WOMAN HATING: A Radical Look at Sexuality by Andrea Dworkin

WOMAN HATING: A Radical Look at Sexuality

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Dworkin covers a lot of ground -- Cinderella and Snow White, the ancient Chinese custom of footbinding, medieval witchcraft and Screw magazine -- in her efforts to document the victimization of Woman. Her shrill, bludgeoning style will probably put you off and her conclusion -- that we must all embrace ""androgynous myths"" to destroy the master/slave relationship -- will only be accepted by the fringes of the Women's Movement. But she is bright, entertaining and incisive when she is dissecting the roles available to men and women as articulated in fairy tales, Christian myths and contemporary pornography -- they do indeed contain ""cultural truths."" Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White are desirable to the Prince because they are beautiful, passive and helpless. If you examine the pages of Screw or Oz you'll find that these liberated counterculture rags are every bit as sexist as Playboy -- the only real difference being ""the awful quality of the writing."" And Dworkin has some very provocative things to say about how Christianity reinforced patriarchy by depicting women, starting with Eve, as naturally sinful instruments of Satan. You may not be able to grapple with the notion that sex is a continuum and that ""'man' and 'woman' are fictions, caricatures, cultural constructs"" but most of what she has to say is not nearly so preposterous.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1974
Publisher: Dutton