Butterfly Politics - RSA

Butterfly Politics

Public talks


Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

  • Behaviour change
  • Institutional reform
  • Social justice


Under the right conditions, small simple actions can produce large complex effects.

Pioneering lawyer and activist for women’s rights Catharine A. MacKinnon argues that seemingly minor interventions in the legal realm can have a butterfly effect that generates major social and cultural transformations.

Catharine MacKinnon is a pioneer of legal theory and practice, a groundbreaking activist for women’s rights, and one of feminism’s most significant figures. For over forty years MacKinnon’s intellectual, legal, and political pursuits have been defined by a driving motivation: to end inequality, including abuse, in women’s lives. Many of her ideas are now staples of legal and political discourse. Others urge changes that have yet to be realized.

A powerful critic of the legal and institutional denial of reality that perpetuates practices of gender inequality, Catharine MacKinnon advances a new model of what principled, effective, socially conscious engagement with law looks like. At the RSA, she explores the actions we need to take to generate the butterfly effect that can animate political activism and further advance equality, both socially and legally.


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