Radical Feminist books have been foiled by copyright and the media industry

Sexual Politics is out of print. The Dialectic of Sex is out of print. What women have to do is come to terms with the fact that we live in a society that simply censors better than state censorship. People have got to come to terms with the power of the publishing industry and the media in controlling thought and expression. They have to understand that it is an issue of power and money and people have to be less passive in relation to books. People have to take their money which they don’t have much of and they have to buy books by feminist writers. They have to develop a much more sophisticated understanding of how the book industry works. A hard-cover book like Letters from a War Zone was virtually published dead. If it’s still in bookstores in two months it will be a miracle. They have to understand that everything that they hear all the time about how everything can be published in this country is a lie and that part of the social function of the publishing industry is to buy up the rights to and then obliterate certain books so that nobody can get them. They have to stop thinking that they live in the liberal dreamworld of equality where fairness has already been achieved. It hasn’t been achieved. You can be equal in your heart but it doesn’t make you equal in the world. I think that the refusal to understand what happens to books by women goes along with this liberal refusal to acknowledge that power is a reality and we’re not the ones who have it. What I’m saying is that women have got to start facing reality. You cannot build any kind of movement for change on wishful thinking. The wishful thinking is that we already have what it is we want and what it is we need. We don’t have it. Women who want to write and communicate, which in a big country is hard to do – it’s getting harder for them, not easier. There isn’t more access, there is less access. People have got to take the economics of the publishing industry seriously and understand that very few writers will survive who do not write according to the demands of the marketplace, by which I mean essentially the demands of turning out books that you can consume as passively as a television show. That’s sort of the standard.

— Andrea Dworkin [source]


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