R.I.P. Andrea Dworkin

//www.manics.nl/images/quotes_ialsohad.jpg' cannot be displayed]Writer and Crusading Feminist Dies at 58: “With her unruly dark curls and denim overalls, Ms. Dworkin was for decades a visible presence on the lecture circuit, at antipornography rallies and ‘take back the night’ marches. In speeches and in her many books, she returned vocally, passionately and seldom without controversy to the subjects of sex, sexuality and violence against women, themes that to her were inextricably and painfully linked.” (New York Times ) Dworkin was a fiery polemicist you had to listen to even if you did not agree with her. A former sex worker herself, she put in the face of everyone struggling with feminist themes the core problem — how to balance free speech values with the fact that the sexual objectification of women in pornography, even consumed in private, may be linked to the social power differential, the oppression and victimization of women woven into our social fabric. Althoug it was easy to dismiss her as a man-hater, she hated not individual men but male treatment of women, and she lived with a man for much of her adult life (both he and she identified themselves as gay). Dworkin’s work, I think, challenges all of us to move beyond mere social policy and legislation for justice and equality to the harder work of consciousness raising. “I am not afraid of confrontation or risk, also not of arrogance or error.”