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Catharine MacKinnon

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Catharine MacKinnon in 2006.
Part of a series on
Gender
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Spectra and binaries

Catharine MacKinnon (born 1946) is one of the more frequently quotemined misquoted feminists. In particular, her allegedly saying "All sex is rape" has been debunked.[1] Usually a clue that a given quote by her is spurious is that her first name will be misspelled as "Catherine".[2]

Actual kookiness[edit]

If feminism is a critique of the objective standpoint as male, then we also disavow standard scientific norms as the adequacy criteria for our theory, because the objective standpoint we criticize is the posture of science. In other words, our critique of the objective standpoint as male is a critique of science as a specifically male approach to knowledge. With it, we reject male criteria for verification.
—Catharine MacKinnon[3]

Alongside Andrea Dworkin, MacKinnon helped develop a particularly extreme variant of feminism (though, to her credit, she never went full TERF like many of them did) that often took on a conspiratorial view of virtually every aspect of society and reality being a social construction on the part of men to suppress women.[4] This got to the point where the scientific method and the concept of objectivity were denounced as just being "what white men value about themselves", causing MacKinnon to be an early advocate of critical legal studies.

As with many paranoid worldviews, MacKinnon's ideology began to take on an increasingly authoritarian angle, of which the most notable examples could be her frequent attempts to ban pornography and her denunciation of the First Amendment as a tool of male privilege.[5][6] Weirdly enough in later years she become comparatively moderate next to the latter-day critical legal studies advocates who instead followed a more hard-line postmodernist view of society. The source of this disagreement is that MacKinnon actually does accept the concept of an objective reality but believes that it's been twisted to suit the needs of white males (and that the Enlightenment is part of this), to the point where we need to fundamentally uproot society to understand what that objective reality is, whereas many of the newer radicals reject the concept of objective reality as always basically being a power play in and of itself.[7]

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