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Hello Amy,

I am in my first year in college, and I am in a class about controversial topics, I was recently assigned a paper in which I have to compare and contrast two opposing views. I had recently read What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us by Danielle Crittenden, and decided that I would like to check out feminism a little more.

I was wondering what the names of people in direct conflict with Danielle Crittenden's views. I know that Andrea Dworkin, is part of the anti-pornography movement, and opposing her ideas are Pro-porn artists and theorists like Susie Bright, but I don't know much about Danielle Crittenden. If you could help out that would be excellent!



Dear Brad,

The main problem that I have with women like Danielle Crittenden is that their work is funded by right-wing think-tanks, and their books are overtly political statements meant to create a movement counter to feminism. Their ideas aren't entirely free since they belong to the organizations that fund them. I also have a problem with Crittenden tearing down feminism while insisting that she's a feminist, yet she never clarifies what feminism means for her. That's where her argument falls apart.

I have to confess that I haven't read her entire book, but I did glance at it -- and I think it's the negative version of my book, Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism & the Future. Feminists and feminism did so much to change society that most people born after 1965 don't even recognize how much feminism has impacted their lives precisely because it has simply been a part of their lives. This doesn't mean that there isn't tons of work to be done -- and that's where I differ from Crittenden. The gains thus far have primarily benefited white, middle class women, but that's not feminism's only goal and that's where my work is still directed.

As for Dworkin and Bright, those differences have been played out more in the media than in person and both admit that they disagree but respect each other's intentions. Most of the differences between them are based more on fact than fiction. For instance, Dworkin's intent is to put warning labels on videos that have proven to hurt women, not to put warning labels on just anything. This is often misunderstood as well as the myth that Dworkin is anti sex and men. Both are a lie. Most of these things can be cleared up with checking the facts, so we need to encourage more of that.

Let me know if you want me to clarify anything. Enjoy your time at school.

- Amy


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