Dworkin, Dershowitz Face Off Over Legality of Pornography

Pornography should be banned because it "justifies rape and prostitution by saying women want to be raped and prostituted," feminist Andrea Dworkin said Wednesday night before an audience of 400 at Longfellow Hall.

Responding to Dworkin's remarks, Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of Law, told the audience Dworkin had "no concern at all for the First Amendment." Dershowitz defended two Quincy House students arrested for showing "Deep Throat" at the House last May.

He added that her speech and her book "Pornography: Men Possessing Women," would also be suppressed "once we allow people to take the law into their own hands" and ban what they find offensive.

Dershowitz read aloud Nazi propaganda against Jews, saying. "Every group has its own pornography, and if you ban one, you have to ban it all."

Pornography springs from men treating women as "chattel whores," Dworkin said, adding. "If we assumed these women were human beings, we would destroy all pornography with our bare hands."


The First Amendment "was written by white men who owned women and slaves," she said, adding. "The only First Amendment I can defend is one that protects the human body from exploitation." Dworkin concluded by calling the debate with Dershowitz "a perpetual mindfuck."

Dershowitz said Dworkin blurred the line "between the exploitation of women against their will and the use of women with their consent."

The best way to regulate pornography would be to legalize it, he added.

The mostly female audience interrupted and heckled Dershowitz throughout his response, one women shouting. "You make the First Amendment justify murder."