[British novelist] Michael Moorcock talks to feminist activist, theorist, and author Andrea #Dworkin, and finds her keen to sort out a few false rumours.
But what happens when you find the inside worse than the outside? What happens when the marital bed with your revolutionary lover/husband is worse than any two-second fuck in any alley? I was a believer in sexual liberation, but more important I had believed in the unqualified goodness of sex, its sensuousness, its intensity, its generosity. I’ve always loved being alive. I’ve no interest in suicide, never have had. The battering destroyed me. I had to decide whether I wanted to live or die. I was broken and ashamed and empty. I looked at #pornography to try to understand what had happened to me. And I found a lot of information, about power and the mechanisms by which the subordination of women is sexualised. I want you to understand that I didn’t learn an ideology. For me, it’s been a living journey. I began to examine the use of force in sex, as well as the kind of sadism I’d experienced in prison. I had so many questions, why do men think they own women? Oh, well, they do; here are the laws that say so; here’s how the pornography says so. Why do men think women are dirty? Why is overt violence against women simply ignored, or disbelieved, or blamed on the woman?
I read all I could and still found the richest source of information on women’s lives was women, like me, who wanted freedom and were willing to fight for it. But a big part of the fight was facing facts; and facts had a lot to do with what men had done to us, how men used us with or without our own complicity. In pornography I found a map, a geography of male dominance in the sexual realm, with sex clearly defined as dominance and submission, not as equality or reciprocity.