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Andrea Dworkin, once called Feminism’s Malcolm X,” has been worshipped, reviled, criticized, and analyzed-but never ignored. The power of her writing, the passion of her ideals, and the ferocity of her intellect have spurred the arguments and activism of two generations of feminists. Now the book that she’s best known for-in which she provoked the argument that ultimately split apart the feminist movement-is being reissued for the young women and men of the twenty-first century. Intercourse enraged as many readers as it inspired when it was first published in 1987. In it, Dworkin argues that in a male supremacist society, sex between men and women constitutes a central part of women’s subordination to men. (This argument was quickly-and falsely-simplified to all sex is rape” in the public arena, adding fire to Dworkin’s already radical persona.) In her introduction to this twentieth-anniversary edition of Intercourse, Ariel Levy, the author of Female Chauvinist Pigs, discusses the circumstances of Dworkin’s untimely death in the spring of 2005, and the enormous impact of her life and work. Dworkin’s argument, she points out, is the stickiest question of feminism: Can a woman fight the power when he shares her bed?
Published: Basic Books on Aug 1, 2008
ISBN: 9780786722365
List price: $18.00
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Most of Dworkin's writings are excellent reading, if you don't think about them too much. She's an excellent prose stylist, and you can tell that she always put a lot of thought into her text, which helps make it quite readable, especially when compared to academic feminist writing (or any academic writing, for that matter). That said, she often jumped from evidence to conclusion without convincing supporting arguments, perhaps especially in this book. It's still incredibly interesting reading, though.read more
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Seminal, controversial (understatment), in some senses iconic. I disagree with Dworkin on almost everything, but any study of modern feminism needs to include this book, simply for the influence it once had.read more
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Andrea Dworkin examines the oppression of women in our society and finds its roots in the most basic sexual act. Is intercourse the tender and loving communion of equals, asks Dworkin, or the socially sanctioned celebration of men's physical, psychological, political and economic dominance over women?read more
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Most of Dworkin's writings are excellent reading, if you don't think about them too much. She's an excellent prose stylist, and you can tell that she always put a lot of thought into her text, which helps make it quite readable, especially when compared to academic feminist writing (or any academic writing, for that matter). That said, she often jumped from evidence to conclusion without convincing supporting arguments, perhaps especially in this book. It's still incredibly interesting reading, though.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Seminal, controversial (understatment), in some senses iconic. I disagree with Dworkin on almost everything, but any study of modern feminism needs to include this book, simply for the influence it once had.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Andrea Dworkin examines the oppression of women in our society and finds its roots in the most basic sexual act. Is intercourse the tender and loving communion of equals, asks Dworkin, or the socially sanctioned celebration of men's physical, psychological, political and economic dominance over women?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Dworkin examines the social perception and construction of intercourse, asking much of the questions that need to be asked. She goes on to ask questions about intercourse and sex in general, posits different reasons, and because of this (and likely her anti-porn stance) she is perceived as "anti-sex." I didn't find a specific conclusion in the book, but rather took it as a commentary on the act. She never says "refuse to have it" anywhere, or at least I missed it if she did; at points she even discusses different ways intercourse can be conceived and made less male-supremacist, without totally ignoring the societal factors in favor of individualistic ideals. Considering US feminism basically is now a western worship of individualism, it's still incredibly relevant. It changed my entire perspective on intercourse and actually improved the sex I have, which is not what I expected it to do considering the things most will say about it. I highly recommend this book for all women, but especially for those who have sex and/or intercourse with men.
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Dworkin writes with intense passion and surgical precision. Both as a work of feminism and literary criticism Intercourse hits hard.
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a life-changing book
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