarding rape, abortion, and pornography. The book concludes with an assessment of the prospects for a different sort of social order.

For further discussion of contemporary issues regarding sex and gender, please see Women's Studies Resource Sites.

Recommended Reading:

Primary sources:

  • Catharine A. MacKinnon, Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination (Yale, 1986)
  • Catharine A. MacKinnon, Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law (Harvard, 1987)
  • Catharine A. MacKinnon, Only Words (Harvard, 1996)
  • Catharine A. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (Harvard, 1991)
  • In Harm's Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings, ed. by Catharine A. MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin (Harvard, 1998)

Additional on-line information about MacKinnon includes:

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Last modified 24 November 2011.
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