Robert Jensen

Robert William Jensen (born July 14, 1958)[1] is a former professor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1992 to 2018 he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in media law, ethics, and politics.

Robert Jensen
Robert Jensen speaking at York University.jpg
Jensen speaking at York University after The Heart of Whiteness was published
Robert William Jensen

(1958-07-14) July 14, 1958 (age 64)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
ThesisKnowing Pornography (1992)
Academic work
InstitutionsMoody College of Communication
Main interestsJournalism and mass communication
Notable worksGetting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity
Notable ideasMedia law, ethics, and politics

He has focused much of his work on the critique of pornography and of masculinity, developed in his 2017 book, The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men. He also has written about white privilege and institutional racism. He also sits on the editorial board of the academic journal Sexualization, Media, and Society.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Jensen grew up in Fargo, North Dakota.[3]


In 1981, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Moorhead State University (now Minnesota State University, Moorhead), and in 1985, he received a Master of Arts degree in journalism and public affairs from American University. In 1992 he completed his Ph.D. in media law and ethics in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.

Career and activismEdit

Prior to his academic career, he worked as a reporter and copy editor for several newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.[4]

Jensen writes for popular media, both alternative and mainstream.[5] His opinion and analytic pieces on such subjects as foreign policy, politics, and race have appeared in papers around the U.S. He also is involved in a number of activist groups, including the Third Coast Activist Resource Center.[6]


9/11 opinion pieceEdit

Jensen wrote an opinion piece for the Houston Chronicle on September 14, 2001, shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks.[7] In the piece, Jensen wrote that the September 11th terrorist attacks were "reprehensible and indefensible" but "no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism – the deliberate killing of civilians for political purposes – that the U.S. government has committed during my lifetime."[7]

Jensen's piece drew both praise and criticism. Some individuals demanded that The University of Texas fire Jensen. In response, University of Texas President Larry Faulkner wrote in a letter to the editor published in the Houston Chronicle that he was "disgusted by Jensen's article" and called Jensen "a fountain of undiluted foolishness on issues of public policy."[8]

Views on transgender identityEdit

In early July 2014, MonkeyWrench Books collective cut all ties with Jensen over his article reviewing two feminist books that critiqued transgender identity.[9] These books were Sheila Jeffreys' Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism and Michael Schwalbe's Manhood Acts: Gender and the Practices of Domination. In the review published by Dissident Voice, Jensen concluded that, "On the surface, transgenderism may seem to be a more revolutionary approach, but radical feminism offers a deeper critique of the domination/subordination dynamic at the heart of patriarchy and a more promising path to liberation"[10] which they felt "contributes to a dangerous culture of transphobia".[9] In addition, Dexter M. Thomas wrote a rebuttal which was also published by Dissident Voice.[11] Jensen responded by writing a follow-up article which elaborated on his views on the ecological and social implications of what he terms "trans ideology".[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Jensen identifies as a radical Christian who rejects the supernatural claims of Christian orthodoxy.[13] Jensen is married to musician Eliza Gilkyson.[14]

Selected worksEdit


  • Jensen, Robert; Allen, David S. (1995). Freeing the first amendment: critical perspectives on freedom of expression. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814706381.
  • ———; Dines, Gail; Russo, Ann (1997). Pornography: the production and consumption of inequality. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415918138.
  • ——— (2002). Writing dissent: taking radical ideas from the margins to the mainstream. New York: Peter Lang. ISBN 9780820456515.
  • ——— (2004). Citizens of the empire: the struggle to claim our humanity. San Francisco: City Lights. ISBN 9780872864320.
  • ——— (2005). The heart of whiteness: confronting race, racism and white privilege. San Francisco: City Lights. ISBN 9780872864498.
  • ——— (2007). Getting off: pornography and the end of masculinity. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press. ISBN 9780896087767.
  • ——— (2009). All my bones shake: seeking a progressive path to the prophetic voice. Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press. ISBN 9781593763466.
  • ——— (2013). We are all apocalyptic now: on the responsibilities of teaching, preaching, reporting, writing, and speaking out. San Francisco: City Lights Books. ISBN 9781481958479.
  • ——— (2013). Arguing for our lives: critical thinking in crisis times. San Francisco: City Lights. ISBN 9780872865730.
  • ——— (2015). Plain radical: living, loving and learning to leave the planet gracefully. Berkeley, California: Soft Skull Press. ISBN 9781619026797.
  • ______ (2017). The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men. Spinifex Press ISBN 9781742199924.
  • ______ (2021). The Restless and Relentless Mind of Wes Jackson: Searching for Sustainability. University Press of KansasISBN 9780700630554.

Book chaptersEdit

  • Jensen, Robert (2004), "Knowing pornography", in Carter, Cynthia; Steiner, Linda (eds.), Critical readings: media and gender, Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 246–264, ISBN 9780335210985.
  • ——— (2004), "Blows bangs and cluster bombs: the cruelty of men and Americans", in Whisnant, Rebecca; Stark, Christine (eds.), Not for sale: feminists resisting prostitution and pornography, North Melbourne, Victoria: Spinifex Press, pp. 28–37, ISBN 9781876756499
  • ——— (2011), "Stories of a rape culture: pornography as propaganda", in Tankard Reist, Melinda; Bray, Abigail (eds.), Big Porn Inc.: exposing the harms of the global pornography industry, North Melbourne, Victoria: Spinifex Press, pp. 25–33, ISBN 9781876756895.

Journal articlesEdit

Review of: Dworkin, Andrea; MacKinnon, Catharine (1997). In harm's way: the pornography civil rights hearings. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674445796.
Review of: Kendall, Christopher N. (2004). Gay male pornography an issue of sex discrimination. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: UBC Press. ISBN 9780774851152.





  1. ^ "Jensen, Robert, 1958-". Library of Congress. Retrieved November 9, 2015. (Robert Jensen; b. July 14, 1958)
  2. ^ "Editorial board: Sexualization, Media, and Society". Sage. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  3. ^ Jensen, Robert (July 19, 1998). "Robert W. Jensen: White Privilege". University of Texas at Austin College of Communication. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  4. ^ Jensen, Robert. "Robert W. Jensen: Curriculum Vitae". University of Texas at Austin College of Communication. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  5. ^ Jensen, Robert. "Robert W. Jensen: Articles". University of Texas at Austin College of Communication. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  6. ^ Jensen, Robert (23 August 2015). "Nuclear threats at home and abroad". Third Coast Activist Resource Center. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Jensen, Robert (September 14, 2001). "U.S. just as guilty of committing own violent acts". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Nichols, Lee (September 28, 2001). "War of Words". The Austin Chronicle. Nick Barbaro. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  9. ^ a b MonkeyWrench books collective (June 2014). "Smash the Cistem". MonkeyWrench books collective. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  10. ^ Jensen, Robert (June 13, 2014). "Some basic propositions about sex, gender, and patriarchy". Dissident Voice. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  11. ^ Thomas, Dexter M. (June 21, 2014). "Gender and sexual diversity". Dissident Voice. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Jensen, Robert (September 12, 2014). "Ecological and social implications of trans and climate change". Dissident Voice. Archived from the original on 2017-07-24. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  13. ^ Jensen, Robert (June 5, 2009). "The Inquisition". Killing the Buddha. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  14. ^ Chotzinoff, Robin. "Eliza Gilkyson". Edible Austin. Retrieved November 9, 2015.

External linksEdit