Butterfly Politics: Changing the World for Women, With a New Preface

Butterfly Politics: Changing the World for Women, With a New Preface

by Catharine A. MacKinnon

Paperback(2nd ed.)

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“Sometimes ideas change the world. This astonishing, miraculous, shattering, inspiring book captures the origins and the arc of the movement for sex equality. It’s a book whose time has come—always, but perhaps now more than ever.”
—Cass Sunstein, coauthor of Nudge

Under certain conditions, small simple actions can produce large and complex “butterfly effects.” Butterfly Politics shows how Catharine A. MacKinnon turned discrimination law into an effective tool against sexual abuse—grounding and predicting the worldwide #MeToo movement—and proposes concrete steps that could have further butterfly effects on women’s rights. Thirty years after she won the U.S. Supreme Court case establishing sexual harassment as illegal, this timely collection of her previously unpublished interventions on consent, rape, and the politics of gender equality captures in action the creative and transformative activism of an icon.

“MacKinnon adapts a concept from chaos theory in which the tiny motion of a butterfly’s wings can trigger a tornado half a world away. Under the right conditions, she posits, small actions can produce major social transformations.”
New York Times

“MacKinnon [is] radical, passionate, incorruptible and a beautiful literary stylist… Butterfly Politics is a devastating salvo fired in the gender wars… This book has a single overriding aim: to effect global change in the pursuit of equality.”
The Australian

Sexual Harassment of Working Women was a revelation. It showed how this anti-discrimination law—Title VII—could be used as a tool… It was the beginning of a field that didn’t exist until then.”
—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674237667
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 04/02/2019
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 308,481
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Catharine A. MacKinnon is Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and the James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law (Long-Term) at Harvard Law School.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

Butterfly Politics 1

I Change

1 To Change the World for Women (1980) 11

2 A Radical Act of Hope (1989) 23

3 Law's Power (1990) 28

4 To Quash a Lie (1991) 34

5 The Measure of What Matters (1992) 42

6 Intervening for Sex Equality (2013) 47

II Law

7 Introduction, Symposium on Sexual Harassment (1981) 57

8 Sexual Harassment: Supreme Court Brief for Mechelle Vinson (1986) 63

9 Testimony on Pornography, Minneapolis (1983) 96

10 Testimony to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (1985) 99

11 Substantive Equality (1989) 110

12 On Torture (1990) 126

13 Rape as Genocide: Appellate Argument in Kadic v. Karadzic (1995) 140

14 Rape as Genocide: Summation to the Jury in Kadic v. Karadzic (2000) 152

15 Trafficking, Prostitution, and Inequality (2015) 162

III Culture

16 Reality, Not Fantasy (1985) 183

17 To the American Civil Liberties Union on Pornography (1985) 189

18 X-Underrated (2005) 199

19 Gender: The Future (2007) 207

IV Academy

20 Gender Literacy (1994) 217

21 Mainstreaming Feminism in Legal Education (2003) 225

22 On Academic Freedom: From Powerlessness to Power (2002) 242

23 Engaged Scholarship as Method and Vocation (2005) 263

24 Defying Gravity (2013) 278

V Toward an Equal Future

25 Rape Redefined (2014) 285

26 Restoring Institutional Accountability for Educational Sexual Harassment (2013) 291

27 Toward a Renewed Equal Rights Amendment: Now More Than Ever (2014) 295

28 Sex Equality in Global Perspective (2015) 305

Intervening for Change, 1976-2016 325

Notes 333

Acknowledgments 473

Index 475

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