ABSTRACT

From the mid-seventies to the early eighties, Dworkin gradually redefines pornography from an artifact of speech to a practice of sexual exploitation. The primary, albeit unstated, ground for this redefinition is based on switching the argumentative premise from a concern with individual rights and liberties (pornographers' and consumers') to a concern with pornography's function on a societal level with respect to the rights and freedoms of women as a class. She accomplishes this shift by embedding the usually individuated pornographic image into its social and economic contexts of male domination. Dworkin's assertions of pornography's harm are based on the implicit premise of its organic relationship with surrounding social forces.