History Violence

Woman Hating: A Radical Look at Sexuality

Woman Hating: A Radical Look at SexualityAndrea DworkinE.P. Dutton1974

From Wikipedia: Dworkin examines the place and depiction of women in fairy tales and pornography (focusing on the French erotic novels Story of O and The Image and the magazine Suck). She then looks at the historical practices of Chinese foot binding and Medieval European witch burning from a radical feminist perspective. The book’s final section discusses the concept of androgyny within various cultures’ creation myths and argues for “the development of a new kind of human being and a new kind of human community” free from gender and gendered roles.

While Dworkin was living in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, she met Ricki Abrams, a prostitute and a fellow expatriate. Abrams introduced Dworkin to early radical feminist writing from the United States, and Dworkin was especially inspired by Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics, Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex, and Robin Morgan’s Sisterhood is Powerful. She and Abrams began to work together on “early pieces and fragments” of a radical feminist text on the hatred of women in culture and history, including a completed draft of a chapter on the pornographic counterculture magazine Suck, which was published by a group of fellow expatriates in the Netherlands.

Before Dworkin left Amsterdam, Dworkin spoke with Abrams about her experiences in the Netherlands, the emerging feminist movement, and the book they had begun to write together. Dworkin agreed to complete the book — which she eventually titled Woman Hating — and publish it when she reached the United States. In her memoirs, Dworkin relates that during that conversation she vowed to dedicate her life to the feminist movement:

Sitting with Ricki, talking with Ricki, I made a vow to her: that I would use everything I knew, including from prostitution, to make the women’s movement stronger and better; that I’d give my life to the movement and for the movement. I promised to be honor-bound to the well-being of women, to do anything necessary for that well-being. I promised to live and to die if need be for women. I made that vow some thirty years ago, and I have not betrayed it yet.

Andrea Dworkin, Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant, 122.

Table of Contents


Part One: The Fairy Tales
Chapter 1: Onceuponatime: The Roles
Chapter 2: Onceuponatime: The Moral of the Story

Part Two: The Pornography
Chapter 3: Woman as Victim: Story of O
Chapter 4: Woman as Victim: The Image
Chapter 5: Woman as Victim: Suck

Part Three: The Herstory
Chapter 6: Gynocide: Chinese Footbinding
Chapter 7: Gynocide: The Witches

Part Four: Androgyny
Chapter 8: Androgyny: The Mythological Model
Chapter 9: Androgyny: Androgyny, Fucking, and Community