Humanities › History & Culture 24 Andrea Dworkin Quotes Share Flipboard Email Print Shutterstock History & Culture Women's History Important Figures History Of Feminism Key Events Women's Suffrage Women & War Laws & Womens Rights Feminism & Pop Culture Feminist Texts American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century View More By Jone Johnson Lewis Women's History Writer B.A., Mundelein College M.Div., Meadville/Lombard Theological School Jone Johnson Lewis is a women's history writer who has been involved with the women's movement since the late 1960s. She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. our editorial process Jone Johnson Lewis Updated February 17, 2019 Andrea Dworkin, a radical feminist whose early activism including working against the Vietnam War, became a strong voice for the position that pornography is a tool by which men control, objectify, and subjugate women. With Catherine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin helped draft a Minnesota ordinance that did not outlaw pornography but allowed victims of rape and other sexual crimes to sue pornographers for damage, under the logic that the culture created by pornography supported sexual violence against women. Quotes on Pornography "Pornography is used in rape - to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act." [Andrea testimony before the New York Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in 1986] "Women, for centuries not having access to pornography and now unable to bear looking at the muck on the supermarket shelves, are astonished. Women do not believe that men believe that pornography says about women. But they do. From the worst to the best of them, they do." "Romantic love, in pornography as in life, is the mythic celebration of female negation. For a woman, love is defined as her willingness to submit to her own annihilation. The proof of love is that she is willing to be destroyed by the one whom she loves, for his sake. For the woman, love is always self-sacrifice, the sacrifice of identity, will, and bodily integrity, in order to fulfill and redeem the masculinity of her lover." "Feminists are often asked whether pornography causes rape. The fact is that rape and prostitution caused and continue to cause pornography. Politically, culturally, socially, sexually, and economically, rape and prostitution generated pornography; and pornography depends for its continued existence on the rape and prostitution of women." On Masculinity and Men "Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us." "Men are rewarded for learning the practice of violence in virtually any sphere of activity by money, admiration, recognition, respect, and the genuflection of others honoring their sacred and proven masculinity. In male culture, police are heroic and so are outlaws; males who enforce standards are heroic and so are those who violate them." "Institutionalized in sports, the military, acculturated sexuality, the history and mythology of heroism, violence is taught to boys until they becomes its advocates." "Men have defined the parameters of every subject. All feminist arguments, however radical in intent or consequence, are with or against assertions or premises implicit in the male system, which is made credible or authentic by the power of men to name." "Men know everything - all of them - all the time - no matter how stupid or inexperienced or arrogant or ignorant they are." "Men especially love murder. In art they celebrate it. In life, they commit it." "In this society, the norm of masculinity is phallic aggression. Male sexuality is, by definition, intensely and rigidly phallic. A man's identity is located in his conception of himself as the possessor of a phallus; a man's worth is located in his pride in phallic identity. The main characteristic of phallic identity is that worth is entirely contingent on the possession of a phallus. Since men have no other criteria for worth, no other notion of identity, those who do not have phalluses are not recognized as fully human." "We have a double standard, which is to say, a man can show how much he cares by being violent -- see, he's jealous, he cares -- a woman shows how much she cares by how much she's willing to be hurt; by how much she will take; how much she will endure." On Rape Culture and Sex "By the time we are women, fear is as familiar to us as air; it is our element. We live in it, we inhale it, we exhale it, and most of the time we do not even notice it. Instead of "I am afraid," we say, "I don't want to," or "I don't know how," or "I can't."" "Seduction is often difficult to distinguish from rape. In seduction, the rapist often bothers to buy a bottle of wine." "We are very close to death. All women are. And we are very close to rape and we are very close to beating. And we are inside a system of humiliation from which there is no escape for us. We use statistics not to try to quantify the injuries, but to convince the world that those injuries even exist. Those statistics are not abstractions. It is easy to say, Ah, the statistics, somebody writes them up one way and somebody writes them up another way. That’s true. But I hear about the rapes one by one by one by one by one, which is also how they happen. Those statistics are not abstract to me. Every three minutes a woman is being raped. Every eighteen seconds a woman is being beaten. There is nothing abstract about it. It is happening right now as I am speaking." "Intercourse as an act often expresses the power men have over women." More Quotes by Andrea Dworkin "Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating." "Being a Jew, one learns to believe in the reality of cruelty and one learns to recognize indifference to human suffering as a fact." "Woman is not born: she is made. In the making, her humanity is destroyed. She becomes symbol of this, symbol of that: mother of the earth, slut of the universe; but she never becomes herself because it is forbidden for her to do so." "Sexism is the foundation on which all tyranny is built. Every social form of hierarchy and abuse is modeled on male-over-female domination." "The fact that we are all trained to be mothers from infancy on means that we are all trained to devote our lives to men, whether they are our sons or not; that we are all trained to force other women to exemplify the lack of qualities which characterizes the cultural construct of femininity." "We have a double standard, which is to say, a man can show how much he cares by being violent -- see, he's jealous, he cares -- a woman shows how much she cares by how much she's willing to be hurt; by how much she will take; how much she will endure." "The argument between wives and whores is an old one; each one thinking that whatever she is, at least she is not the other." "The genius of any slave system is found in the dynamics which isolate slaves from each other, obscure the reality of a common condition, and make united rebellion against the oppressor inconceivable." "While gossip among women is universally ridiculed as low and trivial, gossip among men, especially if it is about women, is called theory, or idea, or fact."