More on Andrea Dworkin - Man-Hater....
In my blog on Andrea Dworkin's death, I included a few of her male-hating quotes over the years. But, can you believe the obits? On CBC today, Michael Enright has a guest waxing lyrically about Andrea and about how she was misunderstood. Here's a good corrective to most of what has been published on Dworkin from Reason online:
Whatever her defenders may say, Dworkin was a relentless preacher of hatred toward men ("Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman" -- Our Blood, 1976, p. 20), masculinity, and male sexuality -- which she described as "intrinsically drunk on its contempt for all life, but especially for women's lives" (Letters from a War Zone, 1989, p. 14). Yes, she apparently had genuine and even warm affection for some men in her own life, and spent her last 20 years with a male companion she eventually married (John Stoltenberg, a MacDworkinite feminist and practically a poet of male self-loathing). But no one would absolve a male misogynist on the grounds that he loved his mother and sister, or had a devoted wife who embraced his ideology.
Whatever her defenders say, Dworkin was anti-sex. No, she may not have ever written the actual words "All sex is rape" or "All sexual intercourse is rape." But she did extensively argue, in particular in the 1987 book, Intercourse, that (1) all heterosexual sex in our "patriarchal" society is coercive and degrading to women, and (2) sexual penetration may by its very nature doom women to inferiority and submission, and "may be immune to reform." A chapter from the book, filled with such insights as, "Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women," can be found here. (Again, 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"?) In the 1976 book, Our Blood (p. 13), Dworkin had this to say about a feminist transformation of sexuality: "For men I suspect that this transformation begins in the place they most dread -- that is, in a limp penis. I think that men will have to give up their precious erections and begin to make love as women do together." (Gee... can you say "castrating"?)