Golden Gate University Law Review


The recent Canadian Supreme Court decision of R. v. Butler recognizes and addresses the harmful anti-social attitudes and behaviors towards women which are perpetuated by misogynistic, violent pornography. Meanwhile, American courts continue to grapple with their traditional obscenity standard. This comment presents an overview of the American approach to regulating and categorizing pornography, and explores the obstacles this approach creates for addressing the issues of harm to women. The pivotal elements of the Butler court's analysis will be discussed in light of American decisions. The authors propose that a Butler analysis offers a more honest and balanced approach to the pornography issue, and that such an approach would be feasible within the parameters of the First Amendment in the United States.