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D He-wesson 61 4 "Grand Ave Paul A voice for gays, lesbians and civilized straights 2103 Plea'SwatAve. S.#r>Hinneap<o%is, MN 55404 (612) 872-8325 Fifth Year 84th Issue December 19, 1983 Suscriptions $17.00 per year in envelope Anti-Porn Maneuver Turns into Fiasco of the Year Analysis by Tim Campbell The Minneapolis City Council, generally speaking one of the most liberal in the country, has been trying to single out and close certain adult bookstores, that is bookstores that secialize in sexually explicit material, for nearly four years now. Twice they have passed zoning ordinances that were thrown out by the courts on first challenge. rvtost recently, the Minneapolis City Coucil hired two lesbian feminists, Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon to write an ordinance that would sustain constitutional challenges and do the trick. Dworkin and MacKinnon subsequently produced a document that translated the content of a consciousness raising course at the University of Minnesota into paragraphs of a proposed amendment to the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance. The ordinance declares that pornography is a form of discrimination ihat can be perpetrated against women only and defines it thusly: "Pornography is the sexually explicit subordination of women, graphically depicted, whether in pictures or in words, that also includes one or more of the following: (1) women are presented as sexual objects, things or commodities, or (2) women are presented as sexual objects who enjoy pain or humiliation; or (3) women are presented as sexual objects who experience sexual pleasure in being raped; or (4) women are presented as sexual objects tied up or cut up or mutilated or bruised or physically hurt; or (5) women are presented in postures of sexual submission; or (6) women's body parts—vaginas, breasts, and posteriors in particular are exhibited, such that women are reduced to those parts or such that the subordinate sexual status of women is reinforced; or (7) women are presented as whores by nature; or (8) women are presented in scenarios of degradation, injury, abasement, torture, shown as filthy or inferior, bleeding, bruised, or hurt in a context that makes these conditions sexual. The proposed amendment also contains paragraphs that give token permission to men, children and transexuals, in that subordination, to bring suit under the ordinance "if they are • damaged like women" by pornography. The ordinance does MACKINNON AND DWORKIN TOOK AN AX, AND QM THE P0RN06RAPHER5 FORTY WHACKS,.. AND WHEN TWEY 5AW. WHAT THEY HAD PONE, THEY GAVE THE FIRST AMENDMENT FORTY-ONE/ Reprinted with permission of the Minnesota Daily not resoive the problems created by the presence of the word women in the above definition. The ordinance also fails to go on and define some of the other problematic vocabulary in its terms including subordination, submission, postures of sexual submission, filthy, degradation, or abasement. Testimony December 12, 13 The Government Operations Committee took public testimony on the proposed amendment December 12 and 13 in one of the most bizarre hearings witnessed by this reporter in twelve years in this town. Seated at the table with the council members who sit on the government operations committee were Dworkin and MacKinnon. Dworkin sported a pair of blue denim coveralls with a waistline nearly 60 inches in circumference topped with a burgundy blazer. Black wig-like curls spilled down around her ample jowls as she pouted through the hearings. I often thought the clock had rolled back about three centuries. MacKinnon was attired more professionally and wore her hair pulled back most of the time. She was usually shadowed from the public view by Dworkin's larger frame constantly placed downstage from MacKinnon. Chairing the committee sat Alderman Van White, a middle aged black man dressed in a tangerine polyester blazer over a white turtle neck top. White was flanked by two lame duck conservatives, Walt Diedzic and Pat Daugherty, filling out their last days on the city payroll. The only council member actually present for most of the presentations was Charlee (pronounced Charlie) Hoyt, the bill's chief author, who later disclaimed any responsibility for the persons called to testify for the bill. Throughout most of the testimony, persons wishing to speak on behalf of the bill were allowed to sit with the Council Members in front of the cameras and on a platform dominating the rest of the room. Those wishing to speak against fruf bill were almost all called last and after the majority of reporters and television camera equipment was gone. Proponents of the ordinance were allowed to drone on endlessly while opponents were limited to a strict three minutes each. White also took time to read letters that supported the ordinance while persons in the audience sat chaffing at the bit as the clock ticked well into the second day of testimony. Perhaps the lowest point of the hearings came when Alderman Sally •Howard commented that Van White had received a lot of calls from Hollywood actresses which "he didn't mind at all." Obsequious laughter from a few in the mostly female audience. The gay men waiting to speak rolled their eyes in impatience and dismay. Linda "Lovelace" Marchiano Perhaps the star witness for the proponents of the bill was Linda Borden Marchiano, the star of the most controversial porn movie of the '70s, Deep Throat. Marchiano's name in that movie was "Linda Lovelace." Marchiano now claims that she was held prisoner for two and a half years by her ex- husband during the time when this picture and several others like it were made, that the films were made at gun point or at least with guns laid out on the table and that her ex-husband had threatened to kill members of her family if she did not cooperate. Despite these claims, criminal charges have not been leveled against her ex and no attempts on Marchiano's life have been reproted since she published a book making the same allegations. Libel suits have also not been filed against her. One other woman of local origins gave similar testimony related to living for several years in the same house with a wife, abuser who allegedly forced his wife to perform sexual acts that he saw in pornography books. Dr. Pauline Bart who has worked for some years in a shelter for battered women in Chicago also testified to stories of battered wives chaiming their husbands would bea,t them when they wouldn't vdo things like give them head. Dr. Bart testifies repeatedly that the husbands first used pornography to try to persuade their wives to do the sexual things they desired. She testified that one husband went so far as to get into spanking. Rhoda Lampooned i-tJft: Perhaps to fill in for experts who backed out after the first day of testimony, Committee Chairman Van White began the second day's testimony with a letter from Valerie Harper, perhaps better known to tv viewers as "Rhoda," Harper's letter described an instance of her being lampooned by a publication which superimposed her face over some nude female body, and equated this with sexual violence. This was Harper's idea of "pornography." Harper's letter acknowledged that the photo was given to hereby personal friends and she originally enjoyed it. Woman Opponent Terrorized One woman who had signed up in advance (actually one of the first three) to speak against the bill was finally allowed to speak after three hours of waiting when her child began to cry. Jane Strauss testified, that she owned a small bookstore that sold a lot of romantic fiction and that it would be impossible for her to tell whether the vast majority of her holdings complied with the ordinance or not. This left her the option of ignoring the ordinance or keeping out tons of material that was in fact legal. The women in the audience, who had been raucous in response to any opposition testimony hissed and jeered. A look of sheer terror crossed Strauss's face as the women snarled at her. She gathered up her baby and fled. Scientific Data Proving??? The closest thing to scientific data presented at the hearings were charts and graphs, and a few sadistic illustrations shown by Dr. Edward Donnerstein from the University of Wisconsin. Donnerstein is a specialist in violence in mass media, particularly television. Donnerstein testified that their studies showed that the shock value of sex and violence dissipated on repeated viewing. He also testified that if you exposed young men to sexually violent material for an hour or so they were not noticeably affected by it but that if you inundated them with it for six weeks the effect was profound. (Donnerstein did not mention where the subjects of this second experiment are now kept under guard.) Rights Commission Omitted One of the major blunders committed in the course of this maneuver was that the consultants failed to communicate with the Civil Rights Commission whose role it is to advise on matters pertaining to the civil rights ordinance and to super- (Continued on page 7)
61 4 "Grand Ave
A voice for gays, lesbians and civilized straights 2103 Plea'SwatAve. S.#r>Hinneap|