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Ordinance will not curb rights

The following is a response to Adam Dershowitz's letter to the editor printed in The Tech ["Porn measure violates rights," Oct. 18].

Why is it "ironic" that civil rights for victims of pornography should be part of the Human Rights Ordinance? Of course it is true that victims of pornography are nearly always women. It is also true that the Human Rights Ordinance does not currently include us. If it did, there would be no need for an ordinance that gives civil rights to victims of pornography, because there wouldn't be any.

Dershowitz is concerned that "our" freedom of speech will be violated. Women's speech is violated by pornography (but then again, the Bill of Rights was never intended to cover women.) If pornography harms women (via rape, torture, subordination ...), then is its "speech" value more important than the rights of pornography's victims to equality (that is, not subject to systematic subordination, rape, torture ...)?

Dershowitz takes a part of the definition of pornography: "women are presented as being penetrated by objects or animals," and claims that "this clause describes sex." I hope, for the sake of any woman who has had or will have sexual contact with him, that he does not define sex as the ordinance describes pornography. (In order to be pornography, the material must (1) be sexually explicit and (2) subordinate women and (3) include one or more of the following ... (including) (viii) women are presented as being penetrated by objects or animals.)

He says if someone proposes sexual relations with someone else, that would be pornography -- "graphic sexually explicit subordination ... by words." Perhaps the word subordination got past him. It means "1: to place in a lower order or class, 2: to make subject or subservient: subdue." If this is what he proposes when he proposes a sexual relationship, then I can see why he is against those who seek to redress pornography's harm. Pornography legitimizes and is his sexuality.

And finally, Dershowitz proposes that people vote against the ordinance because it may be unconstitutional. I propose that people vote for what they believe in. That is, vote yes if you think victims of pornography should have civil rights. And after that, if you worry if they have this constitutional right, then let such a decision be made by the Supreme Court, not Adam Dershowitz.

Betsy Salkind G->