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After all of the hype I ve heard about Dworkin, I found her book terribly mild to what I was expecting I loved her style, though blatant, angry, and poetic all at the same time.I m completely befuddled now about her supposed man hating approach This is what I usually heard from others who claimed to have properly read her, but I never saw the typographical proof Perhaps I m reading the wrong book As far as I can tell, Dworkin doesn t hate masculinity she hates patriarchy She doesn t hate After all of the hype I ve heard about Dworkin, I found her book terribly mild to what I was expecting I loved her style, though blatant, angry, and poetic all at the same time.I m completely befuddled now about her supposed man hating approach This is what I usually heard from others who claimed to have properly read her, but I never saw the typographical proof Perhaps I m reading the wrong book As far as I can tell, Dworkin doesn t hate masculinity she hates patriarchy She doesn t hate men she hates the men that perpetuate said patriarchy All sex is rape under the constraints of patriarchy, which therefore means it can change for the better if patriarchy gets the proper boot Why is this so difficult for others to understand Perhaps we really are a culture that secretly loves to be offended Or maybe we never want to admit to being a part of a problem, intentionally or otherwise We re too proud.It s one thing to rationally disagree with her hey, we all think differently , but to call her out on erroneous claims tells me either 1 the reader wasn t paying close enough attention, or 2 the reader went in with a massive chip on their shoulder Garbage in, garbage out That s my motto in any aspect of literature You expect a book to suck, it s probably gonna suck until you change your attitude And if the book still sucks, at least then you ll know you were actually right So I ve finally read a book by Dworkin I m happy I did so and will likely read some of her other things.And now, at least, whenever somebody begins to call her out for this book, I can begin to press Did you actually read it I guess she truly is one of the most misrepresented, misinterpreted, and misunderstood authors of modern time That s a shame It sounds cliche but this book changed my life I recall making the decision to read it for the first time, knowing I would not be the same at its conclusion As a liberal feminist, I was fully aware of the mythos surrounding Dworkin and what a derisive figure she was Suffice to say, at the end of Intercourse I realized that liberal feminism was simply re branding womens oppression for convenience, and that liberation was not so easy I was well on my way to becoming one of those difficult lad It sounds cliche but this book changed my life I recall making the decision to read it for the first time, knowing I would not be the same at its conclusion As a liberal feminist, I was fully aware of the mythos surrounding Dworkin and what a derisive figure she was Suffice to say, at the end of Intercourse I realized that liberal feminism was simply re branding womens oppression for convenience, and that liberation was not so easy I was well on my way to becoming one of those difficult ladies, a kill joy and proud of it a real feminist not the fun kind Dworkin speaks of consent without catering to males, or anyones hurt feelings, or your feminist boyfriends feelings Which is most likely why men are so terrified of this text Dissenters ans those interested in upholding patriarchal society have woven quite a contemptuous picture of Dworkin take a look at the Dworkin Lie Detector Intercourse is the book I recommend to friends who are interested in true liberation, not this hugh hefner equality crap that people seem to be stuck on Given its reputation, I was expecting hoping for something angrier and evenradical This is mostly a very reasonable bookLiberals refuse categorically to inquire into even a possibility that there is a relationship between intercourse per se and the low status of women What intercourse isfor women and what it doesto women s identity, privacy, self respect, self determination, and integrity are forbidden questions and yet how can a radical or any woman who wanats freedom not askGiven its reputation, I was expecting hoping for something angrier and evenradical This is mostly a very reasonable bookLiberals refuse categorically to inquire into even a possibility that there is a relationship between intercourse per se and the low status of women What intercourse isfor women and what it doesto women s identity, privacy, self respect, self determination, and integrity are forbidden questions and yet how can a radical or any woman who wanats freedom not ask precisely these questions The quality of the sensation or the need for a man or the desire for love these are not answers to questions of freedom they are diversions into complicity and ignorance This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Honestly, reading this book reminded me of looking at modern art or eating at one of those restaurants that puts half a grape and a squirt of ketchup on a giant plate, calling it cuisine Everyone knows it s splattered paint and half a grape, but everyone pretends it s fine art and cuisine in order to show society they are smarter andcultured than the average Joe This book is, quite frankly, drivel I was expecting social commentary Instead, I found mostly literary criticism But, not ev Honestly, reading this book reminded me of looking at modern art or eating at one of those restaurants that puts half a grape and a squirt of ketchup on a giant plate, calling it cuisine Everyone knows it s splattered paint and half a grape, but everyone pretends it s fine art and cuisine in order to show society they are smarter andcultured than the average Joe This book is, quite frankly, drivel I was expecting social commentary Instead, I found mostly literary criticism But, not even good literary criticism Her writing is disjointed, flowery, and her ideas are poorly developed I often found myself thinking and saying out loud from time to time , what the hell does that sentence even mean I wouldn t be surprised if Dworkin herself couldn t answer the question She was riffing ranting splattering paint on canvas I was so excited to read this book the same sort of excited I become when I m about to read a conservative Christian book about women pandering to and submitting to men See Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin Liberated Through Submission by Bunny Wilson These books are such great fodder for dinner discussions with my husband It s fun to be shocked by inanity and dissect it with someone who sees the world the same way I do But, alas, this book wasof a chore than a conversation starter Phew I feel much better getting that out of my system.I found much of what Dworkin said to be offensive and ridiculous Especially ridiculous was her assertion that women have become collaborators in their own oppression She asserts that women who enjoy men and sex have been brainwashed into accepting the male perspective on sex and sexuality This is a perfect example of why I oppose feminist ideals I do not see women as pathetic victims of their circumstance Instead of seeing people who simply disagree, Dworkin sees captives I often find that feminists have worse opinions of women than they claim men do as is evident in Dworkin s work not only in her assessment of women who disagree with her, but also her acceptance and appreciation for what Joan of Arc supposedly said of other women If Dworkin believed what she claimed in the book, what does it say of her that she stands by someone who insulted the gender she is supposedly trying to shine the light of liberation upon The portrait of women painted by every piece of this book is one of weakness and victim hood I would say Dworkin is as much a woman hater as the men she takes to task in these pages.The most offensive part of this book was Dworkin s comparison of the holocaust and sexual politics There is no analogue anywhere among subordinate groups to this experience of being made for intercourse for penetration, entry, occupation There is no analog in occupied countries or in dominated races or imprisoned dissidents or in colonized cultures or in the submission of children to adults or in the atrocities that have marked the twentieth century ranging from Auschwitz to the Gulag There is nothing exactly the same, and this is not because the political invasion and significance of intercourse is banal up against these other hierarchies and brutalities Intercourse is a particular reality for women as an inferior class and it has in it, as part of it, violation of boundaries, taking over, occupation, destruction of privacy, all of which are construed to be normal and also fundamental to continuing human existence.This is only one of many references Dworkin makes to the holocaust, including quotes from Hitler One might try to assert that Dworkin was referring to only rape But I believe that assertion would be a disingenuous one Anyone who has read the book knows Dworkin makes no distinction between rape, prostitution and sex Quite the contrary Dworkin asserts that people who do make distinctions between those are collaborators to their oppression In any case, Dworkin s choice to invoke the holocaust is offensive and should discredit anything she has to say.Dworkin does have one thing in common with the authors I mentioned above Wilson Andelin She took tiny nuggets of truth and wrapped them in layers of bullshit to justify her ignorant assertions Yes, women have been mistreated in the past Yes, there are many places in the world today where women continue to be mistreated Yes, some men in the developed world hate women Yes, some men in the developed world find women dirty and inherently inferior Yes, some men misuse women sexually But those things do not make truth of the drivel Dworkin offered up in Intercourse I went into this book expecting something far simpler angry, caricatured polemic easy to dismiss and depressing to read Instead I found an extraordinary piece of writing that will echo through my head for some time to come as a dark, apocalyptic vision of hyper gendered sexuality that appalls and disturbs to the core, even as I struggle to reject it.Difficult, confrontational, unpleasant, idiosyncratic, exasperating but also full of beautiful, surging almost chant like prose, compelli I went into this book expecting something far simpler angry, caricatured polemic easy to dismiss and depressing to read Instead I found an extraordinary piece of writing that will echo through my head for some time to come as a dark, apocalyptic vision of hyper gendered sexuality that appalls and disturbs to the core, even as I struggle to reject it.Difficult, confrontational, unpleasant, idiosyncratic, exasperating but also full of beautiful, surging almost chant like prose, compelling ideas and powerful polemic, Intercourse is not a book that can be easily digested or ignored Dworkin s apocalyptic perspective often overwhelms her analysis, and I was frequently infuriated by her relentlessly single minded interpretations But reading Intercourse made me understand why Dworkin was so often described as a powerful public speaker, because her written prose is suffused with the rolling rhythms and repetitions of an old school rabble rousing preacher, driven by a slowly building intensity and righteous conviction that makes the final chapters roar like a raging hurricane of fury I don t want to sound like a convert there s plenty in Dworkin s politics that makes me deeply uneasy But I can totally see why her impact on the feminist movement and the wider debates around sexuality and pornography in contemporary society was so significant I recently read Gail Dines Pornland, which I found simplistic, patronising and shallow Compared with Dines, Dworkin is infinitelyinteresting Anyone who hates Dworkin should at least give this book a chance before forming an intractable opinion.Merging feminist literary criticism with political polemic, Intercourse lays out a psycho social political analysis of heterosexual fucking, with chapters on Possession, Dirt, Law, Stigma, Virginity, Repulsion and Communion Dworkin uses historical and literary texts to explore the meanings intercourse has for women and men, the ways in which women internalise male dominance through sex, the us Anyone who hates Dworkin should at least give this book a chance before forming an intractable opinion.Merging feminist literary criticism with political polemic, Intercourse lays out a psycho social political analysis of heterosexual fucking, with chapters on Possession, Dirt, Law, Stigma, Virginity, Repulsion and Communion Dworkin uses historical and literary texts to explore the meanings intercourse has for women and men, the ways in which women internalise male dominance through sex, the use of rape and racial sexualisation as a political weapon, and sex as redemption The chapter on Virginity stands out as a loving ode to Joan of Arc s militant defiance of traditional femininity Dworkin contrasts Joan s notorious virginity, a rebellion against women s sexual servitude, with the descent into adultery which destroys Madame Bovary Another notable chapter is Communion, in which she uses James Baldwin s Another Country and Giovanni s Room to explore emotionally powerful sex With this grace, fucking can be a communion, a sharing, mutual possession of an enormous mystery it has the intensity and magnificence of violent feeling transformed into tenderness page 76.Dworkin s arguments in this book are often summarized as all sex is rape, a sloppy truncation of her complex, historical analysis of the ways gender constructs intercourse, and intercourse constructs gender Dworkin never once claims that all sex is rape she emphasizes the fact that heterosexual intercourse always takes place within a social context of male dominance For example, Most women are not distinct, private individuals to most men and so the fuck tends towards the class assertion of dominance Women live inside this reality of being owned and being fucked are sensate inside it the body learning to respond to what male dominance offers as touch, as sex, as love, p.83 Dworkin describes fucking as an social institution which perpetuates and protects patriarchy through asserting male ownership over women male virility and female inferiority , and by regulating through punishment who can fuck who and how the chapter on Law has a detailed explication of sodomy laws and prohibitions of homosexuality.To characterize Dworkin as anti sex is grossly simplistic rather, she locates her politics in an embodied critique of sexual power dynamics and constructions of gender, arguing that in a patriarchal society, female self determination is always already shaped by male dominance Therefore, what heterosexual sex means for and feels like to women must be understood as a product of centuries of patriarchal rule Though marred as a biological essentialist by some critics, Dworkin s actual analysis isalong the lines of poetic marxism she writes lyrically about women s experiences of fucking, grounded in the particular historical, social, political context of Western patriarchy When Dworkin says, There is never a real privacy of the body that can coexist with intercourse with being entered The thrusting is persistent invasion, she is not describing what she sees as an essential, objective condition of being a woman, but rather she depicts the socially inscribed ontology of femininity which has arisen from the context of male domination Patriarchy needs to construct women as fundamentally different from men, so it emphasizes the penetrability of the vagina, and the female body s lack of privacy, because men do not have vaginas and women do Patriarchy also brutally demonizes the penetration of men, sodomy, because for men to be fucked the way women are fucked challenges this sexual power structure, the rigid dichotomy of gender.Queer readers may find Dworkin s focus on heterosexual sex rather narrowly normative, and indeed she fails to consider lesbian eroticism, or the subversion of queer identities, despite some discussion of gay sexuality Her analysis relies on making a lot of generalizations about women and men s interactions, mostly void of cultural specificity, which basically amounts to her universalising a white subject position The only chapter which really acknowledges race and cultural difference is Dirt Death, which connects narratives of feminine sordidness with constructions of racial inferiority used to condone violence against African Americans and Jews These narratives, perpetuated by dominant whites, portray all women, but particularly women of colour as inherently degraded and therefore rapable Racially motivated rape is considerably protected by the misogyny that finds the rape of women as such no atrocity at all pg.224 The fact that discussion of racial difference is limited to one chapter is problematic in a book which is supposed to consider intercourse in general separating and containing her discussion of race this way reveals that the rest of her analysis is centered on white heterosexuality.Stylistically, Dworkin has a tendency to repeat herself, belabour a point, and use a startling number of semi colons But while this book is limited in scope and subject position, it is still an important contribution to feminist theory as an analysis of heterosexuality, even if only to illuminate the historical development of radical feminist thought.Here s an essay critiquing the new foreword by Ariel Levy, arguing that her portrayal of Dworkin is anti feminist |READ KINDLE ⚇ Intercourse ♕ Andrea Dworkin, once called Feminism s Malcolm X, has been worshipped, reviled, criticized, and analyzed but never ignored The power of her writing, the passion of her ideals, and the ferocity of her intellect have spurred the arguments and activism of two generations of feminists Now the book that she s best known for in which she provoked the argument that ultimately split apart the feminist movement is being reissued for the young women and men of the twenty first century Intercourse enraged as many readers as it inspired when it was first published inIn it, Dworkin argues that in a male supremacist society, sex between men and women constitutes a central part of women s subordination to men This argument was quickly and falsely simplified to all sex is rape in the public arena, adding fire to Dworkin s already radical persona In her introduction to this twentieth anniversary edition of Intercourse, Ariel Levy, the author of Female Chauvinist Pigs, discusses the circumstances of Dworkin s untimely death in the spring of , and the enormous impact of her life and work Dworkin s argument, she points out, is the stickiest question of feminism Can a woman fight the power when he shares her bed This book has a serious reputation It has been both derided and lauded It s touted as the pinnacle of man hating radical feminism It is claimed that within the book, Dworkin says that all heterosexual intercourse is rape With a reputation such as that, how could I resist reading it First things first Dworkin never says that all heterosexual intercourse is rape She just asks the question how does our culture, our politics, our society, our feminism intersect with the act of intercourse C This book has a serious reputation It has been both derided and lauded It s touted as the pinnacle of man hating radical feminism It is claimed that within the book, Dworkin says that all heterosexual intercourse is rape With a reputation such as that, how could I resist reading it First things first Dworkin never says that all heterosexual intercourse is rape She just asks the question how does our culture, our politics, our society, our feminism intersect with the act of intercourse Can intercourse ever be removed and set free from misogyny and patriarchy A lot of people don t like the fact that Dworkin dared to ask that question But Dworkin does dare Further than that, she refuses to mince her words or hide her anger She does not make the journey into critically examining the act of intercourse easy and she will not take just because as an answer The result is not pretty sometimes it is horrendously upsetting But it talks about the act of intercourse with a truth that you will not find anywhere else encompassing many, many topics and deep analysis.This book will not, however, give you answers Dworkin lays it out bare but she does not make it easy on her reader and tell you how it is She gives you the information, the reasoning, the situation but she offers no conclusion This is because the conclusion should be yours especially with such an intimate act as intercourse This is not a lecture, the book is an opportunity for you to look at the act of intercourse in a different way for you to question the world and yourself You can take that opportunity or you can reject it and learn nothing I found that I did not agree with all of Dworkin s analysis but other parts of the book were moving, enlightening and powerful Overall though there is one part of Intercourse that is hardly ever mentioned by it s detractors and I do wonder if these people have ever read it Underlying all the anger is a pleading, a passion for what the physical intimacy of intercourse has the potential to be and a sadness for how often we fall short If anything, the book is pro sex It s just anti violence, oppression and bitterness It calls for both men and women to have the freedom to be fully human I think that is a message we all still need to hear The woman was brilliant A must read. While less radical than its reputation, All heterosexual intercourse is rape is a false quote often attributed to this work , it still reigns supreme as the most unapologetically radical, yet rational, book available in feminist literature It belongs on the proverbial shelf of feminist Bibles along with Faludi s Backlash, Friedan s Feminine Mystique and Simone de Beauvoir s Second Sex Radical Feminism isn t the dirty word the mainstream, and even those within the movement have made it out While less radical than its reputation, All heterosexual intercourse is rape is a false quote often attributed to this work , it still reigns supreme as the most unapologetically radical, yet rational, book available in feminist literature It belongs on the proverbial shelf of feminist Bibles along with Faludi s Backlash, Friedan s Feminine Mystique and Simone de Beauvoir s Second Sex Radical Feminism isn t the dirty word the mainstream, and even those within the movement have made it out to be Personally, I found Dworkin s unabashed nose thumbing at the patriarchal status quo both admiring and refreshing among so very manyapologetic inclusive submissive works easily found within this genre Andrea Dworkin could give a rat s ass if patriarchal society thinks well of her or validates her as a rational academic And hot damn, that made me want to applaud her Feminism is, was and always will be, Women s Advocacy It is not a movement meant to include the upper members of the existing power structure Dworkin nails this point in subtext on every page She is fearless, unafraid of backlash, and willing to go ovaries out dissecting and criticizing patriarchal structures within popular culture and their effects on larger society s collective thought process with zero fucks given.It s not every person s feminism, I don t even agree with many of her points personally, but it s a voice that needs to be heard and respected, if nothing else, for its outright disgust with man pleasing So many works within the genre attempt to bridge the gap between the sexes by pulling from familiar female tropes of submission and peace making You know the kind, arguments within the sect of Humanism Equalism and acknowledgement of lesser false rape statistics in order to remain fair avoiding that awful unfeminine and unattractive judgment from society as being Radically Feminist, bra burning, and ANGRY Andrea Dworkin is VERY angry, and her supremely intelligent point of view, never, ever apologizes for it Which, in my opinion, makes her a freaking hero.This book is a giant FUCK YOU to the patriarchy, and I personally love that, and her, for its attitude A million stars