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Definition of Pornography by Andrea Dworkin

The word pornography derived from the ancient Greek porne and graphos, means "writing about whores". Porne means "whore," specifically and exclusively the lowest class of whore, which in ancient Greece was the brothel slut available to all male citizens.

The porne was the cheapest (in the literal sense), least regarded, least protected of all women, including slaves. She was simply and clearly and absolutely, a sexual slave. Graphos means "writing, etching, or drawing."

The word pornography does not mean "writing about sex" or "depictions of the erotic" or "depictions of sexual acts" or "depictions of nude bodies" or "sexual representations" or any other such euphemism. It means the graphic depiction of women as vile whores. In ancient Greece, not all prostitutes were considered vile: only the porneia.

Contemporary pornography strictly and literally conforms to the word's root meaning: the graphic depiction of vile whores, or in, our language, sluts, cunts. The word has not changed its meaning and the genre is not misnamed. The only change in the meaning of the word is with respect to its second part, graphos: now there are cameras - there is still photography, film, video. The methods of graphic depction have increased in number and in kind; the content is the same; the meaning is the same; the purpose is the same; the status of the women depicted is the same; the value of the women depicted is the same. With the technologically advanced methods of graphic depiction, real women are required for the depiction to exist.

The word pornography does not have any other meaning than the one cited here, the graphic depiction of the lowest whores. Whores exist to serve men sexually. Whores exist only within a framework of male sexual domination. Indeed, outside that framework the notion of whores would be absurd and the usage of women as whores would be impossible. The word whore is incomprehensible unless one is immersed in the lexicon of male domination. Men have created the group, the type, the concept, the epithet, the insult, the industry, the trade, the commodity, the reality of women as whore. Women as whore exists within the objective and real system of male sexual domination. The pornography itself is objective and real and central to the male sexual system.


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