|[This bill, based on the Model
Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance coauthored by Andrea Dworkin and
Catharine A. MacKinnon, was introduced into the Judiciary Committee of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1992.]
HOUSE . . . . . . . . No. 5194
By Ms. Hildt of Amesbury, petition of Barbara Hildt, Mary Jeanette Murray,
Nancy H. Evans, Marc D. Draisen, Barbara Gardner and Sally P. Kerans for
legislation to protect the civil rights of women and children from
pornography and sex discrimination. The Judiciary.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety-Two
AN ACT TO PROTECT THE
CIVIL RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
Be it enacted by
the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by
the authority of the same, as follows:
1 SECTION 1. It is hereby found and declared that pornography
2 is a practice of sex discrimination which exists in the
3 commonwealth and threatens th health, safety, peace, welfare
4 and equality of its citizens. Pornography is a systematic practice
5 of exploitation and subordination based on sex that differentially
6 harms and disadvantages women through dehumanization,
7 psychic assault, sexual exploitation, forced sex and prostitution,
8 physical injury and social and sexual terrorism and inferiority
9 presented as entertainment and existing laws have proven
10 inadequate to solve such problem. It is further found that the
11 bigotry and contempt which pornography promotes and the acts
12 of aggression which it fosters:
13 (a) diminish opportunities for equality of rights in employment,
14 education, property, public accommodations, and public services;
15 (b) create public and private harassment, persecution, and
16 denigration; promote injury and degradation such as rape,
17 battery, sexual abuse of children, and prostitution, and inhibit just
18 enforcement of laws against these acts; (c) demean the reputations
19 and diminish the occupational opportunities of individuals and
20 groups on the basis of sex; (d) expose individuals who appear in
21 pornography against their will to contempt, ridicule, hatred,
22 humiliation, and embarrassment and target them for abuse and
23 physical aggression; (e) lower the human dignity, worth, and civil
24 status of women and damage mutual respect between the sexes;
25 (f) contribute significantly to restricting women in particular from
26 full exercise of citizenship and participation in the life of the
27 community; and (g) undermine women's equal exercise of rights
28 to speech and action guaranteed to all citizens under the laws and
29 constitution of the commonwealth.
1 SECTION 2. The
General Laws are hereby amended by
2 inserting after chapter 151E the
3 CHAPTER 151F.
4 PROHIBITION OF
CERTAIN SEX DISCRIMINATION.
5 Section 1. As used in this chapter, the term "pornography"
6 shall mean the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women
7 through pictures or words, including by electronic or other data
8 retrieval systems, and shall further include the presentation of
9 women's body parts, including but not limited to, vaginas, breasts
10 or buttocks, such that women are reduced to such parts or the
11 presentation of women:
12 (a) as dehumanized sexual objects, things or commodities;
13 (b) as sexual objects who enjoy humiliation or pain;
14 (c) as sexual objects experiencing sexual pleasure in rape, incest
15 or other sexual assault;
16 (d) as sexual objects tied up or cut up or mutilated, bruised or
17 physically hurt;
18 (e) in postures or positions of sexual submission, servility or
20 (f) being penetrated by objects or animals; or
21 (g) in scenarios of degradation, humiliation, injury, torture,
22 shown as filthy or inferior, bleeding, bruised or hurt in a context
23 that makes these conditions sexual.
24 The use of men, children or transsexuals in the place of women
25 shall also be deemed to be pornography for purposes of this
27 Section 2.(a). It shall be sex discrimination to coerce, intimidate
28 or fraudulently induce any person into performing for
29 pornography. The injury incurred hereunder may occur upon any
30 appearance or sale of any product resulting from such
31 performance. The maker, seller, exhibitor or distributor of said
32 pornography may be liable for damages and subject to an
33 injunction to prohibit or eliminate such product from the public
34 view. For purposes of this subsection proof of the following facts
35 shall not, singly or in combination, disprove coercion:
36 (1) the person is a woman or a girl;
37 (2) the person is or has been a prostitute;
38 (3) the person has attained the age of majority;
39 (4) the person is connected by blood or marriage to anyone
40 involved in or related to the making of the pornography;
41 (5) the person has previously had, or been thought to have had,
42 sexual relations with anyone, including anyone involved in or
43 related to the making of the pornography;
44 (6) the person has previously posed for sexually explicit pictures
45 with or for anyone, including anyone involved in or related to the
46 making of the pornography;
47 (7) anyone else, including a spouse or other relative, has given
48 permission on the person's behalf;
49 (8) the person actually consented to a use of a performance that
50 is then changed into pornography;
51 (9) the person knew that the purpose of the acts or events in
52 question was to make pornography;
53 (10) the person showed no resistance or appeared to cooperate
54 actively in the photographic sessions or events that produced the
56 (11) the person signed a contract, or made statements affirming
57 a willingness to cooperate in the production of the pornography;
58 (12) no physical force, threats, or weapons were used in the
59 making of the pornography; or
60 (13) the person was paid or otherwise compensated.
61 (b) It shall be sex discrimination to force pornography on a
62 person in any place of employment, education, home, or any
63 public place. Complaints may be brought only against the
64 perpetrator of the force or the entity or institution responsible for
65 the force.
66 (c) It shall be sex discrimination to assault, physically attack,
67 or injure any person in a way that is directly caused by specific
68 pornography. Complaints may be brought against the perpetrator
69 of the assault or attack, or against the maker, distributor, seller,
70 or exhibitor of the specific pornography.
71 (d) It shall be sex discrimination to defame any person through
72 the unauthorized use in pornography of their proper name, image,
73 or recognizable personal likeness. For purposes of this subsection,
74 public figures shall be treated as private persons. Authorization
75 once given may be revoked in writing any time prior to any
77 (e) It shall be sex discrimination to produce, sell, exhibit, or
78 distribute pornography, including through private clubs. This
79 subsection applies only to pornography made using live or dead
80 human beings or animals. Isolated parts shall not be the sole basis
81 for complaints under this subsection.
82 City, state, and federally funded public libraries or private and
83 public university and college libraries in which pornography is
84 available for study, including on open shelves but excluding
85 special display presentations, shall not be construed to be
86 trafficking in pornography.
87 Any woman may bring a complaint hereunder as a woman
88 acting against the subordination of women. Any man, child, or
89 transsexual who alleges injury by pornography in the way women
90 are injured by it may also complain.
9l Section 3. It shall not be a defense to a complaint brought under
92 this chapter that the respondent did not know or intend that the
93 materials at issue were pornography or sex discrimination.
94 No damages or compensation for losses shall be recoverable
95 under subsection (e) of section two, or other than against the
96 perpetrator of the assault or attack under subsection (c) of section
97 two, unless the defendant knew or had reason to know that the
98 materials were pornography.
99 Section 4. Any person who has a cause of action under this
100 chapter, or their estate, may complain directly to a court of
101 competent jurisdiction for relief.
102 Any person who has a cause of action under this chapter, or
103 their estate, may seek nominal, compensatory, punitive damages
104 without limitation, including for loss, pain, suffering, reduced
105 enjoyment of life, and special damages, as well as for reasonable
106 costs, including attorneys' fees and costs of investigation.
107 In claims under subsection (e) of section two, or other than
108 against the perpetrator of the assault or attack under subsection
109 (c) of section two, no damages or compensation for losses shall
110 be recoverable against a maker for pornography made, against
111 a distributor for pornography distributed, against a seller for
112 pornography sold, or against an exhibitor for pornography
113 exhibited, prior to the effective date of this chapter.
114 Any person who violates this law may be enjoined except that:
115 (a) In actions under subsection (e) of section two, and other
116 than against the perpetrator of the assault or attack under
117 subsection (c) of section two, no temporary or permanent
118 injunction shall issue prior to a final judicial determination that
119 the challenged activities constitute a violation of this law.
120 (b) No temporary or permanent injunction shall extend beyond
121 such pornography that, having been described with reasonable
122 specificity by said order, is determined to be validly proscribed
123 under this chapter.
124 Section 5. The availability of relief under this chapter is not
125 intended to be exclusive and shall not preclude, or be precluded
126 by, the seeking of any other relief, whether civil or criminal.
127 Section 6. Complaints pursuant to this chapter shall be brought
128 within six years of the accrual of the cause of action or from when
129 the complainant reaches the age of majority, whichever is later.
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