Lise Gotell examines the intervention of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) in the Butler decision and provides an overview of socio-legal debates on pornography and censorship. Brenda Cossman examines the Butler decision itself and challenges the dominant reading of this case as a feminist victory. Becki Ross critically examines the expert testimony she delivered in defense of Bad Attitude, an American lesbian sex magazine seized by police from Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto in 1992. She details the difficulties she encountered in explicating and contextualizing the specificities, nuances, and complexities of lesbian s/m fantasy in a court of law. In the final chapter, Shannon Bell advances a conception of pornography that is not distinguishable from philosophy, using philosophy to make pornography.
Bad Attitude(s) on Trial provides a new debate on pornography and feminism. It will be of particular interest to students of both women's, and gay and lesbian issues, but will also be relevant for scholars of law, political science, and philosophy, as well as for anyone interested in a different, provocative view of the Butler decision.
Shannon Bell is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at York University.
Brenda Cossman is Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, and taught at the Osgoode Hall Law School from 1988 to 1999.
Lise Gotell is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Atkinson College, York University.
Becki L. Ross is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the Chair of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at the University of British Columbia.
The book includes a history of Horowitz’s engagements as a public intellectual through appraisals of his early, mid, and late-career contributions, from the sixties to the present day. Along the way, the contributors present innovative new work in Canadian political thought, continental theory, Jewish philosophy, Buddhism, and radical general semantics. Subversive Itinerary demonstrates how Horowitz’s itinerary delivers invaluable tools for understanding issues of critical importance today.
L.W. Sumner brings philosophical depth and theoretical rigour to some of the most important and difficult questions concerning free expression. Building on a framework set out by J.S. Mill – that a legal restriction of expression is justified only when the expression in question is harmful to others and when the benefits of the restriction will exceed its costs – Sumner shows how the Canadian courts have replicated Mill's framework in their interpretation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Hateful and the Obscene is a compelling interpretation of freedom of expression that combines serious philosophical thought with a focus on Canadian law, thus maintaining the breadth to deal with both obscenity and hate literature.