Libertairian Alliance Pamphlet No. 20

  • Avedon Carol is a member of Feminists Against Censorship, and is not a free market capitalist. She is co-editor, with Alison Assiter, of "Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures: The Challenge to Reclaim Feminism", Pluto Press, London, 1993.
  • This is a slightly edited version of an article that first appeared as "Ask Mr. Social Science" in "Pulp" No. 19, Summer 1991.
  • The views expressed in this publication are those of its author, and not necessarily those of the Libertarian Alliance, its Committee, Advisory Council or subscribers.

For today's assignment, you are asked to match the skills of a poetry critic known as UCLA in interpreting the possible meaning of the following verse by the poet James Robert Page Plant:

"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold and she's buying a stairway to heaven. When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed with a word she can get what she came for" 

Got your answer yet? Wonder why psychologists at the University of California should care? Well, it seems that, with everyone so worried about what the impact of nasty drug/sex-oriented song lyrics might be on impressionable young minds, social scientists have been running around asking Led Zeppelin fans what the group's most famous song is about and do you know, not one of them interpreted the song to be about smoking dope? According to the psychologists, this is evidence that kids don't listen to song lyrics.

Now, I'm not going to argue with the theory that people don't actually spend much time giving careful examination to the meaning of rock song lyrics - in my experience, a lot of people don't. On the other hand, who says these psychologists have such a firm handle on rock song lyrics? Personally, I find it astonishing that any reasonably literate person could be so certain that the song in question is about drugs rather than about, say, believing that things of spiritual value can be purchased with material goods.

One might say that the psychologists have gone for an overly literalist interpretation of this piece of verse, but, judging from an article in the "International Herald Tribune", these people wouldn't recognize that problem if it chewed their legs off up to the hip. They describe as "a typical response" this interpretation by a student: "It's about going to heaven through a stairway and the stairway has problems along the way."

What the psychologists didn't remark on (and should have been moved to View with Alarm by) is the fact that, after a certain age, this kind of literalism in trying to take meaning from metaphor is a recognized syndrome of cognitive failure - but one which, it seems, the psychologists suffered as well since they were unable to interpret "Stairway" themselves without first finding a concrete word to attach material meaning to "gold," according to these people, refers to "Acapulco gold".

Despite the fact that the song contains many clues to an ironic view of the "lady we all know" (*1) and her stairway that "lies on the whispering wind," the psychologists never recognized the possibility of abstract metaphorical content. Even when no Led Zeppelin fan gave an interpretation that matched their understanding of the song, they preferred to assume that not one of them had listened to the lyrics and tried to interpret them rather than admit that their own interpretation might be incorrect.

  • (*1) Ah! Margaret Thatcher.

Shoddy Sociology

There are a number of social scientists whose work I have a great deal of respect for - they ask good questions, define their tasks clearly, detail their results responsibly, duplicate their work before attempting to represent it as "proof" of anything, and don't leap to wild conclusions that are way off the scale of anything their studies can really support.

Unfortunately such researchers seem to be getting pretty thin on the ground lately, despite the fact that there seems to be more money and time being given to large studies every year. So many of them reveal shoddy, irresponsible work that you have to be a genius as well as an expert at reading these things to be able to give any kind of reasonable interpretation to their data. But shabby study results are being released into popular culture at such a rapid rate that one can hardly keep up with them.

Lately I spend the bulk of my time trying to counteract widely-held beliefs that have taken hold in the general culture because unsafe interpretations of raw results, some of these themselves of dubious reliability, are being spread around by speakers who pretend to be experts in the fields of sex, sex crime, pornography, aggression, women, men, and other related areas.

The biggest problem is having to overcome the essentially boring nature of explaining what's wrong with the studies in language that won't put listeners to sleep. You can excite lots of people with police reports of "a growing prevalence of hard core pornography in Britain," but it's a lot harder to calm them down by pointing out that, in fact, studies show a decline in hard core availability and the cops are just trying to get more funding by creating a sense of outrage and the feeling that "Something must be done."

You can impel whole rooms full of angry women to march in the streets by telling them that "Studies in America showed that men became more violent after watching pornography," but you might merely bore them by trying to explain that no one has been able to duplicate this result, and in the two studies quoted, one was not using actual pornography but was using general release films like "Taxi Driver", and the other couldn't find porn that fit its category description ("violent pornography" - the only kind that was deemed to create aggression), so they had to make their own.

The atmosphere in Britain at the moment is one in which almost everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to ban all that horrible awful violent degrading porn that they just know is out there everywhere - little realizing that under current law, that stuff is already banned, and with censorship by the primary distributors of skin mags (and fear of prosecution under the already vague laws), most of what is available on the shelves is so tame that most people didn't used to call it "pornography" - "Penthouse" is a popular example.

By law, you can not have pornographic videos in this country. By law, you can't have anything that might "deprave and corrupt", which by case law has been interpreted to mean you can't show erect genitals or penetration by objects. The Obscene Publications Squad are currently targetting SM porn of any kind. The major distributors will not carry anything that contains pictures of two people together, or any sexually-oriented magazine if the cover photo shows nipples (male or female).

What little is left - including the lesbian sex magazine, "Quim" (*2) - is refused by the alternative bookshops because they have been so convinced (or just cowed) by the anti-pornography "feminist" rhetoric.

  • (*2) "Quim", BCM Box 2182, London WC1N 3XX.

The "feminist" argument against porn, which is that it presents a one-sided and male-oriented stereotyped view of sexuality in which women pose for men, has created an atmosphere that encourages the authorities to stop all visual sexual material - but what is being stopped now is work created by women - "On Our Backs" (3) and "Bad Attitude",(4) both lesbian magazines, are stopped at the airports.

  • (*3) "On Our Backs", 526 Castro Street, San Francisco, California 94114, USA.
  • (*4) "Bad Attitude: A Lesbian Sex Magazine", P.O. Box 110, Cambridge, Masssachusetts 02139, USA.

Intellectual material like the feminist book "Caught Looking",(*5) which examines the political context of the porn debates, is prevented from coming into the country by the Customs service because it contains photographic examples of its subject matter - the argument that the book is not itself intended as pornography and has what might be called "socially redeeming value" cuts no ice with them.

  • (*5) Kate Ellis et al. eds., "Caught Looking: Feminism, Pornography and Censorship", The Real Comet Press, Seattle, 2nd edn., 1988 (Real Comet Press, 3131 Western Avenue, No. 410, Seattle, Washington 98121-1028, USA. Tel: 0101-206 283 7827.

The anti-porn rhetoric has it that women feel "degraded" and even "assaulted" by seeing skin mags on the top shelves of newsagents' display stands. Being 5'4", I didn't even notice they were there until I was made aware of it by the Off the Shelf anti-porn campaign, but according to Teresa Stratford of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, "pornography places, quite literally, a straitjacket on sexual expression", would you believe.

You bet - every time I walk into a newsagent, porn leaps right down and wraps me up so I can't express myself sexually. But, you know, I would have sworn those restraints were on me from other sources - not least among them the anti-porn campaigners who insist that, because I am female, I can not possibly have any interest in looking at potentially sexually arousing material.

Clare Short And Womens' Views

MP Clare Short managed new levels of notoriety a while back by introducing a bill to make "page 3" photos of semi-nude women in the tabloids illegal, and she's been running around ever since insisting that "women" are "disgusted" by pornography of every kind. She gets to talk about this on TV a lot, and when she does the producers have tended to bring on an opposing point of view in the person of one of the few women in the UK who is pro-sex and won't lose her job by saying so on TV - Isabel Koprowski, managing editor at UK "Penthouse" and "Forum".

As soon as Isabel points out that she actually likes pornography, Short (like every other opponent Isabel gets dragged out to confront on this issue) crows that

  • "the only people they can ever find to disagree with me on this are people like you who work for the pornographers",

implying that it's significant that no one without a vested interest ever seems to want to go on TV to contradict her.

Forget the possibility that Isabel took the job in the first place because she liked porn - nope, it's just part of her rationalization for having the job, and promotion of her product, they think. They are wrong. But what Short and others like her also ignore is that the TV stations want people with recognizable credentials, people they've heard of, people they know how to contact - and your average porn-reading housewife, teacher, secretary or student isn't on any media lists and probably wouldn't want to go on TV in the first place to become "Pro-Porn Patti" in tomorrow's tabloids and out of work by Monday morning.

Gloria Hunniford's research staff were wise to this by the time it got round to having Clare on the "Gloria Live" show to promote her book of letters from women who wrote in to support her Page 3 bill - so they phoned up Nettie Pollard of Feminists Against Censorship (FAC) to present the opposing view from someone who wasn't a "pornographer".

Short at first balked at this, but was told that if she wouldn't appear with a FAC member, she wouldn't be on. So Clare went along with it until the very last minute, by which time it was too late to create a new item to put on the air - she wouldn't, she said, be on with "some vituperative feminist". Funny, that - I wonder if she will be appearing with Isabel again in future claiming that "they can only get people like you" to oppose her. "Vituperative," huh?

But go ahead and find a way to explain the background of these things to people after the damage is done. The television viewer doesn't know that Isabel is the only woman Clare hasn't refused to be opposed by, any more than the audiences at the anti-porn slide shows know that the "horrible, violent, degrading" porn they are shown is very rare and in no way representative of most of the porn people look at, contrary to what they are told by presenters who insist that "this violence is what men are really fantasizing when they look at porn".

In my experience most men do not generally fantasize anything resembling real violence in their sexual fantasies, whether or not they use pornography. True, I can't read their minds and find out what they are really thinking, but then neither can Clare Short, who apparently thinks she can. Ken Livingstone, MP, says that "The boys back at school looked at porn and snickered over it and they were thinking about rape."

In fact, there seem to be a whole lot of women who are sure they know what men are thinking, and men who are sure they know what other men are thinking, when they look at porn, and what those men are thinking about is doing violent and horrible things to women.

Porno And Sexual Thoughts: An Unscientific Survey

Okay, so what are men thinking when they look at porn? Well,

  • they might be thinking it would be nice to be in the sack with someone who doesn't act like she's doing them a favour (which for some men would be a novelty).
  • They might be thinking how neat it would be to see a lover really getting hot with them.
  • They might be thinking about having a woman so crazy for them that she'd do anything they wanted and love every minute of it.

The way people assert that they know what men are thinking about when they look at porn, you'd think someone had done a study on it, but no one has, since everyone already knows what everyone else thinks.

The main finding of the Home Office report on pornography was that there isn't much research to tell us anything. I've given this a great deal of consideration myself, of course.

Let's look at responses of some men in a completely unrepresentative sample in the preliminary stages of a survey with no reliable controls:

Q: "What kinds of sexual fantasies do you have?"


  • "I mostly fantasize about being with my lover, things we usually do together, me going down on her, her going down on me, fucking, the way she calls my name, the sounds she makes when she gets off."
  • "A maternal woman, with a big backside and big breasts and a round belly, and she does things to me ... I don't do anything. She kind of coos when she talks to me, and she takes my clothes off me and she touches me and plays with me."
  • "Being tied up, looking really cute and helpless. Not being able to get free by myself."
  • "Being with two women."
  • "Anything ... The idea of a woman who wants me, I'll do anything she wants."
  • "Fucking."
  • "Women in sexy underwear, suspender belts, stockings, high-heels. That turns me on."
  • "You know - sucking, fucking, the usual."

Our researchers were disappointed by the mundane nature of these fantasies, how "vanilla" (i.e., ordinary and boring) most of them were, and particularly the fact that none of them were "tops" (i.e., dominant in an SM relationship).

Q: "Do you have any unusual fantasies - things you've never done, things you wouldn't want to do in real life, or things you don't think other people fantasize?"


  • "No. I've done everything I ever wanted to do. I'm not interested in anything kinky."
  • "I wish I could find a woman who wanted to tie me up."
  • "I fantasize anal sex sometimes, but I've never been with a woman who wanted to, and I'm not sure it's that good an idea to try out."
  • "I fantasize about having several women treat me like a plaything ... they have sex with each other, mostly ignore me, but I just sit there and watch, and they sometimes grab me and play with me. I can't imagine how I could put this into practice."
  • "Nothing unusual, nothing I haven't done, really ... but in my fantasies, I'm good at it. So that's different from real life, I guess."

Our researchers became depressed.

Q: "What kind of pornography do you like to look at?"

  • A: "It doesn't really do much for me. I don't like just pictures."
  • "Films of people having sex." "Pictures of women in leather, looking dominating. Or pictures of women in silky underwear tied up, and I can imagine I look like that."
  • "Written stuff ... stories about people having sex. Ordinary sex, I mean. Cunnilingus, fellatio, intercourse."
  • "Pictures of really slim women with small breasts."

Our researchers fell asleep at this point. When they woke up, they marvelled at how much more boring and less adventurous the sample's fantasies were as compared with the fantasies of the researchers, who were all female. Far more interesting fantasies reported by well-known science fiction professionals have not been included in this sample.

Surveys And Real Science

The "survey" above constitutes what is known as "anecdotal evidence", and is completely unusable as a real indication of how people other than the specific individuals quoted experience sexual fantasy, of course. No broad generalizations can be made about what the larger group of "men" fantasize or how they use pornography.

By sheer accident, you will note, there were no men who answered by saying that they have fantasies about spanking or involving couples/groups in which they were not the only males present - and yet, we know, men do have such inclinations and there is a market for pornography that appeals to such tastes.

A variety of social factors skewed the sample in the first place, and a prejudice of the reporter eliminated variant data that did not fit in with the stereotype needed for the above reports - that is, I could have included examples of male dominance that just didn't happen to have been reported in the specific conversations I quoted from, but I decided not to.

By factoring out "irrelevant" data (famous male-dominant sf writers), I was able to "prove" that men have either submissive fantasies or "ordinary" fantasies, for the most part. Or, to put it bluntly, no responsible social scientist would even bother to report from data of this type, let alone take it seriously.

There is, however, real truth in the above "survey".

The men were real people who were undoubtedly trying their best to be as honest as possible under the circumstances (i.e., being grilled by crazy women). Some of them were men who look at pornography regularly, but none of them were reporting fantasies that involved any violence toward women. This does prove that there are some men, at least, who don't seem to equate sexual fantasy with violence against women. What it doesn't tell you is that there are other men who do.

Anecdotal evidence is now being used heavily by both "feminist" and traditional anti-porn crusaders to "prove" that women detest pornography, pornography is the cause of violence against women and child abuse, and that men have violent thoughts about women whenever they look at porn.

The Meese Commission relied almost wholly on reports by women who had been assaulted by men who used pornography in some context and men who said they had been somehow corrupted by porn. The Commission also discouraged testimony that was contrary to this prejudice. The Minneapolis hearings on pornography had statements from one woman after another whose "evidence" consisted largely of saying "I was raped, and I think porn was responsible" - in cases where pornography had nothing to do with the rape, to anyone's knowledge.

Those same hearings contained testimony from two women who both said that they had been exposed to pornography in the form of "Playboy", "Penthouse", and "Oui", and that from these magazines they "learned that the relationship between men and women is one of violence".

  • (No one at the hearings asked how they could get that from the aforementioned magazines.)

The Campaign Against Pornography and Censorship (6) provides male speakers who will attest that they were "branded by pornography" and that porn caused them to have "degrading" thoughts about women.

  • (*6) Catherine Itzin's anti-porn group, an offshoot of the Campaign Against Pornography. CAP wants legal bans on porn; CPC wants to use Dworkin-MacKinnon type legislation to make pornographers liable to "civil rights" suits when women are raped. I leave you to imagine the legal workings of this process and who the chief witness would be.

Additionally, Catherine Itzin placed an article in "Cosmopolitan" explaining how pornography "causes" violence against women and ran a survey alongside it asking women if they had been assaulted and if porn was involved in the assault.

  • (*7)(Interesting tactic - first tell people what their answers should be, then ask the questions.)
  • (*7)Ms. Itzin did not wonder whether the effect of reading a magazine which tells women they have to starve themselves to death in order to attract men could possibly have any negative effects on women.

Consistent with most studies on groups of women,

  • about 25% said they had been sexually assaulted.
  • About 14% of these women said pornography was somehow implicated in the event.

Itzin calls this study "proof" that porn causes rape, but of course this rather ignores the 86% of these assault victims who may know men who read pornography, may read porn themselves, but cannot say that they have ever been victim to any violence in which pornography was implicated.

  • (Perhaps more importantly, and like most studies of this nature, it ignores the largest single factor in rape reported by women in surveys - as opposed to police reports, where records of rape are skewed by what is legally considered rape at the time.
    Most studies show that 40% of female rape victims were raped by their husbands. In England and Wales, until this year, marital rape was treated as protected violence, and therefore not a reportable crime.)

What is missing from data of this kind is controls - something to measure results next to. If the only evidence about porn you listen to comes from violence victims who will try to implicate porn, you're leaving out, for a start, all those battered and sexually abused women and children whose assailants don't look at porn, to say nothing of all those porn users who don't assault people. Here's a piece of anecdotal evidence about what men think of when they see nude women, from a well-known peeping-Tom:

  • Is lust acceptable? I like to defend those poor, unappreciated prurient feelings; I think they're kind of, well, sweet. And, at best, awesome. I remember one of my first experiences with sexual longings; it was in the winter of 1957 and I was trudging home from school in the slush and twilight. I happened to glance up at an apartment window where I saw a young, blond woman, in the nude, admiring herself in a full length mirror. I stood there for what was probably a full minute, totally transfixed by the sight. I experienced beauty, awe, tenderness, and the feeling of being utterly blessed. This is one of my most treasured memories. (*8)
  • (*8) Comic artist Steve Stiles in "BSFAn" (Baltimore Science Fiction Association fanzine), No. 18, Winter 1990-91.

Violence, huh?

Violence, Rape And Reality

But Catherine Itzin spends a lot of time trying to convince women that pornography has made our lives such a walking nightmare that we can't travel safely on the streets, despite the fact that most rape occurs inside the homes of the victims.

Although it is undeniable that rape - even stranger rape - does occur in the streets of this country, the portrait of terror that Itzin continuously paints is wholly inconsistent with reality. Most women, at most times, are pretty safe walking through London alone - something I've been doing for years now, travelling home on the underground all by myself at closing time, too.

On the other hand, I'm glad I'm not a young male, the most likely victim of street violence.

Some anecdotal evidence drawn from my own friends:

  • Martin Smith was walking back to my house from the off licence in broad daylight last summer and a complete stranger smacked him upside the head and knocked his glasses into the street - Martin spent the rest of the evening in pain, nursing a shiner.
  • John Brosnan and Alun Harries have both been assaulted by strangers on the street in the time I've known them, and
  • Martin Tudor spent most of Follycon (the British Science Fiction Convention of 1988 in Liverpool) taking painkillers for similar reasons.
  • The only woman I know to have been a victim of violence in this country during that same period was one woman who is alleged to have been assaulted by her husband, in their home.

Itzin would have you believe that life for women, in every respect, has become worse over the last 30 years because pornography has become more available. Men don't respect women such as herself, who are authority figures (""Doctor" Itzin", she stressed pointedly at the 1990 annual general meeting of the National Council for Civil Liberties). People make rude remarks to her and disagree strenuously and stuff like that, because she's a woman, you see, and they don't respect her because of pornography. Ms. Itzin apparently harbours the belief that men never say rude things to other men.

She also doesn't seem to realize that the reason people laugh at the remarkable things she says is that they are laughable. I mean, does she really believe that there was no violence against women 30 years ago? (For the record, she says she does.) Did Hugh Hefner invent rape, or what? And for that matter, how many women had doctorates 30 years ago? Get real folks, women were given so little credibility back in those days that even all the experts on being a housewife, having a child, or being a lesbian were men. (*9)

  • (*9) Itzin is not wrong in thinking that women are treated with less intellectual respect than men are; she's just wrong in thinking it is worse, not better, than it used to be.

Thirty years ago, if you got raped, you didn't tell anyone. Today, people are aware of rape, they talk about it, sometimes the police even take reports seriously, and in some countries marital rape is actually treated as a serious crime.

Maybe pornography even has something to do with that - is it really any accident that a higher percentage of victims are likely to report rape in countries where hardcore is most widely available? We read sexual material, sex is part of the public discourse, and now we actually say out loud the things we all hid in secret before, and one of them is the fact of violence against women.

  • Do you feel more frightened because there's more violence, or do you just feel more endangered because you know about it?
  • We keep hearing of rising rape rates, but is it the number of rapes that is going up, or just the percentage who report?
  • And when people quote numbers to you, are they really bigger than previous numbers, or do they just sound bad because you didn't know how bad it really was?

Last year when I was in the States, [1992] an anti-porn activist attempted to shock me with the "rising" frequency of rape by telling me that "there's a rape reported every six minutes in the United States". "Really? Are you sure that number is correct?" She was, and she quoted all sorts of reports to prove it. The problem with this statistic is that in 1977 the frequency of reported forcible rape in the US was one every three minutes - twice the new, "higher" rate.

Anti-porn campaigners will tell you that there are more rapes in areas where porn is widely available and widely consumed. This is not exactly true, but there is an illusion of truth in that high rape rates are consistent with other factors (principally, a high percentage of divorced men in the population) which happen to coincide with high porn consumption where it is available

  • (that is: divorced men appear to consume a lot of porn; rape rates are high where the percentage of divorced men is high, whether porn is available or not; rape rates are low even where porn is widely available when the population does not contain a high percentage of divorced men. You get to guess why).

What is true is that

  • (a) victims are more likely to report rape, and
  • (b) the police and courts are more likely to treat more kinds of rapes as serious crimes, in countries where pornography is legal and widely available.

So, since porn has become more widely available (*10) we have seen an increase in rape awareness - people recognize that women do get raped, even when they aren't necessarily "bad" women, and that the figures are a lot bigger than anyone admitted before. 

  • (*10) For about five years in the UK, actually. Then the Obscene Publications Acts came in and made hardcore fairly difficult to get. It is perhaps no accident that this did not happen in the US, but marital rape became a crime instead. It is only now, 15 years later, when sexual issues are being fought over once again in the UK - around the issue of pornography - that the courts are beginning to treat rape in marriage as a crime.

As women have become more aware of the threat of rape, we have become more fearful. But is the danger really any greater? Surveys that ask women about their experience do not really reflect a higher likelihood for women to be raped, but we do appear to think we are in more danger than we were before. This is good if it means that women are forewarned, of course, and it is helpful to victims if they are not made to feel like exceptions.

People - and particularly women - are far more sympathetic to and understanding of rape victims than they were 30 years ago. But is a new fear of leaving the house helpful, or is it just paranoia? Female fearfulness went down in the late '60s and up again by the late '70s. The implication was that women were "fooled" by sixties liberationist rhetoric into believing they were entitled to equality of public freedom with men, but now we "know better" and think it wiser to hide behind the illusory protections offered by patriarchy and the state.

Everything You Know ...

Throughout the '80s, we saw an increased willingness to condemn promiscuity for a variety of reasons; AIDS, the fear of rape, high divorce rates and other factors gave people with a repressive agenda an excuse to trumpet their cause loudly once again.

Even some people who were noted sexual libertarians in the '60s were "re-evaluating" the situation and coming to the "mature" conclusion that monogamy was a Good Thing. Feminists who once condemned marriage were finding it a reasonable alternative to the uncertainty of less "stable" relationships. Worst of all, if traditional, institutional, heterosexual marriage was being embraced, it could no longer be treated as a factor in sexual violence, and therefore a new villain had to be found: pornography.

Anti-porn campaigners warn women that the possible dangers of sexual violence are too high a price to pay for freedom, whether it be freedom of expression in general or the specific right of women to explore their sexuality. We should cower once again in the "safety" of marriage rather than risk the fear of sexual assault, we are told. Pornography "gives men ideas", you know, and those ideas are of no use to women. Anyway, porn is just "pictures of women for men", and shows "no mutuality" - and you know, they are absolutely right about that, where the UK is concerned, because the existing censorship doesn't much allow you to show anything else.

  • How can you have mutuality if you can't show people together?
  • How can you portray men sexually if you can't even show erections?

Anti-porn "feminists" say this is an innate trait of pornography, but it certainly isn't a factor in the porn available in Europe and America, where plenty of porn shows mutuality, cocks, female sexual assertiveness and such. The much-deplored "imbalance" British women find in porn is an artifact of censorship, not of human sexual interest in sexual material. In other countries, women consume pornography; they don't do it here because there's nothing to buy.

So, once again, everything you know turns out to be wrong. Big deal, you knew that already, right? Just a new detail in the fabric every day - porn doesn't cause rape, Eli Whitney didn't invent the cotton gin, and there was a female Einstein, after all. Just remember that the next time you read yet another "study" or hear someone else describe their fantastic analysis of the real meaning of "Madame Bovary". (*11)

  • (*11) For a hilarious interpretation of Flaubert's text, see Andrea Dworkin's "Intercourse", Secker and Warburg, London, 1987, in which it is proved that women are destroyed by enjoying sex.