Saturday, August 13, 2011

What Andrea Dworkin DIDN'T say: "All sex is rape", "All men are rapists", "All heterosexual sex is rape", and similar shit

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Movie Review: The Spiritually Ugly 30 Minutes or Less

Movie Review: The Spiritually Ugly 30 Minutes or Less
Photo: Sony Pictures
The R-rated comedy 30 Minutes or Less has the careless, amoral vibe of a seventies drive-in chase movie awash in drugs, nudity, and shooting, and without any pesky, PG-13, momentum-killing anxiety about “social consequences.” The makers don’t go as far as they might have — kids, for example, aren’t killed (only traumatized for life). But in spirit, this movie couldn’t be much more ugly. I enjoyed it. It suits the national mood.
The director, Ruben Fleischer, was behind the mysteriously successful Zombieland and is now, having wrung cheap laughs out of the end of civilization, essentially self-lobotomized. This film is better. It has a clever, mean, relentlessly vulgar script by Michael Dilberti. The central relationships are bracingly grotesque, the laughs, such as they are, are proportional to the degree of the characters’ avarice, murderousness, stupidity, and indifference to devastation. Early on, best buddies Jesse Eisenberg, a pizza deliveryman, and Aziz Ansari, an elementary-school teacher, beat each other up and vow never to speak again. Eisenberg turns out to have deflowered Ansari’s sister (Dilshad Vadsaria) while Ansari admits he divulged a secret that ended Eisenberg’s parents’ marriage. Adding to the unpleasantness is that Ansari, an amusing comedian, has no idea how to modulate his performance and shouts all his lines, while Eisenberg, finally freed by last year’s The Social Network from his stammering-sweetie persona, makes a point of staying brusque and irritable.
Danny McBride is the film’s strongest presence, as he often is in comedies that up the macho creepiness quotient to the point where you wonder whether Andrea Dworkin weren’t right about all men being rapists. He plays the unemployed, druggie, relentlessly emasculated son of a retired military officer (Fred Ward) living off lottery winnings. On the advice of a stripper he thinks likes him, McBride decides to kill his father — or, rather, to pay someone to kill his father and force someone else to rob a bank to come up with the $100,000 hit man fee. If that sounds moronically convoluted, it should be said that McBride is the thinker in his social circle. His pal, played by Nick Swardson, is chiefly good at blowing things up and burning things down. Swardson does, however, create the bomb vest that locks onto the delivery guy who has the bad luck to answer the pair’s call for a pizza. And so Eisenberg is forced into robbing a bank to keep from being vaporized.
30 Minutes or Less is paced like a thriller, and it’s impressive how much suspense Fleischer and Dilberti are able to generate given that no one onscreen has any brains.
(Ansari suggests that Eisenberg remove the bomb vest by sawing off his arms, putting them in ice, and having them reattached at the hospital.) Halfway through, Michael Pena shows up as a weirdly effeminate hit man who makes you think better of McBride. But then McBride comes onscreen and you start hoping for Pena to waste him. Then Eisenberg and Ansari blunder into a bank and you think maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they both got blown up. I think those debt-ceiling negotiations have really done a number on us.

Just a note on truth-in-movie-reviewing:

Re: "Danny McBride is the film’s strongest presence, as he often is in comedies that up the macho creepiness quotient to the point where you wonder whether Andrea Dworkin weren’t right about all men being rapists."

Neither Andrea Dworkin nor Catharine MacKinnon ever said, wrote, or otherwise indicated that they believed "all men are rapists" (or that "all sex is rape") and proof of the allegation being erroneous is both in their published work and is also discussed here (it's a lie that began in Playboy magazine to discredit feminist activists):

It's just one of many lies about radical feminists that gets passed around so anti-feminists can think "those women were CRAZY!" I'd surely appreciate it if you didn't climb onto that old band-wagon. It's already quite crowded with men who hate feminists and I don't assume that's the company you keep.


Anonymous said...

[i]You think intercourse is a private act; it's not, it's a social act. [b]Men are sexually predatory in life[/b]; and women are sexually manipulative. When two individuals come together and leave their gender outside the bedroom door, then they make love.[/i] - Andrea Dworkin
Sorry if we got confused, then.

Julian Real said...

Hi feminismquotes,

I'm wondering if you have the citation for that quote? I don't recall that being hers either.

It could be in Intercourse but it doesn't ring a bell with me.

I'm hoping more and more of her quotes get passed around with proper citation, as so many are inaccurate.

Julian Real said...

Hi again, feminismquotes,

Ironic, don't you think, that the quote you send to me to excuse your other misreads of Dworkin's writings is also a misquote?

Funny (although not ha-ha funny) how antifeminists can't read, let alone analyse and understand, text.

theoreticalgrrrl said...

For the asshole feminist quote-miners, how about letting Andrea speak for herself:

"No, I wasn't saying that and I didn't say that, then or ever. There is a long section in Right-Wing Women on intercourse in marriage. My point was that as long as the law allows statutory exemption for a husband from rape charges, no married woman has legal protection from rape. I also argued, based on a reading of our laws, that marriage mandated intercourse--it was compulsory, part of the marriage contract. Under the circumstances, I said, it was impossible to view sexual intercourse in marriage as the free act of a free woman. I said that when we look at sexual liberation and the law, we need to look not only at which sexual acts are forbidden, but which are compelled.

"The whole issue of intercourse as this culture's penultimate expression of male dominance became more and more interesting to me. In Intercourse I decided to approach the subject as a social practice, material reality. This may be my history, but I think the social explanation of the "all sex is rape" slander is different and probably simple. Most men and a good number of women experience sexual pleasure in inequality. Since the paradigm for sex has been one of conquest, possession, and violation, I think many men believe they need an unfair advantage, which at its extreme would be called rape. I don't think they need it. I think both intercourse and sexual pleasure can and will survive equality.

"It's important to say, too, that the pornographers, especially Playboy, have published the "all sex is rape" slander repeatedly over the years, and it's been taken up by others like Time who, when challenged, cannot cite a source in my work."
--Andrea Dworkin

From New Statesman & Society
(London, England)
21 April 1995

Julian Real said...

Thank you so very much, theoreticalgrrrl,

These fool men who keep misquoting Andrea repeatedly make an interesting point that I'm sure they don't intend to make: that they need their about her and her work: they cannot deal with her work, her own words, directly, as is.


Because her work as it is--unmodified by their dishonesty, cowardice, and stupidity--is an incisive frontal assault on their rights of access and entitlements to degrade and dominate women as a class.