Burning Acts, Injurious Speech
DOI link for Burning Acts, Injurious Speech
Burning Acts, Injurious Speech book
The title of J. L. Austin’s How to Do Things with Words poses the question of performativity as what it means to say that “things might be done with words.” MacKinnon has argued that pornography is a kind of hate speech, and that the argument in favor of restricting hate speech ought to be based on the argument in favor of restricting pornography. The problem, for MacKinnon, is not that pornography reflects or expresses a social structure of misogyny, but that it is an institution with the performative power to bring about that which it depicts. It only makes sense to figure the pornographic test as the injurious act of a speaker if the people seek to locate accountability at the prosecutable site of the subject. On the contrary, if the text acts once, it can act again, and possibly against its prior act.