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"Pornography and Male Supremacy" program and Second Century debate coverage, 1981

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute


On May 13, 1981, the Library hosted a debate on the legality of pornography between the radical feminist Andrea Dworkin and the Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz. Their intense interaction was covered in Radcliffe’s publication, Second Century, seen here. Dworkin and Dershowitz recalled the evening very differently: Dworkin in Letters from a War Zone (1989), and Dershowitz—who claimed he was threatened by lesbians with bicycle chains—in The Best Defense (1982). 

Schlesinger Library Records

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Learn more:

Read Andrea Dworkin's prepared remarks for "Pornography and Male Supremacy" from Letters from a War Zone.

See The Harvard Crimson's account of the debate.

Explore the Schlesinger Library's research guide on pornography and sex work.

Heather Min