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It was five years ago yesterday that the world's most famous feminist died

(34 Posts)
dittany Sat 10-Apr-10 17:52:51

Andrea Dworkin - who many people have heard of even if they don't know much else about feminism. They don't know much about her either unfortunately, because Dworkin was thoroughly demonised and marginalised in her lifetime. This despite the fact that her life's work was to end male violence, particularly sexual violence, against women.

Reading over at Rebecca Mott's blog reminded me about this sad anniversary. Rebecca posted this piece by Andrea Dworkin about pornography up on her website in tribute to her. If you don't feel like reading it all just read the last paragraph. Andrea Dworkin was a truth teller:


Pornography is an essential issue because pornography says that women want to be hurt, forced, and abused; pornography says women want to be raped, battered, kidnapped, maimed; pornography says want to be humiliated, shamed, defamed; pornography says that women say No but mean Yes – Yes to violence, Yes to pain.

Also: pornography says that women are things; pornography says that being used as things fulfills the erotic nature of women; pornography says that women are the things men use.

Also: in pornography women are used as things; in pornography force is used against women; in pornography women are used.

Also: pornography says that women are sluts, cunts; pornography says that pornographers define women; pornography says that women are what men want women to be.

Also: pornography shows women as body parts, as genitals, as vaginal slits, as nipples, as buttocks, as lips, as open wounds, as pieces.

Also: pornography uses real women.

Also: pornography is an industry that buys and sells women.

Also: pornography sets the standard for female sexuality, for female sexual values, for girls growing up, for boys growing up, and increasing for advertising, films, video, visual arts, fine art and literature, music with words.

Also: the acceptance of pornography means the decline of feminist ethics and an abandonment of feminist politics; the acceptance of pornography means feminists abandon women.

Also: pornography turns women into objects and commodities; pornography perpetuates the object status of women; pornography perpetuates the self-defeating divisions among women by perpetuating the object status of women; pornography perpetuates the low self-esteem of women by perpetuating the object status of women; pornography perpetuates the distrust of women for women by perpetuating the object status of women; pornography perpetuates the demeaning and degrading of female intelligence and creativity by perpetuating the object status of women.

Also: pornography is violence against the women used in pornography and pornography encourages and promotes violence against women as a class; pornography dehumanises the women used in pornography and pornography contributes to and promotes the dehumanisation of all women; pornography exploits the women used in pornography and promotes the sexual and economic exploitation of women as a class.

Also: pornography is made by men who sanction, use, celebrate, and promote violence against women.

Also: pornography exploits children of both sexes, especially girls, and encourages violence against children, and does violence to children.

Also: pornography numbs the conscience, makes one increasingly callous to cruelty, to infliction of pain, to violence against persons, to humiliation or degradation of persons, to the abuse of women and children.

Also: pornography gives us no future; pornography robs us of hope as well as dignity; pornography further lessens our human value in the society at large and our human potential in fact; pornography forbids sexual self-determination to women and to children; pornography uses us up and throws us away; pornography annihilates our chance for freedom."

KinderellaTristabelle Fri 16-Apr-10 10:29:29

Sorry, weird and acceptable.

I know what you mean dignified. (If you're referring to the OP. Or was it something in my post?)

It is frightening and horrible. The way I see it at least I'm not blind to it now. I'm more comfortable in one important way now that I understand it logically as well as emotionally.

It is awful though. It's bone chilling when I think about the extent of the harm to individual women and also to women generally (and I know I probably don't realise just how bad the damage actually is as I grew up in this culture [brainwashed emoticon]). sad

Its depressing how widely available and socially acceptable porn is given the damage it causes both to individuals and to society as a whole.

smallwhitecat Fri 16-Apr-10 15:48:31

Message withdrawn

KinderellaTristabelle Fri 16-Apr-10 17:37:53

Thats a very good point smallwhitecat about sexual repression. I hadn't thought of that before, but it is true.

I too am sick of the 'all men are into it'. They're not all brainwashed into believing that.

I read once that porn gives men power but takes away their agency (it was Catherine MacKinnon, I'm pretty sure). I think that's true, it gives them power over women, but reduces their freedom and their range of choices in reality.

dignified Sat 17-Apr-10 14:26:12

Still feel distressed at reading some of those articles for some reason. Has made me think . In the past ive had a partner who would sulk if i didnt want sex, or would whine if i had limits and i know im not alone in this. Ive also encountered unnecessary intimate examinations and been told " not to make a fuss , its just something women have to put up with ".
My arse.

Clearly the idea has been that i am simply a woman and must allow men access to my body, whether i want to or not.
Im actually still really angry after reading those articles the other day , is probably because its hit a nerve.

Xenia Sat 17-Apr-10 15:07:45

On age - above - There is nothing wrong with ageing. People shouldn't just define themselves by their looks. If you've made your principal currency how you look and that fades of course you'll be put out. But if you don't then it's much easier. I would say my looks are only 5% of how I feel about myself and as they change as inevitably they will that won't be particularly significant for me.

dicsuccionc Sun 10-Mar-13 19:37:49

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tintin1969 Tue 12-Mar-13 06:51:33

Is it 5 years since she passed away already?

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 12-Mar-13 07:00:30

No, this is an old thread, she died in 2005.

ohnoanotherMRA Tue 12-Mar-13 20:20:13

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