Andrea Dworkin Dies, Aged 58

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Apr 13 2005 11:48

I love it. I post on U75 and I'm a hysterical man hater, I post on enrager and I'm anti-feminist.

Ok, fair enough, hands in the air... I have never sat down and read a Dworkin piece in it's entirety. I guess I don't know much about her. I will try and do some reading when I get the time.

BUT, if all she said was some sex is rape, and some porn is bad, then why do people think she was radical then?

Random, don't fucking patronise me like that. Go on then, tell me what feminism is, yr obviously some big authority on the subject....

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Apr 13 2005 11:50

And before you do, here is another of my posts on a different thread... defnding (that's right, defending) another feminist. Read this, and tell me why I don't know what feminism is.

Quote:
As for waht feminists stand for, well feminism is a blanket term used to pull together all kinds of ideas, but broadly speaking I'd guess it to mean an end to patriarchy. Personally, as a libertarian communist/class struggle anarchist, I'd like to see an end to all systems of oppression that exist under capitalism as structures to divide the working class, be this racism, sexism, homophobia or indeed Pop Idol.

As for "women's rights", well overall I'm not too bothered about that, cos whilst I'd like to see women on a level standing as men (hell, call me liberal but it'd be a start!), I don't think "rights" is enough, I don't think that men are particularly "free" or emancipated either. I'd like to see everyone, regardless of gender identity, able to live free, fulfilling lives in a society based on mutual aid and co-operation. In the mean time, however, there is no denying that all over the world women are subject to a very particular oppression, and that patriarchy is one of the most powerful divisive mechanisms utilised under capitalism.

As for gaining the vote... well fuck that, you too have the vote, does that make you feel free? Is that all you want? Somehow only going after a vote and having this farcical idea of representative democracy as your end goal seems to show a spectacular lack of ambition.

Thanks sister...

random
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Apr 13 2005 12:54
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is that all there is to her view on the subject?

no. read some of her work if you are interested in her views.

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if all she said was some sex is rape, and some porn is bad, then why do people think she was radical then?

its not "all she said" is it, shes written massively on the subject over the last four decades. some people do think that the viewpoints that "some sex is rape, some porn is bad" are pretty radical though.

she was a radical feminist. there are different definitions all over the place as to what this is, heres the wikipedia one (i dont think that the wikipedia defintion is necessarily very good but its a start):

Radical feminism is a branch of feminism that views women's oppression as a fundamental element in human society and seeks to challenge that standard by broadly rejecting standard gender roles... Radical feminists believe that society is an oppressive patriarchy, which primarily (or solely) oppresses women.

id say that this was true

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feminism is a blanket term used to pull together all kinds of ideas, but broadly speaking I'd guess it to mean an end to patriarchy

but i wonder how you can understand that and still make such statements as

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She turned me off feminism

this

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I'd like to see everyone, regardless of gender identity, able to live free, fulfilling lives in a society based on mutual aid and co-operation

is pretty much what radical feminists want too. the only difference between what you said and what they say is that they devote themselves specifically to the fight against patriarchy and particularly violence against women. over the decades radical feminists have worked bloody hard to set up rape crisis networks and domestic violence shelters, and to get these things even recognised as societal problems rather than individual problems.

andrea dworkin was of huge importance in getting the world to recognise violence against women. she spent decades talking to and working with survivors of rape, dv, prostitution. she has survived all three herself. i think its fucking lame that some kids can dismiss all this so easily and just call her a piece of shit.

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Apr 13 2005 13:00
random wrote:
some kids

Does she have anything to say about ageism? wink

random
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Apr 13 2005 13:00

and whats with the "sister"? "sisterhood" doesnt mean we always have to be nicey nice and agree with each other, it doesnt mean we're not allowed to criticise each others pov. what coz you're a woman too im not allowed to think you're talking shite (and likewise)? please.

you have your opinions, i have mine. we no doubt have had very different lives and very different reactions to our own experiences. mine are no less valid than yours "sister".

random
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Apr 13 2005 13:04

the 'kids' comment was deliberate. i meant that she died after pioneering in her field over four seperate decades. and yet there are people who havent even read one of her books let alone gathered any real world experience working with women survivors of violence who think they know so much better about it all and dismiss her work as shit not worth reading. as i said, fucking lame.

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Apr 13 2005 13:08

Wendy Brown States of injury.

Now there's a feminist who can see beyond this slave-morality, standpoint, whining shite. Clearly, there's no doubt that women are treated like shit. My problem with Dworkin is that she started off from this groundbreaking insight and stayed there.

To me, it smacks of the worst kind of 80s identity politics.

the button (age 35, in case you were wondering wink )

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Apr 13 2005 13:54
random wrote:
the 'kids' comment was deliberate. i meant that she died after pioneering in her field over four seperate decades. and yet there are people who havent even read one of her books let alone gathered any real world experience working with women survivors of violence who think they know so much better about it all and dismiss her work as shit not worth reading. as i said, fucking lame.

Do you mean me? Ok, I already admitted and apologised for not actually having read her work. We can move on from that.

But as for calling me a kid with no life experience of dealing with survivors of violence... and I'm trying to stay calm and polite here... You actually know NOTHING about me. This much is evident from your post above. Don't you dare assume stuff like that about me and use it as an excuse to patronise me and call me a kid. Or I'll keep calling you sister, just to piss you off.

Seriously tho, you tell me I know nothing about feminism, and then you tell me I'm a kid with no life experience or knowledge of domestic violence. All from knowing absolutely nothing about me. I maynot have read Dworkin, but I sure as hell know a lot about domestic violence and aquaintance rape. However, I'm not about to start listing my "survivor" badges to you.

Sister.

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Apr 13 2005 14:00
zobag wrote:
I'm not about to start listing my "survivor" badges to you.

Fucking right, zobag. And why should you, or anybody? It's the "feminist" equivalent of willy-waving.

Dworkin-style "feminism" is an argument from authority, that authority being derived from victimhood. And is therefore pretty much fucked as the basis for any kind of transformative political practice.

red n black star

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Apr 13 2005 14:05

Thankyou red n black star

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Apr 13 2005 14:09

You're welcome. smile

Even though I'm a bloke (and would therefore be denounced by Dworkin as either a rapist or would-be rapist roll eyes ), the invoking of an injured subjectivity as a way of validating your politics, or of making you "untouchable" & beyond criticism pisses me right off.

Sounding very Foucauldian there. embarrassed

LeonardfromLeom...
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Apr 13 2005 14:11
the button wrote:
Sounding very Foucauldian there. embarrassed

Which brings us onto the subject of under age sex. This is getting even more complicated.....

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Apr 13 2005 14:18

http://www.theory.org.uk/lego-theorists.htm

(the one on the right) tongue

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Apr 13 2005 14:43
LeonardfromLeominster wrote:
the button wrote:
Sounding very Foucauldian there. embarrassed

Which brings us onto the subject of under age sex. This is getting even more complicated.....

It does? I never knew. Maybe a seperate thread is in need...

Wendal
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Apr 13 2005 15:39
the button wrote:

Dworkin-style "feminism" is an argument from authority, that authority being derived from victimhood. And is therefore pretty much fucked as the basis for any kind of transformative political practice.

red n black star

The same thing could be said about Socialism and make just as much sense.

Its not about force, it is about fighting already existing opression, slavery and exploitation. It is also about freedom under responsibility not only folowing any urge that a person might feel. That is the big difference betwen non-anarchist libertines and anarchism.

random
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Apr 13 2005 15:40

zobag

Quote:
Do you mean me?

no, i didnt. sorry if it felt that way. but no, it really wasnt aimed at you. im just fed up of seeing people slag off a woman who has just died when they dont really know anything about her. its really fucking nasty and i kind of expect better from people who claim to give a shit about other people. i mean, debate her ideas, disagree with her ideas, whatever, but is it really necessary to call this woman "shit", full stop? i just have trouble with that level of venom.

and i repeat, i dont mean you. i dont even necessarily mean here. just seen so many unnecessary insults over the past few days. its really fucking wrong.

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Apr 13 2005 15:41
Wendal wrote:
the button wrote:

Dworkin-style "feminism" is an argument from authority, that authority being derived from victimhood. And is therefore pretty much fucked as the basis for any kind of transformative political practice.

red n black star

The same thing could be said about Socialism and make just as much sense.

You're right -- and I would say it about a lot of "socialism."

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Apr 13 2005 16:03

The Button>>>I see you point but it could actualy be said about all socialism and make the same amount of sense(acording to me) and that is not meant as a critique of socialism.

Dworking was as mentioned before not even that much authorian even if she worked inside the spectrum of the laws of her society in debates and actions(like for example Ward Churchill also did). Take for example the fact that she was against censorhsip which makes a lot of sense to me, it is just giving power to the patriarchy which they historicaly has used to attack pro-homosexual literature for example(a censorship which Dworkin also has protested against). UK has for example in 1989 used anti-pornography laws to stop the import of pro-homosexual books.

It is up to us citizens to deal with(and im not talking about trade) the distributors and producers of pornography. black bloc

Laws might do some good but probably not that much since loads of women can be raped on video without the patriarchal state doing that much to prevent it.

The most cruel actions conected to pornography is ilegal anyway so new laws might not do that much good when they are in the hands of a patriarchal regime. Public opinion, sabotage and real survival alternatives for the poorest women of the working class would probably do a whole lot more. Something that i think Dworkin was aware of also.

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Apr 13 2005 16:07
Quote:
States of Injury:

Power and Freedom in Late Modernity

Wendy Brown

Whether in characterizing Catharine MacKinnon's theory of gender as itself pornographic or in identifying liberalism as unable to make good on its promises, Wendy Brown pursues a central question: how does a sense of woundedness become the basis for a sense of identity? Brown argues that efforts to outlaw hate speech and pornography powerfully legitimize the state: such apparently well-intentioned attempts harm victims further by portraying them as so helpless as to be in continuing need of governmental protection. "Whether one is dealing with the state, the Mafia, parents, pimps, police, or husbands," writes Brown, "the heavy price of institutionalized protection is always a measure of dependence and agreement to abide by the protector's rules." True democracy, she insists, requires sharing power, not regulation by it; freedom, not protection.

Refusing any facile identification with one political position or another, Brown applies her argument to a panoply of topics, from the basis of litigiousness in political life to the appearance on the academic Left of themes of revenge and a thwarted will to power. These and other provocations in contemporary political thought and political life provide an occasion for rethinking the value of several of the last two centuries' most compelling theoretical critiques of modern political life, including the positions of Nietzsche, Marx, Weber, and Foucault.

Sorry I haven't got time to respond at any great length, but I seriously recommend this book. It's had more effect on the way I think about class & gender since the vintage anarcho stuff I read when I was a teenager.

random
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Apr 13 2005 21:35

revol where did the pregnancy quote come from please?

random
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Apr 14 2005 08:57

balls. i'll ask around and see if i can trace it. thanks anyway.

random
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Apr 14 2005 13:17

here is a link to AN EXCERPT FROM

MODEL ANTIPORNOGRAPHY CIVIL RIGHTS ORDINANCE that dworkin and mackinnon put together. you can also find the complete text through that link.

Quote:
DEFINITIONS

1. "Pornography" means the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures and/or words, including by electronic or other data retrieval systems, that also includes one or more of the following:

Women are presented dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities.

Women are presented as sexual objects who enjoy humiliation or pain; or as sexual objects experiencing sexual pleasure in rape, incest, or other sexual assault; or as sexual objects tied up, cut up, mutilated, bruised, or physically hurt.

Women are presented in postures or positions of sexual submission, servility, or display.

Women's body parts--including but not limited to vaginas, breasts, or buttocks--are exhibited such that women are reduced to those parts.

Women are presented being penetrated by objects or animals. Women are presented in scenarios of degradation, humiliation, injury, or torture, shown as filthy or inferior, bleeding, bruised, or hurt in a context that makes these conditions sexual.

2. The use of men, children, or transsexuals in the place of women is also pornography for purposes of this law.

CAUSES OF ACTION

It is sex discrimination to:

(1) Coerce, intimidate, or fraudulently induce any person into performing for pornography, which injury may date from any appearance or sale of any product(s) of such performance(s). The maker(s), seller(s), exhibitor(s), and/or distributor(s) of said pornography may be sued for damages and for an injunction, including to eliminate the product(s) of the performance(s) from the public view.

(2) Force pornography on a person in any place of employment, education, home, or any public place. Complaints may be brought only against the perpetrator of the force and/or the entity or institution responsible for the force.

(3) Assault, physically attack, or injure any person in a way that is directly caused by specific pornography. Complaints may be brought against the perpetrator, and/or the maker(s), seller(s), distributor(s), and/or exhibitor(s) of the specific pornography.

(4) Defame any person through the unauthorized use in pornography of their proper name, image, and/or recognizable personal likeness.

(5) Traffic in pornography--to produce, sell, exhibit, or distribute pornography, including through private clubs.

5a This section applies only to pornography made using live or dead human beings and/or animals.

5b Isolated parts shall not be the basis for complaints under this section.

5c Any woman may bring a complaint as a woman acting against the subordination of women. Any man, child, or transsexual who alleges injury by pornography in the way women are injured by it may also complain.

Quote:

which parts do you object to and why?

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Apr 14 2005 13:19
the button wrote:

Whether in characterizing Catharine MacKinnon's theory of gender as itself pornographic or in identifying liberalism as unable to make good on its promises, Wendy Brown pursues a central question: how does a sense of woundedness become the basis for a sense of identity? Brown argues that efforts to outlaw hate speech and pornography powerfully legitimize the state: such apparently well-intentioned attempts harm victims further by portraying them as so helpless as to be in continuing need of governmental protection. "Whether one is dealing with the state, the Mafia, parents, pimps, police, or husbands," writes Brown, "the heavy price of institutionalized protection is always a measure of dependence and agreement to abide by the protector's rules." True democracy, she insists, requires sharing power, not regulation by it; freedom, not protection.

Refusing any facile identification with one political position or another, Brown applies her argument to a panoply of topics, from the basis of litigiousness in political life to the appearance on the academic Left of themes of revenge and a thwarted will to power. These and other provocations in contemporary political thought and political life provide an occasion for rethinking the value of several of the last two centuries' most compelling theoretical critiques of modern political life, including the positions of Nietzsche, Marx, Weber, and Foucault.

For those reasons. Whether I agree or disagree on their understanding of porn is not the issue for me.[/b]

random
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Apr 14 2005 13:36

hi button, not ignoring you, just not got much time, but thanks for answering.

revol, ive been searching and searching to find out where that quote comes from, and i can only find two places - the one you gave, and one which leads me to nadine strossens book "defending pornography". im assuming that the man whose site you linked to got his info and that quote from this book, because nadine strossen is also the originator of the word "macdworkinite" that he uses.

does anyone have a copy of "Defending Pornography" by Nadine Strossen, and if so please could you try and find the origin of the "Pregnancy is confirmation that the woman has been fucked" quote? i would be very grateful.

cheers

random
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Apr 14 2005 14:29

found it! god it took ages. for those who may be interested, the quote is from "Pornography" where dworkin is specifically discussing pornography about pregnancy and reads:

Quote:
In the male sexual system, the pregnant woman is a particular sex object: she shows her sexuality through her pregnancy. The display marks her as a whore. Her belly is her sex. Her belly is proof that she has been used. her belly is his phallic triumph. One does not abort his victory. The right wing must have its proof, its triumph; she, a woman of sex, must be marked. The pregnant woman is the sexual obsession of the right wing male sexual mentality; that obsession kept secret but acted on in public policy that forbids abortion. The pregnancy is punishment for her participation in sex. She will get sick, her body will go wrong in a thousand different ways, she will die. The sexual excitement is in her possible death. Her body that tried to kill the sperm being killed by it. Even in pregnancy, the possibility of her death is the excitement of sex.

i still cant find anything else about the "surgical fuck" part, which is the bit i really wanted, but there you go. keep trying i guess.

i think when the quote above is complete it reads very differently to the cut down version. i mean, its an attack specifically on right wing men and not an attack on women at all. cant say i understand it very well though. but i havent actually seen any pregnancy porn so maybe it would make more sense if i had.

random
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Apr 14 2005 16:40
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Oh yeah and the site i got the quote about Dworkin from is not ran by a man! It is ran by a feminist woman, stop assuming things you muppet.

the site is www.alexanderrenault.com, the site belongs to alexander renault, and the article is by alexander renault. there is a picture of him here with his dogs. i dont take issue with him being a man at all, i was just telling you where he got this particular quote from. It was from Defending Pornography by Nadine Strossen. Somehow i thought that seeing as you were using that quote to back up your low opinion of andrea dworkin, that you might want to know where it originated. Silly me.

as it is, the quote itself is completely out of context and doesnt appear to have much in common at all with what she actually wrote. half a sentence from here and a few words from there makes a patchwork that doesnt actually tell us what she was saying at all. i mean, anyone can make anyone else seem like theyre saying pretty much anything by doing that. its total misinformation.

as is

Quote:
why is it you always assume that people who disagree with you are men?

i dont assume anything of the sort. dont try and portray me as some man hating crazy woman. i said "im assuming that the man whose site you linked to got his info and that quote from this book, because nadine strossen is also the originator of the word "macdworkinite" that he uses." where on earth do you see the insult in that sentence? should i have said "the person" or "the human" or something else? would that have been better? i wasnt trying to make an issue out of the fact that it was written by a man. youve suddenly gone all PC.

si
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Apr 14 2005 17:39

I really need to read Dworkin, at length and in depth. I still really want to believe that she is essentially a cultural theorist (or anthropologist?), however misguided, examining society as it stands. And perhaps being sensationalist for publicity or stylistic purposes...

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Apr 14 2005 18:06
si wrote:
I really need to read Dworkin, at length and in depth. I still really want to believe that she is essentially a cultural theorist (or anthropologist?), however misguided, examining society as it stands. And perhaps being sensationalist for publicity or stylistic purposes...

Andrea Dworkin is by no means an anthropologist. Anthropological research is based on participant observation, and trying to understand and articualte the views and experiences of others through their own explainations and accounts. Nothing she did is anthropological in any way.

random
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Apr 16 2005 11:56

revol and button

ive been and am really busy but i didnt want you to think i wasnt responding to your answers to my questions. i will as soon as i can!

zobag,

you already said you havent read anything by dworkin. from what i understand, you know very little about her or her work, written or otherwise. so why do you still feel you can declare what her work is or isnt?

Quote:
Anthropological research is based on participant observation, and trying to understand and articualte the views and experiences of others through their own explainations and accounts.

andrea dworkin spent much of her time over four decades working and speaking and most importantly listening to women about their experiences of male violence, including women working in the sex industry. the existence of women that disagree with her does not negate the existence of women who agree with her, or the existence of women who fall somewhere in between. she did try to understand and articulate the views and experiences of others through their own explanations and accounts. it is partly due to dworkins work that we are even aware of the huge amount of (mostly in private) violence against women.

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Apr 16 2005 15:47

Woah, woah, woah!!! I wasn't trying to slag her off or discredit her for not being an anthropologist or anything. I was just saying, that from an academic point of view, her work is not considered anthropological. She's a cultural theorist. I'm basing this assertion from having studied both anthropology and cultural theory - Dworkin's work came up in the latter. If you go into a library, you'll find Dworkin in gender studies or cultural studies, not anthropology.

Yes I know I haven't read any of her work, but she has come up in lectures etc, and she's just not an anthropologist. That's not trying to undermine her, it's just, well, true.