Are Women Human? by Catharine A. MacKinnon
And Other International Dialogues

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If you think MacKinnon’s title is a little over the top, spend some time reading the astounding...stories and cases she herself argued — and won — and you will start to get an inkling as to how women are repeatedly disgraced in the eyes of the law.
-Salon

Synopsis

More than half a century after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights defined what a human being is and is entitled to, Catharine MacKinnon asks: Are women human yet? If women were regarded as human, would they be sold into sexual slavery worldwide; veiled, silenced, and imprisoned in homes; bred, and worked as menials for little or no pay; stoned for sex outside marriage or burned within it; mutilated genitally, impoverished economically, and mired in illiteracy--all as a matter of course and without effective recourse?

The cutting edge is where law and culture hurts, which is where MacKinnon operates in these essays on the transnational status and treatment of women. Taking her gendered critique of the state to the international plane, ranging widely intellectually and concretely, she exposes the consequences and significance of the systematic maltreatment of women and its systemic condonation. And she points toward fresh ways--social, legal, and political--of targeting its toxic orthodoxies.

MacKinnon takes us inside the workings of nation-states, where the oppression of women defines community life and distributes power in society and government. She takes us to Bosnia-Herzogovina for a harrowing look at how the wholesale rape and murder of women and girls there was an act of genocide, not a side effect of war. She takes us into the heart of the international law of conflict to ask--and reveal--why the international community can rally against terrorists' violence, but not against violence against women. A critique of the transnational status quo that also envisions the transforming possibilities of human rights, this bracing book makes us look as never before at an ongoing war too long undeclared.

 

About Catharine A. MacKinnon

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Catharine A. MacKinnon is Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School .
 
Published April 1, 2006 by Harvard University Press. 432 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Are Women Human?
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Salon

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Goldstein on Jul 27 2006

If you think MacKinnon’s title is a little over the top, spend some time reading the astounding...stories and cases she herself argued — and won — and you will start to get an inkling as to how women are repeatedly disgraced in the eyes of the law.

Read Full Review of Are Women Human?: And Other I...

Times Higher Education

Above average
Reviewed by Lesley Hall on Sep 01 2008

MacKinnon's work raises provocative and troubling questions, and her arguments merit a hearing. This volume, however, may not be the most effective way of gaining this.

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The Oxonian Review

Above average
Reviewed by Alix Rule on Mar 30 2013

Noticeably absent from Are Women Human? is news of legal or constitutional gains for women ...(though the three essays on the progress of sex equality law in India, Canada and Sweden are more inspiring, and are interesting in their own right).

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