Andrea Dworkin Essay Research Paper Andrea DworkinAndrea — страница 2

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which Dworkin and MacKinnon were speaking, a group of feminists had prepared a series of documentaries of the topic of the conference, prostitution. Dworkin refused to speak at the symposium if adversarial speakers were there, so the documentaries were the only voice of opposition to them. When work got out that the documentaries could possibly pornographic, Dworkin and MacKinnon insisted on their removal. When the presenter refused, they coerced the students with threats of leaving, to force the removed of the documentary exhibit. What had started out as an academic symposium quickly turned into a forum for the exclusive advocacy of Dworkin ideals. Her action epitomized the danger of censorship to society and other feminists, she silenced the weaker voice. (Strossen 211-214)

Dworkin’s opinions on pornography are summed up nicely by Wendy McElroy; Pornography is morally wrong; Pornography leads directly to violence against women; Pornography, in and of itself, is violence against women. Five individual allegation are made based of the third point; Women are physically coerced into pornography; Women in porn who have not been coerced have been so traumatized by patriarchy that the cannot give real consent; Capitalism is a system of ?economic coercion’ that forces women into pornography in order to make a living; Pornography is violence against women who consume it, and thereby re-enforcing their own oppression; Pornography is violence against women, as a class, who must live in fear because of the atmosphere of terror it creates. (Mcelroy 91) The

first three allegations deal with coercion. The first claim is based on a few isolated cases and should not be used to characterize the entire industry. The second allegation is not only arrogant, but degrades women because it undermines a woman’s ability to choose. ?If women’s choices are being trashed, why should radical feminists (i.e. Dworkin) fare better than other women?? This sends a dangerous message that woman lack full capacity to make choices. The third allegation fails in a similar manor as the second. Dworkin draws no line between consent and coercion, and thus she rejects a woman’s right to contract. (McElroy 92-95) The fourth and fifth claim of Dworkin’s are also in contradiction with women’s best interests. The fourth claim completely ignores the

possibility that women might actually enjoy pornography without falling victim to it. Allowing women access to a means of sexual expression with actual sex grants them increased sexual freedom. The final allegation is based on the notion that, ?Women are not individuals, but members of a class with collective interests.? In making this claim, Dworkin must destroy the notion of individuality, and condition unsuitable for not only women, but all humanity. (McElroy 96) Another criticism of Dworkin, is that many of her arguments contain logical inconsistencies or outright contradictions. For one thing, Dworkin wants to validate the experience of women who have be silenced by patriarchy yet refuses to accept the voices of women who participate in pornography. Dworkin also believes

that pornography is the bastion of patriarchy, yet conservatives, tradition champion of patriarchy, also crusade against pornography. (McElroy 98) In one of writings of cesarean sections, Dworkin make staunch, graphic, remarks about the topic. It is laced with information about conspiracies and loaded with vulgarity. Such extreme language may work against the interests of women, because even though a problem might exist, it might be written of by readers due to Dworkin’s ?hyperbolic harangue.’ (Strossen 196) In general, Dworkin’s writings while claiming to be feminist, are often in direct conflict with mainstream feminist agenda. Many of her views portray women as helpless victim incapable of rational thinking. In her support of censorship, she is also met be harsh

resistance from prominent women’s groups such as N.O.W.. Many of her view are seen as harmful to the cause of women’s equality, and in this regard are more dangerous then anti-women’s factions, because it is written under the banner of feminism. (Gibson 118) Andrea Dworkin’s influence has created an environment where free speech and equality are compromised. Though she claims it to be in the best interest of society, this just is not true. Most feminists reject her ideas as counterproductive to their goals. Her writing are not only detrimental to women, however, everyone is affected. By advocating censorship, she undermines every principle that this country was founded on and every ideal that keeps it unified and free from oppression. Ironically, Dworkin seeks freedom