No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays

By Ellen Willis

With attribute intelligence, wit, and feminist perception, Ellen Willis addresses democracy as she sees it: “a dedication to person freedom and egalitarian self-government in each zone of social, monetary, and cultural life.” relocating among scholarly and down-to-earth activist writing types, Willis confronts the conservative backlash that has slowly eroded democratic beliefs and advances of the Sixties in addition to the interior debates that experience often splintered the left.

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The an important distinction is that Gothics purvey a repressed, romanticized sexuality, whereas hard-core pornography is explicitly lustful and genital. In singling out the latter for condemnation, Griffin betrays an unwitting conservative bias. regardless of its mistaken common sense, Pornography and Silence is a significant attempt to use feminist insights to sexual psychology. Andrea Dworkin's Pornography, against this, is much less a theoretical paintings than a book-length sermon, preached with a rhetorical flourish and a singleminded depth that meet someplace among poetry and rant. In Dworkin's ethical universe the conflict of the sexes is a Manichaean conflict among absolute energy and absolute powerlessness, absolute villains and absolute sufferers. the basis of male energy, "the top element of male identity," is violence, actual and psychic. males are predators, ladies their leader prey. To males, intercourse ability rape; the penis is an device of energy and terror. Pornography expresses, enforces, is male strength: The woman's intercourse is appropriated, her physique is possessed, she is used and he or she is despised: the pornography does it and the pornography proves it. N O M O R E N I C E G I R L S 18 the facility of guys in pornography is imperial energy, the facility of the sovereigns who're merciless and smug, who maintain taking and conquering for the excitement of energy and the ability of delight. If Susan Griffin misses contradictions, Andrea Dworkin scorns the very thought of contradiction: Ambiguity is for the fainthearted, dialectics are the self-serving invention of male philosophers. "Male culture," she pronounces, "thrives on argument and prides itself on differences. " She name callings on the contrast girls are "commanded" to make among pornographic delusion and actual lifestyles. In a bankruptcy at the Marquis de Sade she conflates his lifestyles along with his paintings, reduces his antinomian nihilism to a simple get together of male strength and dismisses Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman—an illuminating examine of ways de Sade's writing, and via extension all pornography, unites reactionary and radical impulses—as a "pseudofeminist literay essay. " The misogyny Dworkin decries is actual enough—it seriously is not all of truth. among men and women (often an analogous men and women) there's love in addition to warfare. this can be an very unlikely contradiction, however it occurs to be the contradiction on which our social order rests. a global view that defines male sexuality as pornography as rape leaves no room for mutual heterosexual hope, not to mention love; but a feminism that doesn't take heterosexuality heavily can neither understand the common woman's existence nor spark a circulate that would switch it. If family with males provide not anything yet violence and exploitation, so much women's obvious wish for such family members needs to suggest that both males are so diabolically robust as to have overwhelmed even passive resistance or ladies were so brutalized that we have got misplaced the desire to withstand. the place during this state of affairs is the potential of fight? with no contradiction there should be no swap, purely impotent moralizing.

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