The female life-force itself is characterized as a negative one: we are defined as inherently masochistic; that is, we are driven toward pain and abuse, toward self-destruction, toward annihilation — and this drive toward our own negation is precisely what identifies us as women. In other words, we are born so that we may be destroyed. Sexual masochism actualizes female negativity, just as sexual sadism actualizes male positivity. A woman’s erotic femininity is measured by the degree to which she needs to be hurt, needs to be possessed, needs to be abused, needs to submit, needs to be beaten, needs to be humiliated, needs to be degraded. Any woman who resists acting out these so-called needs, or any woman who rebels against the values inherent in these needs, or any woman who refuses to sanction or participate in her own destruction is characterized as a deviant, one who denies her femininity, a shrew, a bitch, etc. Typically, such deviants are brought back into the female flock by rape, gang rape, or some form of bondage. The theory is that once such women have tasted the intoxicating sweetness of submission they will, like lemmings, rush to their own destruction.
It is true, and very much to the point, that women are objects, commodities, some deemed more expensive than others - but it is only by asserting one’s humanness every time, in all situations, that one becomes someone as opposed to something. That, after all, is the core of our struggle.
Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating
Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating
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