Comparing Catherine MacKinnon's Not A Moral Issue and Sallie Tisdale’s Talk Dirty to Me

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Comparing Catherine MacKinnon's Not A Moral Issue and Sallie Tisdale’s Talk Dirty to Me Professor’s Comment: This powerful essay contrasts the views of two feminist, Catherine MacKinnon and Sallie Tisdale, each of which perceives pornography in widely divergent ways. While MacKinnon's 'Not A Moral Issue' explains the adverse impacts of pornography to women and society as a whole, Tisdale's 'Talk Dirty to Me: An Intimate Philosophy of Sex' is receptive to pornography despite these adverse impacts, suggesting in fact that the solution to the problems associated with pornography is a greater role of women in production of that pornography. Breasts and booties, buns and knockers. Type these words into a search field and be prepared.…show more content…
MacKinnon's "radical" feminism focuses on aspects of sexuality that victimize and oppress women, whereas the liberal-minded Tisdale focuses on ways women can overcome sexual repression and achieve "sexual liberation" through the consummation of pornography. Catharine MacKinnon, in her article "Not A Moral Issue", calls the need for feminist critique of pornography pertinent, as it is "central to the institutionalization of male dominance" (407). The power dynamics presented in pornography, MacKinnon believes, uphold ideologies of gender inequality. "Men treat women as who they see women being. Pornography constructs who that is," she writes (MacKinnon 408). To MacKinnon, in depicting women as sexually obedient and submissive, pornography buttresses the archetypal roles of women as passive objects wanting abuse. "Pornography constructs women and sex, defines what 'woman' means and what sexuality is, in terms of each other"(MacKinnon 414), she says. MacKinnon believes that pornography creates an open forum for sexual terrorism by men, in which women are discriminated against and male dominance is expected. Tisdale, on the other hand, argues for the necessity of pornography as a medium that can bring sexual freedom to men and women alike, and help defeat such stereotypical female roles of passivity and weakness. As she explains: "I don't… want a world in which

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