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Smith, Margaret and Barbara Waisberg.

Toronto, Birch Associates, c1984. 60pp, paper, spiral bound, $12.00, ISBN 0-9691981 -0-8. Distributed by Birch Associates, 50 Walker Ave., Toronto. Ont., M4V 1G2.

Reviewed by Brenda Watson

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

The authors of The Pornography Workshop have been involved with the women's movement for ten years, and their interest in pornography is an extension of this. They work as adult educators and have revised the Workshop after presenting it to different groups over a period of five years. The Handbook is not the only component of the workshop. Leaders also require a collection of pornographic magazines and three audiovisual resources, The Handbook tells where to obtain these items, and gives step-by-step directions for all other aspects of the presentation. Definitions of pornography, questions to ask, and statements to make are all included. There is not a great deal of text as participants will fill in the blanks with their responses. Pornography is first defined, then by examination of pornographic material, the participants analyse what values and messages about women the material reflects. After this, participants look at their own sexual values and needs. Both individual and collective strategies for opposing pornography are discussed.

It would be more appropriate to review this Handbook after participating in the workshop and viewing the resources that go with it. The Handbook itself is very concise and provides a sound framework. The perspective the authors have on pornography is clearly stated and should be compatible with many people's views. No emphasis is placed on leader qualifications. It is to be hoped that people leading the workshop will have experience in group leadership and a background knowledge of women's issues. The point of view is feminist, but this does not preclude the use of the workshop with non-feminist groups. Sources are quoted where applicable and a bibliography of material on pornography is included.

Brenda Watson, Victoria, B.C.
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