Ann Snitow is Associate Professor of Literature and Gender Studies at Lang College, The New School, in New York City. A longtime activist, Snitow has cofounded The Network of East-West Women, No More Nice Girls, and New York Radical Feminists. She has written for
The Sex Wars in Feminism: Retrenchment versus Transformation
This piece was drawn from a number of talks given around 1983, when feminists were sharply divided about whether or not a feminist anti-pornography campaign was a useful direction for feminist organizing. Snitow and other members of the Feminist Anti-Censorship Taskforce (FACT) argued that policing and repression and legal definitions of what were or were not acceptable pornographic images would lead feminism away from its earlier calls for liberation and experimentation and towards a feminism that saw men as by definition violent and women as needing to be protected by the (then very conservative) state. The piece argues for radical thinking about sexuality, for exploration instead of defensive strategies, and it suggests possible sources of the hostile images to be found in some pornography.