To the editors:
First, I'd like to thank Jackie Stevens ["Reading: The Feminist Mistake," October 9] for keeping us informed.
In the second part of her book review Stevens rightly points out that sex and violence are not equivalent. In the same vein, not all sex is the conventional heterosexual epitome of submissive/dominant ideology that Dworkin and MacKinnon are concerned with. It is clear to me that the above writers underestimate the power of sociological alternatives at this time in history.
In regard to the work MacKinnon and Dworkin have done in antipornography legislation, people can (and should) be both antipornography and anticensorship. Pornography is unfair, as is censorship. We also see censorship ruled by a sexist hand and pornography so all-pervasive that eradicating it would be impossible. It seems to me that there is only one way to effectively challenge the unfairness of this system (while avoiding the porn or censorship Catch-22), and that is to flood the market with female-generated imagery and concerns.
For example, women between the world wars made tremendous progress in finding their voices and gaining their rights, most of which was reneged after World War II ended. To ensure that we do not slide into the darkness of that history again, we need to leave our impression, vocally, visually, and permanently in our society. These are our alternatives at this time.