Gnomicon 205

If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.

Gnomicon  205
Monday 3 December 2012
Read gnomica 1-200 here!

201     202     203     204

 Men are distinguished from women by their commitment
to do violence rather than to be victimized by it.
Andrea Dworkin (26 Sep 1946 – 9 Apr 2005)

The comment is – besides being mindlessly reductive – not helpful to anybody.  Except the blinkered ideologue, perhaps.

The comment’s author is well known as a quondam major actress in the gender wars. Her usefulness in calling attention to the facts of gender inequalities is sorely compromised by the un-nuanced monomyth she shaped about the utter horror embodied by the uncompromising evil of half of humanity.

Think about the comment itself.

The first half is beyond reproach – because, yes, “Men are distinguished from women”.  But the second part? “by their commitment to do violence rather than to be victimized by it”? “commitment”?  Come on! She might at least have qualified this sweeping generalization – was that ‘all men’ or just ‘some men’ or what?

I wonder how she would justify her absurd comment in light of the fact that men get raped by men (“When a Man is Raped”)?  of the wide-spread rape of men by men in prisons (“Is the US the only country where more men are raped than women?”)? or the rape of young boys by Catholic priests (“Catholic Priest Allegedly Told Child He Was Raping That ‘This Is What God’s Love Feels Like’”)?  or rape of men by men in the imploding Congo (“Symbol of Unhealed Congo: Male Rape Victims”)?  or even of the rape of a man by a woman (“Women Raping Men: A Survivor Tells His Story To HuffPost Live (VIDEO)”)?

Dworkin’s bête noire seems to have been pornography, and pornography’s direct responsibility for male sexual violence against women.  She – and Catherine MacKinnon — wanted it outlawed.  But women affirmatively enjoy porn and the fact is that “about one in three visitors to adult entertainment websites is female, with nearly 13 million American women checking out porn online once a month”.  Cf., further, [WARNING: some of these sites may be offensive to some – click at your own discretion and risk] here and here {video} and here.].  The argument – such as it is — appears to be that in a male-dominated society like ours women are so brainwashed that they are incapable of making decisions – a curiously retro-Victorian attitude put forward by these self-appointed defenders of helpless women — about whether or not to participate as providers or consumers of the pornography they want to be made available to them, and some even [GASP!] believe to be good for them.  It reminds me of the oft-caricatured Freudian argument that denials of what the analyst wants the analysand to ‘see’ and admit to are obviously nothing but further strong evidence of an ultimate reality in the patient’s life that the latter is just ’blocking’ on.

Unfortunately for Dworkin and her like-minded-s, one of the first arrests made in Toronto after the true believers got the city to pass an anti-porn ordinance so as to ‘protect’ women from pornography’s (allegedly) devastating influence on promoting men’s sexual violence against women were some women homosexuals (aka lesbians) who were caught ‘dealing porn’ for their private use – talk about some kind of serendipitous irony!  Nor, I imagine, did this anti-porn operation do a great deal to prevent men from pursuing their aroused commitment to do sexual violence to women.

To my way of thinking no sane individual could condone violence or coercion of any ilk towards women – or men – by men – or women.  The linking step from the pornography you view to sexual violence or coercion towards women may perhaps be true in some instances, just as the linking step from the manufacture of the shirts or pants you are wearing to physical violence or coercion against some children in distant lands is no doubt true in some instances.  But nobody suggests that there should be no shirts or pants for you to wear.  Tinker with or outlaw any largely harmless adult activity enjoyed by consenting billions – pornography, clothing, drugs — and it goes underground somewhere, beyond at least the nominal supervision and control of the authorities, and opens wide the doors to official and unofficial corruption on a massive scale:  check it out on a site or in a paper, report or magazine!

Sorry, zealots, you lose!

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