Pornography In Law

1098 Words5 Pages
Article Summary The translation of legal theories into actual legislation is often a difficult process due to issues involving language and ethics. In the case of laws that regulate pornography, these problems arise in the way law defines pornography and the crimes the commit and initiate. In the article From Theory to Practice: Catharine MacKinnon, pornography, and Canadian law, Alexandra G. Bennett addresses some of the issues with pornography laws, such as whether not the laws in some way contradict the theory, and what is lost in the transition “from the theory to practice” (Bennett 215). By exploring Catharine MacKinnon’s the theories on pornography, how it should be handled in law, how these ideas were translated and adapted into Canadian legislation and the problems that arise with these laws, Bennett sheds some light onto the past and prevailing issues of pornography in law. Bennett begins by addressing the many discrepancies in the way society, legislative bodies, and Catharine MacKinnon define pornography. In many cases, legal bodies refused to clearly define pornography; the US Supreme Court leaving this task to the discretion of judges. Even the Oxford English Dictionary provides an unhelpfully vague definition of pornography. However Catharine MacKinnon is very clear in her definition of pornography and how she thinks it is defined by society. MacKinnon views pornography as not only meaning what it is, the product and what has been done to make it, but also what it does, the ideas that it conveys and implants into society . These ideas are those of male dominance and hierarchy, and dehumanization, objectification, and sexual subservience of women; basically ideas of gender inequality (216). Bennett continues to describe how this depiction of sexuality in pornography is only possible because these ideas are normalized and ingrained into our society.
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