I just answered a question very like this one. It isn't sexual harassment to express interest in a woman in a social circumstance, at least in the first instance. There are lots of ways of doing this that are rude, crude, and stupid, of course. But it is only "harassment" if it continues after a clear expression of non-interest has been conveyed by her. If I go up to a woman in a bar and express sexual interest, it is not harassment, even if I am clumsy about it. That would make me a loser, maybe, but nothing in feminism (or in the legal concept of harassment) makes it harassment in the first instance. If I continue after she has told me to take a long walk off a short pier, well, then, it starts at that point to become harassment, and yes, women (and men) have a right not to be pestered and...well, harassed!
As I understand it, the issue at stake here is that people (and not just women) want to be able to regard their workplace as just that--a workplace. The minute someone in that place begins to give sexual attention to someone else in that workplace, the environment is changed--and changed in a way that makes the workplace no longer an entirely comfortable place to work.
There are obviously degrees of sexual harassment, and I frankly don't think that giving unwanted sexual attention (that is in no way coersive) on a date could count--either ethically or legally--as harassment. But it is different in a workplace. If you find someone's sexual interest or expressions thereof unwanted on a date, you can always refuse to go out on another date with that person. But if you have to deal with this at a workplace, your only option is to try to find another job--which these days can be a major problem, and which a good worked should not have to feel that he or she has to do, to avoid someone acting in a way that is inappropriate for a workplace. So this is not simply a "freedom of speech" issue. It has to do with making the environment of a workplace no longer comfortable for some other worker working in that place. Please respect this!
Certainly nowadays the law would require the woman to pay alimony in this situation, and I am sure there have been many such cases.
I find it hard to see how anyone who wasn't just flatly sexist might think it should be otherwise. Perhaps vestiges of sexist thinking with which we have all been saddled by our society would make our gut reaction a little different, but fortunately we have brains and do not have to be ruled by our guts.
Many philosophers committed to feminism are concerned with 'objectification', i.e., roughly, treating a person--often, as in this case and henceforth, a woman--as a thing in some way. While the concept of objectification is slippery, as noted in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on the topic, from which I profited and which one can access by clicking here, the case you present is clear-cut.
While there are senses of objectification that are akin to taking the female form as an object of aesthetic appreciation--such as the reduction of a person to her body or her appearance--the mere appreciation of the beauty of the female form in particular or of the human body in general does not seem to me, in and of itself, to constitute a form of objectification, and I would be surprised if it were indeed the case that the majority of feminists would consider the aesthetic appreciation of the human body to be a form of objectification. To be sure, if one rigorously and uniquely adopts an 'aesthetic attitude' towards the human body, one might come to objectify the body, but one certainly need not do so, and so I do not think that the consideration of the human body as an object of aesthetic appreciation should actually be seen as a form of objectification.
I think the point is that we should not expect people to behave exactly the same everywhere, so that in some countries women behave in ways which are culturally appropriate, and look oppressed from the perspective of other countries. Take the head scarf for example. Many interpret this as a sign of oppression, but many women in particular do not, and have no difficulty in both covering themselves to some degree and also believing in equal treatment with men. In Islam both men and women are supposed to dress modestly, and if that is taken to mean that women should cover their hair, and men also dress in certain ways, then there seems to be nothing unduly oppressive about that. Or at least no more oppressive than the feeling that women in any country will probably be expected to dress in a certain way. I think that is the logic that is operating here.
Provided that there is some cue to the fact that the work in question is a satire of sexism--even if the cue is only a matter of conversational implicature (a notion introduced by the philosopher Paul Grice to capture aspects of meaning that may be communicated without being made explicit in the communication)--as the question seems to assume, then it would clearly seem not to be the case that the work is itself sexist. (Similarly, it seems to me that Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is clearly not an invitation to cannibalism or infanticide.)
But how, exactly, can one tell that a piece of writing is satirical: that's a nice and subtle question. (A parallel question: how can one tell one a speaker is being sarcastic? Some people have difficulty in doing so, at least with some speakers.) I don't know that any necessary or sufficient conditions could be enumerated that would allow one to determine when something counts as satire and when it doesn't; to my mind, in order to be able to identify writing as satire, one needs to have a good grasp on what it is for writing to be sincere (just as, in order to be able to identify speech as sarcasm, one needs to have a firm grasp on what it is to speak in one's own voice). But what is sincerity in writing? What is sincerity? I would think that one might start there and work one's way towards a better understanding of what's distinctive about satire as a particular mode of discourse.
A society where this is the norm is not one in which the two sexes are equal. So, as a social norm, this division of gender roles is not compatible with the feminist belief in the equality of the sexes. But at the individual level the two are compatible. In a society in which the sexes are equal, there would be lots of women working while their male partners mind the kids. This is compatible with feminism, surely. Therefore, a feminism that believes in the equality of the sexes must then also find acceptable the mirror image: men working while their female partners look after the kids. If these two role divisions were roughly equally frequent, I think feminists should find no fault.
A fascinating issue. I'm not familiar with the specifics of MacKinnon and Dworkin, but I'm not sure that the considerations you mention would necessarily undermine their thesis, as you stated it. For whatever the history, it may well be that right now, these days, pornography plays that role (assuming that's what they argue for, of course), even if other factors played more significant roles prior to relatively recent technologies. Or it might be that ultimately their status as sexual objects has reflected and/or caused their secondary status all throughout history, and the contemporary technologies serving pornography merely continue (and exacerbate etc) that same trait. No doubt anyone concerned about the status of women in western society will begin their investigation historically and find plenty of explanations for the oppression of women; at the same time, any attempt to emphasize one, or give it central prominence, risks undervaluing the others ....
No doubt there is a debate on this topic in the literature, but whatever this says, it is surely the case that in most societies mothers are obliged to spend longer looking after their children than are fathers, and this obviously has an impact on the other things they can do. Writing is often a rather solitary activity and childcare does not usually fit in that well. It is hardly surprising that women find it harder to do as compared with men if both have family responsibilities. We still tend to expect more from women, and less from men. It is not just with respect to children but also with caring in general, for siblings perhaps or parents.
When I look after young children and take them out I receive all sorts of help and interaction from people, since the assumption is that if a man is doing it then this is unusual and unexpected. When their mother or grandmother take children out they are routinely ignored, this is just what is expected of women. Clearly this has always had a significant impact on the scope for creativity and achievement among women with children. There is nothing mysterious about it which requires reflection on the basic differences between men and women, it is surely a reflection on basic differences in gender differentiation.
The idea that there is a distinctively 'feminine' approach to ethics was articulated forcefully in the pioneering work of Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice: Gilligan argued that there are certain distinctive virtues and traits--such as care, empathy, forgiveness, etc.--that are coded 'feminine' that had gone underemphasized in more traditional, 'masculine', approaches to ethics and character development, which stressed the primacy of the development of an impartial, more 'rational' standpoint in ethics. The basic idea, that there are differences in the way that men and women make moral judgments, that reflect the way that they are socialized, makes good sense to me, and has been championed by a number of philosophers and developed in various ways, particularly by those interested in the 'ethics of care'. However, it seems to me to be incorrect to think that these differences are somehow 'fixed', or that men cannot come to look at the world from a more 'feminine' perspective (and vice versa, of course), although it may well be a matter of psychological fact that men generally approach ethics from a more 'masculine' perspective, and women from a 'feminine' perspective. For more on this topic, and on feminist--not 'feminine'--ethics, you might follow the link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on feminist ethics.