Andrea Dworkin  

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“It is true, and very much to the point, that women are objects, commodities, some deemed more expensive than others – but it is only by asserting one’s humanness every time, in all situations, that one becomes someone as opposed to something. That, after all, is the core of our struggle.” --Woman Hating, 1974, Andrea Dworkin


"My pacifism was first challenged when, working on my book on pornography in the late 1970s, Pornography: Men Possessing Women, I read a half dozen biographies of the Marquis de Sade. A life of rape and sexual violence, including kidnapping and possibly murder, would have been stopped short if his first (known) victim, Jeanne Testard, had killed him." --Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation


"Because I am a pornographer, I am at war with Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin. These obsessed, moralistic women, feminism’s oddest odd couple, are Carry Nation reborn. They were coauthors of the Minneapolis and Indianapolis ordinances against pornography that were declared unconstitutional. They have produced, individually and in collaboration, an enormous amount of material ranging from tortured autobiographical confessions to legal case histories and academic Marxist critiques." -- "The Return of Carrie Nation: Feminists Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin" (1992) by Camille Paglia

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Andrea Rita Dworkin (September 26, 1946 – April 9, 2005) was an American radical feminist and writer best known for her criticism of pornography, which she argued was linked to rape and other forms of violence against women. Her views were widely criticized by liberal feminists and others. At the same time, she maintained a dialogue with political conservatives, and wrote a topically related book, Right-Wing Women. After suffering abuse from her first husband, she was introduced to radical feminist literature, and began writing Woman Hating. Coming to New York, she became an activist on several issues and a writer, eventually publishing 10 books on feminism.

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Dworkin became known as a spokeswoman for the feminist anti-pornography movement, and for her writing on pornography and sexuality, particularly Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981) and Intercourse (1987), which remain her two most widely known books. She wrote on pornography from a feminist perspective and in opposition to obscenity law, and she worked with Women Against Pornography and Linda Boreman. She considered the pornography industry to be based on turning women into objects for abuse by men. Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon developed a legislative approach based on civil rights rather than obscenity to outlaw pornography and allow lawsuits against pornographers for damages, but their efforts were largely unsuccessful. She testified at a federal commission against pornography, leading some stores to withdraw certain magazines from sale, but a court ruled the government's efforts unconstitutional. Critics argued that no causal relationship between pornography and harm to women had been found. In 1992, a Canadian court adapted parts of Dworkin and MacKinnon's theory on sex equality, although Dworkin opposed parts of the court's view. Some sex-positive feminists criticized Dworkin's views as censorious and as denying women's agency or choice in sexual relationships, leading to the so-called feminist sex wars.

Her book Intercourse, which addresses the role of sexual intercourse in society, has been interpreted as opposing all heterosexual intercourse, but Dworkin said it does not and that what she was against was male domination by intercourse. Some critics of Dworkin accused her of supporting incest, and she sued for defamation, but a court did not forbid the criticism. She subsequently wrote much in opposition to incest. She wrote some fiction, some of which was held for a time by Canadian customs authorities before it was released, giving rise to a controversy over whether her support for antipornography law had led to the seizure of her own work. When she said she was drugged and raped in a hotel in 1999, controversy over the truth of the allegations followed. In her later years, she suffered from severe osteoarthritis, which limited her mobility. She died of acute myocarditis at the age of 58.

Contents

Publications

Nonfiction

Fiction and poetry

Numbered short articles

  • ASIN B0006XEJCG (1977) Marx and Gandhi were liberals: Feminism and the "radical" left
  • ASIN B0006XX57G (1978) Why so-called radical men love and need pornography
  • ASIN B00073AVJA (1985) Against the male flood: Censorship, pornography and equality
  • ASIN B000711OSO (1985) The reasons why: Essays on the new civil rights law recognizing pornography as sex discrimination
  • ASIN B00071HFYG (1986) Pornography is a civil rights issue for women
  • ASIN B0008DT8DE (1996) A good rape. (Book Review)
  • ASIN B0008E679Q (1996) Out of the closet.(Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Cross-Dressing Cops and Hermaphrodites with Attitude)(Book Review)
  • ASIN B0008IYNJS (1996) The day I was drugged and raped





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