Andrea Dworkin

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Andrea Rita Dworkin (September 26, 1946April 9, 2005) was an American radical feminist and writer.

Sourced

  • I'm a radical feminist, not the fun kind.
    • "Dworkin on Dworkin," an interview originally published in Off Our Backs, reprinted in Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed Ed. by Renate Klein and Diane Bell.
  • Q: People think you are very hostile to men.
    A: I am.

    Q: Doesn't that worry you?
    A: From what you said, it worries them.
  • I want to see this men's movement make a commitment to ending rape because that is the only meaningful commitment to equality. It is astonishing that in all our worlds of feminism and antisexism we never talk seriously about ending rape. Ending it. Stopping it. No more. No more rape. In the back of our minds, are we holding on to its inevitability as the last preserve of the biological? Do we think that it is always going to exist no matter what we do? All of our political actions are lies if we don't make a commitment to ending the practice of rape. This commitment has to be political. It has to be serious. It has to be systematic. It has to be public. It can't be self-indulgent.
  • Anti-feminism is also operating whenever any political group is ready to sacrifice one group of women, one faction, some women, some kinds of women, to any element of sex-class oppression: to pornography, to rape, to battery, to economic exploitation, to reproductive exploitation, to prostitution. There are women all along the male-defined political spectrum, including both extreme ends of it, ready to sacrifice some women, usually not themselves, to the brothels or the farms. The sacrifice is profoundly anti-feminist; it is also profoundly immoral...
    • "Anti-feminism," Right Wing Women (1991), pp. 230-231.
  • I'm going to ask you to remember the prostituted, the homeless, the battered, the raped, the tortured, the murdered, the raped-then-murdered, the murdered-then-raped; and I am going to ask you to remember the photographed, the ones that any or all of the above happened to and it was photographed and now the photographs are for sale in our free countries. I want you to think about those who have been hurt for the fun, the entertainment, the so-called speech of others; those who have been hurt for profit, for the financial benefit of pimps and entrepreneurs. I want you to remember the perpetrator and I am going to ask you to remember the victims: not just tonight but tomorrow and the next day. I want you to find a way to include them -- the perpetrators and the victims -- in what you do, how you think, how you act, what you care about, what your life means to you.

    Now, I know, in this room, some of you are the women I have been talking about. I know that. People around you may not. I am going to ask you to use every single thing you can remember about what was done to you -- how it was done, where, by whom, when, and, if you know -- why -- to begin to tear male dominance to pieces, to pull it apart, to vandalize it, to destabilize it, to mess it up, to get in its way, to fuck it up. I have to ask you to resist, not to comply, to destroy the power men have over women, to refuse to accept it, to abhor it and to do whatever is necessary despite its cost to you to change it.
  • So now we come to what Andrea Dworkin wants and it is this: she wants women to have their own country. But that's mad, I said to her. Why bother discussing it? It isn't going to happen. To which she has a reply -- didn't they say that about Israel? And didn't the world think that Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, was a crank? The Jews got a country because they had been persecuted, said that enough was enough, decided what they wanted and went out and fought for it. Women should do the same. And if you don't want to live in Womenland, so what? Not all Jews live in Israel, but it is there, a place of potential refuge if persecution comes to call. Furthermore, Dworkin says, as the Jews fought for Israel so women have the right to execute -- that's right, execute -- rapists and the state should not intervene. I couldn't really believe she was serious, but she is.
  • I have been asked, politely and not so politely, why I am myself. This is an accounting any woman will be called on to give if she asserts her will. In the home the question will be couched in a million cruelties, some subtle, some so egregious they rival the injuries of organized war. ... It must be admitted that those who want me to account for myself are intrigued in hostile, voyeuristic ways, and their projections of me are not the usual run-of-the-mill rudeness or arrogance to which writers, especially women writers, become accustomed. The work would be enough, even for the unfortunate sad sacks mentioned above. So here's the deal as I see it: I am ambitious---God knows, not for money; in most respects but not all I am honorable; and I wear overalls: kill the bitch. But the bitch is not yet ready to die. Brava, she says, alone in a small room.
    • "Preface," Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant (2002)
  • Pornography is used in rape - to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act.
    • Testimony before the New York Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in 1986
  • The pornographers actually use our bodies as their language. We are their speech. . . . Protecting what they 'say' means protecting what they do to us, how they do it. It means protecting their sadism on our bodies, because that is how they write: not like a writer at all; like a torturer.
    • Women Transforming Communications
  • Men characterize pornography as something mental because their minds, their thoughts, their dreams, their fantasies, are more real to them than women's bodies or lives; in fact, men have used their social power to characterize a $10-billion-a-year trade in women as fantasy.
    • Pornography, Men Possessing Women
  • Pornography is the essential sexuality of male power: of hate, of ownership, of hierarchy; of sadism, of dominance."
    • Pornography, Men Possessing Women
  • Pornography incarnates male supremacy. It is the DNA of male dominance. Every rule of sexual abuse, every nuance of sexual sadism, every highway and byway of sexual exploitation, is encoded in it.
    • Pornography, Men Possessing Women

Unsourced

  • Erotica is simply high-class pornography; better produced, better conceived, better executed, better packaged, designed for a better class of consumer.
  • Feminists are often asked whether pornography causes rape. The fact is that rape and prostitution caused and continue to cause pornography. Politically, culturally, socially, sexually, and economically, rape and prostitution generated pornography; and pornography depends for its continued existence on the rape and prostitution of women.
  • Women, for centuries not having access to pornography and now unable to bear looking at the muck on the supermarket shelves, are astonished. Women do not believe that men believe what pornography says about women. But they do. From the worst to the best of them, they do.
  • Pornography is the orchestrated destruction of women's bodies and souls; rape, battery, incest, and prostitution animate it; dehumanization and sadism characterize it; it is war on women, serial assaults on dignity, identity, and human worth; it is tyranny. Each woman who has survived knows from the experience of her own life that pornography is captivity -- the woman trapped in the picture used on the woman trapped wherever he's got her.
  • "Men are rewarded for learning the practice of violence in virtually any sphere of activity by money, admiration, recognition, respect, and the genuflection of others honoring their sacred and proven masculinity."

About

  • "Andrea presented herself as a street fighter intellectual, a bohemian freedom fighter, and someone who wanted to get to the bottom of things. That quote about Malcolm X is apt. Malcolm pointed out “The problem is WHITE PEOPLE.” Dworkin said, “The problem is MEN.” And for all the holes that can be poked in that cloth, there is something about that grain that is absolutely true, when you are the short end of the bolt."
  • "I’m sorry Andrea Dworkin started a sexual revolution that she ended up repudiating. She never got to see people like me, Carol, and the rest of us little protégées who took her inspiration and flew to a new dimension. She got stuck, and then she got sick, and when you’re famous for one thing, no one wants to see you change unless you reject it all, like a pathetic sinner seeking redemption. She was too stubborn and too old-fashioned for that. Andrea Dworkin never would have admitted that she was a SuperStar. She was the animator of the ultimate porno horror loop, where the Final Girl never gets a chance to slay the monster, she only dies, dies, dies, with the cries of the angry mourners to remember her."

External links

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