MacKinnon, Catharine A.

Alternative names
Birth 1946-10-07

Biographical notes:

Feminist lawyer and professor, Catharine Alice MacKinnon was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1946. She attended Smith College (B.A. 1969), Yale Law School (J.D. 1977), and Yale University (Ph. D. 1987). While in graduate school she organized a course to be taught in the women's studies program, and began to make the argument that sexual harassment in the workplace is also sex discrimination and therefore a violation of federal law. This grew into her first book, Sexual Harassment of Working Women (1978), and in 1986, upon hearing its first sexual harassment case, the Supreme Court agreed.

During the 1980s MacKinnon was a professor at a number of law schools before becoming tenured at the University of Michigan. Turning her attention to pornography, which she saw as a form of sex discrimination that fosters the exploitation and abuse of women, she wrote (with Andrea Dworkin) Pornography and Civil Rights (1988), Only Words (1993), and In Harm's Way: The Pornography of Civil Rights Hearings (1998), among others. MacKinnon has represented Bosnian and Croatian women against Serbs accused of genocide since 1992. In a 2000 lawsuit, Kadic v. Karadzic, the court recognized rape as an act of genocide. MacKinnon works with Equality Now, a non-governmental organization promoting international sex equality rights for women.

From the description of Papers of Catharine A. MacKinnon, 1985-2005 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 544167366


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Ark ID:


  • Pornography--Law and legislation
  • Women--Violence against
  • Feminists
  • Law teachers
  • Pornography--Social aspects
  • Women (International law)
  • Law--Study and teaching
  • Lawyers
  • Women lawyers
  • Sex discrimination in employment
  • Women--Legal status, laws, etc
  • Sex discrimination against women


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  • United States (as recorded)