Our Blood: Prophecies and discourses on sexual politics
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This is a collection of speeches Andrea Dworkin made during the 1970's wherever she could get her brand of feminism across in a largely patriarchal American society. As way of introduction Dworkin tells of her struggles to be heard- especially by other women and the (mostly bad) reactions she received from her lectures. Her perseverance to carry on trying to spread her ideas is admirable even if you are critical of her ideas. It is worrying though how much of her speeches ring true- even if you believe Dworkin a rabid man-hater or one who faces up to the truth that a male dominated society refuses to acknowledge. There also can be no denying Dworkin's ability to move people or make her points punchy, clear and with no bows to sentimentality.
Dworkin talks about rape, abuse and inequality forwardly and without apology. She challenges the established institutions- the courts, the government, the education system. Some of her ideas are very memorable such as making Halloween an official mourning day for all the women who were killed by ignorant and misogynistic societies for practicing "witchcraft".
educative and counseling possibilities here. Also, in Lorton, Virginia, convicted sex offenders have organized a group called Prisoners Against Rape. They work with feminist task forces and individuals to delineate rape as a political crime against women and to find strategies for combating it. It is very important that men who want to work against rape do not, through ignorance, carelessness, or malice, reinforce sexist attitudes. Statements such as “Rape is a crime against men too” or “Men are
derived. If we were not invisible to ourselves, we would see that since the beginning of time, we have been the exemplars of physical courage. Squatting in fields, isolated in bedrooms, in slums, in shacks, or in hospitals, women endure the ordeal of giving birth. This physical act of giving birth requires physical courage of the highest order. It is the prototypical act of authentic physical courage. One’s life is each time on the line. One faces death each time. One endures, withstands, or is
ornaments, so deprived of physical presence that we cannot run or jump or climb or even walk with a natural posture; we have been, and are, veiled, our faces covered by layers of suffocating cloth or by layers of make-up, so that even possession of our own faces is denied us; we have been, and are, forced to remove the hair from our armpits, legs, eyebrows, and often even from our pubic areas, so that men can assert, without contradiction, the positivity of their own hairy virility. We have been,
imaginations are so mutilated now that we are incapable even of the ambition, introduce a new theme, one as great and as rich as those others—should we call it “joy”? We cannot imagine a world in which women are not experienced as trivial and contemptible, in which women are not demeaned, abused, exploited, raped, diminished before we are even born—and so we cannot know what kind of art will be made in that new world. Our work, which does full honor to those centuries of sisters who went before
but their rights, and they don’t get them. When she comes to demand them, don’t you hear how sons hiss their mothers like snakes, because they ask for their rights; and can they ask for anything less?... But we’ll have our rights; see if we don’t; and you can’t stop us from them; see if you can. You can hiss as much as you like, but it is coming. Sojourner Truth, 1853 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank Kitty Benedict, Phyllis Chesler, Barbara Deming, Jane Gapen, Beatrice Johnson, Eleanor Johnson, Liz