11 April 2005


Andrea Dworkin

Truly radical feminist

The gods are again challenging me in my resolution to speak kindly of the dead in the moment of their passing. It's not easy: Andrea Dworkin basically devoted her life to describing how my desires are evil. Here in San Francisco, we don't have a lot of patience for that kind of talk.

But. But. As a bloke who has often found himself in the odd position of being a man telling women that yes, I am a feminist, and I think if you better understood what feminism means, you would be more sympathetic toward feminism, I've had to do a lot of defending of Dworkin in my time.

Of course she's angry. There's a lot to be angry about. No, you don't have to accept everything she says in order to be a feminist — I sure as hell don't — but you do have to think about it. Because she's a radical, in the true sense: striking at the root. Asking the deep questions. If you don't face the questions she raises, you're ignoring some unhappy truth.

Via Content Love I learn that Susie Bright has managed to square the circle and eulogize someone who became, tragically, her opponent.

Andrea presented herself as a street fighter intellectual, a bohemian freedom fighter, and someone who wanted to get to the bottom of things. That remark about Malcolm X is apt. Malcolm pointed out "The problem is WHITE PEOPLE." Dworkin said, “The problem is MEN.” And for all the holes that can be poked in that cloth, there is something about that grain that is absolutely true, when you are the short end of the bolt.

Go read what she has to say.

Update: Ariel Levy has another good remembrance.


Anonymous said...

I have struggled for years with the grains of her truth amidst the chaff. I have often wondered what eventually possessed her -- because I truly saw her as "possessed." And now we may never know for certain.


3Jake said...

I would argue that Andrea Dworkin set feminism back by making such claims that "anytime a penis enters a vagina its rape".
Am I sorry that she's dead?
Any one that is filled with that much hate needs to go. Somewhere.