Catharine Alice MacKinnon (born October 7, 1946) is an American feminist, scholar, lawyer, teacher and activist.
MacKinnon was born in Minnesota. Her mother is Elizabeth Valentine Davis; her father, George E. MacKinnon was a lawyer, congressman (1947 to 1949), and judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1969 to 1995). She has two younger brothers.
MacKinnon became the third generation of her family to attend her mother's alma mater, Smith College. She graduated in the top 2% of her class at Smith and earned a J.D. and a Ph.D. from Yale University. While at Yale Law School, she received a National Science Foundation fellowship.
MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. In 2007, she served as the Roscoe Pound Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
MacKinnon is a highly cited legal scholar. She has been a visiting professor at various universities and regularly appears in public speaking events. On February 10, 2005, she attended the premiere of Inside Deep Throat (in which she is an interviewee) and took part in a panel discussion after the film. On April 29, 2009, MacKinnon argued on the radio show Intelligence Squared U.S. for the proposition "it's wrong to pay for sex".
MacKinnon's ideas may be divided into three central — although overlapping and ongoing — areas of focus: (1) sexual harassment, (2) pornography, and (3) international work. She has also devoted attention to social and political theory and methodology...
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