Andrea Dworkin has been an influential write, speaker, and activist for over
She claims to be a feminist, and that her ideas are beneficial to
This paper will show that many of her most popular beliefs are not only
detrimental to society, but also not in the best interests of women.
In letters from a war zone, Andrea Dworkin presents a collection of speeches
and short articles she has composed during her career as a writer and activist.
Many of her articles deal with censorship and pornography.
One claim is central to
all of these, pornography is an act and not an idea, thus censorship is not
relevant to it.
In response to a New York Time Review of her 1981 book, Pornography: Men
Possessing Women, Dworkin writes, "Pornography says the women want to be hurt,
forced, and abused; pornography says women want to be raped, battered, kidnapped,
pornography says women want to be humiliated, shamed, defamed, pornography
says that women say no but mean yes - Yes to violence, yes to pain."(Dworkin p 203)
In response to Dworkin's fiery rhetoric, Wendy Mcelroy writes that Dworkin
has scientific backing and even cites evidence to the contrary.
"In Japan, where
pornography depicting violence is widely available, rape is much lower per capita
than in the United States, where violence in porn is restricted."
the belief that pornography cause violence, stating that even if a correlation is
present, is does not necessarily mean there is a causal relationship.
Lynne Segal sees in inherent harm in trying to link the two together.
believes that feminists who try to do so are wasting valuable time that could be
spent on other important issues.
"In the end, anti-pornography campaigns, feminist
or not, can only enlist today, as they have invariously enlisted before, guilt and
anxiety around sex, as well as lifetimes of confusion in our personal experiences
of sexual arousal and activity."
"In contrast, campaigns which get to the heart of
men's violence and sadism towards women must enlist the widest possible resources
to empower socially." (Gibson 19)
Another argument of Dworkin's is that pornography should not be protected as
free speech under the first amendment.
It is her contention that protecting what