‘What Themes in Pornography Lead to Perceptions of the Degradation of Women?’ – by Gloria Cowan and Kerri F. Dunn (1994)

“We assessed ratings of nine themes in commercial pornography to test feminist theory about what is degrading to
women in pornography. Ninety-four female and 89 male college student volunteers rated nine brief excerpts of sexually explicit material. Seven of the nine themes depicted two types of inequalities, active subordination and status
inequality; one theme depicted female indiscriminate availability; and one theme depicted equal sex.

Participants viewed the themes either with or without accompanying definitions. Consistent with feminist theory, both men and women who viewed the excerpts rated active subordination more degrading than status inequalities and both types of
inequalities more degrading than sexually explicit material with equality, with one qualification. Women rated all
inequalities and availability more degrading than equal sex, whereas men rated active subordination themes and
status inequalities more degrading than nonreciprocated sex, female availability, and equal sex.

In general, video clips without the definitions were rated as degrading as those presented with definitions, with some variations in ratings of status inequality themes. Suggestions for future research to assess degrading aspects of pornography are provided.”

Author(s): Gloria Cowan and Kerri F. Dunn

Source: The Journal of Sex Research,Vol. 31, No. 1 (1994), pp. 11-21


‘Pornography and Pop Culture: Real Men, Real Choices’ – by Robert Jensen and Karla Mantilla (2007)

“…even if men could be guaranteed that the women they watch have made an unconstrained and “free” choice to participate in making pornography, men viewing and purchasing pornography are still contributing to the demand for pornography, which contributes to creating a world in which women who are not making free choices will be hurt.”

Author(s): Robert Jensen and Karla Mantilla

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2007), pp. 62-63

Robert Jensen Pornography and Pop Culture, Real Men, Real Choices (Link)

‘Freedom Is Censorship: Control of Feminist Thought in Market Democracy ‘ – by Betsy Brown (2001)

“If we want to find the place where dissident ideas are squelched or distorted beyond recognition, we would do well to examine the celebrated “free market place of ideas.” That marketplace is no freer or more democratic than any other capitalist marketplace. It is here that feminist and lesbian publishers and bookstores are going out of business at an alarming rate; as are all kinds of independent publishers and bookstores. The men who run the huge corporations that control this market place have a large incentive to limit the availability of ideas that challenge patriarchy, capitalism, or white supremacy in any deep or comprehensive way. If nothing else, people who think radical thoughts have something to give their lives meaning besides the mindless consumption that drives the U.S. economy…”
Author(s): Betsy Brown

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 31, No. 4 (april 2001), pp. 8-11

Freedom is Censorship – Control of Feminist Thought (Link)

‘Every Woman Has A Right: Not To Be Prostituted’ – by Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific

“Debates on prostitution rage on, as they have for over a hundred years. But if the commerce of sex was once a more hidden or at least discreet business, today there’s no ignoring the bombardment of sex sales talk; we live, it has been said, in a culture of pornography. With the worldwide explosion in recent decades of industries based on the production, sale and
consumption of sex primarily personified in women’s bodies, there is an even more pressing need to understand the commodification of sex in the range and diversity of forms that pornography, “sexual entertainment” and prostitution are taking, and for feminists to analyze the significance of and impact of these developments on women’s status…”

Author(s): Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 31, No. 3 (March 2001), pp. 7-9

Every Woman has a Right Not to be Prostituted (Link)

‘Criminalizing the Symptoms’ – review by Karla Mantilla from ‘Our Sisters In Prison: What are they doing there?’

“Beth Richie spent some time listening to battered black women incarcerated at Rikers Island and has written a remarkable book rooted in their life experiences. This book is a departure from much of what is written about women in prison because it takes into account the totality of their life experience and it examines the social forces that act to structure them in a way that women end up incarcerated.”

Author(s): karla mantilla

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 31, No. 2, Our Sisters In Prison: What are they doing there? (February 2001), pp. 13-14

Criminalizing the Symptoms (Link)

‘Women in Prison Tell It Like It Is’ – from Off Our Backs, Women’s News Journal (2001)

“I am a woman. I am a battered woman. I am a battered woman incarcerated with a life sentence, no possibility of parole. In our society, being a battered woman is a life sentence anyway. I don’t see the point of underscoring it by the courts.
A battered woman is sometimes faced with the choice of kill or be killed.
If she gives up a life of physical, sexual, verbal and/or emotional abuse by her partner by killing him, she dooms herself to the same treatment by the “system.”
A battered woman is isolated from family and friends by her abuser; the system does the same thing. An abuser strips a woman of her identity and dignity; the system does the same thing…”
Author(s): Darcy K. War Bonnett, Deborah Bounds, Karen R. Paese and Shannon R. Houser

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 31, No. 2, Our Sisters In Prison: What are they doing there? (February 2001), pp. 9-12

Women in Prison Tell it Like it is (Link)

(Photo taken at an exhibition: ‘Woman Behind Bars’)

‘Windows to Freedom: Radical Feminism at a Jail Library’ – by Karla Mantilla and Claudine O’Leary (2001)

“I volunteered in a jail library called Windows to Freedom in Chicago. The library is open about 5 mornings a week, usually from 9 to 12. It was started back in 1996 by women who had a long history of very radical feminist organizing. It was a very feminist and very lesbian base of organizing that created this library. We offer some pretty radical books in the library partly because we have some pretty radical folks who volunteer and donate books. We offer selections that criticize the criminal justice industry as a whole, and many books that deal with racism. We have a whole women’s studies section that has all the classics, plus anything else that we’re able to find.”

Author(s): Karla Mantilla and Claudine O’Leary

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 31, No. 2, Our Sisters In Prison: What are they doing there? (February 2001), pp. 6-7, 17

Radical Feminism at a Jail Library (Link)

‘Women and the Prison Industrial Complex’ – by Val Codd (2001)

“The U.S. war on drugs has become a war on women, specifically women of color. According to a Department of Justice Report, since federal drug laws ushered in mandatory sentencing in 1986, the incarceration rate for women has increased 400 percent, and the figure for black women is 800 percent. While the current rate of imprisonment for black women is more than eight times that for white women, the rate for Latina women is four times that for white women, according
to Amnesty International.”

Author(s): Val Codd

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 31, No. 2, Our Sisters In Prison: What are they doing there? (February 2001), p. 8

Women & The Prison Industrial Complex (Link)

‘Trapped by Patriarchy: Women in Prison’ by Temima Fruchter (2001)

“Females are secondary.”
“This statement, made in 1998 by Andrew Winston, the chairman of the Virginia Board of Corrections, essentially sums up the position of women in the larger scheme of the U.S. prison hierarchy. Winston conceded that this is the unfortunate case in terms of the design of many American prisons and inmate services. Most of these services, he stated at the 1998 Friends of Incarcerated Women conference, are built to benefit males.
Because of this still-true case of nationwide neglect, such things as “male guards touching prisoners’ breasts and genitals during daily pat-downs and strip searches, watching women as they shower and dress and…selling women to male inmates for sex” were cited as being “common practice” by a 1999 Report by Amnesty International entitled Not Part of My Sentence: Violations of the Human Rights of Women in Custody.

Author(s): Temima Fruchter

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 31, No. 2, Our Sisters In Prison: What are they doing there? (February 2001), p.1

Trapped by Patriarchy – Women in Prison (Link)

‘Man Bites Dog! How the Mainstream Media Obscure the Fact of Male Violence’ by Jennie Ruby

EXTRACT: “A dog bites a man? That is not news. Man bites dog? That is news. If a man beats his wife, it is not news, but if a woman beats a man, it’s news. Likewise, men rape about 500,000 women per year, some with foreign objects that cause severe damage to the woman’s vagina. That is not news. Clitoral mutilations occur perhaps every day. That is not news. One woman severs a man’s penis. That’s news.”

Author(s): Jennie Ruby

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 30, No. 11 (December 2000), p. 12, 19

Man Bites Dog (Link)