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May she be at peace: Andrea Dworkin (26 September 1946 – 9 April 2005)

Andrea Dworkin died yesterday morning.

Update 2005-04-11: The message I reprinted below was originally sent out by Gail Dines, a feminist scholar who knew Andrea Dworkin for 20 years:

I have received many emails from list members expressing their profound sadness about Andrea’s death. They have also requested information so here is what I have. Andrea had not been in good health for a long time but there was no immediate crisis from what I can gather. I spoke to her last month about arranging for her to come to a conference and health was not preventing her from travelling. However, due to a number of disabilities, travelling did present challenges. It seems that she did not feel too well on Friday night but did not go to the hospital. On Saturday morning, John Stoltenberg found her but it was too late for medical attention. Many have asked me if there is anything they can do or a place to post thoughts about Andrea’s life. At the moment, her close friends are too stunned to think about a memorial service but there is talk of organizing one in the future. The people who knew her best recommend giving money in her name to the rape crisis center or battered women’s shelter of you choice. There are also plans to set up a web site for us to post messages about her. I will keep you informed. I knew Andrea personally for fifteen years but I really knew her my entire adult life as her work framed my politics. I spoke to many women yesterday and we have no words to express how we feel. There is a real desire to come together to mourn her collectively so my sense is that there will be an event in the near future. As soon as I know anything more, I will post it to the list.

— LiveJournal Feminist Community 2005-04-10: Andrea Dworkin died

I don’t know how to say how much her life and her work meant to women’s movement. I don’t know how to say how much she meant to my life. I don’t have the words. I could say that she is one of the most important, controversial, uncompromising, threatening, and brilliant women of Second Wave radical feminism. I could say that her works changed my life. I could say that every cruelty and every uncharitable swipe taken at her–by the pimps and the pornographers, by self-satisfied liberal men and by critics from within the movement–was a testament to how much she mattered and how important it was that someone was there to tell the truth without flinching, that that someone was her. All of these things would be true. But they don’t even begin to touch it. Nothing that I could say would.

Those of you who know something about Andrea Dworkin’s life know that it has not been an easy one. The words that she spoke and the lines that she drew came out of intense pain, passionate commitment, and a deep compassion for women–women who had lived through the hell that she had lived through, and women whose struggles she made her struggle every day. I can only hope that she will have the peace that she could not have in life. And that we here can honor her by carrying on in the struggle that was her life’s work.

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9 replies to May she be at peace: Andrea Dworkin (26 September 1946 – 9 April 2005) Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Discussed at www.nyu.edu

    SIVACRACY.NET: Siva Vaidhyanathan's Weblog:

    Farewell Andrea Dworkin (1946 – 2005)

    More here….

  2. hippie

    I found this out yesterday and am still utterly devastated.

    We have lost such an important warrior.

  3. Discussed at www.msmagazine.com

    ms.musings:

    Andrea Dworkin Dies

    Andrea Dworkin died this weekend at home in Washington, D.C. She was 59. Here’s the first story found on Google News. The Guardian’s Simon Jefferey writes: The American feminist icon, writer and campaigner Andrea Dworkin, who linked pornography to rape…

  4. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    More by and about Andrea Dworkin

    I want to say some more about Andrea Dworkin and what her life’s work meant and what we have lost with her death. If there’s…

  5. Discussed at genderblog.de

    Genderblog:

    Andrea Dworkin (1946-2005)

    Wie Reuters und nun auch einige Zeitungen berichten, ist die amerikanische Feministin Andrea Dworkin am vergangenen Samstag im Alter von nur 58 Jahren gestorben.

    Dworkins Arbeiten beschäftigten sich vor allem mit Pornographie und Gewalt gegen Fraue…

  6. Joe Greenblatt

    I knew Andrea as a young girl. She was a year and and a half older than I. Her mother was my Aunts sister-in-law…that doesnt make her related but we were all part of the same family and family gatherings. I had lost track of Andrea in her last years, not that i am not aware of her contributions to man kind, but I had this great desire to contact her..but i never did. I am sorry about that.

    Several years ago she wrote a piece, which i found on her web site,which was about her late father.

    You see, her father was not only my pseudo uncle but was also my college guidance counselor in High school. I was very close to Harry and her writings about him certainly made her a standout in my mind.

    They all seem to die way too young..first her brother then her father now Andrea….She will be missed along with the rest…She was really a good person, and i do know where that goodness came from.

    If there is another life after this one, Im sure she is with Harry and Mark…

    Shalom Andrea

  7. Discussed at wrt-howard.syr.edu

    Schenectady Synecdoche:

    Andrea Dworkin

    I’ve been saving this one, hoping for some sort of brilliant thing I might add to what’s already been said about Dworkin since her death. But finally I’ve decided that repetition has its own merits. A brave soul has departed….

  8. Discussed at www.unbsj.ca

    scribblingwoman:

    Andrea Dworkin, R.I.P.

    Obituary in the NYTimes (registration required), The New York Sun, and a balanced retrospective with some good links in…

  9. Discussed at www.sapphosbreathing.com

    Sappho's Breathing:

    Andrea Dworkin links

    I’m collecting these links on my site for myself as well as my readers. I’m indebted to many linkers who came before me, most notably Rad Geek. The Andrea Dworkin website. The on-line memorial. Tributes and quotes. Obituaries in the…

Anticopyright. This was written in 2005 by Rad Geek. Feel free to reprint if you like it. This machine kills intellectual monopolists.