Intercourse Quotes

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Intercourse Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin
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Intercourse Quotes (showing 1-12 of 12)
“Being female in this world means having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us. One does does not make choices in freedom. Instead, one conforms in body type and behavior and values to become an object of male sexual desire, which requires an abandonment of a wide-ranging capacity for choice...

Men too make choices. When will they choose not to despise us?”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“It is a tragedy beyond the power of language to convey when what has been imposed on women by force becomes a standard of freedom for women: and all the women say it is so.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“How can anyone love someone who is less than a full person, unless love itself is domination per se?”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“Inferiority is not banal or incidental even when it happens to women. It is not a petty affliction like bad skin or
circles under the eyes. It is not a superficial flaw in an otherwise
perfect picture. It is not a minor irritation, nor is it a trivial
inconvenience, an occasional aggravation, or a regrettable but
(frankly) harmless lapse in manners. It is not a “point of view”
that some people with soft skins find “ offensive. ” It is the deep
and destructive devaluing of a person in life, a shredding of dignity and self-respect, an imposed exile from human worth
and human recognition, the forced alienation of a person from
even the possibility of wholeness or internal integrity. Inferiority
puts rightful self-love beyond reach, a dream fragmented by
insult into a perpetually recurring nightmare; inferiority creates
a person broken and humiliated inside. The fragments—
scattered pieces and sharp slivers of someone who can never
be made whole—are then taken to be the standard of what is
normal in her kind: women are like that. The insult that hurt
her—inferiority as an assault, ongoing since birth—is seen as a
consequence, not a cause, of her so-called nature, an inferior nature. In English, a graceful language, she is even called a
piece. It is likely to be her personal experience that she is insufficiently
loved. Her subjectivity itself is second-class, her experiences
and perceptions inferior in the world as she is inferior
in the world. Her experience is recast into a psychologically
pejorative judgment: she is never loved enough because she is
needy, neurotic, the insufficiency of love she feels being in and
of itself evidence of a deep-seated and natural dependency. Her
personal experiences or perceptions are never credited as having
a hard core of reality to them. She is, however, never loved
enough. In truth; in point of fact; objectively: she is never loved
enough. As Konrad Lorenz wrote: “ I doubt if it is possible to
feel real affection for anybody who is in every respect one’s inferior.
” 1 There are so many dirty names for her that one rarely
learns them all, even in one’s native language.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“Men often react to women’s words—speaking and writing—as if they were acts of violence; sometimes men react to women’s words with violence. So we lower our voices. Women whisper. Women apologize. Women shut up. Women trivialize what we know. Women shrink. Women pull back. Most women have experienced enough dominance from men—control, violence, insult, contempt—that no threat seems empty.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“Freedom is not an abstaction, nor is a little of it enough. A little more is not enough either. Having less, being less, empoverished in freedom and rights, women then invariably have less self-respect: less self-respect than any human being needs to live a brave and honest life.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“The normal fuck by a normal man is taken to be an act of invasion and ownership undertaken in a mode of predation. Woman have been chattels to man as wives, as prostitutes, as sexual and reproductive servants. Being owned and being fucked are or have been virtually synonymous experiences in the lives of woman. He owns you - he fucks you. The fucking conveys the quality of ownership - he owns you inside out.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“Being stigmatied by sex is being marked by its meaning in a human life of loneliness and imperfection, where some pain is indelible.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“Critiques of rape, pornography, and prostitution are “sex-negative” without qualification or examination, perhaps because so many men use these ignoble routes of access and domination to get laid, and without them the number of fucks would so significantly decrease that men might nearly be chaste.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“With the possible exception of the Shakers, it is difficult to think of an American movement that has failed more spectacularly than antipornography feminism.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“There are so many dirty names for her that one rarely learns them all, even in one’s native language. There are dirty names for every female part of her body and for every way of touching her. There are dirty words, dirty laughs, dirty noises, dirty jokes, dirty movies, and dirty things to do to her in the dark. Fucking her is the dirtiest, though it may not be as dirty as she herself is. Her genitals are dirty in the literal meaning: stink and blood and urine and mucous and slime. Her genitals are also dirty in the metaphoric sense: obscene. She is reviled as filthy, obscene, in religion, pornography, philosophy, and in most literature and art and psychology. where she is not maligned she is magnificently condescended to, as in this diary entry by Somerset Maugham written when he was in medical school:

The Professor of Gynaecology: He began his course of lectures as follows: Gentlemen, woman is an animal that micturates once a day, defecates once a week, menstruates once a month, parturates once a year and copulates whenever she has the opportunity.

I thought it a prettily-balanced sentence.


Were she loved sufficiently, or even enough, she could not be despised so much. were she sexually loved, or even liked, she and what is done with or to her, in the dark or in the light, she would not, could not, exist rooted in the realm of dirt, the contempt for her apparently absolute and irrevocable; horrible; immovable; help us, Lord; unjust. She is not just less; she and the sex she incarnates are a species of filth. God will not help of course: "For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
“The spread of religious fundamentalism throughout the world right now is men retrenching to undo the civil and social advances of women; to reestablish male power as a fundamental reality by reestablishing gender as an absolute. This requires rigorous tightening of restraints on male sexual behavior as well as intensifying civil and sexual controls on women.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse