Eric Allen Engle, The Red Queen Meets the Cheshire Cat? MacKinnon, Marx, and the Mirror Stage of Production, 2 the crit: Critical Stud. J. 1 (2009).

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Abstract: Marxism and Feminism seem to live in parallel worlds, as if through a looking glass. Each seeks to end exploitation and oppression, yet target differing aspects of these conditions using different terms for similar phenomena. Orthodox Marxists might say that Feminism only targets part of the problem. Feminists might point out that Marxism only reproduces male power. These would be examples of sectarianism. Yet Marxism and Feminism can be complementary, in that Feminism can provide critiques of the failings of Marxism, whereas Marxism can point out possibilities for Feminism. Catharine MacKinnon's work is the clearest example of a necessary dialog between Feminism and Marxism, and this article outlines her contribution to the struggle against exploitation of the Third World and oppression of women. Rather than answers, I offer basic terminology (oppression versus exploitation; the principle contradiction) and above all - questions. Of Marxism I ask, "What went wrong?" and of Feminism I ask, "What went right?"

Table of Contents:
The Red Queen Meets the Cheshire Cat?
MacKinnon, Marx and the Mirror Stage of Production.. 1
I. Marxism.. 3
A. Property.. 6
B. Objectification.. 6
II. Women's Issues.. 7
A. Objectivity and "Neutrality".. 8
B. Formalism and the Public-Private Distinction.. 9
C. Feminism.. 10
D. The Principle Contradiction.. 10
E. "Women's" Issues.. 12
1. Prostitution.. 12
2. Pornography.. 14
3. Rape.. 16
4. Family Law.. 18
F. The State.. 19
III. Resistance Tactics.. 19
A. Exposing the Eroticization of Power.. 20
B. Using the State.. 21
C. Deconstruction & Trashing.. 22
D. Consciousness-Raising.. 23
E. The Personal Is Political.. 24
IV. Conclusion.. 24

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."
- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass 2
Feminism has trouble accessing Marxism, and Marxism has trouble accessing feminism. Worse, both movements want what everyone wants - peace, prosperity, justice - in sum the good life, and in fact for everyone. Marxists have trouble accessing feminism because of the issues. And feminists have trouble accessing Marxism because Marxism is at times abstruse, 3 internally splintered and externally ham-handed or irrelevant. Mirrors reflect--but also distort.

I. Marxism

Part of the reason Feminism and Marxism do not interact more cohesively is the simple fact that "Marx was not a feminist." 4 In fact, Marx was a male chauvinist pig, at least in his personal life. 5 Moreover (as a result?), the central problem for Marx was not the exploitation of woman by man, but rather the exploitation of man by man, i.e. commoditization, particularly labor commoditization. 6 "Marx addressed neither gender nor sexual orientation discrimination in his theory of capitalism." 7 MacKinnon resituated feminism by passing it through a Marxist lens in order to separate feminism from liberalism. She developed therefrom what seems to me to be a parallel feminist-Marxism, wherein Marxist concepts replicate themselves but are mapped onto women and transformed thereby into new terms.

The first and most important analogy MacKinnon makes is between fucking and work. "Sexuality is to feminism what work is to Marxism: that which is most one's own, yet most taken away." 8 Fucking is a commodity - "many work and few gain ... some fuck and others get fucked." 9 People buy and sell sex and sexuality every day around the world. Not only is fucking a commodity, it is also a capital good: fucking makes more slaves. I do not know if either Marxism or feminism recognizes fucking as a commodity and a productive force, but it is just that--the source of both slaves and cannon fodder.

There are other analogies between Marxism and feminism. "Marxism and feminism are theories of power and its distribution: inequality. They provide accounts of how social arrangements of patterned disparity can be internally rational yet unjust." 10

What passing Marxism through a woman's eyes does is reveal some things that Marx did not seem to notice. MacKinnon asks the obvious questions, such as "[I]s there a connection between the fact that the few have ruled the many and the fact that the few have been men?" 11 and "Is male dominance a creation of capitalism or is capitalism one expression of male dominance? What does it mean for class analysis if one can assert that a social group is defined and exploited through means largely independent of the organization of production, if in forms appropriate to it? What does it mean for a sex-based analysis if one can assert that capitalism would not be materially altered if it were sex integrated or even controlled by women?" 12 Feminism provides Marxism with several useful questions. Can Marxism provide useful answers in return?

Part of the difficulty of achieving understanding between feminism and Marxism is that they each put the primary conflict in society in a different place. For Marxism, the primary conflicts are between economic classes, specifically between the working class and the proprietary class. Of course, women are one classification, and the question becomes whether a person belongs primarily to her gender or her economic class. For example, "[Rosa] Luxemburg sees that the bourgeois woman of her time is a 'parasite of a parasite' but fails to consider her commonality with the proletarian woman who is the slave of a slave." 13

But feminism and Marxism are not necessarily in conflict and most times will move toward the same goals. "There is a difference between a society in which sexism is expressed in the form of female infanticide and a society in which sexism takes the form of unequal representation on the Central Committee. And the difference is worth dying for." 14

A. Property

Ultimately the problem of feminism is a problem of capitalism. "To be man's other is to be his thing." 15 Women are seen by patriarchy as property, 16 and by capitalism as labor commodities which possess rare resources that by definition men do not have. For this reason Marxism and feminism do have something to talk about.

B. Objectification

The problem facing feminism is the problem of objectification of women by men 17 (just as the problem for critical race theory is the objectification of slaves by whites); it is an epistemological problem to be regarded from the materialist perspective. 18 Objectification means to be made into a thing, to be turned into a saleable product. Patriarchy turns women into objects to be owned and used (use-value), while capitalism turns them into commodities to be exchanged or kept (exchange-value). MacKinnon argues that Marxism has a favorable view toward objectification, whereas I think the better observation is that alienation (of labor) is one step above objectification (being rendered into an object). 19 Either I am misunderstanding MacKinnon's view on objectification badly (the logical case, she's brilliant, I'm human) or she is not seeing that Verdinglichung means "to be made into a thing." She, or a translator, may be confusing Gestaltung ("conceptualization" or "formation") with Verdinglichung. It is true that Marxists believe self-expression through one's creative productive labor is one goal of liberation, but this is Gestaltung, not Verdinglichung.

Nonetheless, to prevent violence against women, capitalists could restructure the superstructure of capitalism (e.g., its relations of production and the social justifications and rationalizations for its power structure) if they so desired. 20 Yet they do not--because violence against women is erotic power over women.

II. Women's Issues

Marxism has trouble reaching much of what feminism reduces to essentialism. MacKinnon is no essentialist, yet she correctly points out that many essentialist issues which directly concern feminism, such as pregnancy, children, prostitution, and even menstruation are only "secondary contradictions" for Marxism. Many "feminist" legal issues (mostly family law issues) are considered marginal, secondary and "unimportant" to liberalism and Marxism alike. These issues, which are central to feminism, are controversial (and essential) because they directly concern women's bodies and thus are of intimate interest to women. Discussing these personal issues may make one uncomfortable, shy, or embarrassed, and the "easy" liberal solution, of course, is to declare "individual autonomy, bodily integrity." But the easy liberal solution, which would legalize both prostitution (just another market transaction) and pornography (same as prostitution) and place very few restraints on abortion (more convenience - market capitalism is all about convenience) is not useful to patriarchy. This is so because patriarchy needs women to motivate soldiers and to produce more soldiers - so it tries to control women in ways that are subtle, multivariate, and effective. 21 So, MacKinnon rejects liberalism because liberalism assumes, wrongly, that men and women are on equal footing. 22 Her attitude is scientific and consequential.

Today, the most discussed legal issues for women's rights are rape, prostitution, pornography and abortion. Are these the most-discussed because they are also the issues in which men are most interested? Each deals with fucking - something in which men are very interested.

A. Objectivity and "Neutrality"

Patriarchy and liberal capitalism alike try to present their worldview as objective, rational, pragmatic, and detached 23 while attempting to avoid a reputation as disconnected, opportunistic, rationalistic or cold. Using methods developed out of legal realism, MacKinnon exposes this supposed objectivity as not at all neutral. For MacKinnon, the subject-object split is a false dichotomy. 24 This seems to me to be a monist position. MacKinnon argues that class - the class being woman or man - heavily influences one's perspective. 25 Thereby, "Aperspectivity is revealed as a strategy of male hegemony." 26 Thus, to be objective is to be a man-- rational, not emotional; pragmatic, not altruistic; detached, not connected. Objectivity may be a precondition for objectification, yet an objective scientific view that is neither exploitative nor oppressive is also possible. 27

B. Formalism and the Public Private Distinction

Just as feminism rejects the subject-object distinction as a false dichotomy used to maintain patriarchy (in Marxist terms, the State), feminism also rejects the public-private distinction, long criticized by U.S. scholars like Duncan Kennedy. 28 Of course it does - the atomization of any one womAn via "private" "individual" patriarchy (in Marxist terms, property) results in the isolation of women. And once isolated, patriarchy (in Marxist terms, capitalism) takes each individually isolated woman and systematically dismembers her, one by one, piece by piece. 29 Solidarity is not merely political posturing; it is a technique for survival.

MacKinnon's analysis is influenced by legal realism's critique of what it calls formalism: "legal doctrines, incoherent or puzzling as syllogistic logic, become coherent as ideology." 30 Legal doctrine is manipulable for a reason; the manipulability serves the interests of the dominant over the dominated.

C. Feminism

What emerges from MacKinnon's deconstruction of objectification, and her exposure of the lies of patriarchy, is feminism unmodified, a materialist manifestation of one aspect of the conflicting contradictions class-society produces. MacKinnon argues that her worldview - feminism unmodified - is anti-liberal, anti-individualist and post-Marxist, partly because Marxism cannot access certain aspects of feminism within Marxist terms. 31 Marxists consider MacKinnon's worldview post-Marxist pre-Leninist, for MacKinnon (at least as far as I see) ignores the role of a vanguard party in mobilizing resistance. 32

D. The Principle Contradiction

A Maoist would say MacKinnon places the principal global contradiction not on the workers versus the capitalists, but on patriarchy versus feminism. There are good reasons for her to do so. The first world workers have essentially been bought off (now you know why the U.S. labor unions supported the Vietnam war), and child laborers and sweatshops still exist (in Southeast Asia). These are the source of the wealth and plenty enjoyed by Americans in Wal-Mart every day.

To be exploited is to be paid less than the value of one's labor. 33 Thanks to the redistribution of the proceeds of third-world exploitation, American workers are no longer exploited. An assembly line automotive worker in the U.S is simply not paid less than the value of their labor. Labor exploitation still exists, but it has all been outsourced to the Third World, to prisons, and to migrant laborers. So it could easily seem, in the First World, that there is no proletariat - because the class exists only in the Third World.

But even if no labor exploitation exists in the First World, except within prisons and the farm fields worked by Mexican migrants, gender oppression and oppression of homosexuals still exist, even in the First World. Oppression is not the extraction of surplus value from labor - oppression is the suppression of views that are subversive or outright contrary to the dominant power of white nationalism and patriarchy. 34 Hence, oppression and stupefication (two of capitalism's three vices) still exist in the First World - but labor exploitation does not.

MacKinnon's earlier work placed the principal contradiction on male versus female. 35 Her more recent work has started to focus on the Third World. 36 Does this indicate a shift in her thinking on the principal contradiction, the main battle line? Of course, half the Third World is women. So MacKinnon may be moving her principal contradiction to First World versus Third World. Or, she may not. Either way, there is plenty of work that one can do to oppose exploitation and oppression from a woman's perspective even in the First World. Opening up the scope of oppression to take into account the exploited Third World, whether by extraterritorial application of laws against pornography, prostitution and pedophilia, or through extraterritorial tort claims, is clearly a progressive move.

E. "Women's" Issues

1. Prostitution

MacKinnon is against the liberal solution of legalization and normalization of prostitution 37 because she does not believe it would end the problems of male oppression of women, nor the abuse of women in prostitution. In print, she was less committed to that line fifteen years ago: "For years I have been saying that I do not know what to do, legally, about prostitution. I still do not .... [but] I do know that we need to put the power to act directly in women's hands more than we have." 38

I think, from what I have seen in Germany and the Netherlands, that legalization is a more effective policy than the French solution of criminalizing only the john and not the prostitute. The French solution does, however, avoid the problem, common in the U.S., wherein laws against prostitution are used only against prostitutes and not their clients. 39

Then again, I'm a man - of course I want legal prostitution. This sort of lurking self-interest, which obscures a clear vision of justice, is what I mean when I say that, essentialism aside (MacKinnon is not an essentialist), 40 men have trouble accessing feminism. Capitalists have an objective interest in exploitation. Men have an objective interest in patriarchy. These interests can blind us, and this reality is one more reason individualism generally fails as a truth-generating method 41 (statistically insignificant sample size 42 and the limited time-frame of one lifespan are other reasons). 43

MacKinnon recognizes that the illegalization of prostitution in the U.S. results in the abuse of women, and she tries to oppose the anti-women effects of anti-prostitution laws. For example, she notes that the courts rely on the fact that anti-prostitution laws also affect (mostly gay) male prostitutes as proof that such laws are not sexually discriminatory against women. 44 It seems patriarchy is clever enough to make its laws appear objective, neutral, and 'fair' even as they achieve sexist, patriarchal outcomes. 45 Though she does not support the liberal-individualist solution of legalization and normalization, MacKinnon is willing to consider using the liberal concept of civil rights to advance women's interests. 46 She also argues for private law claims in tort as a way to redress women's interests. 47

Yet it is extremely unlikely that any amount of criminalization would in fact eliminate prostitution or pornography. MacKinnon is looking for ways to end the unhealthy aspects of sexuality, 48 but isn't always proposing alternatives that seem workable. Economically speaking, her proposals would raise the entry-cost to become a prostitute, thus reducing the supply of prostitutes, thereby increasing the compensation of the remaining prostitutes - which would encourage women to enter into prostitution. Of course, "the market" will not provide solutions to exploitation. But here it points out why a simplistic anti-porn-and-prostitution line, aside from depriving women of one of the most highly remunerated jobs 49 (the only jobs where women are consistently better-compensated than men), 50 will not succeed.

2. Pornography

MacKinnon sees pornography and prostitution as essentially the same phenomenon: "pornography is an arm of prostitution." 51 She is correct, as the etymology of the word "pornography" reveals. 52 MacKinnon opposes pornography, calling it an act of violence against women 53 that teaches violence against women and the degradation of women. 54 For MacKinnon, pornography is a rape manual, a how-to booklet.

MacKinnon has never argued that all sex is rape, nor that all sex is prostitution. However, the cash-sex nexus and violence-sex nexus exist and are the dominant reality. Further, if all sex is not rape, it is because of the capacity to consent. The presence of "consent" indicates awareness of the existence of alternatives and the capacity to undertake those alternatives, i.e., free will. Thus, sex which isn't rape requires consent. Yet because of circumstances such as poverty, ignorance, and/or drug addiction, consent is, at least at times, a myth. The "choice" to fuck for pay is no real choice in the face of starvation or even "just" drug addiction. So what if all sex were prostitution, or rape, or even both? What if humans evolved via rape, as rapists, into rape, because the competition to rape and not be raped, or to be raped only by the strongest and smartest, resulted in stronger, faster, and cleverer humans? It would be useful to see MacKinnon or feminism grapple with these ideas.

In all events, it seems the pornification of the world 55 that has resulted from the internet 56 has not in fact led to a corresponding increase in violence against women. If anything, porn production today seems less violent than in the past. It has become common and is less criminal. Indeed, it is often made by quite willing actors, even amateurs working from their home. So MacKinnon, to advance her position on porn, really has to argue against the liberal capitalist solution - something Marxists would of course be happy to see her do! Basically, she needs to amass solid statistical evidence to bolster her arguments. Twenty years ago, before the pornification of the world via the internet, her position that pornography unleashes violence against women looked much more tenable than it does today.

3. Rape

"Rape, from women's point of view, is not prohibited; it is regulated .... Women who charge rape say they were raped twice, the second time in court. If the state is male, this is more than a figure of speech." 57

For MacKinnon, pornography, prostitution, and rape are closely and positively correlated. She argues that all porn is prostitution and that all prostitutes are raped. 58 If all sex were prostitution and all prostitution were rape, then in fact all sex would be rape - a position MacKinnon does not in fact take, though she has been accused of it (i.e., pornification) by people who mistake her porn = prostitution = rape equivalence for a condemnation of sex generally. Rather, MacKinnon does believe in sex outside the context of cash and violence. Yet I am skeptical. Wherever I see sex, I also see economics. MacKinnon's well-to-do origins allow her to believe in a world where fucking and money don't necessarily have anything to do with each other, just as my male origins allow me to believe in the liberal market model of prostitution as just one more market transaction.

This is one of the reasons Marxism and feminism are in an uneasy dance. Each analyzes society in groups, but thanks to anglo-individualism, each is too easily drawn out of the science of group interaction and into the pre-scientific world of ad hominem individualism, reasoning as essentialists and splintering along sectarian lines into futility. We get atomized, sectarianized and then annihilated, one by one. That is why solidarity is a survival strategy, even aside from the epistemological failure of individualism as a scientific method. In any event, while it is clear that MacKinnon, despite her class origins, is devoted to ending oppression, I am terribly skeptical about ever breaking the cash-sex nexus, at least as long as cash exists. Sex is a commodity, and one of the most desired commodities of all. I am even skeptical about breaking the sex-violence nexus - look at how eroticization of power reproduces sex-violence nexus 59 through the virtualization of that nexus. I am however hopeful for a strong and effective critique of the eroticization of militarism, say along the lines of Lysistrata.

MacKinnon may believe that it is possible to have consent, 60 and the law of rape in fact reflects that concept, i.e., the liberal individualist will theory of consent in sex. 61 Again, I am skeptical. People are only free, e.g, to consent, to the extent that they are aware that they are socially determined and that their knowledge and abilities are limited, and as a consequence consciously struggle to free themselves from the basic reality of their own limitations. For example, MacKinnon notes that capitalist advertising is only too happy to profit from rape, and that the pornification of advertising is today's reality 62 - sex sells. That too indicates how deep the problems go.

In sum, MacKinnon sees the crime of rape as a crime against men's property interest 63 over women's bodies. An explanation of how quickly capitalism/late modernity has come to recognize forms of rape previously ignored - date rape, marital rape - is absent in her analysis. Why did that change in the law take place? Has MacKinnon prevailed - and if so, to what extent, and how? How does the redistribution of the proceeds of exploited Third World labor to all social strata in the First World affect the social construction of rape in capitalism? MacKinnon doesn't answer these questions, nor do I, but I raise them.

4. Family Law

While pornography, prostitution, rape and abortion are the four most obvious women's issues (because they involve fucking and thus men), less obvious - but structurally at least as important - women's issues are divorce laws, domestic violence laws, and (least obviously but most importantly) equal rights. I'll give you one guess as to why they receive less attention. Note that each of these issues is considered of secondary importance in the law. No one thinks of "family law" as a glamorous or intellectually challenging and interesting area of legal practice or scholarship - even though it is just that. This alone says something about the status of women.

F. The State

The state, for MacKinnon, is the embodiment of patriarchy. 64 Marx argues similarly, i.e., that the state is the mechanism of domination of one class by another. For Marx, the exploited are the proletariat. For MacKinnon, the oppressed are women. For Marx, the dominators are capitalists. And as MacKinnon points out, these capitalists just so happen to almost always be male. Hence, for both Marx and MacKinnon, the state is an instrument for the exercise of power, to be used or discarded when other more effective instruments are at hand.

III. Resistance Tactics

Understanding the possibilities and limitations of resistance to oppression within the First World requires an awareness of the objective conditions of reality. Outside of prisons, migrant farm fields, and native reservations, there are simply no truly exploited people in the United States, or even the First World in general. However, there are exploited people in the world - it just so happens that they almost all live in the Third World, conveniently out of sight and thus out of mind, non-threatening in their great distance. Hence, the First World labor movement is simply not that important to ending suffering in this world, here and now. Rather, effective work against the worst effects of exploitation and oppression must be aimed at ending starvation and preventing and curing preventable and curable deadly illnesses in the Third World.

However, despite the absence of an exploited class, and the reality of a majority of exploiters in the First World, critical scholars have developed a few useful tools for resisting the worst aspects of empire. These are deconstruction, trashing, and consciousness-raising. Each is aimed at the same central target-patriarchal eroticization of destructive power-but also targets the secondary manifestations thereof.

A. Exposing the Eroticization of Power

Feminism's main contribution to ending oppression and extending life expectancies on earth will likely prove to be the correct analysis of the eroticization of power 65 in the oppression of women. MacKinnon has correctly identified the real engine of patriarchy as the eroticization of power. 66 "Sexuality, then, is a form of power." 67 Eroticization of murder, the wargasm, 68 is the engine of the machine of labor exploitation and ruthless domination. Soldiers need something worth killing for - and women's vaginas are it. War, at the level of killing and dying, is sexual competition. At the level of the state, war is the unemployed killed off by the bourgeoisie, which sells weapons, seizes market share and burns off surplus production to get the economy rolling again. War is a reaction to cyclical economic downturn and sexual competition. Marxists and feminists need to have a long talk about the facts of life.

Can eroticization of creative life-affirming power be used against the eroticization of destructive life-taking power? Power is not only the ability to take life, it is also the ability to give life. MacKinnon argues that Foucault was just fine with eroticization of power, 69 a point with which I disagree. 70 In any event, I argue that the eroticization of creative life-giving power can be used to oppose the eroticization of death. Foucault once said, "Nous avons tous du fascisme dans la tête. Mais nous avons tous pouvoir sur le corps." That is, "We all have a bit of fascism in our head; but we all have power over [our own] body." 71 Foucault could imagine an idealist aethesis of fascist eros, but he would certainly think a fascist aethesis would ultimately be struck down by the materialism, the real-world fact that fucking is a lot more fun than killing.

B. Using the State

The state as the agent of patriarchy/the dominant class is likely not going to be the place where feminists will find redress for their claims. 72 Nonetheless, MacKinnon tries mightily to engage the force of the state to serve women's interests for once.

C. Deconstruction & Trashing

Deconstruction is the disassembly of a syntactically valid statement into its constituent elements in order to demonstrate the incoherence (usually resulting from circular definition or tautology) of one or more of those elements, and thus the semantic incoherence of the syntactically valid statement. 73 Deconstruction especially focuses on false dichotomies, 74 such as "public" versus "private" 75 and "objective" versus "subjective," to show that what is presented as natural, inevitable, and good is constructed, contingent, 76 and possibly evil. 77 "[D]econstructionists reveal that certain viewpoints, values, interests, individuals, and traditions are either ignored, denied, or oppressed in the name of the privileged." 78

Once the deconstruction of the syntactic entity into its constituent elements is accomplished, trashing consists of demonstrating how the elements and the entity are essentially nonsense 79 - the emperor has no clothes, so to speak - by pointing out how the semantically-refuted statement is nevertheless systematically reproduced elsewhere in law and practice due to its syntactic validity, and thus is evidence of a failure of the system generally. 80 The deconstruction of several elemental concepts, such as the public-private distinction, sovereignty-property, the (supposed) rights-duties correspondence, and "consent" taken together present a radical systemic critique of modern law which will not go away - because it is true!

D. Consciousness-Raising

Consciousness-raising is a feminist method which may be applied to other struggles against exploitation and oppression. 81 Like trashing, consciousness-raising seeks to unmask the economic 82 structures of (male) power 83 and to reveal the lies that maintain them. 84 The goal is to change not only what one thinks but also the way one thinks, 85 and thereby to teach people how to manifest constructive life-giving power and oppose destructive life-taking power.

E. The Personal Is Political

Another tactic is personalizing political issues to make them real in one's own life and the lives of others, and hence to feel at least some control over the vast problems facing us all. Of course, personalizing political issues feeds identity politics and post modernism. So answering this question becomes important: which is more important as a determinant of one's self concept and actions--gender (woman, man, or intersex), class (first world capitalist or third world proletarian), or nation? Feminism, Marxism, and National Socialism reach different answers. For feminism, being a woman is most important. For Marxism being a proletarian is most important. For National Socialism, being an Aryan is most important. 86 If objectively speaking being an Aryan is more important for the majority of people in the First World, relative to being a woman, then identity politics would only feed fascism.

IV. Conclusion

In her earlier work, Professor MacKinnon placed the principal contradiction on patriarchy versus feminism. 87 She didn't seem to make a distinction as to whether patriarchy versus feminism was the principal contradiction only within the First World or within the whole world. Within the First World, feminism unmodified versus patriarchy may well be the principal contradiction. But globally, it rather clearly isn't. However in MacKinnon's later work, she focuses more and more upon the Third World. 88 Globally, the principal contradiction is the First World versus the Third World, but one could argue that the First World is gendered male and the Third World is gendered female. Either way, the First World is raping the Third World to steal resources and labor as part of an entertainment dynamic.

As to the theory of aesthetics, MacKinnon is forced to walk a very hard line, a tightrope really. On the one hand, she wants to get away from patriarchy and a fake, schmalzy, manipulative, and self-destructive romance culture. However, she also wants to avoid the type of puritanism normally associated with Christian fundmanentalists.

One can criticize MacKinnon for seeking to reform the symptoms of capitalism without sufficiently going to its sources. The reality is that First World women are oppressed but not exploited. Were the First World to take up all of MacKinnon's reform proposals - and it has taken up several of them already - the reality of the exploitation of Third World labor and resources would not be changed. MacKinnon needs to look deeper into the mirror of production to understand the rottenness and evil--while First World women are oppressed but not exploited, a majority of women in the world are in fact both oppressed and exploited.

2. Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There 219 (Spark Educ. Publ'g 2003) (1871).

3. Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State: Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, 8 Signs: J. Women Culture Soc'y 635 (1982), reprinted in The Canon of American Legal Thought 873 (David Kennedy & William W. Fisher, III eds. 2006) [hereinafter MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence] ("In this context, recent marxist work has tried to grasp the specificity of the institutional state: how it wields class power, or transforms class society, or responds to approaches by a left aspiring to rulership or other changes. While liberal theory has seen the state as emanating power, and traditional Marxism has seen the state as expressing power constituted elsewhere, recent Marxism, much of it structuralist, has tried to analyze state power as specific to the state as a form, yet integral to a determinate social whole understood in class terms.").

4. Dana Neacsu, The Wrongful Rejection of Big Theory (Marxism) By Feminism and Queer Theory: A Brief Debate, 34 Cap. U. L. Rev. 125, 127 (2005).

5. Marc Linder, MacKinnon On Marx On Marriage and Morals: An Otsogistic Odyssey, 41 Buff. L. Rev. 451, 451-452 (1993) ("Karl Marx was an MCP. Viewing the world through the distorting mirror of his hatred for his mother, he looked down on women in general. Even on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, five years after his mother's death, he was still mercilessly deriding her failure to have mastered spoken or written High German. At the same time--1868 was apparently a good year for misogyny--when he was at the height of his intellectual powers, without the excuse of youth or senility, he stooped to the following banal humor: 'Societal progress can be measured exactly by the societal position of the beautiful sex (the ugly ones included).' A self-proclaimed aficionado of obscure smutty poetry in several languages, he was also a prude - a combination of traits suggesting a disturbed relation to women. The kind of role model he inculcated in his daughters can be gauged by his responses to their requests for parlor-game 'confessions': he listed 'weakness' as his favorite virtue in women (and, of course, 'strength' in men.").

6. Neacsu, supra note 3, at 127 ("Marx was not a feminist. While critical of the status quo, he was not concerned with women's subordination. Marx was concerned with commodification; with the never-ending process of the creation of new wants that were, by their nature, impossible for the working class to satisfy, causing alienation that begged for wages and eventually exploitation. Marx was aware of gender discrimination, but he very likely thought of it as a result of capitalist exploitation. Moreover, he perceived the very nuclear family as a means to satisfy the capitalist production by ensuring the transfer of property only to the children the wife bore to her husband.").

7. Id. at 126.

8. Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State: An Agenda for Theory, 7 Signs: J. Women Culture Soc'y 3 (1982), reprinted in The Canon of American Legal Thought 847 (David Kennedy & William W. Fisher III eds. 2006) [hereinafter MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory].

9. Id. at 848.

10. Id.

11. Id.

12. Id.

13. Id. at 851-852.

14. Id. at 852 (citing Barbara Ehrenreich, What Is Socialist Feminism? Win, June 3, 1976, reprinted in Working Papers on Socialism and Feminism (New Am. Movement, n.d.).

15. Id. at 866.

16. 1 Michel Foucault, Sexual Choice, Sexual Act, in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth 141, 152 (Paul Rabinow ed. & Robert Hurley and others trans., New Press 1997) (1994) ("Women have always been seen by [heterosexual men] as their exclusive property.").

17. MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory, supra note 7, at 865-866 ("Objectification makes sexuality a material reality of women's lives, not just as psychological, attitudinal, or ideological one. It obliterates the mind/matter distinction that such a division is premised upon.").

18. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra 2 note, at 869 ("The man/woman difference and the dominance/submission dynamic define each other. This is the social meaning of sex and the distinctively feminist account of gender inequality. Sexual objectification, the central process within this dynamic, is at once epistemological and political. The feminist theory of knowledge is inextricable from the feminist critique of power because the male point of view forces itself upon the world as its way of apprehending it.").

19. MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory, supra note 7, at 866 ("The distinction between objectification and alienation is called into question by this analysis. Objectification in marxist materialism is thought to be the foundation of human freedom, the work process whereby a subject becomes embodied in products and relationships. Alienation is the socially contingent distortion of that process, a reification of products and relations which prevents them from being, and being seen as, dependent on human agency. But from the point of view of the object, objectification is alienation.").

20. Catharine A. MacKinnon, Women's September 11th: Rethinking The International Law of Conflict, 47 Harv. Int'l L.J. 1, 2-3 (2006) ("Since September 11th, the international order has been newly willing to treat nonstate actors like states as a source of violence invoking the law of armed conflict. Much of the international community has mobilized forcefully against terrorism. This same international community that turned on a dime after September 11th has, despite important initiatives, yet even to undertake a comprehensive review of international laws and institutions toward an effective strategic response to violence against women ....").

21. To understand power properly, one must see it as a social process which results in self-discipline expressed through the body and encoded as knowledge. Power, knowledge, and the body are an integral continuum. See 1 Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction 92-102 (Vintage Books 1990) (1978).

22. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra note 2, at 886.

23. Id. at 871-872 ("[M]ale dominance is perhaps the most pervasive and tenacious system of power in history .... Its force is exercised as consent, its authority as participation, its supremacy as the paradigm of order, its control as the definition of legitimacy. Feminism ... is more complex than transgression, more transformative than transvaluation, deeper than mirror-imaged resistance, more affirmative than the negation of our negativity. It is neither materialist nor idealist; it is feminist. Neither the transcendence of liberalism nor the determination of materialism works for us. Idealism is too unreal; women's inequality is enforced so it cannot simply be thought out of existence, certainly not by us. Materialism is too real; women's inequality has never not existed, so women's equality never has. That is, the equality of women to men will not be scientifically provable until it is no longer necessary to do so.").

24. MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory, supra note 7, at 862 ("Having been objectified as sexual beings while stigmatized as ruled by subjective passions, women reject the distinction between knowing subject and known object--the division between subjective and objective postures--as the means to comprehend social life.").

25. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra note 2, at 870 ("[T]here is no ungendered reality or ungendered perspective. And they are connected. In this context, objectivity--the nonsituated, universal standpoint, whether claimed or aspired to--is a denial of the existence or potency of sex inequality that tacitly participates in constructing reality from the dominant point of view. Objectivity, as the epistemological stance of which objectification is the social process, creates the reality it apprehends by defining as knowledge the reality it creates through its way of apprehending it. Sexual metaphors for knowing are no coincidence.").

26. MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory, supra note 7, at 863.

27. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra note 2, at 886 ("Liberal jurisprudence that the law should reflect society and left jurisprudence that all law does or can do is reflect existing social relations will emerge as two guises of objectivist epistemology. If objectivity is the epistemological stance of which women's sexual objectification is the social process, its imposition the paradigm of power in the male form, then the state will appear most relentless in imposing the male point of view when it comes closest to achieving its highest formal criterion of distanced aperspectivity.").

28. Id. at 885.

29. Id. ("[W]hen women are segregated in private, one at a time, a law of privacy will tend to protect the right of men 'to be let alone,' to oppress us one at a time.").

30. Id. at 883.

31. Id. at 872 ("Feminism has been widely thought to contain tendencies of liberal feminism, radical feminism, and socialist feminism. But just as a socialist feminism has often amounted to marxism applied to women, liberal feminism has often amounted to liberalism applied to women. Radical feminism is feminism. Radical feminism--after this, feminism unmodified--is methodologically post-marxist. It moves to resolve the marxist-feminist problematic on the level of method. Because its method emerges from the concrete conditions of all women as a sex, it dissolves the individualist, naturalist, idealist, moralist structure of liberalism, the politics of which science is the epistemology.").

32. MC5, Clarity on What Gender Is, (Mar. 6, 1998), (MacKinnon "has no sense of the problems with economist reformism, the need for a vanguard party or the precise intersection of national oppression with the organization of work.").

33. Karl Marx, Value, Price and Profit (1865) available at

34. This is the author's own terminology and the only way to explain the fact of non-exploitation of first world workers with the fact of abuse of homosexuals, black people, and women. Those classes are oppressed by the patriarchy. They are not, or are no longer, exploited. By distinguishing exploitation (extraction of surplus value) from oppression (suppression of views opposing white nationalism and patriarchy), one obtains clarity as to gender.

35. MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory, supra note 7, at 857 ("Feminist inquiry into these specific issues began with a broad unmasking of the attitudes that legitimize and hide women's status, the ideational envelope that contains woman's body: notions that women desire and provoke rape, that girls' experiences of incest are fantasies, that career women plot and advance by sexual parlays, that prostitutes are lustful, that wife beating expresses the intensity of love. Beneath each of these ideas was revealed bare coercion and broad connections to woman's social definition as a sex.").

36. See e.g., Catharine A. MacKinnon, Collective Harms Under The Alien Tort Statute: A Cautionary Note On Class Actions, 6 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 567 (2000).

37. Interview with Catharine MacKinnon, Harvard Law School, in Mass. (Oct., 2007).

38. Catharine A. MacKinnon, Prostitution and Civil Rights, 1 Mich. J. Gender & L. 13, 31 (1993).

39. Id. at 18.

40. MacKinnon, supra note 34.

41. On the experimental method in science during modernity, see Roger Bacon, The New Atlantis, in Ideal Commonwealths, P.F. Collier & Son, New York. (1901), available at

42. See, e.g., National Institute of Standards and Technology, Engineering Statistics Handbook Selecting Sample Sizes available at

43. See, Alessandra Tanesini, An Introduction to Feminist Epistemologies, 50 (1999).

44. MacKinnon, supra note 35, at 18-19 ("Another all-too-common practice is arresting accused prostitutes, women, while letting arrested customers, men, go with a citation or a warning. This, too, has been challenged as sex discrimination, and it sure sounds like it. Yet this, courts say, is not sex discrimination because male and female prostitutes are treated alike or because customers violate a different, noncomparable, law from the one under which the women are charged. There are some men in prostitution, most (but not all) prostituting as women. You can tell you have walked into the world of gender neutrality when the law treats men as badly as women when they do what mostly women do, and that makes treating women badly non-sex-based.").

45. Id. at 17 ("[M]ost legislatures have gender-neutralized their prostitution laws-without having done anything to gender-neutralize prostitution's realities. The cases that adjudicate equal protection challenges to sex-discriminatory enforcement of prostitution laws extend this rationale. Police usually send men to impersonate tricks [johns] in order to arrest prostitutes. Not surprisingly, many more women than men are arrested in this way. The cases hold that this is not intentional sex discrimination but a good faith effort by the state to get at 'the sellers of sex ..."').

46. Id. at 13, 14 ("The gap between the promise of civil rights and the real lives of prostitutes is an abyss which swallows up prostituted women. To speak of prostitution and civil rights in one breath moves the two into one world, at once exposing and narrowing the distance between them. Women in prostitution are denied every imaginable civil right in every imaginable and unimaginable way, such that it makes sense to understand prostitution as consisting in the denial of women's humanity, no matter how humanity is defined. It is denied both through the social definition and condition of prostitutes and through the meaning of some civil rights. The legal right to be free from torture and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment is recognized by most nations and is internationally guaranteed. In prostitution, women are tortured through repeated rape and in all the more conventionally recognized ways. Women are prostituted precisely in order to be degraded and subjected to cruel and brutal treatment without human limits; it is the opportunity to do this that is exchanged when women are bought and sold for sex ...").

47. Id. at 30 ("A civil action under § 1985(3) would allow prostituted women to sue pimps for sexual slavery, refuting the lie that prostitution is just a job.").

48. See, generally, Catherine A. MacKinnon, Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues (2006). Of course "reform" is not her main goal, or even her goal at all. Mackinnon offers a radical break in the English language literature of state theory with which to form a new type of polity. See Catherine A. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989) (a theory of the polity in the English language not based on failed social contract liberalism!).

49. Question: "What service can anyone provide to justify up to $5,500 an hour?" Answer: Prostitution. Allison Schrager, The Economics Of High-End Prostitutes, More Intelligent Life, Apr. 10, 2008,

50. Peter Aggleton, Men Who Sell Sex 64, 251 (1999); Francis M. Shaver, Prostitution: A Female Crime? in In Conflict With the Law: Women and the Canadian Justice System 153 (E. Adelberg & C. Curried eds. 1993); Richard D. McAnulty & M. Michele Burnette, Sex and sexuality 309 (2006).

51. Id.

52. "Gk. pornographos '(one) writing of prostitutes,' from porne 'prostitute,' originally 'bought, purchased' (with an original notion, probably of 'female slave sold for prostitution;' related to pernanai 'to sell,' from PIE root per- 'to traffic in, to sell,' cf. L. pretium 'price') + graphein 'to write.'" Online Etymology Dictionary,

53. Catharine A. MacKinnon, Are Women Human? and Other International Dialogues, 114-115 (2006) ("Most women in pornography, if they are not directly abducted, are poor, desperate, addicted to drugs, sexually abused as children, or are children. If spreading your legs for a camera is a woman's autonomous choice, as the myth goes, wouldn't you think that the women with the most choices rather than the fewest, with the most preconditions for autonomy rather than the least, would be the women doing it?").

54. Catharine A. MacKinnon, Pornography as Defamation and Discrimination, 71 B.U. L. Rev. 793, 796-797 (1991) ("Pornography has a central role in actualizing this system of subordination in the contemporary West, beginning with the conditions of its production. Women in pornography are bound, battered, tortured, harassed, raped, and sometimes killed; or, in the glossy men's entertainment magazines, 'merely' humiliated, molested, objectified, and used. In all pornography, women are prostituted. This is done because it means sexual pleasure to pornography's consumers and profits to its providers, largely organized crime. But to those who are exploited, it means being bound, battered, tortured, harassed, raped, and sometimes killed, or merely humiliated, molested, objectified, and used. It is done because someone who has more power than they do, someone who matters, someone with rights, a full human being and a full citizen, gets pleasure from seeing it, or doing it, or seeing it as a form of doing it. In order to produce what the consumer wants to see, it must first be done to someone, usually a woman, a woman with few real choices. Because he wants to see it done, it is done to her.").

55. See generally, Susanna Paasonen, Kaarina Nikunen & Laura Saarenmaa, Pornification (2008).

56. See, e.g., Kayla Kiley, Pornography on Albion's Campus Climbs the Polls Over the Generations, Albion Pleiad, Apr. 27, 2007 available at

57. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra note 2, at 881.

58. Catharine A. MacKinnon, Pornography As Trafficking, 26 Mich. J. Int'l L. 993, 998 (2005) (in fact, the entire article is about showing the inferential chain).

59. Id. at 877 ("The point of defining rape as 'violence not sex' or 'violence against women' has been to separate sexuality from gender in order to affirm sex (heterosexuality) while rejecting violence (rape). The problem remains what it has always been: telling the difference. The convergence of sexuality with violence, long used at law to deny the reality of women's violation, is recognized by rape survivors, with a difference where the legal system has seen the intercourse in rape, victims see the rape in intercourse. The uncoerced context for sexual expression becomes as elusive as the physical acts come to feel indistinguishable.").

60. Catharine A. MacKinnon, Defining Rape Internationally: A Comment on Akayesu, 44 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 940, 941 (2006) ("Where coercion definitions of rape see power--domination and violence--nonconsent definitions envision love or passion gone wrong. Consent definitions accordingly have proof of rape turn on victim and perpetrator mental state: who wanted what, who knew what when.").

61. Id. at 878 ("The law of rape divides the world of women into spheres of consent according to how much say we are legally presumed to have over sexual access to us by various categories of men. Little girls may not consent; wives must .... The rest of us fall into parallel provinces: good girls, like children, are unconsenting, virginal, rapable; bad girls, like wives, are consenting, whores, unrapable. The age line under which girls are presumed disabled from withholding consent to sex rationalizes a condition of sexual coercion women never outgrow.").

62. MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory, supra note 7, at 860 ("Although most women are raped by men they know, the closer the relation, the less women are allowed to claim it was rape. Pornography becomes difficult to distinguish from art and ads once it is clear that what is degrading to women is compelling to the consumer.").

63. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra note 2, at 878 ("This definitive element of rape centers upon a male defined loss, not coincidentally also upon the way men define loss of exclusive access. In this light, rape, as legally defined, appears more a crime against female monogamy than against male sexuality. Property concepts fail fully to comprehend this, however not because women's sexuality is not, finally, a thing, but because it is never ours.").

64. Id. at 884 ("The state's formal norms recapitulate the male point of view on the level of design. In Anglo-American jurisprudence, morals (value judgments) are deemed separable and separated from politics (power contests), and both from adjudication (interpretation). Neutrality, including judicial decision making that is dispassionate, impersonal, disinterested and precedential, is considered desirable and descriptive. Courts, forums without predisposition among parties and with no interest of their own, reflect society back to itself resolved. Government of laws not men limits partiality with written constraints and tempers force with reasonable rule following.").

65. Michel Foucault, Film and Popular Memory, Foucault Live: (Interviews, 1961-1984) 122, 127 (S. Lotringer ed., Lysa Hochroth & John Johnston trans., Semiotext(e) 1996) (French original published 1974) ("Power has an erotic charge. There's an historical problem involved here ... how do you love power? Nobody loves power any more. This kind of affective, erotic attachment, this desire one has for power, for power that's exercised over you, doesn't exist anymore. The monarchy and its rituals were created to stimulate this sort of erotic relationship towards power. The massive Stalinist apparatus, and even that of Hitler, were constructed for the same purpose. But it's all collapsed in ruins and obviously you can't be in love with Brezhnev, Pompidou or Nixon. In a pinch you might love de Gaulle, Kennedy or Churchill. But what's going on at the moment? Aren't we witnessing beginnings of a re-eroticization of power?").

66. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra note 2, at 876 ("To the extent possession is the point of sex, rape is sex with a woman who is not yours, unless the act is so as to make her yours. If part of the kick of pornography involves eroticizing the putatively prohibited, obscenity laws will putatively prohibit pornography enough to maintain its desirability without ever making it unavailable or truly illegitimate. The same with prostitution. As male is the implicit reference for human, maleness will be the measure of equality in sex discrimination law. To the extent that the point of abortion is to control the reproductive sequelae of intercourse, so as to facilitate male sexual access to women, access to abortion will be controlled by "a man or 'The Man.' Gender elaborated and sustained by behaviorial patterns of application and administration is maintained as a division of power.").

67. MacKinnon, Agenda for Theory, supra note 7, at 860.

68. Wargasm is a portmanteau of war and orgasm I invented to describe the eroticization and sexualization of destructive power, especially when militarized and put into the service of the patriarchy. On portmanteaux see Portmanteu, Wikipedia, On the origins of the idea of the orgasm as the driving force of patriarchal war, see Catharine A. Mackinnon, Only Words 17 (1996) ("Try arguing with an orgasm sometime.").

69. Interview with Catharine MacKinnon, Harvard Law School, in Mass. (Oct., 2007).

70. Michel Foucault, Preface to Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guatarri, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism & Schizophrenia xiii, at xiii (Robert Hurley et al. trans., 1983). "The strategic adversary is fascism ... the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us."

71. Id.

72. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Jurisprudence, supra note 2, at 875 ("The feminist posture toward the state has therefore been schizoid on issues central to women's survival: rape, battery, pornography, prostitution, sexual harassment, sex discrimination, abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment, to name a few. Attempts to reform and enforce rape laws, for example, have tended to build on the model of the deviant perpetrator and the violent act, as if the fact that rape is a crime means that the society is against it, so law enforcement would reduce or delegitimize it. Initiatives are accordingly directed toward making the police more sensitive, prosecutors more responsive, judges more receptive, and the law, in words, less sexist. This may be progressive in the liberal or the left senses but how is it empowering in the feminist sense? ... Criminal enforcement in these areas, while suggesting that rape and battery are deviant, punishes men for expressing the images of masculinity that mean their identity for which they are otherwise trained, elevated, venerated, and paid. These men must be stopped. But how does that change them or reduce the changes that there will be more like them?").

73. Jacques Derrida, De la Grammatologie (Les éditions de Minuit 1967).

74. See Stephen M. Feldman, An Arrow To The Heart: The Love And Death Of Postmodern Legal Scholarship, 54 Vand. L. Rev., 2351, 2355-59 (2001). Feldman argues that deconstructionism is one element of post-modernism. It is however possible to use deconstruction as a method without being a postmodernist.

75. E.g., Duncan Kennedy, The Stages of the Decline of the Public/Private Distinction, 130 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1349 (1982).

76. See generally, Mark G. Kelman, Trashing, 36 Stan. L. Rev. 293 (1984).

77. Feldman, supra note 57, at 2355-57.

78. Id. at 2359.

79. Mark G. Kelman, Trashing, 36 Stan. L. Rev. 293 (1984).

80. Duncan Kennedy describes this as the intensive reiteration to exhaustion of the basic principle (paraphrased). Interview, Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School, 2009. Formally, Duncan Kennedy describes this intensive reiteration coupled with increasingly clear resolution of the internal contradictions of the concept itself in Duncan Kennedy, The Stages of the Decline of the Public/Private Distinction, 130 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1349 (1982). For the earlier, perhaps earliest, roots see, Duncan Kennedy, How the Law School Fails: A Polemic, 1 Yale Rev. of Law & Social Action 71 (1970). Trashing did not appear to be a part of the legal realist movement and thus is a, perhaps the, contribution of critical legal studies to comprehension of legal science.

81. MacKinnon, supra note 7, Agenda for Theory, 850 ("The Marxist criticism that feminism focuses upon feelings and attitudes is also based on something real: the centrality of consciousness raising. Consciousness raising is the major technique of analysis, structure of organization, method of practice and theory of social change of the women's movement. In consciousness raising, often in groups, the impact of male dominance is concretely uncovered and analyzed through the collective speaking of women's experience, from the perspective of that experience. Because Marxists tend to conceive of powerlessness, first and last, as concrete and externally imposed, they believe that it must be concretely and externally undone to be changed. Women's powerlessness has been found through consciousness raising to be both internalized and externally imposed, so that, for example, femininity is identity to women as well as desirability to men.").

82. Id. at 867 ("The town has a basketful of feelings good and bad about Joe's positions and possessions, but none had the temerity to challenge him. They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of those things, and then again he was all of those things because the town bowed down.").

83. Id. ("Male power is real; it is just not what it claims to be, namely, the only reality. Male power is a myth that makes itself true. What it is to raise consciousness is to confront male power in this duality: as total on one side and a delusion on the other. In consciousness raising, women learn they have learned that men are everything, women their negation, but that the sexes are equal.").

84. Id. at 857.

85. Id. at 862 ("Consciousness raising not only comes to know different things as politics; it necessarily comes to know them in a different way.").

86. Id. at 861 ("The personal as political is not a simile, not a metaphor, and not an analogy. It does not mean that what occurs in personal life is similar to, or comparable with, what occurs in the public arena. It is not an application of categories from social life to the private world, as when Engels (followed by Bebel) says that in the family the husband is the bourgeois and the wife represents the proletariat. Nor is it an equation of two spheres which remain analytically distinct, as when Reich interprets state behavior in sexual terms, or a one way infusion of one sphere into the other as when Lasswell interprets political behavior as the displacement of personal problems onto public objects. It means that women's distinctive experience as women occurs within that sphere that has been socially lived as the personal-private, emotional interiorized, particular, individuated, intimate-so that what it is to know the politics of woman's situation is to know women's personal lives.").

87. See Catharine MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989).

88. Catharine MacKinnon, Sex Equality Under the Constitution of India: Problems, Prospects, and 'Personal Laws,' 4 Int'l J. Const. L., 181-202 (2006).