Sidetracked: Andrea Dworkin

I’m interested in Andrea Dworkin, now. I have held opinions that prostitution and pornography are damaging to women, especially on the macro social scale of degradation of image and the ensuing degradation of status.

And yes, the way we view women as a whole matters.

So Andrea Dworkin interests me. Even though I wouldn’t necessarily subscribe to her theories, I want to know something of what she thought on the subject.

The trouble is that she, and many feminists do this, railed against the ‘what is” of there being the male side to the human race. If things are awry-even as terribly awry as they obviously are, the answer is not to get rid or suppress the entire other in the group.

Maybe that is part of the problem in focusing on problems… you become convinced that you can make things better by eradicating somebody. It is the surrender of hope, not believing that understanding will accomplish anything to solve any problems. Not believing in the possibility of change, not willing to protect the boundaries of another.

Perhaps that is why people get so solidified and rigid, they look only at the negative and think that the positive will prevail if they take out more. When the positive has a presence and substance and needs to be grown and cultivated.

Maybe that is why so many revolutions have so many bad endings… they only make room for more of the same negative results, rather than transforming the situation and solving the problems.
To any proponent of pornography I demand that they answer on the rising exploitation of women and children in the modern form of slavery that we see proliferating today. Women and children sold into the sex trade, tricked into its confines.

If it is such a victimless crime, why do you have to fill your coffers with the fresh blood of the unwilling?
Anytime you objectify a person you wipe the face from them, they are no longer more than a thing…they seem devoid of feeling or vulnerability. They are some cartoon character on a two dimensional surface, which you get to erase and rewrite at will. That is a deadening exercise. When you do not try to capture the spirit, but instead so stylize something that it is no longer defined for you.

Maybe this is what deadens a marriage. You are no longer interested in the person, in discovering the uniqueness of who they are.

This doesn’t just happen within one category in the idealized woman, the cobbling together of physical and personality attributes, results in a fantasy woman, one that changes at the will of the imagination. What real woman can live up to that? But how many women lose themselves trying?

Perhaps this is something affecting men, too, but I have never given that much thought. It seems it could work in reverse, but I think the reason so many people define themselves by their work is that this is a time honored way to escape the insecurity of whether you match up to society’s, or significant others, expectations. You just have your nice neat job description and your bona fide paycheck and there you go!

Not always so easy, but the drift is there….

Is real so very hard to face? Is real so unappealing? I always look at the message of The Matrix when I think of this. For some reason real is so much more satisfying that we are willing, at least some of us are willing, to have the very ugly real over the surface perfection of the manufactured.

Strange, isn’t it? for all the hype of the manufactured, we want something more…… intangible.

2 thoughts on “Sidetracked: Andrea Dworkin”

  1. I would say you are dead on about the end results of identifying the “other” as the problem and concentrating on eliminating it. A part of our socity, for instance, has identified Christianity as what needs to be eliminated.

    In the last week I have been reading some of Andrea Dworkin’s writing, although she is not really my cup of tea.

    I’m surprised about the parallels. No conclusions yet for me – I think slowly.

  2. I have been reading “about” Andrea Dworkin rather than actually reading her work. She has things that border on, if not outrightly, her own form of porn. Of course, this is not an unusual phenomenon: if we look too hard at something, hate it with too much of ourselves, we can become it.

    I am willing to turn things over in my mind and I look for parallels… I do that quickly, but the conclusions come slowly for me. At least the commitment to them:) So I appreciate that in you.

    I think you should keep your mind honed towards looking at what is happening in the “Christianity as what needs to be eliminated” trend in our society. It is more than what appears on the surface, I believe. that is why I am looking at the idea that an overly virile secularism could inevitably lead to an active routing out of religion.

    I still say “could” rather than “does”. Still looking over the dynamic in my a priori sort of way….

Comments are closed.