Pornography and Civil Rights:

A New Day for Women's Equality

"Pornography is central in creating and maintaining the civil inequality of the sexes. Pornography is a systematic practice of exploitation and subordination based on sex which differentially harms women...."

With those bold words began the groundbreaking local antipornography law drafted by writer Andrea Dworkin and lawyer Catharine A. MacKinnon. Their completely new legal approach--in which pornography is defined as sex discrimination and therefore a violation of civil rights--would allow anyone injured by pornography to fight back by filing a civil 1awsuit against pornographers. First passed in December 1983 in Minneapolis, where it was supported by a grass-roots coalition of women, people of color, neighborhood groups, and the city's welfare poor and working poor, this new law has already transformed the way people of conscience understand the devastating impact of pornography on women's right to equality. This new law also offers hope: an effective legal tool for making sex equality real.

In this comprehensive and easy-to-read guidebook, the coauthors of the antipornography civil-rights ordinance explain:


"The Ordinance does not take 'rights' away from anyone; takes the power to hurt women away from pornographers."

--from Pornography and Civil Rights


734 East Lake Street

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407