[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.

    #pornographie comme géographie de la #domination_masculine

    • Most men and a good number of women experience sexual pleasure in inequality. Since the paradigm for sex has been one of conquest, possession, and violation, I think many men believe they need an unfair advantage, which at its extreme would be called rape. I don’t think they need it. I think both intercourse and sexual pleasure can and will survive equality.

    • What do you say to committed feminists who disagree with your approach to pornography and say porn is merely one manifestation among many of a problem with deeper roots?

      Andrea Dworkin: I say solve the problem you think is more urgent or goes deeper. Pornography is so important, I think, because of how it touches on every aspect of women’s lower status: economic degradation, dehumanisation, woman hating, sexual domination, systematic sexual abuse. If someone thinks she can get women economic equality, for instance, without dealing in some way with the sexual devaluation of women as such, I say she’s wrong

    • Michael Moorcock: What do you think about the current shift to the right in US politics?

      Andrea Dworkin: Here, in blaming and shaming the oppressed, the powerless, the left colludes with the right. There’s no reason to look to the left for justice, so people look to the right for order. It’s pretty simple. The victory of the right also expresses the rage of white men against women and people of colour who are seen to be eroding the white man’s authority. The pain of destroying male rule won’t be worse than the pain of living with it.