• 25 Posts
Joined 3 years ago
Cake day: July 18th, 2021

  • You raise an excellent point that the quote from Andrea Dworkin portrays a rather extreme and controversial view that is not representative of feminism as a whole. In fact, many prominent feminists have strongly disagreed with Dworkin’s perspective.

    For example, Laura Tanenbaum, a respected feminist writer, has bluntly called Dworkin’s views “shit.” (1) Wendy McElroy, in her book XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography, also presents a feminist case against Dworkin’s anti-porn stance (2). As the esteemed feminist scholar Dr. Dale Spender has eloquently put it, “Feminism['s battles] have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.” (3)

    This demonstrates that feminism is a broad movement focused on expanding women’s rights and opportunities - not demonizing male sexuality. In fact, as Amartya Sen compellingly argues in Development as Freedom, the expansion of women’s capabilities is essential for the betterment of all people. When women have more voice, choice and agency, it leads to progress in areas like health, education, and poverty reduction that benefit entire communities.

    So while Dworkin’s quote may get attention for its shock value, I would encourage looking to the many other feminist thinkers who take a more nuanced, constructive and less male-antagonistic approach (5). Feminism is not about vilifying men and male sexuality, but rather about advancing gender equality in a way that uplifts everyone. There is room for an open, healthy dialogue about sexuality within a framework of mutual understanding and respect between women and men.

    (1) Laura Tanenbaum, “The Appeal and Limits of Andrea Dworkin,” Jacobin, August 5, 2019, https://jacobin.com/2019/08/andrea-dworkin-last-days-at-hot-slit-review.

    (2) McElroy, Wendy. XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

    (3) Cleal, Olivia. “Australian ‘Feminist’s Feminist’ Dr Dale Spender AM Dies Age 80.” Women’s Agenda, November 27, 2023. https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/australian-feminists-feminist-dr-dale-spender-am-dies-age-80/.

    (4) Sen, Amartya. Development as Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.


    In fact, many leading feminist thinkers today emphasize an inclusive, nuanced and compassionate approach aimed at liberating people of all genders from limiting stereotypes and unjust social structures. Prominent feminist authors like bell hooks have advocated for men’s inclusion in the feminist movement, arguing that patriarchy harms both men and women. Scholars like Kimberle Crenshaw and Michael Kimmel examine how rigid gender norms and hierarchies contribute to issues like violence and discrimination in a holistic way, without resorting to vilifying men as a group.

    So while I understand your frustration with certain feminist ideas that can come across as accusatory toward men, I would encourage you to explore the diversity of thought within modern feminism. There are many brilliant feminist advocates out there who are working to create a more just and equitable world for everyone, men included. By considering these alternative perspectives with an open mind, you might find more points of alignment than you expect.

    Ultimately, I believe we all share the same goal of wanting a society where everyone is free to express themselves fully and without fear - but getting there will require good faith dialogue and a willingness to thoughtfully engage with different points of view.

  • Thanks for the response. What you’re describing - feeling a bodily urge to masturbate when viewing porn, even if you’d prefer not to - is very common. We’re kinda designed so that our bodies respond to sexual stimuli. Many people can relate to that internal tug-of-war between an impulse and a conflicting desire.

    From a psychological flexibility perspective, the key is to approach those urges with mindful acceptance rather than struggle against them. Fighting with or trying to suppress an urge often just makes it grow stronger, like a beach ball you keep trying to push underwater - it keeps popping back up with greater force (1). Instead, psychological flexibility invites us to open up and make room for the urge, observing it with curiosity and letting it be fully present in our awareness.

    This doesn’t mean you have to act on the urge. In fact, by giving it space to exist without resistance, you gain the ability to unhook from it and consciously choose how to respond in line with your values (2). You might say to yourself “I’m having the thought that I need to masturbate right now” and feel the sensations of that urge in your body, while still maintaining the freedom to decide if acting on it is truly what you want.

    Imagine for a moment that a dear friend or loved one came to you struggling with this same dilemma. How would you respond to them? Most likely with compassion, understanding, and encouragement to be kind to themselves as they navigate this very human challenge. We could all benefit from extending that same caring response to ourselves.

    At the end of the day, you’re the expert on your own life and what matters most to you. By practicing acceptance of your inner experiences, unhooking from unhelpful thoughts and urges, and clarifying what you truly value, you can develop psychological flexibility to pursue a rich and meaningful life - whatever that looks like for you. That means that there’s no one “right” way to relate to masturbation and porn. The invitation is to approach it mindfully and make choices that align with the kind of person you want to be.

    (1) You can check out the “rebound effect” or “ironic process theory.” It’s been studied extensively in the context of thought suppression. The seminal paper on the topic is Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Carter, S. R., & White, T. L. (1987). Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(1), 5–13. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.53.1.5

    (2) This meta-analysis reviewed laboratory-based studies testing the components of the psychological flexibility model, and how psychological flexibility techniques increase behavioral flexibility. Levin, M. E., Hildebrandt, M. J., Lillis, J., & Hayes, S. C. (2012). The impact of treatment components suggested by the psychological flexibility model: A meta-analysis of laboratory-based component studies. Behavior Therapy, 43(4), 741-756. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2012.05.003

  • The article’s “valuing your time” argument is problematic in certain contexts. My brother has had so much trouble with his dual-boot (Windows and Linux). Yes, he could learn how to solve something in Linux every time a problem arises, but he also has to deliver his projects on time. Because of that, he mostly spends time on his Windows dual boot. Yeah, it sucks ethically and has its own pragmatic issues, but he has never had issues resolving dependencies or hunting down the most recent version that can actually be run in NixOS.

    I don’t doubt these will become issues that will not be as problematic in the future, but right now my brother cannot use Linux reliably for his assignments.

    Edit: My brother has tried what I use: Fedora and NixOS. He has also tried PopOS.

    In Fedora, he found some of his software didn’t exist as .deb, and struggled to make .tar files work smoothly for him.

    He tried NixOS afterward. He really liked the whole immutability thing, as well as the idea that apps would have their own dependencies.

    His dependency problem happened in PopOS. If I remember correctly, it was a code editor that required a version of something that was different to what a package he used in his software was.

    I think the order he tried was Fedora -> NixOS -> PopOS -> NixOS -> ? (Haven’t talked to him about it recently)