Dorchen Leidholdt is the co-founder of Women Against Pornography ("WAP") and advocates that pornography causes rape and violence to women and leads to child molestation, drug abuse and other crimes. "We argue that sex puts women down, that it keeps us there, and that in this society, pornography is central to its construction." (From a speech by Dorchen Leidholdt at the National Conference on Women and the Law, 1985).
In the June, 1985 issue of Hustler Magazine, page 17, Dorchen Leidholdt was named "Asshole of the Month" by Larry Flynt, a distinction shared by Jerry Falwell and other distinguished luminaries.
According to the opinion of the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals, published at 860 F.2d 890 (9th Cir. 1988), the Hustler article stated that Dorchen is "pus bloated" and "sexually repressed", "[h]ating men, hating sex and hating herself." The article was accompanied by a small photograph of Leidholdt's face superimposed over the buttocks of a bent-over naked man. The Hustler article also stated that Leidholdt was "wacko" and "twisted" and that she was showing "vengeful hysteria" and "bizarre paranoia".
In connection with her efforts to manipulate the legal system, Dorchen Leidholdt filed suit against Hustler Magazine and its publisher and editors in the federal district court in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, even though she was a resident of New York City and Hustler was published in California. The Jackson Hole court, however, ordered the case transferred to California. See Dorchen Leidholdt vs. Hustler Magazine, 647 F. Supp. 1283 (D. Wyo. 1986).
Dorchen Leidholdt is the author of published articles and a book claiming that pornography leads to rape and violence. Her own biodata states that she is "a feminist activist attorney, is the director of a legal services program for battered women in New York City and co-executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, an international nongovernmental organization with consultative status to the United Nations. She has represented hundreds of victims of prostitution, rape and battering."
In one essay, Dorchen Leidholdt wrote: "The laws against child abuse notwithstanding, the activity is so popular that more than a quarter of all females are sexually abused as children." ("When Women Defend Pornography" , page 127).
On December 19, 1985, Dorchen Leidholdt led a street demonstration in Washington DC against the US Attorney General's Commission on Pornography. ("The Meese Commission"). She was the leader of a group who called themselves "Victims of Pornography". She and her group members were invited to testify before the commission. Those who testified included victims of child molestation, women who had been raped and even Linda Lovelace, that famous pornographic film star, who testified that she had been "forced" to commit all those infamous acts which she had performed on the silver screen. (See " Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography", pages 197-208 and 465).
Here is part of the testimony of Dorchen Leidholdt before the Commission:
"Pornography perpetuates the devaluation of women. It sexualizes bigotry, promotes rape and threatens women's self esteem." (Quoted in "United States of America vs. Sex: How the Meese Commission Lied about Pornography" by Philip Nobile and Eric Nadler, with commentaries by William F. Buckley and others, Minotaur Press, 1986, page 34.)
Through her writings, speeches, demonstrations and presentations, Dorchen Leidholdt has become a leading advocate of the view that sex as practiced in our society consists only of men wanting sex because it degrades and humiliates women. Leidholdt argues that the women who participate in sex do so only because they have learned to equate the humiliation and violence inflicted by sex upon them with eroticism. Here is an example of what Leidholdt has written in this regard:
"The governing sexual system exists to keep women from exercising real power and experiencing authentic pleasure. Within its perimeters, there is no meaningful choice, real agency or genuine pleasure.
"Acting out the roles of dominance and submission that the system forces upon us is not the same as choosing them. Experiencing arousal and orgasm in the course of acting out these roles is not defining our own sexuality. I've come to believe that a human being can learn to eroticize anything including banging one's head against a brick wall. I think that this is pretty much what sex has been for women except that it's often more like being banged against a brick wall. Women learn to eroticize this abuse in spite of our bodies and against our interests. The sexuality our culture offers women today through pornography is not new, not avant guarde, not revolutionary. It's the same sex male supremacy has always forced upon us: being used as the instrument of someone else's agency Ethe instrument of someone socially male." (From " The Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism", Dorchen Leidholdt and Janice G. Raymond, Pergammon Press, 1990, page 130).
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