Caroline Norma lectures at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne, Australia. She is a member of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Australia (CATWA).
Seiya Morita lectures at the Kokugakuin University in Toyko, Japan. He is a member of the Anti-Pornography and Prostitution Research Group (APP).
In late 2016 a feminist movement against problems of commercial sexual exploitation, and especially issues of coerced pornography filming, arose in Japan. This article describes the history of this movement as it mobilized to combat human rights violations perpetrated by the country’s pornographers. The movement’s success came not spontaneously or haphazardly; in fact, it was orchestrated earlier over a full decade-and-a-half by activists who persevered in researching and highlighting pornography’s harms in a civil environment of hostility, isolation and social derision, even among progressive groups and individuals. The Anti-Pornography and Prostitution Research Group (APP) was particularly prominent in this history. Its members were inspired and instructed early on by the work of Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin in bringing to public attention victims’ accounts of pornography’s harms in the US from the 1980s, and they attempted to follow this example. The example of feminist anti-pornography activism we described here, therefore, is a case of unlikely political success achieved in an unexpected place (e.g., Japan currently ranks 110th-place in global gender equality league tables), and it is offered in real-world example of MacKinnon’s "butterfly" model of radical social change.
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Norma, Caroline and Morita, Seiya (2020) "Feminist Action Against Pornography in Japan: Unexpected Success in an Unlikely Place," Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 4: Iss. 4, Article 4. https://doi.org/10.23860/dignity.2019.04.04.04
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