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Concept: Radical feminism


According to radical feminist theory, pornography serves to further the subordination of women by training its users, males and females alike, to view women as little more than sex objects over whom men should have complete control. Composite variables from the General Social Survey were used to test the hypothesis that pornography users would hold attitudes that were more supportive of gender nonegalitarianism than nonusers of pornography. Results did not support hypotheses derived from radical feminist theory. Pornography users held more egalitarian attitudes-toward women in positions of power, toward women working outside the home, and toward abortion-than nonusers of pornography. Further, pornography users and pornography nonusers did not differ significantly in their attitudes toward the traditional family and in their self-identification as feminist. The results of this study suggest that pornography use may not be associated with gender nonegalitarian attitudes in a manner that is consistent with radical feminist theory.

Concepts: Scientific method, Female, Gender, Sociology, Sex, Feminism, Feminist theory, Radical feminism


In contemporary feminist discourses, lesbian separatism is often mocked. Whether blamed as a central reason for feminism’s alleged failure or seen as an unrealistic, utopian vision, lesbian separatism is a maligned social and cultural formation. This article traces the intellectual roots of lesbian feminism from the early 1970s in The Furies and Radicalesbians through the work of Julia Penelope and Sarah Lucia Hoagland in the 1980s and 1990s, then considers four feminist and lesbian organizations that offer innovative engagements with lesbian separatism. Olivia Records operated as a separatist enterprise, producing and distributing womyn’s music during the 1970s and 1980s. Two book distributors, Women in Distribution, which operated in the 1970s, and Diaspora Distribution, which operated in the 1980s, offer another approach to lesbian separatism as a form of economic and entrepreneurial engagement. Finally, Sinister Wisdom, a lesbian-feminist literary and arts journal, enacts a number of different forms of lesbian separatism during its forty-year history. These four examples demonstrate economic and cultural investments of lesbian separatism and situate its investments in larger visionary feminist projects. More than a rigid ideology, lesbian separatism operates as a feminist process, a method for living in the world.

Concepts: Feminism, Identity politics, Feminist theory, Lesbian, Ideology, Radical feminism, Lesbian feminism


The feminist debate on no-drop prosecution is long-standing. However, the ways liberal and radical feminist perspectives inform advocacy in applied settings are limited in the extant research. Drawing from interviews with 26 domestic violence (DV) victim advocates, the current study examines perspectives and practices of victim advocates in no-drop prosecution cases. Two predominate themes emerged-a survivor-defined approach to advocacy emphasizing the individual situations and choices of battered women, and a social change approach focusing on changing the social structures that tolerate violence against women. Findings indicated the relationship between such practices was complex, overlapping, and at times contradictory. While advocates generally supported no-drop prosecution with the goal of social change, survivor-defined approaches superseded social change efforts for a majority of advocates. Survivor-centered advocacy and no-drop prosecution at times conflicted with one another. Advocates described victims' concerns about safety, livelihood, and trauma testifying in court as challenges to the policy, as well as the practice of holding victims in contempt of court and jailing them for not testifying. At the same time, advocates illustrated how survivor-defined advocacy complimented prosecution by addressing women’s myriad of needs and concerns related to prosecution. Advocates indicated that victims were more likely to safely participate in prosecution when their individual needs were addressed. Implications for DV victim advocacy are presented.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Sociology, Violence, Judge, Violence against women, Lawyer, Feminism, Radical feminism