For Kate, via Siris: On Andrea Dworkin

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A more reasoned and reasonable discussion of Andrea Dworkin's contributions to modern thought.

Including this note, in which Canada demonstrates its superiority in at least one aspect of thinking:

In Canada, however, Dworkin's anti-porn efforts succeeded. A Canadian court ruled that pornography was not protected under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that it was in fact degrading to women. When Canadian Customs officers began seizing porn, GLBT advocates were outraged—porn is big in the gay community.

Dworkin's anti-porn crusade set off shock waves on the left. The right to pornography is the new third-rail of modern liberal politics—touch it and you'll die.

In the church of sexual libertinism, pornography is a holy sacrament. It is "high-brow" and liberating. The free flow of porn has become a leading indicator that the old moral values are dead and the new ethic of sexual narcissism is alive and well. In the view of many on the left, Dworkin's attempt to eradicate pornography amounted to censorship and showed an appalling lack of enlightenment.

What Andrea Dworkin knew instinctively is that male-female relationships are terribly broken, the pieces so scattered and torn that no one seems to know what the thing ought to look like. She blamed this brokenness on men, and there she made a philosophical wrong turn. But if she failed to understand the root causes of the evil she witnessed, she did not fail to grasp the terrible price women were paying in a society that views them as sexual objects.


The Christian view of marriage is a relationship modeled on the unbreakable covenant and unselfish love that God himself has for us. Marital sexuality is not rape, but a consensual commitment before God to create new life. It is to be a joyous experience of intimacy and trust, of mutual enjoyment and mutual giving.

. . . The Christian church has to answer the criticisms of people like Dworkin. In Christ there is hope: for peace, for respect, for love, for trust, for commitment, for fulfillment, all in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. That promise too often goes unfulfilled.

The essay demystifies and removes some of the propaganda that surround Dworkin's thoughts. It is salutary reading for those who heard only the strident voices arrayed against Dworkin. Indeed, this essay is so good it's like Godiva Chocolate. I owe Brandon a great debt of gratitude. Thank you!

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 26, 2005 8:42 AM.

Newsflash: Radical Rabbi Reveals Self-Expression Can Be Murder! was the previous entry in this blog.

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