Shortly after Mapplethorpe's death, this work was one of several at the center of a national controversy in the U.S., where antipornography
advocates sought to define some of the artist's photographs as legally obscene.
And with the fragmentation of early radical feminism, it was antipornography
campaigns that seemed to offer a way out of this self-defeating impasse.
Snitow was a major presence in the controversy over the 1982 Scholar and the Feminist IX conference on sexuality, sponsored by the Barnard Women's Center, at which tensions between "pro-sex" and "antipornography
" feminists burst into open, intramovement conflict.
Reacting against radical feminists, Nadine Strossen points out that the stance of pornophobic feminists tends to conflate the suppression of women's sexuality with the suppression of women's equality: "This dangerous equation of sexual expression with gender discrimination, which is at the heart of the feminist antipornography
movement, is a central reason that movement is so threatening to the women's rights cause" (24-25).
A study of antipornography
campaigns in the United States arrived at similar conclusions: activists mainly wanted "to demonstrate belief in and support for particular life style or set of 'basic values,' to have a large number of others join in that demonstration, and to have the demonstration recognized by significant others" (Zurcher, Kirkpatrick, Cushing, & Bowman, 1971, p.
(251) The case involved the conviction of a couple for violating an antipornography
statute by exposing their neighbors' daughter to magazines that advertised the nudist lifestyle.
peculiar alliance between antipornography
feminism and Black feminism,
The "Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan", the "London Abused Women's Centre in Ontario, Canada" and "Antipornography
.org" are all calling for a boycott of the film.
On the one hand, antipornography
feminists had lambasted the newly commercialized hardcore industry for dehumanizing female performers and inciting sexual violence (Lyons 59-63).
For example, Gail Dines is an antipornography
activist; Jane Caputi lays out mythological aspects of the dominant culture's destructive behavior; and cartoonist Stephanie McMillan is also an organizer of One Struggle, an anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist collective.