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Judith Levine (Wikipedia) (born 1952) is an American author, journalist, civil libertarian, and co-founder of the National Writers Union, a trade union of contract and freelance writers, and No More Nice Girls, a group dedicated to promoting abortion rights through street theater. She is a board member of the National Center for Reason and Justice and the Vermont chapter of the ACLU.
She describes her work as "exploring the ways in which history, culture, politics, and the economy are expressed in intimate life -- and vice-versa." Hence, her books and articles have ranged over gender, sexuality, aging, and consumerism. Her current monthly column for the Vermont alternative weekly Seven Days, "Poli Psy" is about "the uses and abuses of emotion in politics."
Levine is best known for her 2002 book Harmful to Minors, in which she suggests liberalization of age-of-consent laws in the United States and the conception of minors as sexual beings, which Levine argues is extant in Western Europe. Levine argues for weakening most United States laws governing possession of child pornography, the access of abortions to minors, and conduct classified as statutory rape. Conservative commentators have heavily criticized her work; its (eventual) publication by the University of Minnesota Press caused controversy in the Minnesota Legislature. The book was also widely praised by advocates of liberalization and educators. It won the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was named by SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, as one of history's most influential books about sexuality.
Levine is also a journalist, who has written on sex, gender, aging, consumerism, and culture for dozens of national magazines and newspapers, including Harper's, The New York Times, Vogue, AARP: The Magazine, and salon.com. Her column "Poli Psy," in the Vermont weekly Seven Days, was named Best Political Column in 2005 by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. She also has written columns for New York Woman and oxygen.com.
- Official site
- Harmful to Minors - see our article for links to full copies.
- Radio interview:
- On Harmful to Minors, May 30, 2002.