Andrea Dworkin: 'Money speaks, but with a male voice'

Condemned as a man-hater, Andrea Dworkin's militant brand of feminism was never less than incendiary. Ed Caesar takes stock
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The Independent Culture

ON WIVES

ON WIVES

"The argument between wives and whores is an old one; each one thinking that whatever she is, at least she is not the other." (1978)

ON MONEY

"Money speaks, but it speaks with a male voice." (1981)

ON MURDER

"Men especially love murder. In art they celebrate it. In life, they commit it." (1981)

ON INTELLIGENCE

"Wild intelligence abhors any narrow world; and the world of women must stay narrow, or the woman is an outlaw. No woman could be Nietzsche or Rimbaud without ending up in a whorehouse or lobotomized." (1978)

ON HEROES

"A man can be a hero if he is a scientist, or a soldier, or a drug addict, or a disc jockey, or a crummy mediocre politician. A man can be a hero because he suffers and despairs; or because he thinks logically and analytically; or because he is "sensitive"; or because he is cruel. Wealth establishes a man as a hero, and so does poverty. Virtually any circumstance in a man's life will make him a hero to some group of people and has a mythic rendering in the culture - in literature, art, theatre, or the daily newspapers." (1978)

ON THE MAKING OF WOMEN

"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." (1981)

ON FEAR

"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". (1975)

ON MEN WHO CRY

"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." (1975)

ON GOSSIP

"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." (1978)

ON SEDUCTION

"Seduction is often difficult to distinguish from rape. In seduction, the rapist bothers to buy a bottle of wine." (1987)

ON SEX

"Intercourse as an act often expresses the power men have over women." (1988)

ON THE POWER OF MEN

"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." (1981)

ON MARRIAGE

"Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice. Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by capture. Marriage meant the taking was to extend in time, to be not only use of but possession of, or ownership." (1981)

ON LOVE

"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 fulfil and redeem the masculinity of her lover." (1975)

ON PORNOGRAPHY

"Pornography is used in rape - to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act." (1981)

ON PORNOGRAPHY FOR WOMEN

"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 what pornography says about women. But they do." (1981)

ON ANTI-FEMINISM

"Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defence of women hating." (1978)

ON SEXUAL EQUALITY

"A commitment to sexual equality with males is a commitment to becoming the rich instead of the poor, the rapist instead of the raped, the murderer instead of the murdered." (1974)

ON FREEDOM

"Only when manhood is dead - and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it - only then will we know what it is to be free." (1975)

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