Sadism as Sexism

Upon first glance, Andrea Dworkin’s claim that men dominate women because of sadistic porn seems far-fetched. However, there is a distinct link between sadism and treatment of women in the world. Sadism—specifically the heterosexual kind in question—involves one man dominating over one woman. These men will beat, strangle, pull hair, and torture these women for their own sexual gain, and men are told that these women enjoy this. It only makes sense that they would see this sexual fantasy and want to bring it into the real world. Now, this does not mean that men start attacking women in the street; it is more insidious than that. It’s little things like catcalling about degrading sexual acts and comments to smile more. It’s your boss implying that sexual acts will get you further in your career. And it filters all the way down to children when little boys pull little girl’s pigtails; they don’t realize that they are participating in male domination, and the girls are told that it means the boy likes them. The idea that men create a brotherhood from sadism is clearly represented in the sexual harassment women and girls face the second they meet a man or boy.

Dworkin’s negative view of men is undeniably harsh, but also it is clearly true. Men are influenced by what they are seeing on the screen before them; they are influenced by the acts of the real man, or macho man, on the screen. However, they are also being influenced by those that they look up to. A man does not necessarily have to watch sadistic porn of this kind to be powered by it. If a man is guided by a man who watches this porn or even by a man who is influenced by a man who watches this porn, then the first man will be brainwashed by heterosexual, sadistic porn. Based on this scenario, it is clear that anti-women behaviors are not permanent or innate; men can in fact be pro-women. What needs to be destroyed is not porn as a whole or the male species, but the systematic brainwashing of men to hate women. This means creating porn that showcases sex that does not degrade women, but porn that is enjoyable for both parties and consensual. The idea of the rape fantasy needs to be killed because women are the ones who are harmed by this fantasy. Going back to the playground, boys need to be taught that aggression is not the way to show affection, and girls need to be taught that they do not have to accept having their hair pulled as love. Ultimately, the problem is society. Society allows these events to take place. Society lets men catcall and harass, pull hair, and threaten women daily. Women are not toys for men to play with, and society and men must change in order to end the insidious destruction and domination of women.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *