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


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Paperback, November 1, 1991
$310.18 $20.37
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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: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 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: #1,277,064 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

49 of 65 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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33 of 46 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Andrea Rita Dworkin (1946-2005) was an American radical feminist and writer, as well as anti-war activist and anarchist in the 1960s, best known for her criticism of pornography; she was married to John Stoltenberg. She wrote many books, such as Our Blood / Andrea Dworkin., Woman Hating (Plume), Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant, Intercourse, Scapegoat The Jews, Isreal, and women's Liberation, Life and Death, Right Wing Women, Letters from a War Zone, Mercy: A Novel, and Ice and Fire : A Novel.

She wrote in the Preface to this 1981 book, "This is a book about the meaning of pornography and the system of power in which pornography exists. Its particular theme is the power of men in pornography. This not a book about the First Amendment... This is not a book about obscenity...
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2 of 2 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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