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Right Wing Women

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What does the Right offer to women? How does the Right mobilize women? Why is the Right succeeding in opposing women's rights? With the stark precision and forceful passion that characterize all of her work, Andrea Dworkin answers these timely questions. And by providing the first clear analysis of the impact on women of the Right's position on abortion, homosexuality, What does the Right offer to women? How does the Right mobilize women? Why is the Right succeeding in opposing women's rights? With the stark precision and forceful passion that characterize all of her work, Andrea Dworkin answers these timely questions. And by providing the first clear analysis of the impact on women of the Right's position on abortion, homosexuality, anti-Semitism, female poverty, and antifeminism, she demonstrates how the Right attempts both to exploit and to quiet women's deepest fears. — From the reverse cover.


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What does the Right offer to women? How does the Right mobilize women? Why is the Right succeeding in opposing women's rights? With the stark precision and forceful passion that characterize all of her work, Andrea Dworkin answers these timely questions. And by providing the first clear analysis of the impact on women of the Right's position on abortion, homosexuality, What does the Right offer to women? How does the Right mobilize women? Why is the Right succeeding in opposing women's rights? With the stark precision and forceful passion that characterize all of her work, Andrea Dworkin answers these timely questions. And by providing the first clear analysis of the impact on women of the Right's position on abortion, homosexuality, anti-Semitism, female poverty, and antifeminism, she demonstrates how the Right attempts both to exploit and to quiet women's deepest fears. — From the reverse cover.

30 review for Right Wing Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Can I give this book 10 stars? No? Bummer... One word sums up this book: BRUTAL. There's a lot of discussion amongst radical feminists about "following a thought to its logical conclusion." This means not stopping when an idea steps on PC toes or becomes uncomfortable - or downright dangerous - either personally or to the sex-class system at large (which obviously BECOMES personally dangerous for individual women.) Dworkin's book is radical - "to the root" - in every single sentence, possibly Can I give this book 10 stars? No? Bummer... One word sums up this book: BRUTAL. There's a lot of discussion amongst radical feminists about "following a thought to its logical conclusion." This means not stopping when an idea steps on PC toes or becomes uncomfortable - or downright dangerous - either personally or to the sex-class system at large (which obviously BECOMES personally dangerous for individual women.) Dworkin's book is radical - "to the root" - in every single sentence, possibly every single word. I was floored - I think I underlined about 25% of the book. Also, her writing style is dense but totally readable, which I appreciate. Here's a sample - see if you can stomach it: "...The fate of every individual woman - no matter what her politics, character, values, qualities - is tied to the fate of all women whether she likes it or not. ... Subordinate to men, sexually colonized in a sexual system of dominance and submission, denied rights on the basis of sex, historically chattel, generally considered biologically inferior, confined to sex and reproduction: this is the general description of the social environment in which all women live." Speak it, sister.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jude

    i am 64 - this book brought my mother's generation to me in compassionate and world-view-changing ways back when it first came out. Dworkin's respectful and insightful take on the innately sexual politics of conservative women has proved prescient and sadly, all too relevant still. please click the amazon link for reviews-this book's exploration of the mind-set and politics of right-wing women is still expanding the understanding of those who truly care about all women. That's what Andrea Dworkin i am 64 - this book brought my mother's generation to me in compassionate and world-view-changing ways back when it first came out. Dworkin's respectful and insightful take on the innately sexual politics of conservative women has proved prescient and sadly, all too relevant still. please click the amazon link for reviews-this book's exploration of the mind-set and politics of right-wing women is still expanding the understanding of those who truly care about all women. That's what Andrea Dworkin was - that's why she saw and named what so many others could not. The compassion at the heart of her vision is a challenge to us all.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Andrea Dworkin gets such a bad rap among (some) feminists and anti-feminists alike that I was slightly wary to actually go out and find one of her books. But, in an attempt to figure out what the majority of my female relatives are thinking, I picked this up. And it was damn worth it. Firstly...did I agree with her on everything? No. I do not, for instance, consider pornography to be a base cause of anything, or even one of the biggest problems women face in society. I did, however, agree with Andrea Dworkin gets such a bad rap among (some) feminists and anti-feminists alike that I was slightly wary to actually go out and find one of her books. But, in an attempt to figure out what the majority of my female relatives are thinking, I picked this up. And it was damn worth it. Firstly...did I agree with her on everything? No. I do not, for instance, consider pornography to be a base cause of anything, or even one of the biggest problems women face in society. I did, however, agree with her on a lot of what she said. Also, there were certainly sections of the book (the "men hate intelligence in women" chapter) which were probably far more applicable a generation or several ago than they are now, though I'm sure there are men today to whom this applies (*coughJohnCarrollconservativescough*). Oh, and the writing is amazing. Also, I read this in conjunction with Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards' Manifesta, in which they succinctly explain that no, Dworkin did not believe all sex was rape. While I have yet to read the book which gave way to that myth (Intercourse), this was important to see. I've heard far too many people, feminists and antis alike, saying this. Also, the other "weird thing" about Dworkin which always gets pointed out, her relationship with John Stoltenberg...why do people care so much if she said she was queer but was in love with a (also queer) man? "She said she was a lesbian but married a man" is what is constantly pointed out as why she was a little "crazy," but it's not like there's a law that a person has to declare their sexual orientation and never deviate...it's not like there's a law that people can't sometimes be attracted to people, not genitals. Just a thought.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sapphire

    There is a lot to say for Right Wing Woman. Dworkin really breaks down the internal consistency of conservative women in a way that I found really compelling. Quickly, some points of interest: - Her critique of the sexual revolution: "sexual freedom" as just a reframing of men getting exactly what they want, with women needing to put up with even more males, an even higher chance of disease, etc., but calling it "liberated." It's a core tenant of any radical movement, not to make your goal exactly There is a lot to say for Right Wing Woman. Dworkin really breaks down the internal consistency of conservative women in a way that I found really compelling. Quickly, some points of interest: - Her critique of the sexual revolution: "sexual freedom" as just a reframing of men getting exactly what they want, with women needing to put up with even more males, an even higher chance of disease, etc., but calling it "liberated." It's a core tenant of any radical movement, not to make your goal exactly what the ruling class wants, just glittered up with ideas of "choice" or "better conditions", and it's particularly well stated here. - Relatedly: Abortion, sexual promiscuity, etc. as a threat to RWW's sense of safety. One man with his sexual entitlement, just one man risking her pregnancy, childbirth, childrearing. One man to threaten rape, violence, etc. One man: a husband. And, in return, he protects her from all of the other men. There is an internal consistency here: for a RWW who accepts her position, breaking down monogamous heterosexuality IS a threat to her safety. Pregnancy risk is a protection for women- it means they had a reason to say no. To RWW, liberal women are ruining the deal they've made with men--a deal they see as the best bargain possible--for a much worse proposal. Dworkin's basic premise is that women everywhere do what they do in order to survive. And this is true for RWW as well as LWW. - The part in Jews and Homosexuals where she discusses Sodom and Gomorrah and what Judaism and Christianity actually say for homosexuality. "The lesson is not that the inferred homosexual assault is worse because one is homosexual and the other is heterosexual. ... The lesson is that when men are not safe from other men--a safety that can only be achieved by keeping women segregated and for sex--the city will be wiped out." And, “'Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.' (Leviticus 18:22). That means simply that it is foul to do to other men what men habitually, proudly, manfully do to women: use them as inanimate, empty, concave things; fuck them into submission; subordinate them through sex.” She made interesting points about homosexuality as a threat to the societally-constructed power difference between men and women. I've never heard this sort of telling of that Biblical story, and it was really interesting. - The last chapter, where she described the way different forms of antifeminism function (separate-but-equal, woman-superior, male-dominant), and what it means for feminism to be truly feminism (i.e., radical). She makes points about the way we see women as "pure". Spiritually, with a sex-specific morality (women as pure, chaste, etc.). Secularly, with a greater sense of good: women champion the environment, peace movements, etc. Motherhood as biological proof, women are to have an intuitive moral standard. Women are a symbol, and they have two options: be pure and good (sexually available, within certain restrictions), or else, be filth (and open to sexual assault from a wide range of sources extending well beyond just one husband). Fascinating book. I wouldn't recommend it as an introductory piece on radical feminism, but I would definitely recommend reading it to any woman.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Travisalbert

    This is not a book that I would recommend to anyone who is critical of radical feminism. There are lots of assertions that are not argued through and most of the book is written in extremes. However, this is a very valuable book for left-wing folks. Dworkin is brutally honest about the chauvanism prevelent in the left, and why the program of the right is more appealing to oppressed women than the program (or rather hodge-podge of ill-defined ideas)of the left. Whether consious or not, the This is not a book that I would recommend to anyone who is critical of radical feminism. There are lots of assertions that are not argued through and most of the book is written in extremes. However, this is a very valuable book for left-wing folks. Dworkin is brutally honest about the chauvanism prevelent in the left, and why the program of the right is more appealing to oppressed women than the program (or rather hodge-podge of ill-defined ideas)of the left. Whether consious or not, the attitude toward sex among the political left is isolating women from their movements. To sum up, I enjoyed it, but as I read, I was thinking about all of the people who I wouldn't dare recommend it to.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nora

    This book helped me understand the psychology of right-wing women a little and the theories of Andrea Dworkin a lot. The writing is really, really good and persuasive even if I find Dworkin's ideas a bit... pessimistic. This is a mostly-accessible read that I would recommend to someone who wanted to read about radical feminism.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nalim

    An examination of women's reasons for collaborating with men for the limitation of women's freedom. - Dworkin asked, "Why do right-wing women agitate for their own subordination? How does the Right, controlled by men, enlist their participation and loyalty? And why do right-wing women truly hate the feminist struggle for equality?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sskessa

    I read this book a couple years ago and it changed my life. Dworkin retains such compassion for all women, even those who fight vehemently against our own rights. Her voice is strong and courageous, and the anger she feels towards the oppression of women is inspiring.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    I was especially hostile to Dworkin's POV when I first read this but I've come a long way. I don't agree with some of her most controversial statements on religion, marriage and abortion. But I'm not a "right-wing" woman neither politically, nor as per this book's definition. She has some points that are good to remember, especially as you get on the structure of the right in the United States. Her constant allusions to the far right and omissions of libertarianism were strange to witness, though I was especially hostile to Dworkin's POV when I first read this but I've come a long way. I don't agree with some of her most controversial statements on religion, marriage and abortion. But I'm not a "right-wing" woman neither politically, nor as per this book's definition. She has some points that are good to remember, especially as you get on the structure of the right in the United States. Her constant allusions to the far right and omissions of libertarianism were strange to witness, though I'm pretty sure she'd have classified Rand as complacent with male supremacy (after all, she was). Most interesting chapters were the first three and the last two. Her chapter on Jews and homosexuals has purposefully misrepresented Christianity by giving word to fundies and Mormons, which is really sad. I still don't understand how, after saying that abortion could scar a woman, she still advocated it, and more in the face of the "coming gynocide", which had too much accuracy even when she didn't exactly envision euthanasia or transgenderism: acceptance of prostitution, IVF and surrogacy, female feticide, were there. She was fatalistic and angry, but most importantly I liked her recognition that lesbianism is not necessarily a way out, that feminism still has a lot of work to do, even for these women who find the movement morally reprehensible or misguided. This is something you rarely see in the current political climate. Maybe there are things to be learned from Dworkin.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wildlx

    This was my first book by Dworkin. The book consists of six essays written at the the end of the 70s beginning of the 80s: The Promise of The Ultra-Right; The Politics of Intelligence; Abortion; Jews and Homosexuals; The Coming Gynocide; Antifeminism. Dworkin's insights can be brilliant but at the same time she can be too emotional, as if she is taking things personally, and a bit too repetitive. This makes her arguments not as clear as they could be. Also, it was noticeable for me that the book This was my first book by Dworkin. The book consists of six essays written at the the end of the 70s beginning of the 80s: The Promise of The Ultra-Right; The Politics of Intelligence; Abortion; Jews and Homosexuals; The Coming Gynocide; Antifeminism. Dworkin's insights can be brilliant but at the same time she can be too emotional, as if she is taking things personally, and a bit too repetitive. This makes her arguments not as clear as they could be. Also, it was noticeable for me that the book is a bit dated, although that in a way shows that some of Dworkin's ideas have been incorporated by other feminists I've read before and also into popular culture. Some essays are better than the others and my favorite was Antifeminism.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    So over the top, and I would have liked a bit more evidence for some of the conclusions she draws. That said, there are many parts of the book that speak to the experience of many women, which is why I think it is so highly rated. And it is refreshing to hear someone speak so frankly (read:strongly) about their own experience and the issues surrounding it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Both enlightening and depressing. Worth the read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jehona

    Brilliant! Right in every sense! Most of it is true beyond America. I just couldn't put it down.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    (Cool game to do on a boring afternoon, just pop this book open on a random page and see what kind of drivel it spews.) Some quotes of this utterly insane book. She criticizes the drugging of women but boy, Dworkin could use an antidepressant or 2*: Women cannot be responsible for pregnancy, in the sense of acting to prevent it, because women do not control when, where, how, and on what terms they have intercourse. Intercourse is forced on women, both as a normal part of marriage and as the (Cool game to do on a boring afternoon, just pop this book open on a random page and see what kind of drivel it spews.) Some quotes of this utterly insane book. She criticizes the drugging of women but boy, Dworkin could use an antidepressant or 2*: Women cannot be responsible for pregnancy, in the sense of acting to prevent it, because women do not control when, where, how, and on what terms they have intercourse. Intercourse is forced on women, both as a normal part of marriage and as the primary sex act in virtually any sexual encounter with a man. No woman needs intercourse; few women escape it. Every woman— no matter what her sexual orientation, personal sexual likes or dislikes, personal history, political ideology— lives inside this system of forced sex. Antifeminism is always an expression of hating women. Antifeminism is the politics of contempt for women as a class. Men hate intelligence in women. Women are required to submit to intercourse, and women may then be required to submit to the pregnancy. Mothers raise daughters to conform to the strictures of the conventional female life as defined by men, whatever the ideological values of the men. Mothers are the immediate enforcers of male will, the guards at the cell door, the flunkies who administer the electric shocks to punish rebellion. Women cling to irrational hatreds, focused particularly on the unfamiliar, so that they will not murder their fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, lovers, the men with whom they are intimate, those who do hurt them and cause them grief. *i take the buggers every day so don't even start it was a joke

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    A stirring and compassionate analysis of Right-wing antifeminism and how little it differs from mainstream cultural and social antifeminism. Especially helpful in breaking down the superficial and ultimately irrelevant political divisions between American women.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I'm 35% through with my library copy and am so impressed with it, that I am buying it to reread, mark up and use as a reference.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Incredible, as ever. Definitely one of her key texts. Hard to review for a non-enthusiast, but I'll try at some point (too much travelling to do right now so no time).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Gets repetitive at the end but overall a pretty great read about conservative psychology. I know Dworkin's work has quite a reputation but don't knock it 'til you try it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    fausto

    Why women choose the Right? That's the main question of the book, and the answer Andrea gives the reader is not only full, but clearly shows the complexity of the subject. The Right gives women the apparent "order" that leads one's life: non-changing values, traditions, the love of Jesus or whatever deitity, a sense of conservation and stability. And from this gloomy picture, Andrea unmask the male construction of sexuality, economy, order, and intellect, explaining in this way what is radical Why women choose the Right? That's the main question of the book, and the answer Andrea gives the reader is not only full, but clearly shows the complexity of the subject. The Right gives women the apparent "order" that leads one's life: non-changing values, traditions, the love of Jesus or whatever deitity, a sense of conservation and stability. And from this gloomy picture, Andrea unmask the male construction of sexuality, economy, order, and intellect, explaining in this way what is radical feminism, at the heart: radical feminist want to destroy patriarchy for the harm that inflict into women, right-wing women assimilate to patriarchy for the harm that inflict into women.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Allison

    An incredible polemic. The last chapter is a must read for those interested in radical liturature of any political orientation.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. dworkin's view of women is "women as pornography/women as sex." the systematic oppression of women (which she expands upon really well, very eye-opening) is rooted in women's reproductive role; this leads to views of women as idiots, morally elevated or effete, etc. somewhat repetitive but her writing is splendid. got nauseous at moments just from how bleak and grotesque she can render the status of women. ends on an interesting/classic note abt "class consciousness" and the need for liberation dworkin's view of women is "women as pornography/women as sex." the systematic oppression of women (which she expands upon really well, very eye-opening) is rooted in women's reproductive role; this leads to views of women as idiots, morally elevated or effete, etc. somewhat repetitive but her writing is splendid. got nauseous at moments just from how bleak and grotesque she can render the status of women. ends on an interesting/classic note abt "class consciousness" and the need for liberation for ALL women. more thrillingly, dworkin provides an interesting delineation of the feminist motive (universal standard for human freedom and rights AND recognition of the sex-class system). honestly, a great primer on women's issues in many ways. dworkin goes beyond public school k thru 12 summaries of suffrage, abortion rights, etc.; explores how certain forms of control relate to the domination of women; and highlights issues less explored now as women's issues (marital rape laws, regulation of welfare benefits, etc.) would recommend postscript: the bits abt right-wing women's reasoning honestly feel a bit shoehorned in. incompletely incorporated in the text. interesting but repetitive after a while.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Dworkin isn’t my favorite feminist icon for various reasons but she really does hit the nail on the head in a lot of her writings so I find it sad that many people my age interested in feminist thought and ideas skip over her. This book in particular does a really good job of illuminating how misogyny exists on both the right and left of the political spectrum. Dworkin theorizes that right wing women choose the right because they are more attune to the sexism on the left, which can seem subtle Dworkin isn’t my favorite feminist icon for various reasons but she really does hit the nail on the head in a lot of her writings so I find it sad that many people my age interested in feminist thought and ideas skip over her. This book in particular does a really good job of illuminating how misogyny exists on both the right and left of the political spectrum. Dworkin theorizes that right wing women choose the right because they are more attune to the sexism on the left, which can seem subtle but is also glaringly obvious in many ways. I found myself nodding a lot and thinking “yep this makes sense,” at a lot of the passages.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Мурка Ленина

    This is essential reading for all American women, especially in today's political climate. Critiques both the right and left in its exploitation of women.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Houda Lamqaddam

    First Andrea Dworkin work I read. Very good, except for a weird and unhealthy obsession with sex work that I can't seem to comprehend

  25. 5 out of 5

    Abdifatah

    Lovecraftian undertones.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy Layton

    This is such an intriguing and necessary book. Not only does Andrea Dworkin divulge how and why the roots of the patriarchy and misogyny have sprouted into what we see today, but how such sprouts are interpreted and therefore acted upon. Feminists decidedly wish to fight against such sprouts, inciting freedom and liberation--but right-wing women see the struggle a little differently. A fight for freedom is surely a means of rape, prostitution, homelessness, death. They work within the system to This is such an intriguing and necessary book.  Not only does Andrea Dworkin divulge how and why the roots of the patriarchy and misogyny have sprouted into what we see today, but how such sprouts are interpreted and therefore acted upon.  Feminists decidedly wish to fight against such sprouts, inciting freedom and liberation--but right-wing women see the struggle a little differently.  A fight for freedom is surely a means of rape, prostitution, homelessness, death.  They work within the system to keep themselves alive and safe. It all seems so obvious to me now, this analysis.  Without Dworkin's analysis, I would probably still continue to think that women who are staunchly anti-feminist are solely that and for no good reason other than they think that everything is fine.  But really, they know as well as feminists do that everything is certainly not fine!  But our ways of getting to the root of the problem and means of working with it are just vastly different, and are in need of sympathy and collaboration than anger and upheaval.   As insightful as she always is, Dworkin introduces invaluable concepts in her book.  What are the differing opinions about prostitution, porn, abortion, and why?  What's being done about these?  Why do we view anti-feminist women as participating in their own oppression?  All such necessary questions, and even more necessary explanations. This is a must-read for any feminist.  It has brought so much to light for me, and has added a new perspective to my repertoire.   Review cross-listed here!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    #BabysFirstDworkin I read a lot of soft garbage on my holiday, so I was ready to kick it up a notch with some political theory. I've also spent the past year reading plenty of libfem, so it was time to throw a little radfem in the mix. I'd never read Dworkin before, but with the release of "Hot Slit" having her make a soft comeback of sorts, I was ready to dive in. And WHEW. LADS. This is the type of moonbat shit I live for. Looney liberalism of the ultimate pedigree. I know Dworkin veers toward #BabysFirstDworkin I read a lot of soft garbage on my holiday, so I was ready to kick it up a notch with some political theory. I've also spent the past year reading plenty of libfem, so it was time to throw a little radfem in the mix. I'd never read Dworkin before, but with the release of "Hot Slit" having her make a soft comeback of sorts, I was ready to dive in. And WHEW. LADS. This is the type of moonbat shit I live for. Looney liberalism of the ultimate pedigree. I know Dworkin veers toward hyperbole for the sake of shock value, but this is the kind of stuff that would make a college professor say, "Chill." So basically what I'm getting from this book is that Dworkin was a female incel who viewed men through the most conspiratorial lens possible. I mean, she's fantastic - and quite possibly the only person who could make Anita Bryant and Phyllis Schlafly sympathetic - but this gal is PAR-A-NOID. It's maddening, but Dworkin represents that kind of hard-lined principled shit that you just don't see in public intellectuals anymore. The type of vehement misandry that makes radfems so appealing (to a certain subset of people). Kind of like with Paglia, I disagree with nearly *everything* (I mean, "cocksucking is cannibalism" and "all P in V sex is rape" is certainly not a hill I wanna die on) but boy oh boy am I having a ball watching her burning down those strawmen.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angus Stirling

    'Looking for a way out of the sex-class system, a way beyond the boundary of prostitution, a way around the crimes of rape, battery, economic exploitation, and reproductive exploitation, a way out of being pornography, right-wing women look at feminists and they see women inside the same boundary, victims of the same crimes, women who are pornography. Their response to what they see is not a sense of sisterhood or solidarity—it is a self-protective sense of repulsion. The powerless are not quick 'Looking for a way out of the sex-class system, a way beyond the boundary of prostitution, a way around the crimes of rape, battery, economic exploitation, and reproductive exploitation, a way out of being pornography, right-wing women look at feminists and they see women inside the same boundary, victims of the same crimes, women who are pornography. Their response to what they see is not a sense of sisterhood or solidarity—it is a self-protective sense of repulsion. The powerless are not quick to put their faith in the powerless. The powerless need the powerful, especially in sex oppression because it is inescapable, everywhere: there are no free zones, free countries, underground railways away from it. Because feminism is a movement for liberation of the powerless by the powerless in a closed system based on their powerlessness, right-wing women judge it a futile movement.'

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    This is essential feminist reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Belsky

    Essential reading for the Trump era.

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