Last updated on: 1/22/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Andrea Dworkin Biography

Title:
Author, activist, and former prostitute
Position:
Con to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“I ask you to think about your own bodies–if you can do so outside the world that the pornographers have created in your minds, the flat, dead, floating mouths and vaginas and anuses of women. I ask you to think concretely about your own bodies used that way. How sexy is it? Is it fun? The people who defend prostitution and pornography want you to feel a kinky little thrill every time you think of something being stuck in a woman. I want you to feel the delicate tissues in her body that are being misused. I want you to feel what it feels like when it happens over and over and over and over and over and over and over again: because that is what prostitution is.

…And so, many of us are saying that prostitution is intrinsically abusive. Let me be clear. I am talking to you about prostitution per se, without more violence, without extra violence, without a woman being hit, without a woman being pushed. Prostitution in and of itself is an abuse of a woman’s body. Those of us who say this are accused of being simple-minded. But prostitution is very simple. And if you are not simple-minded, you will never understand it. The more complex you manage to be, the further away from the reality you will be–the safer you will be, the happier you will be, the more fun you will have discussing the issue of prostitution. In prostitution, no woman stays whole.”

Speech at University of Michigan Law School, Oct. 31, 1992

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Won 2001 American Book Award
  • Listed in 300 Women Who Changed the World, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica
  • Activist
  • Lecturer, University of Minnesota, Fall 1983
  • Former prostitute
Education:
  • BA, Literature, Bennington College, 1968
Other:
  • Deceased: Apr. 9, 2005
Quoted in:
  1. Should Prostitution Be Legal?