Thursday, 24 March 2016

Toxic Feminists 1 - Andrea Dworkin

It is undoubtedly the case that throughout British history until recently women have been denied equal rights. Until the late 19th century any property they owned could be passed to their husband upon marriage, and their grounds for divorce were narrower than for men. After divorce, custody of the children was routinely given to the father. In the early 20th century women continued to be denied the vote, despite a massive campaign of civil disobedience by the suffragette movement, and that remained the case until after the First World War. As late as the 1950s they received less pay than men for doing exactly the same work in the Civil Service, and were then required to resign on marriage. During the early 1970s they still faced discrimination when applying for a mortgage, and could be refused service in restaurants late in the evening. They faced open discrimination in many jobs. So there were plenty of injustices which the feminist movement of those times could legitimately agitate and protest against.

Once all these objectives had been achieved it might have been assumed that feminism would gradually die out as women were granted equal rights and equality of opportunity. But the reverse appears to have happened, feminists continued to be vocal, and although the shrillness ebbed and flowed, it never went away, and currently stands at a very high level. So if all their legitimate grievances have been met why are feminists still so dissatisfied? There appear to be two main causes, a perceived lack of equality of outcome in employment, and a hostility to male sexuality. Both, but particularly the latter, are imbued with a strong streak of misandry.

One leading figure within the feminist movement was Andrea Dworkin, who specialised in aggressive sexual politics. Dworkin was born into a Jewish American family shortly after the last war. During the mid 1960s she became involved in protests against the Vietnam war, and spent some time in a women's prison where she claimed to have been subject to brutal and invasive treatment. After graduating she moved to the Netherlands and married one of the leaders of a group of left wing anarchists she became involved with. The marriage lasted only a few years with Dworkin claiming that her husband regularly beat and assaulted her. After many trials and tribulations she returned to the USA and became involved in left wing campaigns. She soon established a name for herself as a radical feminist organiser, focussing on violence against women and abortion rights.

By the early 1980s she had become one of the most widely recognised feminists after the publication of her book Pornography: Men Possessing Women. This was an uncompromising work, where any insights (there are some, particularly in relation to the male propensity to violence) she may have uncovered on this controversial subject, were drowned out and nullified by her seething hatred of all aspects of masculinity, together with a total contempt for femininity and expressions of female beauty. Dworkin argued that pornography was motivated by an assertion of male power and hatred towards women. She claimed that it dehumanises women and leads to violence against them, both in its production and in the social consequences of its consumption, by encouraging the domination, humiliation and abuse of women. Dworkin's tone throughout is one of furious anger against men, to the point of appearing almost deranged in her stridency. In one respect though she is clearly right, the worst pornography involving violence and humiliation degrades those who appear in it and the men who consume it.

With the publication in 1987 of her book Intercourse Dworkin went even further in attacking male sexuality, arguing that heterosexual intercourse is a central part of men's subordination of women who, she claims, experience it as a form of occupation. She uses inflammatory language in comparing this 'occupation' to occupied countries, dominated races, imprisoned dissidents, colonized cultures and atrocities ranging from Auschwitz to the Gulag. Much of the book is given over to an impenetrable stream of consciousness gibberish, planting in the reader's mind the pervasiveness of male bestiality and the degree of self hatred in women, meekly surrendering to, and powerless against, the rampant demands of the insatiable male.

We have too many so-called 'hate crimes' in this country, but strangely they never seem to cover the kind of delusional bile from malignant feminists such as this. But this kind of garbage does not come out of a vacuum completely. Something must have provoked it, and it appears to be the casual violence engaged in by some men against women, which although deeply shameful, clearly pre-dates the kind of pornography she rails against. But the sins of the relatively few can never justify the senseless venom spewed out by the likes of Dworkin that targets at all men and their sexuality indiscriminately.

No self respecting man should ever have to tolerate the vicious denunciations that were the hallmark of Dworkin's rage and that of her followers. Her vile ranting demeaned feminism, and the brave women who sought equal rights for their sex in an often hostile world. Her agenda to demonise men as predatory, and women as helpless and vulnerable, has been uncritically absorbed by too many in the once progressive wing of politics, who previously espoused the cause of sexual freedom against conservative puritanism and religious repression. Andrea Dworkin died in 2005 and needless to say is still lauded and revered by many in the madhouse that is the radical left of politics.

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