QotD: “They do it because they learned it.”

People say, “Oh, well, pornography – that’s for masturbation, nobody can get hurt that way.” But orgasm is a very serious reward, isn’t it? Think of Pavlov’s little dogs, right? They don’t just think about salivating; they salivate. They do it because they learned it. Period. Now think about pornography. The dehumanization is a basic part of the content of all pornography without exception. Pornography in this country in the last ten years has become increasingly violent by every measure, including Playboy, including all the stuff you take for granted; and every single orgasm is a reward for believing that material, absorbing that material, responding to that value system: having a sexual response to stuff that makes women inferior, subhuman.

Andrea Dworkin, Feminism: An Agenda, 1983

Found via the Bewilderness


3 responses

  1. So Andrea Dworkin thinks oppression is linked to male sexual pleasure as such, especially through masturbation. Would she approve of surgical intervention to diminish male sexual pleasure, i.e. removing the foreskin?

  2. No, you’ve misinterpreted it completely. She is saying that an orgasm is a powerful conditioning force; when anyone, male or female, masturbates and orgasms to violent imagery, they are reinforcing the idea that violence is stimulating.

    Very few people jump straight to images of extreme sexual violence, they build up to it, as the ‘mild’ stuff stops being stimulating. It’s like an addiction, you need a stronger and stronger hit in order to get the same effect, and for some men, the images stop working altogether.

    Dworkin had nothing against sexual pleasure in and of itself, and I doubt she would have approved of mutilating male genitals.

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