Pioneering professor on challenging sexual assault using the law

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On MidPoint we air a recent speech by pioneering feminist law professor, Catharine MacKinnon of the University of Michigan, on social change through legal intervention; MacKinnon spoke Thursday at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. There are several instances of rape and sexual assault in the news: from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, to President Donald Trump to former Fox News host Bill O’Reilley and comedian Bill Cosby.

Catharine A. MacKinnon is an author and gender equality pioneer. MacKinnon is a professor of Law at the University of Michigan and a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School. She pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment.

MacKinnon helped implement her concept of “gender crime” at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

In 2000 she was part of the legal team that won a $745 million dollar damage award representing Bosnian women survivors of Serbian genocidal sexual atrocities, which was the first legal recognition of rape as an act of genocide.

Listen to part 1:


The second part of her speech begins with MacKinnon criticizing the legal concept of “consent” in rape law.

Listen to part 2:

(The audio was edited for time. Thanks to Samuel Johnson for recording).

At the beginning of the show we played several comments left by listeners after our last show that aired just hours after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.