Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

20 July, 2005

Hi, my name is Palmer and I'm a betrayer, rapist, and/or exploiter

Amanda over at Pandagon agrees with Andrea Dworkin that I will be rapist or exploiter of a woman. Christ, no wonder many women are loathe to describe themselves as "feminists". In her screed, Amanda critiques a piece by Phyllis Schalafly entitled, "Time to dispose of radical feminist pork". While there's no love lost between me and Ms. Schalafly, I think Ms. Marcotte, who is most definitely not stupid, should be taken to task for sneaking into her criticism a bit of misandrous stupidity.

Marcotte quotes Schalafly:

The Violence Against Women Act comes out of Andrea Dworkin's tirades of hate such as, "Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman."

And then comments that, "[It is] a lament that is actually pretty accurate and sad if you think about the history of women raising sons they love in a system where they were married off as if they were property only to turn those sons over to be woman-dominators themselves." Now, many a feminist commentator has gone to great pains to show how Dworkin's more extreme quotes are taken out of context, that she was really a sweet woman in pursuit of equality for women. Thusly the statement, "Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women's bodies", lacks supporting statements which would...which would...which would apparently dispel the notion that heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women's bodies. Or something. I'm not quite sure what context is needed for a clearer understanding of that statement. Did Dworkin play some semantic game and define "heterosexual intercourse", "contempt", or "bodies" in a new and novel way which even now eludes the editors of dictionaries thusly rendering her statement a wonderful and insightful observation about an act that came into existence via evolution quite before and apart from men? Alas, Ms. Dworkin is dead so let us return to Ms. Marcotte.

To repeat, she contends that the statement, "Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman" is "pretty accurate". Now, I'm a bit confused. The word "accurate" means correct in every detail so what is she saying? Perhaps only that 99.44% of women's sons betray their mothers and go on to rape and/or exploit women? Ms. Marcotte abstains from critcizing Schalafly for taking Dworkin's quote out of context so I'm going to assume that the statement ought to be taken as-is. I also assume that by "pretty accurate" she means that, while 99%+ of men don't go on to lead heinous lives, at the very least a majority of men do go on to betray their mothers, rape, exploit, and, in general, commit egregious sins against womankind. To quote Penn Gillette, bullshit!!

To lend even the slightest hint of veracity to Dworkin's statement is an act of sheer stupidity. Marcotte seems to put her reason in abeyance and takes some perverse feminist script as read that men are the most horrible of creatures. Either that or we're born little lumps of clay and molded by the evil patriarchal factory line into rapists/exploiters thusly making us victims as well as perpetrators. Have I created a false dichotomy or is there something in Marcotte's statements that allows for a third possibility which doesn't villify nearly 3 million human beings or merely relegate them to victimhood?
|| Palmer, 8:13 PM

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