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Pornography: Men Possessing Women (Plume) Paperback – November 1, 1991


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Paperback, November 1, 1991
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Product Details

  • Series: Plume
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452267935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452267930
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This strongly argued feminist case against pornography stirred tremendous controversy when first published in 1979, and has lost none of its bite during its several years out of print. Dworkin ( Letters from a War Zone ), who lobbies for municipal statutes declaring pornography a violation of women's civil rights, insists that pornography links sex and violence by incorporating violent domination of women as a key element of sexual fantasy: "Force in high-class pornography is romanticized . . . as if it were dance." Dworkin also takes what many consider to be an extreme position; she believes that pornography incites men to sexual violence. To support her thesis, she draws parallels between the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade and provides critical summaries of several contemporary pornographic works. Dworkin's style is intense, vivid and eloquent, infused with a sense of urgency.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is quite simply probably the best book ever written on the evil of pornography. It's a refreshing change to read on the subject from an author who's not from the religious right.
Dworkin's shocking descriptions of the violence and abuse that pornography causes and depends on for its survival will have all but the most diehard users feeling physically sick in disgust.
If there is any man out there who thinks that "softcore" pornography is okay and doesn't hurt women, you really need to read this book! It will change your mind, I know it did mine.
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32 of 45 people found the following review helpful By mvrm@aol.com on June 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
Andrea Dworkin is not just unique among many talented, feminist authors - she is a woman with an exceptional command of the English language, and an exquisite talent for using words to make a point in an either brilliant or shockingly crude fashion. She simply will not allow the reader to make excuses in his/her mind for the basic lower value of females around the world which is the base of pornagraphy.
This book is not for the faint-hearted, weak, or those who wish to live in a fantasy-land when it comes to male views of women's bodies and sexuality. Andrea Dworkin is a genius and, whether or not one agrees with any of her points, she will challenge the very foundations of our paternal societies and their implications for female sexuality, how women's lower social status is perpetuated through the condoning of degrading and violent sexual themes in art, entertainment, and literature, and how these repeating (and all to frequent) themes affect the zeitgeist of our culture.
You are not a woman until you have carefully read this enlightening and liberating book, and you are not a man until you have faced up to the ugly and destructive side of male-dominated culture and sex explicitly exposed by Ms. Dworkin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon Trott on January 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
Andrea Dworkin and her dark "second wave" feminist take on pornography don't get much attention any more. Americans imagine they're beyond the need for such critiques, thus the third wave feminists and their "discovery" that porn just needs a bit of tweaking (or maybe none at all if you're a Nancy Friday type feminist). Let's all be sex positive. Uh.....

All I can do is tell my story. I am a Christian, a white male, and the perfect candidate to massively reject Andrea Dworkin and her message. But when I read this book it was a bone-breaker and a b***s breaker. I mean, I had to rethink my own consciousness after reading Dworkin. She turned me into a Christian feminist-in-training (ain't arrived yet), and I suspect every woman I've interacted with since (from my wife to my daughters to my pastors to my friends) owes Dworkin a debt!

The book is flawed. It is written with such red-hot intensity (reminiscent in tone to Richard Wright's novel "Native Son") that her often literary voice goes a bit flat. But the flaw may also be why it works. For instance, she writes passages which at first read seem pornographic... and one begins to respond to them that way. Then, suddenly, one sees through what she is doing and apprehends just how demeaning, appalling, depersonalizing, and UNsexual it all is! Which of course is her point. And one, if allowing the self to do so, comes into contact with that reactionary core that none of us want to admit to.

Read it. But know it is not an easy book to read and you will come out with bruises.
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31 of 45 people found the following review helpful By "bulldogskin" on October 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a testimony to the awful misogyny that we are forced to witness every day. The specific form of misogyny that this book deals with is called porn, and if it makes you sick, this book sure ensures you that you are not alone. I'm a man and I feel ashamed of being so when try to understand how many victims men have used for their own purpose. Tracy Lords is one of those victims. She was a famous porn actress AFTER this book was written, which goes to show that the problem is getting worse. Why is it getting worse? Well, not too long ago porn was still considered dirty - the last resort for junkies - while today it is glamorized out of proportion. But ask your porn-buying friend if he or she would be proud over her son or daughter if this child wanted to make quick money by having sex in public, and you would see the double standard of morality. And there are reasons why sons and daughters are taught to stay away from that line of work (even while the parents contribute to its continued existence by consuming it). Just look at how Tracy Lords is doing today. She won't get any roles because of her past, as her participation in these films are all she is remembered for. That shame and endless anxiety and regret is her life. She admits that by having lived in a culture that endorsed porn, she was drawn into it and got spat out with a reputation ruining and ridiculing her name and image, leaving her empty and alienated from society. This book fights her fight, and it fights for all those defenseless and scared little girls who have been used like she was, a fight that hopefully will prevent little Tracies in the future to have their innocense stolen from them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aileen Lowe on March 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book. While not easy to read (in the sense that it forces one to reflect and think about what she is saying), it is one of those essential readings for anyone who really wants to understand much of the dynamics that happens in society between men, women and the powers that be
. Andrea Dworking is one of those special people,who occupies that category of 'prophet of our times', presenting aspects of life in which, as human beings, we must look at, examine and do much personal reflection if we, as men and women, are interested growth and becoming aware, compassionate human beings in relation to each other. I am heartened that there are people, men and women, like herself in this world.
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