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Andrea Dworkin, Feminist Icon

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 23 years ago, in 2001, on the World Wide Web.

People who know my reading tastes know that I absolutely adore Andrea Dworkin. Therefore I took a great interest in the Guardian’s publication of an article by Louise Armstrong declaring Andrea a true feminist icon much more so than the pop-glam roster offered up by Elaine Showalter. Armstrong argues that Dworkin’s power continues to be that she is entirely media-unfriendly and therefore her presence is (unlike, say, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s) unsanitized, dangerous, and polarizing. Which is precisely what a radical opponent to male supremacy ought to be. She may not be widely liked, but she will not shut up and she keeps people talking about male violence and its pervasiveness.

Great line for the day: I laughed out loud when I read

So strong a signifier has Dworkin’s name become that it is dragged in, higgledy-piggledy, whenever the speaker/author wishes to dump poo on advocacy with which he/she disagrees. I have seen her name yanked in out of left field, in the New York Times, for example, to say that an author displays an Andrea Dworkin-like attitude toward the genetic alteration of apples.

2 replies to Andrea Dworkin, Feminist Icon Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Ben

    Fair enough, Ani DiFranco is cool and some feminist books are really interesting. If you like to be challenged anyway, which I do. I’m interested in ideas whereever they come from. On the other hand, why is a man supporting Andrea Dworkin. I have read her and Mary Daly but had to stop when they got to their “all men are rapists/chauvinists/liars etc” malarkey. Firstly, these views are nothing whatsoever short of fascist.

    Secoundly, they are inaccurate. Some men do not use porn and, also, some women do. While it is true that many “glamour models” have been forced into it, some have not and freely choses to do so. If these women are merely trying to gain acceptance in a patriarchal world (which it admittedly is) then they are emotionally and intellectualy sub-normal and have probably been abused by their fathers. The logic of blaming all men for the atrocities of a few is PRECISELY the same logic as to blame all women for Eve’s predilection for apples. The arguements are the same. Either both are correct or both are incorrect. No third option.

    Mary Daly espaically is no better than the men (even the very worst men) she derides and wishes to murder in that she has allowed blind, irrational hatred and sheer prejudice to overcome all her remaining faculties. She is clearly highly intelligent, but so was Mussolini.

    To be told I hate women becouse I like to make love with women is stupid. If someone can’t tell the difference between mutuallly loving, mutually regarding, mutually generous intercourse and a brutal rape than that person is certifiably insane. Even a one night stand is hardly a brutal rape most of the time. To claim that it is is not to defend women rights or help them overcome patriarchy but to patronise and belittle them, thus aiding patriarchy in it’s overtly sinister objectives.

    True, the women in porn are stereotyped to the point of sub-humanity. (here I am talking about the de-personalising nature of porn, NOT saying women are inferior.) However, Dworkin, Daly et al present a picture of all women as battered, abused, belittled and thus anablt to cope without Dworkins et al coming to the rescue. Therefore, the women in many feminists works are classified into “free and conscious lebians” or “victims” merely. Perhaps I am not inteligent to see what the difference is, essentially, between the two types of streotyping. Both make women faceless, souless, lifeless and story-less non people and, thus, radical feminism shoots itself in the foot.

    Sorry for the looooooooooooonng e-mail but you DID ask for peoples responses.


— 2005 —

  1. shauna grant

    Andrea Dworkin was sure one messed up woman. Is she still alive? She definitely was the “Hitler”of the feminazis. Those sure were the days.

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Anticopyright. This was written in 2001 by Rad Geek. Feel free to reprint if you like it. This machine kills intellectual monopolists.