Free speech, pornography and gender equality

This paper debates the controversy which has opposed liberal theorists to part of the feminist movement in the United States. The discussion is about the desirability of government's repression to pornography. Liberals are generally inclined to see the feminist demand for prohibition of pornography as the new version of the antiliberal, moralist and old censure. Feminists treat the theme as a political and egalitarian problem, using the argumentation that pornography is a misogynist industry which menaces socio-political equality between men and women, since its diffusion modifies the way women are publicly recognized. According to them, pornography is a kind of hate speech, like racism and homophobia.

Liberalism; Feminism; Free Speech; Pornography; Equality


Centro de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas e Centro de Comunicação e Expressão da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Campus Universitário - Trindade, 88040-970 Florianópolis SC - Brasil, Tel. (55 48) 3331-8211, Fax: (55 48) 3331-9751 - Florianópolis - SC - Brazil
E-mail: ref@cfh.ufsc.br