March 7, 2019

"The collection contains Dworkin’s more outrageous assertions, the ones that repelled me as a young woman and concerned critics like my mom and other pro-sex feminists..."

"... that men need to forgo their 'precious erections' and 'make love as women do together.' That pornography 'incarnates male supremacy' and is 'the DNA of male dominance.' That all intercourse, while not literally rape, violates the integrity of a woman’s body, that women who want it are 'experiencing pleasure in their own inferiority.' What women really want, she argues, is 'a more diffuse and tender sexuality.' (Speak for yourself!) Her lens was dark as hell: 'We are very close to death,' she said in a speech about rape. 'All women are.'...  In many ways, my views about feminism were shaped by the disagreement about the role of sex in women’s liberation, which morphed into the 'sex wars' of the late 1970s and 1980s — the 'anti-sex' feminists on one side, the 'pro-sex' feminists on the other... With the right to sexual pleasure safely a tenet of modern feminism, [Dworkin's] writing ... galvanizes me to dispense with likeability and embrace indignation.... Next to the vacant, rah-rah version of sex positivity I grew up with in the ’90s, Dworkin’s rage seems downright clear-eyed.... Last Days at Hot Slit is a mirror for what I’ve been afraid of for years: being defiant, being ugly, being unloved by men, even being unloved by other feminists like Andrea Dworkin."

From "Sex, Lies, and Andrea Dworkin" by Nona Willis Aronowitz (New York Magazine).

51 comments:

Ryan said...

I wonder if Andrea Dworkin would have had the same views if she looked like a supermodel.

Guimo said...

Instead of “hot slit,” I prefer a whimsy mimsy.

traditionalguy said...

Call Camille Paglia! The sex police are suddenly seeking new crimes to police..

Sebastian said...

'We are very close to death,' she said in a speech about rape. 'All women are.'"

So true. But then, men are even closer to death, dying years earlier than women on average.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...


"I wonder if Andrea Dworkin would have had the same views if she looked like a supermodel."

Nothing wrong with being schooled by our pain. Look at Adol...never mind.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Is it worth pointing out that Aronowitz's very next paragraph after the "death" statement starts with the word "But"?

But I also discovered...

Lucid-Ideas said...

I can't remember who said it, but someone once remarked that feminism was womens' secular expression of their desire to get revenge on and inability to forgive god for making them women.

I freely acknowledge that being a woman naturally comes with a few hardships, but they really need to 'take that up' with the man upstairs, not the man in the living room.

Bay Area Guy said...

Darn, these angry feminists are a total buzzkill. Not a fan of ditzy Kim Kardashian, but, jeez, at least you could probably have a nice cup of coffee together, without a lengthy, spittle-infused monologue about feminist liberation theory.

Lee Moore said...

This seems to have been generated by some sort of random word generator. Makes Ulysses seem like a walk in the park.

SDaly said...

Feminism is neurotic Jewish socialist women arguing with each other about what form the revolution should take.

Ken B said...

“Rage”. It's always “rage” never just anger, and it is always worshipped.

J. Farmer said...

Dworking is actually someone who I have come to admire more over time and somewhat temper my opinion of. During the 90s when I was a teenager and started reading Paglia, I would've considered myself squarely in the camp of her so called "sex-positive feminism." I had extremely libertarian and even bohemian attitudes towards sexuality and sexual expression and similarly opposed almost any limits on pornography, prostitution, or any consensual sexual behavior.

While I am still pretty much a libertarian on a lot of these sexual issues, I have found that growing up (and especially going into clinical practice), I have come to regard sexuality with a lot less frivolity. The fact is that every moral system that has ever been devised in human history has placed constraints on sexual expression. And that's because human sexuality is highly prone to exploitation and abuse.

I did not ultimately agree with Dworkin's political views on pornography, but I do think she had important sociological observations to make about the phenomenon. And I have become more sympathetic to Dworkin's point of view. It was sad the way Dworkin was abandoned by so many activist feminists because her anti-pornography activism point her on the same side as (gasp!) the Christian right. Wendy Shalit covered some similar ground from a conservative feminist perspective in her book A Return to Modesty.

Mr. Majestyk said...

"Bullshit cleanup in aisle 9"

Mr Wibble said...

The fact is that every moral system that has ever been devised in human history has placed constraints on sexual expression. And that's because human sexuality is highly prone to exploitation and abuse.

Human sexuality is an incredibly powerful force and incredibly destructive. The restrictions on sexuality may not always be pleasant, but once they're gone it's pretty obvious how important they actually were.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Nonsense stops being nonsense the moment you find some even worse nonsense. True fact!

n.n said...

We're not children anymore. Reconcile. Oh, and Pro-Choice... two choices too late.

Also, enough with the male and female chauvinism. Enough with diversity and unprincipled painting people with a monochromatic colorism.

Big Mike said...

As long as there are women who pay the slightest attention to Dworkin, that is all the proof anyone needs that men really are the superior sex. Repeal the 19th Amendment!

Eleanor said...

I don't know how any woman who experienced having a new life growing inside of her, waiting in anticipation of the day she could hold it in her arms, and knowing only women in our species can ever know that experience could ever think women were short-changed in the division of the sexes. I think it might be why most of the really angry feminists are lesbians. None of the inconveniences of being female can ever overshadow the joy of childbirth, but if you forego the experience, only the incoveniences of having that ability remain.

Paddy O said...

"The fact is that every moral system that has ever been devised in human history has placed constraints on sexual expression"
"Human sexuality is an incredibly powerful force and incredibly destructive."

The current status is not lacking morality but having an almost entirely incoherent approach.

Sex is meaningless and just something people do, while also being all important and the basis of human identity.

It's actually religious too, though not in a theistic way. Religion is ultimately about human thriving and meaning, so to have an incoherent perspective on sexuality is to foster significant confusion, alienation from self, and social instability.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

It's insane to even consider this Dworkin insanity.

Anonymous said...

J.Farmer: While I am still pretty much a libertarian on a lot of these sexual issues, I have found that growing up (and especially going into clinical practice), I have come to regard sexuality with a lot less frivolity[...]

I did not ultimately agree with Dworkin's political views on pornography, but I do think she had important sociological observations to make about the phenomenon.


I've never read anything Dworkin wrote, so I refrain from having an opinion on her. However, I do know people whose intelligence I respect who thought it worthwhile to engage seriously with (at least some of) her writings. So I won't conclude out of hand that "hey, she was fat and ugly and all fucked-up" covers all bases worth covering re Dworkin.

I did acquaint myself with "sex positive" feminists back in the day, and wasn't impressed, though I thought their label apt. Glib, puerile, and sounding like it was lifted from a '70s-era deodorant commercial, "sex-positive" has got to be the unsexiest self-chosen epithet ever.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

I believe Dworkin never procreated, and if so, that is a blessing to the world.

Henry said...

I don't think it's insane to consider something insane.

Aronowitz comes out, at the end of this article, arguing for broader experience, not lesser.

She quotes her mom writing about the Sex Pistols: “Music that boldly and aggressively laid out what the singer wanted, loved, hated challenged me to do the same ... the form encouraged my struggle for liberation.”

The idea is pro-expression and pro-free-speech. It's anti-snowflake.

Stare into the abyss long enough and you can work on a kick-ass stare.

Kevin said...

I don't think she's particularly ugly. However, I was just looking at pics, and not actually listening to her speak.

That's what always amazes me about some people like her and Lena Dunham for example. They go on about what society says about their outward appearance and at least imply the old adage that "it's what's inside that counts." But some of these women with mountain-sized chips on their shoulders aren't as ugly as they think they are on the outside, and are monstrous on the inside, "where it counts".

Trumpit said...

I like the name "Nona." When you don't know what to name you baby, call her Nona, which is short for "no name."

JohnAnnArbor said...

Some people seem to have a lot of spare time if they come up with stuff like this.

Scott M said...

And other commentors here thought I was crazy a few years ago when I brought up the fact that radfems think PIV is rape. This is, barely, one step removed from that. She says it's not literally rape, but it's a violation of the woman's body. How's that not rape (by their logic)

BJM said...

It will be interesting to watch the fem left try to square the circle of the patriarchal family/child oriented Catholic illegals they endorse legalizing.

Lucien said...

The way Dworkin spelled “Amerika” always tickled me. Such a giveaway.

rhhardin said...

Feminists don't understand male sexuality. It's actually all in the brain, and what's sought is a hormone rush to turn it off for a while.

Unlike in females, in males an orgasm is only an end, not itself the point.

rhhardin said...

Topology lesson: the vagina is outside a woman, not inside. That's how a penis can get there.

rhhardin said...

Being moved [Attendrissement], suffering without suffering, [voluptuosity] is consoled already, complacent in its suffering. Being moved is a pity that is complacent, a pleasure, a suffering transformed into happiness-- voluptuosity. And in this sense voluptuosity begins already in erotic desire and remains desire at each instant. Voluptuosity does not come to gratify desire; it is this desire itself. This is why voluptuosity is not only impatient, but is impatience itself, breathes impatience and chokes with impatience, surprised by its end, for it goes without going to an end.

- Levinas

Earnest Prole said...

Didn't we do this before?

Lucid-Ideas said...

In several ex-relationships, I began to notice something about how young women are beginning to perceive the world, sex, and 'being a woman'.

There has been this marked shift from perceiving that people (specifically men) and society have been making the world nicer for women because it's the nice thing to do to a perception that women deserve people (specifically men) and society to make the world nicer for them.

This deserve concept is very much a modern perception.

Your modern Western woman is the most pampered, protected, and secured creature that has ever walked on two legs but they have completely disconnected the reason for why the world developed into this with how they deserve it to be this way simply for being a woman.

That is incorrect and a lot of young women are seeing a lot of young men opening their eyes to a raw deal.

No. Your vagina does not entitle you to safety anymore than my dick entitles it to me or obligates me to provide it to you. They need - as Camille Paglia has often opined - someone to do civilization's heavy lifting because they certainly can't do it themselves and the sexual power they used to use in coercing this effort has markedly depreciated entirely through fault of their own.

Despite this there are tons of girls in the West and abroad that still enjoy the binary and view sexual polity as a team effort which is great for men like me. Feminists are going to be and are currently being left in the dust.

walter said...

I can imagine how sex with Dworkin would have been a violent act.

Oso Negro said...

The dworkin unit is measure of female rage and ugliness

Unknown said...

This is what happens when most of the spokeswomen for feminism are either lesbians or crazy or both. They cannot even imagine how great hetero sex is. To call all sex rape is just deranged.

Someone pointed out that every society has placed bounds on sexuality (or tried to). The reason is that sex is not just about sex but is about children and throughout history children with only a mother probably died. Marriage is about ensuring the survival of children and traditionally the inheritance of property by them (which helped them survive). Those who want just free sex ignore all this and also ignore at their peril that sex causes the release of bonding hormones, no matter how useless or dangerous your sex partner is. So you bond with a deadbeat or someone just wrong for you--that is what casual sex does.

chickelit said...

I agree with Earnest Prole — this feels like a rerun. Althouse seems to be reaching for something still unfulfilled with her caasting about Dworkin.

alanc709 said...

If feminists ban hetero sex, lets see where 3rd generation feminists come from.

Shouting Thomas said...

Sexual pleasure didn’t exist before feminism.

Feminism is the dumbest fucking ideology in history.

Birkel said...

Fish and their bicycles and other feminist rants.
Discuss.

Wince said...

That all intercourse, while not literally rape, violates the integrity of a woman’s body, that women who want it are 'experiencing pleasure in their own inferiority.' What women really want, she argues, is 'a more diffuse and tender sexuality.'

Who's this Dworkin person?

Bob Kraft's attorney?

Fernandinande said...

Who's this Dworkin person?

She's standing on a box down in city park yelling about experiencing the tender inferiority of her pleasure in standing on a box in city park and yelling about experiencing the tender inferiority of her pleasure in standing on a box in city park and yelling about some other stuff.

Otto said...

Actually i feel sorry for these feminist whores when they get old and ugly and can see why they have such resentment and turn to lesbianism. And if by chance they can write , they have an avenue to display their resentment under the guise of feminism. And of course the source of the shit life they have is not because of the poor choices they made early in life buy because they were sexually assaulted by some male in their youth.
Always remember modern feminism ( roe vs wade) was established because a whore (roe) felt that a baby would hinder her whoring for drug money.



JackWayne said...

I make it a point to never read shit by people I consider stupid or ignorant or insane.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"We'd rather be fucked-up than get fucked"

"dworkin'" should be a verb describing the behavior of a maladjusted feminist

"She used to be normal around guys, but now she's totally into dworkin."

rcocean said...

Dworkin was an ugly lesbian - who probably never had sex. That presumably normal females take her seriously,reinforces the troglodyte belief that most women shouldn't be allowed to vote.

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althouse comment account 4000 said...

"That all intercourse, while not literally rape, violates the integrity of a woman’s body"

Gotta specify intercourse, otherwise the ol' abortion doctor, sticking his tool up through Vagina Valley, past Cervix Gate, into Uterus Redoubt, and scrape-scrape-scraping away while some Paul Robeson dreck plays from a speaker cleverly hidden behind a dying ficus over there in the corner of what the abortion doc calls his operating room but containing (as the proper feminist can't help but notice as she lies there and thinks of something, anything else) water-stained acoustic tiles overhead and cracked linoleum underfoot, well, that ol' abortion doctor would also be violating the integrity of a woman's body.

Moloch grant the feminist a female abortionist! Then the insertions and scrapings and removals and disposals would merely be those tender expressions of love—not violations of a woman's body, no sir and no thank you!—that occur when two women "make love as women do together".

"Let's take a life together," whispers the female abortionist to the feminist, and her heart is going like mad and yes she says yes we will yes.

Lurker21 said...

Nona Willis-Aronowitz is the daughter of Stanley Aronowitz and Ellen Willis, two left-wing writers. I wonder if it's really about pro-sex and anti-sex feminists, or if it's more a conflict between those who accept heterosexuality and those who reject it, those who can live with men and those who want to live very much with out them, and those who don't reject penetration and those who do reject it. Do we read Dworkin as hating men and everything about them, or as hating all forms of sex? Maybe it's more revealing if we think of her as a latter-day Puritan, loathing the body and everything to do with it, rather than as a woman who had it in for men. It's interesting, too, that she found all forms of penetration a violation of the individual at a time when on the other side of the fence, male homosexuals were celebrating penetration and attacking what they regarded as the exaggerated value put on that individual bodily inviolability of those who resisted it.

For Dworkin, power seems to have been at the root of everything. The same analysis can be applied to everything. You can see her own thinking as a reflection of her own will to power (or of her own personal psychology). In response, she'd probably stress that her ideas were liberating or progressive, rather than constraining and reactionary, but does such a crabbed, cynical, morbid view of life, the body and relationships really point the way to further free development for human beings?