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April 11, 2005

Comments

Hugo

Godwin's Law is hereby invoked.

FEMINAZIHATEMARTYR

Amanda-
"The problem with even addressing MRAs and whatnot when they complain that feminists don't denounce Dworkin is that there's not really a point where we can denounce her thoroughly enough to satisfy. It's not enough to say that I don't agree with some stuff she says, is it? It's not enough to say that she was wrong about men, though granted not at all wrong about men who sniffle about the meanie feminists and join reactionary groups, is it? The only thing that will suffice is giving up feminism because we don't think in lockstep with one another.

Granted, Dworkin's feminist critics generally express admiration for her--good, she was an admirable person. She charmed people, inspired them. Intellectual dishonesty and kow-towing to men who demand flattery because they personally have refrained from rape isn't gonna happen. Sorry."
You must be daft. Dworkin was a just another Hitler. The overwhelming majority of American men are not rapists and its outrageous to be accused of being proponents of a "rape culture". We dont need to hear any more of your obnoxious accusations. Take your marxist-feminazi dogshit to north korea and get the hell out of the US. Theres a gulag latrine there with your names on it waiting for you. Get moving. Jerks.

davejones

Hugo,

Invoking Godwin's Law means you, too, have lost the battle since it is considered inappropriate to explicitly invoke the law. You must also consider Quirk's exception which states that intentional invokation is ineffectual.

Hugo

Ah, but Dave, note the use of the passive voice in the statement above. Godwin's Law is automatically invoked the moment anyone raises the Nazis/Jews/Holocaust; I simply pointed out what had already happened!

mythago

Or, Hugo, you could just deal with the troll instead of allowing him to pee all over otherwise-useful threads. (And there really ought to be some amendment to Godwin's law for Stalin.)

davejones

That's no defense Hugo. Simply pointing out that Godwin's Law applies to the thread is basis for you to have lost the argument. That's the way the tradition works. Since you admit to pointing it out in your post you basically told the cop who pulled you over "Yes officer I was speeding, but...."

Originally, the law was one of probabilities and has grown into the tradition we are discussing now. Nevertheless, my original statement stands and Quirk's exception is in full swing.

Feminism is Hatred

Well, I could have referred to Stalin if you prefer a left wing villain, Hugo. The world has its share of those, too. I am curious as to why a man would accept Dworkin's fruitcake accusations of men being rapists and evil minded, unless he knew himself to be so.

Food for thought, most assuredly.

The Birdwoman

It might be wrong to point out that Godwin's Law has been invoked, but it's funny. :-)

davejones

Of course, there's always the davejones corollary: the probability that Godwin's Law conjurers on the internet have attended a Bush is Hitler rally, wear a Bush is Hitler button, or actually believe it's the case rapidly approaches 1.

But seriously, is feminism so teetering on the precipice of irrelevance that it, or someone in its forefront, cannot condemn hateful speech from within? All I've seen is whitewashing of hateful comments or disagreement of the technique.

And finally, there's Newton's Third Law as amended by davejones: Groups of (seemingly) hateful women will engender groups of (seemingly) hateful men creating an unending circle of disdain.

La Lubu

to get back to the thread....

stanton, something you said earlier kinda struck me, the comment about "published works of prominent feminist thinkers/writers" denouncing Dworkin.

Now, I have never read any of Andrea Dworkin's books. Excerpts of her work that I have seen haven't really motivated me to check her work out further. But I'm bugged by the idea that critique doesn't "count" unless one is a "published, prominent feminist thinker/writer".

I didn't come to feminism because of anything I read in a book. I didn't come to feminism because of anything I've heard in a speech. No, I've considered myself feminist for a long time, because I recognized even as a small child that I didn't want to have to cram myself into some artificial construct of femininity, nor have my abilities and choices denied or dictated to me because of my sex organs. Seriously, even as a kid, I recognized something fundamentally wrong with sexism (although at the time, I wouldn't have put it in those terms!). I rebelled against sexism from the start, because it automatically conflicted with me and my life's experiences. Just like many other women did, before the term "feminism" was coined.

I used to hang out on feminist, alternative-parenting boards ("alternative" in this case being a broad definition that roughly meant no one would mistake you for June Cleaver) that regularly excoriated Andrea Dworkin for her views on sex and porn. Most of the women on those threads had read her books, and were well acquainted with the subject. Yet, according to your statement, the critiques of those women woudn't "count" because they weren't famous enough, or published enough.

Why isn't the average, everyday opinion of plain-jane feminists considered to be indicative of the movement? The mainstream "stars" of feminism don't appeal to me, but feminism as a movement certainly does. One can look at various places on the internet, and read various periodicals (not just Ms.!) and get an idea of the breadth of feminist ideas and movement.

stanton

Amanda: "there's not really a point where we can denounce her thoroughly enough to satisfy. It's not enough to say that I don't agree with some stuff she says, is it?"

No, it is not enough. I don't hear equivocation like this when many feminists discuss such rebel feminists as Wendy MacElroy. Somehow, it is easy to reject a Cathy Young. You know how to do it. Tammy Bruce was vilified so vehemently for speaking out against the batterer-murderer OJ Simpson that she fled to the right-wing camp. So - yes, I expect to see the same level of rejection applied to Andrea Dworkin, if her ideas truly are anathema to feminists. Since this doesn't happen, other than "I don't agree with some stuff she says" and perhaps some eye-rolling, I have concluded that, despite some disagreements, the spirit of her message is welcome in the camp, and she is embraced as a true feminist.

"Intellectual dishonesty and kow-towing to men who demand flattery because they personally have refrained from rape isn't gonna happen."

I beg to differ about the intellectual dishonesty, as we have an excellent case in point under consideration right now. Question: Are you attempting to change the subject when you speak of men demanding flattery for personally refraining from rape, because I don't see where anything of the sort has been involved in this thread? Are you implying that I do this? If it is some other man/men that you see making this demand, please show me where I can find see it for myself. I admit that my suspicion is that this has happened nowhere at all, and the expression is simply a Dworkian slip on your part.

stanton

LaLubu: 'But I'm bugged by the idea that critique doesn't "count" unless one is a "published, prominent feminist thinker/writer"'

That is a good point, and I guess I owe an apology to the many feminists out there who have absolutely no use for the vitriol of Dworkinism. Although I try to resist the tendency to lump feminists together in a homogenous mass, sometimes I slip. That is unfair when done to MRAs, just as it is unfair when done to feminists. Ultimately, it is the opinions of the masses that really count, and in this there is reason to hope that the Dworkin line is an evolutionary dead end.

Having said that, I would still be gratified to see some of the leading lights of academic feminism and the prominent feminist authors, give some indication that Dworkin's vicious ranting is not feminism, and that she does not represent the beliefs or the goals of feminism. Such pronouncements fall easily from their lips when it comes to certain other feminists who take it too easy on men. As I have said several times in this thread, this makes it obvious to me that the 'movers and shakers and opinion makers' among feminists are essentially Dworkinist in spirit, despite quibbles with some points. It makes me sad to see Hugo among them.

Redneck Feminist (drumgurl)

Stanton, I know you weren't addressing me, but I have to speak up because I LOVE McElroy and Cathy Young (in a non-romantic way, :wink:) and have linked to both of them.

But where McElroy and Young have extreme hostility toward Dworkin, I don't. I disagree with her, especially on censorship, but I think she made the pornography debate more provocative. And like I said on Amp's blog, this provocation is the mark of a free society.

Dworkin can't control someone's thoughts any more than Larry Flint can (sorry to Alas readers for repeating myself). Perhaps Dworkin inspires someone to look at porn from another perspective-- a perspective that is untold by flipping through the pages of Hustler (although that actually isn't porn, I don't think). That person doesn't have to agree with Dworkin, but perhaps he can consider her position and more clearly argue his own.

With porn and prostitution, I think questions like, "Did these women consent to this?" or "Am I exploiting someone here?" are valid. It doesn't mean the answer is "yes", it just means they are questions that should be addressed in a debate. I personally quit looking up (hot!) naked males on the internet because it made me feel guilty. The guys looked so young, and it crossed my mind that perhaps they were being taken advantage of. But my conscience is mine and shouldn't be imposed on anyone else, so please don't take that as me trying to be the morality police!

stanton

drumgurl: You are among the feminists I mentioned in my response to LaLubu, to whom I owe an apology. Your willingness to look inside of yourself, along with your reluctance to cast blame about and to sport the badge of victimhood, has been refreshing to see.

Caitriona

> Are you attempting to change the subject when you speak of men demanding flattery for
> personally refraining from rape, because I don't see where anything of the sort has
> been involved in this thread? Are you implying that I do this? If it is some other
> man/men that you see making this demand, please show me where I can find see it for
> myself. I admit that my suspicion is that this has happened nowhere at all


Life's been busy, so I've been avoiding this discussion, but I have to respond to this comment.

Stanton, could it be that since you aren't the object of such demands, you don't see it? I've known men with this sort of attitude. Not a lot, but a few. It's that egotistical "I could do whatever I want with you but I'm not" sort of thing. I saw it more as a teen than I do now, thankfully. Either most men outgrow it, or I'm just not spending as much time in company where the attitude occurs. Either could be true.

What's even more interesting is the surprise expressed when you will no longer have anything to do with someone whose comments about what he plans to do to you have gotten back to you through "the grapevine."

stanton

Caitrona: I can imagine that some neanderthal-type men may have taken this attitude with some women at times. I would still like to know why Amanda thought this needed to be said when addressing a criticism of Dworkin. And I would still like to see where these demands are being made, outside of anecdotal experiences with some jerks, who probably have never read anything more sophisticated than HotRod magazine.

Amanda

I don't hear equivocation like this when many feminists discuss such rebel feminists as Wendy MacElroy. Somehow, it is easy to reject a Cathy Young. You know how to do it. Tammy Bruce was vilified so vehemently for speaking out against the batterer-murderer OJ Simpson that she fled to the right-wing camp.

Because none of these women are feminists, for one thing. They are apologists for sexism. Dworkin was a feminist who actually has done things that have directly helped people like me. So no, I don't really feel like pissing on her grave.

stanton

Amanda: "Because none of these women are feminists, for one thing. They are apologists for sexism. Dworkin was a feminist who actually has done things that have directly helped people like me."

And this is precisely the point I am making. The fact that Dworkin is a feminist in good standing with the feminist community, at least as represented by you, Hugo, and many others, is an indictment of feminism far beyond the invective of feminist haters, MRA extremists, or any other opponent. When feminism grows up enough to repudiate the Dworkins in the fold, then some genuine progress will have been made. Until then, any self-examination they do will remain too circumscribed to be of any real value.

And you do the movement no credit by claiming the right act as arbiter of membership, as many feminists do (witness MacKinnon's declaration that anyone opposed to banning pornography is not a feminist). Bruce no longer claims to be a feminist as far as I can tell, but Young and MacElroy do. They and others like them are the hope for the future of feminism.

Hugo

I'm going to post on this at some point, but gosh, I always find it helpful to think of "feminisms" instead of feminism. Feminism is like faith -- divided and schismatic. Just as we've got Catholics and Baptists and Anglicans and Assemblies of God in the Christian fold, we've got Radical Feminists and Pro-Feminist Men and Socialist Feminists and Libertarian Feminists and Equity Feminists and Separatist Feminists. We are, as Paul says, one body. Andrea Dworkin is my sister in the feminist body -- I don't have to agree with every word she's written to honor her as an inspiring feminist leader. I don't have to agree with everything the Pope said (nor do I have to be a Catholic) to honor him as well.

We need to do a better job of acknowledging just how richly diverse the feminist world is.

stanton

That's cool, Hugo. So are Wendy MacElroy and Cathy Young also your sisters in the feminist body?

Hugo

Oh yes, just as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are my brothers in Christ. The fact that we share the same body doesn't mean that we're the same body part. A while back, we sort of decided that brother Jerry might be the body's posterior... when it comes to Camille Paglia or Katie Roiphe or Wendy MacElroy, I've got an idea where they might be in the feminist body, but it wouldn't be polite to say... ;-)

stanton

Well, I guess that is consistent at least. Still, I cannot understand how a devoted Christian such as yourself can read the bilious hatred of Dworkin and not assign her an unflattering body part as well.

Amanda

When feminism grows up enough to repudiate the Dworkins in the fold, then some genuine progress will have been made.

Maturity then is defined by rejecting someone outright in order to please your enemies, even though she's done you a lot better than they ever could? I'm sorry, but you aren't getting my sympathy. You're not the one who agitated for the rape laws that actually made it possible for my attacker to face justice.

davejones

The vituperation of her ilk is completely lost on people like Hugo. She is/was within the fold of many of those who post here. What many feminists fail to grasp it that they must keep their own house clean if they want the mainstream to come in (sorry for the cleaning metaphor in a discussion about women. It was purely unintentional, really).

Forty years ago women had very little stature in this country. Men had everything. Now, women have made great strides in most every aspect of American society. Are we there yet? Of course not. There's plenty of room for improvement. But, when I see that women make up the majority of college students, single homebuyers are most often women, and the majority of small businesses are started by women, men better watch out because payback's a bitch, as they say.

Then when I look around and see UN "peacekeepers" killing civilians, raping women in Africa and the former Yugoslavia, genocide in the Sudan, female circumcision in Africa, sex slavery in the Far East (primarily little girls for European clientele), an ex-President who could do no wrong to women despite the protests of many of those women to the contrary, internet porn with domains registered largely out of the Netherlands, legal prostitution in Greece. I could go on but it's really quite depressing and **fucking disgusting** isn't it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, where things are comparatively peaceful, prosperous, and improving (even for women), you'd think American men are committing crimes against humanity because some of us disagree with many feminists and think some of them should be actually, egad, shunned.

mythago

The fact that Dworkin is a feminist in good standing with the feminist community

Hey, she DID complete all of her continuing education credits, so it's not like we can stop her.

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