[This excerpt was published in Ms. magazine January/February 1994. It is abridged from the Model Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance coauthored by Andrea Dworkin and Catharine A. MacKinnon and published in their book Pornography and Civil Rights: A New Day for Women's Equality (Minneapolis: Organizing Against Pornography, 1988), pages 138-142.]


1. "Pornography" means the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures and/or words, including by electronic or other data retrieval systems, that also includes one or more of the following:

  • Women are presented dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities.
  • Women are presented as sexual objects who enjoy humiliation or pain; or as sexual objects experiencing sexual pleasure in rape, incest, or other sexual assault; or as sexual objects tied up, cut up, mutilated, bruised, or physically hurt.
  • Women are presented in postures or positions of sexual submission, servility, or display.
  • Women's body parts--including but not limited to vaginas, breasts, or buttocks--are exhibited such that women are reduced to those parts.
  • Women are presented being penetrated by objects or animals. Women are presented in scenarios of degradation, humiliation, injury, or torture, shown as filthy or inferior, bleeding, bruised, or hurt in a context that makes these conditions sexual.

2. The use of men, children, or transsexuals in the place of women is also pornography for purposes of this law.


It is sex discrimination to:
(1) Coerce, intimidate, or fraudulently induce any person into performing for pornography, which injury may date from any appearance or sale of any product(s) of such performance(s). The maker(s), seller(s), exhibitor(s), and/or distributor(s) of said pornography may be sued for damages and for an injunction, including to eliminate the product(s) of the performance(s) from the public view.

(2) Force pornography on a person in any place of employment, education, home, or any public place. Complaints may be brought only against the perpetrator of the force and/or the entity or institution responsible for the force.

(3) Assault, physically attack, or injure any person in a way that is directly caused by specific pornography. Complaints may be brought against the perpetrator, and/or the maker(s), seller(s), distributor(s), and/or exhibitor(s) of the specific pornography.

(4) Defame any person through the unauthorized use in pornography of their proper name, image, and/or recognizable personal likeness.

(5) Traffic in pornography--to produce, sell, exhibit, or distribute pornography, including through private clubs.

5a This section applies only to pornography made using live or dead human beings and/or animals.

5b Isolated parts shall not be the basis for complaints under this section.

5c Any woman may bring a complaint as a woman acting against the subordination of women. Any man, child, or transsexual who alleges injury by pornography in the way women are injured by it may also complain.

[Click here to read the complete text of the Dworkin/MacKinnon antipornography civil rights ordinance as introduced in the Judiciary Committee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1992.]