April 11, 2005


Andrea Dworkin R.I.P.

She was more influential to the development of my feminism than any other feminist thinker/writer - her books Woman Hating , Pornography:Men Possessing Women and Letters From a War Zone radicalized and inspired me beyond all else. She was real about the invisiblity of women's plight and lack of power, she took the stances and the causes that other feminists backed away from because they were so powerful - because she was outting the secret truths, she was uncompromising because the lives of women mattered to her.

"Equality is a practice. It is an action. It is a way of life. It is a social practice. It is an economic practice. It is a sexual practice. It can't exist in a vacuum. You can't have it in your home if, when the people leave the home, he is in a world of his supremacy based on the existence of his cock and she is in a world of humiliation and degradation because she is perceived to be inferior and because her sexuality is a curse.

This is not to say that the attempt to practice equality in the home doesn't matter. It matters, but it is not enough. If you love equality, if you believe in it, if it is the way you want to live--not just men and women together in a home, but men and men together in a home and women and women together in a home--if equality is what you want and what you care about, then you have to fight for the institutions that will make it socially real.

It is not just a matter of your attitude. You can't think it and make it exist. You can't try sometimes, when it works to your advantage, and throw it out the rest of the time. Equality is a discipline. It is a way of life. It is a political necessity to create equality in institutions. And another thing about equality is that it cannot coexist with rape. It cannot. And it cannot coexist with pornography or with prostitution or with the economic degradation of women on any level, in any way. It cannot coexist, because implicit in all those things is the inferiority of women."
- Dworkin speaking at a Men's movement conference in 1983

Most of her books are out of print and hard to find, but you can read a lot of her work in her online library

Obit from the Guardian .
Interview from 1995, from her site
Story she wrote for The Guardian about surviving rape .

Posted by Jessica at April 11, 2005 07:40 PM | TrackBack