Monday, October 15, 2007

Harvard: Captive Daughters Author Presents Play

Catherine MacKinnon, professor and contributing author to Captive Daughters' new book Pornography: Driving the Demand in International Sex Trafficking, recently gave a talk and presented a play at Harvard Law School.

Law students, undergraduates, and others from all over the Harvard campus poured into Austin West Monday evening to see Visiting Professor Catharine MacKinnon present Trafficking, Prostitution, Pornography: A Play in Three Acts. MacKinnon's talk was sponsored by the HLS Coalition Against Gender Violence and HLS Advocates for Human Rights.

MacKinnon began by explaining that sex trafficking, prostitution, and pornography traditionally are thought to be distinct, the first involving action and presumed coercion, the second involving action but not presumed coercion, and the last involving speech but not action or coercion, among other differences.

In law, trafficking, prostitution, and pornography run the spectrum from patently criminal and illegal to constitutionally protected, such as a freedom of speech. But, asked MacKinnon, are trafficking, prostitution, and pornography really that different, or different at all?

To answer this question, MacKinnon grounded all three in the experiences of one woman, Linda Susan Boreman, more likely to be recognized by her stage name Linda Lovelace. MacKinnon read from Boreman's testimony, which chronicled two and a half years of living with a man who violently coerced her to participate in pornography, pimped her to other men for money, forced her to marry him, and physically threatened and raped her. He refused to let her out of his sight and held a gun to her head when she called home to ensure she would not tell anyone what he was doing...


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