Friday, 10 October 2008

We've been found!

Just discovered that Demonista has posted about my post on Dworkin here.

Doesn't look like she has much to say beyond "I'm pissed." Which is, of course, totally within her rights.

ETA a bit more depth, there: I don't really have a problem with rad fems finding my "analysis of Dworkin" (I straight up said it was not an analysis but merely something that struck me that I might be wrong about. Funny how they seem to have missed that) wrongheaded. What I DO have a problem with is not hearing why so many of us in that thread feel that Dworkin's way of saying what she did is hurtful and dismissive to us. That just bugs me. Why is it that people have to lionize her like that? Is it impossible to say, "hey, this is really sweeping and can get obnoxious, but it's also really inspiring to me and has helped me and I love it?"

If she really wants to fisk my post, doing two things would make her post more effective:

1. Explaining why the pieces I quote there, in which she mentions liking sadomasochistic games and feeling profoundly inspired by The Story of O (kind of amusing how she and some other feminists consider that book so full of meaning, yet a lot of actual sadomasochists I know weren't big on it), should not be interpreted as having liked submission at one point in her life.

2. Responding directly to the reactions of ours that piss her off. It strikes me as very odd that she's allowed to feel insulted by some of us attacking her idol but we're infuriating for feeling that her idol attacked us first.

Also, she calls me to task for not having read entire books at the time. [Edit: Looking back, she was quoting someone else. Whoops. My mistake there.] Since then, I have read Intercourse, but I have not actually read the books that those snippets come from. However, since many radical feminists refer curious people/one another to the Andrea Dworkin Online Library as a website that gives representative samples of her work, I don't think I've sinned as horribly in this regard as people who cherry-pick Dworkin quotes so that it appears she said things like the famous "all sex is rape" misquotation.

(Though I will say that I do think that accepting her theories CAN lend itself to conflating sex with rape. Having read Intercourse, I don't think that she herself does, but more than a few of her ideological daughters make that mistake, some of them unapologetically.)

14 comments:

Debs said...

Looking at those links at the end of this post, I am so glad I am not *there* anymore. Just wanted to say that. :)

Trinity said...

Hi Debs! And thanks.

Yeah. I don't think I ever went there, but I was definitely more sympathetic to views that claimed that certain choices women make can't possibly be real ones. I really don't like the person I was then, looking back on it now.

Trinity said...

The person I am now isn't perfect -- most notably, still rather quarrelsome :) -- but I like the supposedly sparkly, "fun-feminist" me lots better. She's a lot less... on the prowl for Other People doing small things Wrong.

Debs said...

No, I'm not perfect either - wouldn't want to be, but god when I think about some of the things I used to come out with, ugh, I just want the ground to open up and swallow me whole!

That post from demonista is so sloppy and nonsensical. As a couple of commenters said, she hasn't even bothered to make it clear when it's Dworkin speaking and when it's her (although it is quite easy to tell, if you know Dworkin's style) - the whole piece is just lazy and pointless as far as I can tell.

And, I missed it at the time, but I think your original post that she is writing about, is a really good one and makes some interesting points. I like Dworkin, but now that's more to do with liking her as a person than agreeing with everything that came out of her mouth, and I can see where you're coming from with your critique of her writings.

Iamcuriousblue said...

Demonista seems to have a need to perpetually be offended and stirring up shit over something at all times. What the hell is the point of digging up a post that's over a year old, not even so much as using it as a launching point for something she wants to post about?

I think Dworkin is often quoted out of context or even outright misquoted, but at the same time, I take with a grain of salt the contention that you have to read every word that Dworkin ever wrote before you're at all allowed to criticize her. The "out of context" counter gets rather overused by her followers.

Trinity said...

Thanks Debs. I was a little worried you'd be put off my my vehemence there, actually. And honestly I'm nowhere near as angry at or about Dworkin as I once was. Nowadays I'm mostly just puzzled. I used to find myself really stirred by it, either to anger or to agreement, and now I just find it... eh.

I was going to say "find it lacking," but that's not really it. It's good for what it does, which is get people feeling intensely, whether that's intense anger or intense passionate agreement. But for me, now that I'm past that, I look back at it and I want more depth. Like "okay, what do we DO about this?" Or "okay, which men become like this, and how, and what exactly mitigates it? How should we raise our sons?"

Which is... not there in Dworkin. And it's not really fair to *require* it of her either, as that wasn't her *point*, but it leaves me a little puzzled by the way people so strongly idolize her for so long. I'm just like "okay, yeah, Step One is see the patterns and get mad. Now who's got a brilliant book about Step Two then?"

Trinity said...

IACB: To be fair to Demonista, I think she dug it up because I actually linked it recently on some thread elsewhere. I'm actually not angry at all at her for "suddenly" finding it, since that might have been where she got it from.

Trinity said...

And yeah, IACB, I agree. I think part of the reason she's taken out of context frequently is that she's writing mainly for emotional effect and not for precise accuracy. It's not surprising to me that people make mistakes nailing down exactly what she meant.

Trinity said...

Debs: Her post is a series of quotes from the commenters on my post. She separates each quote with two line breaks.

From what I can tell, her own comments are:

"and "kink-hatred". i'm not sure to be angry or find it absolutely hilarious.

and all the opportunistic comparisions to gayness.

shaddup with the bs already!

I can't believe I read all that."

Iamcuriousblue said...

"I'm just like "okay, yeah, Step One is see the patterns and get mad. Now who's got a brilliant book about Step Two then?"

Well, if I'm not mistaken, MacKinnon's work represents "Step Two".

Trinity said...

IACB,

Yeah, but that's one ordinance (okay, fair enough, maybe she's done more on porn and the law specifically since; most of what I've seen has been about rape as a weapon of war, but that may be because I actually find her RIGHT about that sort of thing). What's new?

And as far as MacKinnon goes, I really think her analysis of the First Amendment is creepy and would facilitate some dangerous shit if people took it seriously.

Trinity said...

"the Constitution is a piece of paper with some words on it"

Yeah, well said MacK, but somehow I haven't found any better pieces of paper with words on them.

autonomous hedonist said...

Those so called "radical" feminists are not worthy (mostly about their opinions about sexuality) They are so confused that in order to achieve sexual equality they promote instead sexual oppresion. When people consider pleasure a kind of sin the result is social alienation. The better thing is to make the people come closer not to cultivate the fear of communication. This kind of feminism is not radical at all, it supports the anti-erotic anthropological type of capitalism. Also,the erotic practices are like colours, their meaning is given by the society and the individuals.For some people fetish,bdsm and homoerotic practices are liberating, for some not.

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