User:Javascap/My take on Andrea Dworkin

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Andrea Dworkin (1946-2005) was an influential American radical feminist and moonbat who is primarily known for her crusade against pornography. Her views became more radical and more sensational later in her life, which unfortunately added fuel to the antifeminist fire.

Views and Beliefs[edit]

Anti-pornography activism[edit]

In her book Pornography: Men Possessing Women[1], she argued that pornography is a misogynistic, dehumanizing industry. She also analyzed pornography as a form of sexual assault on women[2].

Her anti-pornography rhetoric, as translated into legalese by her fellow radical feminist and lawyer Catharine MacKinnon, attempted to instate several ordinances that made pornography a civil rights violation, and allow women to seek damages if harmed by pornography. [3] Attempts to pass an ordinance based on her model failed in Minneapolis (passed by the City Council, vetoed by the mayor), but succeeded on the second try in Indianapolis in 1984. In the case American Booksellers Association, Inc. v. Hudnut[4], the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ordinance unconstitutional on the grounds that it constituted ideology-based censorship. The Supreme Court affirmed with no further comment.

Her work got a broader audience in Canada, where in the case R v. Butler, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled, partly based on her work, that Canada's obscenity law was constitutional based on guarantees of gender equality. She did not support this ruling, as Dworkin was staunchly anti-censorship. When the laws started to be used disproportionately against gay and lesbian materials, Dworkin was embarrassed and rapidly condemned this interpretation of her work[5].

I have just one word for Dworkin to think about. "Consent". If a fully aware and mature woman knowlingly allows pictures to be taken of her performing sex acts in exchange for money, then that is her choice, and I have to ask where Dworkin gets off trying to push her idea of sexual morality onto other people... particually mature women who, as I said, know what they are getting into.


Her opposition to pornography caused the pornography industry to swing into gear with a bevy of satire directed against her, including claims that she was anti-sex and misandristic. In an attempt to stop this, she sued everyone in sight, but her efforts ultimately failed; Catharine MacKinnon blamed this on the patriarchy in her eulogy to Dworkin, and called the satire libel[6].

So she got her shorts in a twist because someone made a satire on her... Why does that fail to make sense? A joke is a joke, and satire has been around for a lot longer then Dworkin has been around for.

Furthermore, I find it VERY interesting that she sued people when she was said to be "anti-sex", when she was so heavily against sex later in her life.

Views on marriage[edit]

She had very contested, sensational views on marriage. She was a self-declared lesbian, but was married twice to men and swore herself to celibacy[7]. Her first marriage to a Dutch anarchist did not go very well, as he clubbed her with blunt instruments and put cigarettes out on her, and she had to turn tricks for a time to get up the money to return to the U.S. from Holland. Later, she married a gay man named John Stoltenberg, author of a book entitled Refusing to Be a Man; this marriage lasted until her death in 2005.

She likened marriage to rape of women by men, arguing that in both cases the man claimed to "own" the woman and took the initiative, while the woman had to go along with him in every way:

Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice. Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by capture. Marriage meant the taking was to extend in time, to be not only use of but possession of, or ownership[8].

And if you don't want to get married, nobody is going to force you to do so. What the anarchist did was unacceptable, and Dworkin was entirely justified in leaving, but I have to ask why she got married if she was opposed to it. (The irony of her becoming a prostitute after whining about porn is not lost on me).

Views on domestic abuse of women[edit]

She believed that "battered women have the right to kill their batterer[9]", but did not stand up for this right during her first marriage.

Or you could call this magic number called "911" and press charges. Killing your husband would land you in a helluva lot of trouble, enough, perhaps, to get you the death penalty. Ohmy.gif

Alleged misandry[edit]

On manhood, she said:

Only when manhood is dead — and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it — only then will we know what it is to be free[10].

And on men, she said:

Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her potential betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman[11].

Most of her rhetoric follows the radical feminist line that gender is a social construct that when taken away will leave us all the same except for the dirty bits. Dworkin also went one step further and expressed opposition to men's privilege within the hierarchical structure of patriarchy.

Her writing has been interpreted as being anti-male; this is because, under the patriarchy as Dworkin perceived it, it is difficult to disentangle men from the privilege they all enjoy (whether or not they want to), which is oppressive to all women (whether or not men intend to oppress them). Other feminists have stated that Dworkin was a "scholar of great men"[12], and had warm relationships with her father and other male relatives.

Equal rights for all, no less, no more. I am sorry for being born with a Y chromosome, but it kinda was not my choice, and it just so happens that as a result, I am a guy. I support equal rights, and fortunatally, women are coming closer and closer to that (some issues still remain, unequal pay, etc), and I have no doubt that in time, we will get there. I do not consider women anywhere near as opressed as they were in the 1700's, and perhaps by the standards of 2100, women are opressed today, but eventaully, EQUAL rights will win out.

Views on sex[edit]

She was strongly opposed to sex, enough to swear herself to celibacy. In a discussion of how men in a patriarchal society view sex, she stated that "Violation is a synonym for intercourse[13]". Due to this, she was widely reported as having said explicitly that all sex is rape, even though she never actually said those words, as Cathy Young remarked with regard to Dworkin:

If a male writer had written book after book arguing that women were evil creatures whose sole purpose in life is to sexually manipulate and destroy men, would we spend a lot of time quibbling over whether he actually used the phrase, "All women are whores[14]"?

Lets see... google "Define:Sex", and the first google result is "sexual activity: activities associated with sexual intercourse; "they had sex in the back seat". Now to adress the misconception stemming from her saying "violation is a synonym for intercourse", I have to agree that it sure sounds like she is saying "all sex is rape"

Views on childbirth[edit]

She had no children, as is made very obvious by her views on childbearing, viz.:

Childbearing is glorified in part because women die from it[10].

So it has nothing to do with the fact that without childbearing, the population of humans would be exactly 0?

She was also strongly opposed to Caesarean sections, which fit in nicely with her opposition to childbearing:

They cut directly into the uterus with a knife — a surgical fuck ... the uterus of the whore entered directly by the new rapist, the surgeon, the vagina saved to serve the husband[1].

Though women may undergo Ceasarean sections to alleviate the pain or risk of vaginal childbirth, Ceasarians are a very physically demanding option. Ceasarians add a great deal of risk to childbirth, and are often performed unnecessarily[15]. This compounded Dworkin's view of childbirth being oppressive.

I will hand over this one, C-sections are, perhaps, over-performed. However, they have become safer over the years owing to refinments in medical technology, and there are still quite a couple of situations that warrent a C-section being performed. Calling C-sections "A surgical fuck" is a bit heavy-handed if you think about it.

Effects of her work on society and feminist theory[edit]

Encyclopaedia Britannica placed her in their list of 300 Women who Changed the World[2].

Fair enough.

Drug rape[edit]

In 1999, Dworkin was found completely delirious on the streets of New York. She claimed that she had been fed a date-rape drug and then raped in a hotel room in Paris some days earlier, and published two articles on the subject[7][16]. Following the incident, she suffered severe depression for the remainder of her life. Many feminist critics, drawing on inconsistencies between her accounts of the incident, suggested that the rape had not taken place[17]. Even Stoltenberg had his doubts, "look[ing] for any other explanation than rape."[7]

And for obvious reasons, being raped would be very heavily mentally traumatising, but I have to ask if Dworkins filed a police report, and if any evidence (semen, etc) was collected to verify her claims. Innocent untill proven guilty is the basic premise of the American law system, and unless she proved that she was indeed raped, I am skeptical to call either way.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dworkin, Andrea. Pornography: Men Possessing Women. 1989. The Andrea Dworkin Online Library.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Dworkin, Andrea". 300 Women Who Changed the World. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  4. American Booksellers Association, Inc. et al. v. William H. Hudnut, et al.. United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit. 1985.
  5. MacKinnon, Catherine A. and Andrea Dworkin. "Statement by Catharine A. Mackinnon and Andrea Dworkin Regarding Canadian Customs and Legal Approaches to Pornography". August 26, 1994. The Andrea Dworkin Online Library.
  6. MacKinnon, Catherine A. "Who Was Afraid of Andrea Dworkin?". New York Times. April 16, 2005.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Dworkin, Andrea. "'They took my body from me and used it'". The Guardian. June 2, 2000.
  8. Dworkin, Andrea quote. QuotationsBook.
  9. "The Lie Detector". The Andrea Dworkin Online Library. The Andrea Dworkin Web Site.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Andrea Dworkin Quotes. BrainyQuote.
  11. Weisburg, D. Kelly. Applications of Feminist Legal Theory to Women's Lives. 1996. Google Books.,+every+woman's+son+is+her+potential+betrayer+and+also+the+inevitable+rapist+or+exploiter+of+another+woman.
  12. "Andrea Dworkin Has Died". Susie Bright's Journal. April 11, 2005.
  13. Dworkin, Andrea. Intercourse: Occupation/Collaberation. 1987. The Andrea Dworkin Online Library.
  14. Young, Cathy. "The Dworkin Whitewash". April 17, 2005. Hit & Run. Reason Magazine.
  15. "The Cesarean Section FAQ". 1999.
  16. Dworkin, Andrea. "The day I was drugged and raped". New Statesman. June 5, 2000.
  17. Honigsbaum, Mark. "Andrea Dworkin, embattled feminist, dies at 58". The Guardian. April 12, 2005.