It’s been many years since I last bothered the ErosBlog audience with my reactions to beyond-the-pale notions in radical feminist politics. Going out upon the internet to find an outrage of extremity was fun in 1996 or even in 2006, but in 2016 it has too much in common with shooting fish in a rain barrel. It’s like: “Yeah, internet, there be crazies, whoa, you just figured that out? Way to be slow, dude!”

I’m making an exception this time, however, because of a resonance with a factual “did-she-or-didn’t-she” argument from so long ago that it pre-dates the web’s easy fact-checking. I’m old enough to remember when Andrea Dworkin had not yet begun to deny that she meant “All heterosexual sex is rape” when she actually wrote “violation is a synonym for intercourse” in her infamous book. For quite some time she sort of walked a knife’s edge of deliberate ambiguity, basking in radical approbation for having “went there” while dissembling just slightly to the media in order to preserve her mainstream respectability and media access.

Whatever Dworkin truly meant back in 1987, the malign idea first attributed to her has certainly not died. If she didn’t quite mean it, or wasn’t willing to own it back then, in 2016 there are some who do and are. Check this out:

PIV is always rape, OK?

The first sentence is “Just to recall a basic fact: Intercourse/PIV is always rape, plain and simple.” That’s followed by nine paragraphs of supporting argument. Of course it’s all shot through with the totalitarian ideology that women aren’t capable of consent and that their accounts of consent should not be credited. It will always baffle me that anyone who advocates for women or for any of the various feminisms could be comfortable with such a sweeping dismissal of female agency. Does not compute!

And that’s quite enough about that.

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