Monday, August 2, 2010

Dworkin is my hero

I have only really read excerpts from her books and speeches and just today started on reading ok, more like inhaling a book she wrote titled "Intercourse".

She takes what is in the furthermost reaches of my mind, things I dare not speak of, things I dare not even think of, and lays it out on the page for my eager eyes to absorb.

I feel like I am fully understanding the issue of rape for the first time. I have long thought of it as a hate crime, but only with Dworkin now triggering cognitive functioning, do I recognise it for what it truly is; an institutionalised hate crime.

I will believe that the patriarchy has been dismantled successfully and that gender equality (equity as some have suggested I call it) has room to grow and flourish when I can do the following-

-run down the main street naked
-get so intoxicated I pass out
-walk around outside by myself at night time
-sleep naked next to a boy

without the fear that these actions will result in rape or sexual abuse. All of these things a boy can do (invert the last one to read sleep naked next to a woman) without fear of these such repercussions.

"My body, my choice" is only true if you have a penis.

Returning to Dworkin herself, I believe she will be a great source of inspiration for me. Her ability to persevere through extraordinary personal hardships, never losing sight of the goal, never waivering, never allowing people to bully her. These are all things I admire and hope I can live up to. Amazing lady, just amazing. It is true bravery to state without a doubt that something so widely accepted as right, is actually wrong. Especially for decades, especially besieged by critics. When I grow up I want to be Andrea Dworkin, noble and adamant.

Her work is so emotive, scanning through the pages, lapping up every word of beautifully turned prose I was filled with anger. No, that is wrong, I was allowed to feel the anger I was already filled with. It was...liberating. I have never felt so at peace with myself as I do now, admitting I am pissed off has allowed me to relax.

She made me aware of the true horrors of rape, what I feel personally but didn't have the ability to give voice to. The rage and helplessness and fear I felt during my own experiences are of faded hue compared to the rage and helplessness and fear I feel now on behalf of my gender. How can this keep happening? How can it be that people think its normal for women to go out and have to watch their drink like a hawk lest it be spiked. How can people think its normal to have rape crisis centres scattered everywhere. How can people continue to turn a blind eye when it is their sisters, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, friends being raped. Do they not know that rape is torture, murder of the spirit, destruction of freedom. Do they not realise it is an enslavement of all women, to keep us in our places, keep us behaving, so men can maintain their dominance. You better behave! If you go out drinking, if you wear skimpy clothes, if you flirt without giving up the goods, you might be raped! This isn't conjecture, this is reality, the cold hard facts. Argue with that.

Lurking in my pacifist heart are flickerings of a desire for vengence, a subtle hostility towards men I never allowed near the surface. She is right, if all the men who claim the women in their lives are important and equal actually thought that then we wouldn't have the situation we have now. I feel the nagging feelings of doubt towards these men growing in my belly. Being sexually abused by 4 different men by the age of 22 can do that to a girl though I suppose. I wonder if number 5 would/will push me over the edge into fully formed cynicism. Oh well, I guess we will probably find out.

As for the vengence idea I am already putting my plan into action. I am going to follow in Dworkin's footsteps and rally against the patriarchy and everyone who supports it. I will tear them apart with words and they won't like me very much, but I will like myself and I will be able to sleep at night.

I am entitled to what men are, that is all, and that is all I want, why is it so hard? Decades after we gain the right to vote our movement is stalled. Let us come together once more as the feminists of old did, and take what is rightfully ours. I am done begging.


  1. Well, it's been interesting.

    I know I haven't commented in a while, but I have been reading your RSS feed.

    However, it seems it is time for me to depart.

    Enjoy your new Dworkinian Cult. I'm sure you'll have lots to talk about. I hope the robes are flattering.

    Peace, out.

  2. OMG I SOOOOO LOVE YOU RIGHT NOW!!!!! My husband, though obviously tainted by the patriarchy and porn did one thing that absolutely amazed me while we were dating, and led me to KNOW he was the one to marry for better or for worse: We were dating, it was early in the relationship and he took me back to his place, I was MORE than used to giving it up on the first date and subsequently I break up with the guy to avoid the hurt of him not calling or just calling when he was in the mood...but something radical happened that night...we were both hot and bothered after fooling around, and I was not ready to have sex, but wasn't willing to face the possibility of anger and abuse if I refused, so the norm would have just been to let him do whatever he was doing with no protest...but all of a sudden, he stopped before PIV and asked if this was what I REALLY wanted...I was in total shock.. I could feel my jaw drop as I just stared wanting to cry at the absolute joy I had just felt...Now it was cycling through my mind whether or not I was going to say yes even though I was not ready, or was I going to say no and face the possibility of emotional or physical abuse...The fear gripped me and I wanted to say yes...but for some reason it occurred to me that he was asking because he genuinely cared about my well being...I said no and tensed up so badly I was shivering...I flinched as he got up out of bed with a sigh and put his clothes on...I apologized profusely and he insisted it was ok...real genuinely...not with a note of was then that I KNEW no matter what he had done in his past, or what would happen in our future that we were in this TOGETHER..I've lost sight here and there along the way, but the more I see women being abused in subtle ways it reminds me of how my husband may talk and act like a misogynist, that at heart he is just as hurt by the patriarchy as I am...He doesn't question the society we live in, as he doesn't rebel much..he has a desire to fit in, but I still have a way of showing him what I see... He finally accepts my being a feminist even if he doesn't fully agree...but I've already made it apparently clear that my feminist views are not going to change, and that I've always been that way since the dawn of our relationship...the girl he fell in love with, is and always has been a feminist, and it doesn't diminish my love for him even if we don't see eye to eye...

  3. lol beardreel, just cos I like Dworkin doesn't mean I am not open to discussion, I always am. I only allowed your comment as you have been pat of some interesting discussions on my blog. In future if you want to comment please stick to the rules (no insulting). And also say something which adds to the discussion. Otherwise this is indeed the time for you to depart.

  4. Well I think it's more of men feel that Dworkin thinks men are evil, and if I were a man I might feel the same way...they separate themselves from those "bad guys" and scream but I'm nice...I'm nice!!! They can't see past their privilege to see that we as women can't honestly tell who's a nice guy and who's the big bad rapist, because they don't need to walk with that fear. I also gather that they feel as though Dworkin is saying women should be treated with respect, even though feminists killed chivalry through the feminist movement. The reasoning is that as equals we should suffer together, as opposed to as equals we can both rise's rather immature, and indicative of the resentment with the prospect of losing power.

  5. I think a lot of people with opinions about Dworkin haven't actually read any of her stuff. Yes I agree men enjoy having the upperhand and want to keep it that way.