You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Andrea Dworkin’ tag.

  From Truth Dig’s article by Janice G. Raymond and H. Patricia Hynes:


“In the 1980s, Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, along with a dedicated band of radical feminist activists, launched a courageous and groundbreaking civil rights ordinance against pornography. Dworkin, in one of our favorite passages, wrote:

The creative mind is intelligence in action in the world. … The world is anywhere that thought has consequences. … Creative intelligence is searching intelligence: it demands to know the world, demands its right to consequence. … Women are not supposed to have creative intelligence, but when they do they are supposed to renounce it. If they want the love of men, without which they are not really women, they had better not hold on to an intelligence that searches and that is action in the world; thought that has consequences is inimical to fettered femininity.

This insistence on consequence, this attempt to make things real for women, is what Dworkin was most reviled for. She dared to think that she could transform her insights and intelligence into legislation that could help provide some legal means of redress to women who had suffered from pornographic violence. When FACT, the so-called Feminist Anti-Censorship Task Force, attacked the anti-pornography legislation that was supported by many women’s groups, neighborhood organizations, women in prostitution, survivors of sexual exploitation, lesbians, ethnic and civil rights organizations, and by the hundreds of women who risked public exposure and harassment testifying on behalf of this legislation, the personal and political attacks on Dworkin escalated.

When violence against women can be rationalized or, more to the point, marketed and valorized as “sex,” common agreement falters. Prostitution and pornography are the not-so-popular issues of violence against women, continually depoliticized and reduced to private choices. The endorsing of pornography and prostitution, especially from progressives and champions of women’s human rights—those who should be radical feminist allies, those who should have been Dworkin’s allies—is inexcusable.

When a woman works against pornography and prostitution, her reputation is destroyed, like the women who are exploited in prostitution and pornography. The latter are branded as sluts, whores, hookers, hoes and tarts, while the former are cast as uptight, anti-sex, extremist, fundamentalist, right-wing, conservative, moralistic, anti-feminist, and against a woman’s right to use her body in a self-determined way. If she is a writer, she gets censored from many publications that would be a natural outlet for her work. Rather than they, it is she who is portrayed as censorious and an opponent of free and progressive speech. In contrast, the pornographers and pimps are garlanded as human rights heroes and defenders of free speech.”


“Most girls, however much they resent their mothers, do become very much like them. Rebellion can rarely survive the aversion therapy that passes for being brought up female. Male violence acts directly on the girl through her father or brother or uncle or any number of male professionals or strangers, as it did and does on her mother, and she too is forced to learn to conform in order to survive. A girl may, as she enters adulthood, repudiate the particular set of males with whom her mother is allied, run with a different pack as it were, but she will replicate her mother’s patterns in acquiescing to male authority within her own chosen set. Using both force and threat, men in all camps demand that women accept abuse in silence and shame, tie themselves to hearth and home with rope made of self-blame, unspoken rage, grief, and resentment.”
Andrea Dworkin, Right Wing Women
“I don’t believe rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we [women] are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.”
— Andrea Dworkin

“A commitment to sexual equality with men is a commitment to becoming the rich instead of the poor, the rapist instead of the raped, the murderer instead of the murdered.” –Andrea Dworkin

Feminism is not for equality.

Feminism is for female liberation.


“men don’t realize that they understand the point of women’s liberation, but they do. they understand it very well.

every time a dude says some shit like, “oh, you’re for equality of the sexes? does that mean I can hit you?” he is demonstrating his perfect understanding of the shortcomings of egalitarianism.

men target women for not being men, but men don’t only target women. men also beat the shit out of each other. men rape each other. men kill each other. men treat each other like absolute shit.

virtually all of the violence that occurs on this planet is committed by males, whether it’s committed against females or against other males. men tell us every day, in no uncertain terms, that they believe “equality” means “violence.” equality with these barbarians? I think not.

liberation from their generations-old, ironclad system of perpetual violence and destruction? yes, please. sign me up.”


eves 6 through 8

“Yes, I’d say female socialisation (since this whole thing mostly targets and hurts women anyway) that has taught us fear and what we can do to reduce that fear (apologise, silence ourselves and other women, submit, placate men at all costs).”

Fear cements this system together. Fear is the adhesive that holds each part in its place. […] What is fear then? What are its characteristics? What is it about fear that is so effective in compelling women to be good soldiers on the side of the enemy?
Fear, as women experience it, has three main characteristics: it is isolating; it is confusing; and it is debilitating. When a woman violates a rule which spells out her proper behavior as a female, she is singled out by men, their agents, and their culture as a troublemaker. The rebel’s isolation is real in that she is avoided, or ignored, or chastised, or denounced. Acceptance back into the community of men, which is the only viable and sanctioned community, is contingent on her renunciation and repudiation of her deviant behavior. Every girl as she is growing up experiences this form and fact of isolation. She learns that it is an inevitable consequence of any rebellion, however small. By the time she is a woman, fear and isolation are tangled into a hard, internal knot so that she cannot experience one without the other. […]
Confusion, too, is an integral part of fear. It is confusing to be punished for succeeding—for climbing a tree, or excelling in mathematics. It is impossible to answer the question, “What did I do wrong?” As a result of the punishment which is inevitable when she succeeds, a girl learns to identify fear with confusion and confusion with fear. By the time she is a woman, fear and confusion are triggered simultaneously by the same stimuli and they cannot be separated from each other.
Fear, for women, is isolating and confusing. It is also consistently and progressively debilitating. Each act outside a woman’s allowable sphere provokes punishment— and this punishment is as inevitable as nightfall. Each punishment inculcates fear. Like a rat, a woman will try to avoid those high-voltage electric shocks which seem to mine the maze. […] This interplay of the memory of pain, the anticipation of pain, and the reality of pain in a given circumstance makes it virtually impossible for a woman to perceive the daily indignities to which she is subjected, much less to assert herself against them or to develop and stand for values which undermine or oppose male supremacy. The effects of this cumulative, progressive, debilitating aspect of fear are mutilating, and male culture provides only one possible resolution: complete and abject submission.

Andrea Dworkin, Our Blood

maleviolence“Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us.”
— Andrea Dworkin

What we are exposed to in childhood helps set the tone of our expectations later in life.  Consider the female role models little girls and boys are exposed to while they are making up their minds on what and how they want to be.


-Woman Hating.  Andrea Dworkin

     Contrast this passage with male role models who are actively adventuring, swashbuckling, and generally getting shit done.  The gender roles and socialization are woven deeply into every aspect of our society.  Gender roles are for the most part, destructive social constructs, whose expectations and limitations hurt women and men.  We should strive to counter the normative messages that our socialization breeds into us because ultimately, gender is a hierarchy that happens to discriminate against half the human race and we need less oppression not more in our society.

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