I must clarify what I wrote about Andrea Dworkin in an email the bright light that is Troublecrunk posted on his blog, especially for those uninitiated to her work. I am not trying to undermine her intellect, as many people have done before and in no way do I believe pushing discourse left is a bad thing, obviously. Quite the contrary; I think her radicalism was and continues to be a survivalist tactic, a way to coax rights for women out of a hostile/indifferent status quo. I think her writings are the life-cry of a very brilliant human woman, a life-cry that is necessarily loud and strong, so she doesn’t die from her memories as a prostitute and battered woman. Also, I agree with, and feel deeply, 99.99% of what she says, but my note on her hetero-sex intercourse stance: basically because I cannot wrap my head around the sex-is-violent essay-lecture in Our Blood. When I have more time I will re-read it and write about it here. Also, anyone who’s read Dworkin and wants to discuss it, please email me, link to left.
Hello, I’m still learning and trying to do good.
And as for the porn. Dworkin says:
“Pornography is so important, I think, because of how it touches on every aspect of women’s lower status: economic degradation, dehumanisation, woman hating, sexual domination, systematic sexual abuse. If someone thinks she can get women economic equality, for instance, without dealing in some way with the sexual devaluation of women as such, I say she’s wrong; but I also say work on it, try, organise; I will be there for her, as a resource, carrying picket signs, making speeches, signing petitions, supporting lawsuits for economic equality. But if she thinks the way to advance women is to organise against those of us who are organising against sexual exploitation and abuse, then I say I don’t respect that; it’s horizontal hostility, not feminism. Women willing to let other women do the so-called sex work, be the prostitutes, while they lead respectable professional lives in law or in the academy, frankly, make me sick. I concentrate my energy, however, on uniting with women who want to fight sexual exploitation, not on arguing with women who defend it.”
On the First Amendment argument:
“Here, burning a cross on a black person’s lawn was recently protected as free speech by the Supreme Court. It’s obviously a big subject, but the First Amendment, which keeps Congress from making laws that punish speech, doesn’t say, for instance, that I have a right to say what I want, let alone that I have a right to say it on NBC or CBS. After I have expressed myself, the government isn’t supposed to punish me. But women and people of colour, especially African-Americans, have been excluded from any rights of speech for most of our history. In the US it costs money to have access to the means of speech. If you’re a woman, sexual assault can stop you from speaking; so can almost constant intimidation and threat. The First Amendment was designed to protect white, land-owning men from the power of the state. This was followed by the Second Amendment, which says, “. . . and we have guns”. Women and most blacks were chattels, without any speech rights of any kind. So the First Amendment protects the speech of Thomas Jefferson, but has Sally Hemmings ever said a word anyone knows about? My own experience is that speech is not free; it costs a lot.”

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2 Responses to footnote

  1. exo says:

    i was with you, but it all went donwhill after the “pornography is so important” part. shit. fuck.
    alas, i will no longer patronize certain websites, even if my scam was to download as much of their archives as i could in an arizona caution (fuck red bull) fueled frenzy before the 3-day trial period expired.
    now i’ll have to deal with real women, their problems and all of the growth that real, genuine human interaction requires.
    thank you, ms. shepherd (this last part being said with grudge-ridden regret and sarcasm sprinkled atop.)
    you can only keep your conscience quiet when it has no vocabulary.

  2. edwardo says:

    i like your idea about purple scrunchies being worn as a way to show solidarity and opposition to misogynist rap lyrics

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