Andrea Dworkin

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Andrea Dworkin
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UNITED STATES SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH INDEXWEBSITE=FAMILYSEARCH, 10 June 2016, |birth_place = Camden, New Jersey,}}|death_place = Washington, D.C., U.S.|body_discovered =|resting_place =|resting_place_coordinates = |residence =|nationality = American|ethnicity =|citizenship =|other_names = {{Ubl|{{marriage|Cornelius Dirk de Bruin|1969|1976|reason=div.}}|{{marriage|John Stoltenberg|1998}}}}|partner =|children =|parents = |relations = |callsign =|awards =|signature =|signature_alt =|website = weblink" title="">Portal for Andrea Dworkin's websites|footnotes =}}Andrea Rita Dworkin (September 26, 1946 â€“ April 9, 2005) was an American radical feminist and writer best known for her criticism of pornography, which she argued was linked to rape and other forms of violence against women. Her views were widely criticized by liberal feminists and others. At the same time, she maintained a dialogue with political conservatives, and wrote a topically related book, Right-Wing Women. After suffering abuse from her first husband, she was introduced to radical feminist literature, and began writing Woman Hating.After moving to New York, she became an activist and a writer on several issues, eventually publishing 10 books on feminism.During the late 1970s and 1980s, Dworkin became known as a spokeswoman for the feminist anti-pornography movement, and for her writing on pornography and sexuality, particularly (Pornography: Men Possessing Women) (1981) and Intercourse (1987), which remain her two most widely known books. She wrote on pornography from a feminist perspective and in opposition to obscenity law, and she worked with Women Against Pornography and Linda Boreman. She considered the pornography industry to be based on turning women into objects for abuse by men. Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon developed a legislative approach based on civil rights rather than obscenity to outlaw pornography and allow lawsuits against pornographers for damages, but their efforts were largely unsuccessful. She testified at a federal commission against pornography, leading some stores to withdraw certain magazines from sale, but a court ruled the government's efforts unconstitutional. Critics argued that no causal relationship between pornography and harm to women had been found. In 1992, a Canadian court adapted parts of Dworkin and MacKinnon's theory on sex equality, although Dworkin opposed parts of the court's view. Some sex-positive feminists criticized Dworkin's views as censorious and as denying women's agency or choice in sexual relationships, leading to the so-called feminist sex wars.Her book Intercourse, which addresses the role of sexual intercourse in society, has been interpreted as opposing all heterosexual intercourse, but Dworkin said it does not and that what she was against was male domination by intercourse. Some critics of Dworkin accused her of supporting incest, and she sued for defamation, but a court did not forbid the criticism. She subsequently wrote much in opposition to incest. She wrote some fiction, some of which was held for a time by Canadian customs authorities before it was released, giving rise to a controversy over whether her support for antipornography law had led to the seizure of her own work. When she said she was drugged and raped in a hotel in 1999, controversy over the truth of the allegations followed. In her later years, she suffered from severe osteoarthritis, which limited her mobility. She died of acute myocarditis at the age of 58.


Early life

Dworkin was born in Camden, New Jersey, to Harry Dworkin and Sylvia Spiegel. Her father was the grandson of a Russian Jew who fled Russia when he was 15 years old in order to escape military service and her mother was the child of Jewish emigrants from Hungary.WEB, Shalvi, Alice, Alice Shalvi,weblink Andrea Dworkin, 1946–2005, Jewish Women Encyclopedia, Jewish Women's Archive, 2012-12-28, She had one younger brother, Mark. Her father was a schoolteacher and dedicated socialist, whom she credited with inspiring her passion for social justice. Her relationship with her mother was strained, but Dworkin later wrote about how her mother's belief in legal birth control and legal abortion, "long before these were respectable beliefs", inspired her later activism.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=23}}Though she described her Jewish household as being in many ways dominated by the memory of the Holocaust, it nonetheless provided a happy childhood until she reached the age of nine, when an unknown man molested her in a movie theater. When Dworkin was 10, her family moved from the city to the suburbs of Cherry Hill, New Jersey (then known as Delaware Township), which she later wrote she "experienced as being kidnapped by aliens and taken to a penal colony".{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|p=3}} In sixth grade, the administration at her new school punished her for refusing to sing "Silent Night" (as a Jew, she objected to being forced to sing Christian religious songs at school).{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=21–22}} She said she "probably would have become a rabbi" if women could have while she was in high school and she "would have liked" being a Talmudic scholar.Vincent, Norah, Sex, Love and Politics: Andrea Dworkin, in New York Press, vol. 11, no. 5, Feb. 4–10, 1998, p. 42, col. 1 (main title and subtitle may have been in either order, per id., p. [1]).Dworkin began writing poetry and fiction in the sixth grade.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|pp=23–24, 28}}; {{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=37–40}} Around that time, she was undecided about whether to become a lawyer or a writer, because of her interest then in abortion, and chose writing because she could "do it in a room alone" and "nobody could stop me".Both quotations: Vincent, Norah, Sex, Love and Politics, op. cit., p. 42, col. 4. Throughout high school, she read avidly, with encouragement from her parents. She was particularly influenced by Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Henry Miller, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Che Guevara, and the Beat poets, especially Allen Ginsberg, and has included among writers she "admired most" Jean Genet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron.Vincent, Norah, Sex, Love and Politics, op. cit., p. 42, col. 4 (quoting interviewer Vincent). She graduated in 1964 from what is now Cherry Hill High School West.Strauss, Robert. "A 50th High School Reunion, and a Generation to Follow", The New York Times, September 19, 2014. Accessed October 29, 2018. "Today the drive-in spot is occupied by the Crowne Plaza hotel, where the Worthingtons, along with about 100 former classmates, gathered on a recent Saturday night for the 50th reunion of their Cherry Hill High School West graduating class..... On the 'In Memory' board with 54 other deceased classmates was Andrea Dworkin, the feminist known for her writings against pornography."

College and early activism

In 1965, while a freshman at Bennington College, Dworkin was arrested during an anti-Vietnam War protest at the United States Mission to the United Nations and sent to the New York Women's House of Detention. After writing to the Commissioner of Corrections Anna Cross, Dworkin testified that the doctors in the House of Detention gave her an internal examination which was so rough that she bled for days afterwards. She spoke in public and testified before a grand jury about her experience, and the media coverage of her testimony made national and international news.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=77–81}}NEWSPAPER,weblink Inquiry Ordered at Women's Jail; Mrs. Kross Acts in Case of a Bennington Student Seized in U.N. Protest, William E., Farrell, The New York Times, March 6, 1965, February 4, 2013, {{subscription}} The grand jury declined to make an indictment in the case,{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=80}} but Dworkin's testimony contributed to public outrage over the mistreatment of inmates. The prison was closed seven years later.Soon after testifying before the grand jury, Dworkin left Bennington College on the liner Castel Felice to live in Greece and to pursue her writing.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=80, 83}} She traveled from Paris to Athens on the Orient Express, and went to live and write on the island of Crete.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=83–85, 87}} While there, she wrote a series of poems titled (Vietnam) Variations, a collection of poems and prose poems that she printed on the island in a book called Child, and a novel in a style resembling magical realism called Notes on Burning Boyfriend—a reference to Norman Morrison, a pacifist who had burned himself to death in protest of the Vietnam War. She also wrote several poems and dialogues which she hand-printed after returning to the United States in a book called Morning Hair.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=98}}After living in Crete, Dworkin returned to Bennington College for two years, where she continued to study literature and participated in campaigns against the college's student conduct code, for contraception on campus, for the legalization of abortion, and against the Vietnam War.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=107–112}} She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in literature in 1968.

Life in the Netherlands

After graduation, she moved to Amsterdam to interview Dutch anarchists in the Provo countercultural movement.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|pp=24–25}}; {{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=117}} While there, she became involved with, then married, one of the anarchists she met: Cornelius (Iwan) Dirk de Bruin.Dworkin, Andrea. Videotape Collection of Andrea Dworkin, 1981–1998 (Inclusive): A Finding Aid (Cambridge, Mass.: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard Univ. (Vt-136), Feb., 2009), as accessed October 18, 2018. Soon after they were married, she said, de Bruin began to abuse her severely, punching and kicking her, burning her with cigarettes, beating her on her legs with a wooden beam, and banging her head against the floor until he knocked her unconscious.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=119}}; {{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|pp=103, 332}}After she left de Bruin late in 1971, Dworkin said, her ex-husband attacked, persecuted, and harassed her, beating her and threatening her whenever he found where she was hiding. She found herself desperate for money, often homeless, thousands of miles from her family, later remarking that "I often lived the life of a fugitive, except that it was the more desperate life of a battered woman who had run away for the last time, whatever the outcome".{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|p=17}} Dworkin worked as a prostitute for a period. Ricki Abrams, a feminist and fellow expatriate, sheltered Dworkin in her home, and helped her find places to stay on houseboats, a communal farm, and deserted buildings.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|pp=18–19}} Dworkin tried to work up the money to return to the United States.Abrams introduced Dworkin to early radical feminist writing from the United States, and Dworkin was notably inspired by Kate Millett's Sexual Politics, Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex, and Robin Morgan's Sisterhood is Powerful.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|p=19}}; {{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=118}} She and Abrams began to work together on "early pieces and fragments" of a radical feminist text on the hatred of women in culture and history,{{harvnb|Dworkin, Woman Hating|loc=Acknowledgment, p. 7}} including a completed draft of a chapter on the pornographic counterculture magazine Suck, which was published by a group of fellow expatriates in the Netherlands.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|p=21}}; {{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=122}}Dworkin later wrote that she eventually agreed to help smuggle a briefcase of heroin through customs in return for $1,000 and an airplane ticket, thinking that if she was successful she could return home with the ticket and the money, and if caught she would at least escape her ex-husband's abuse by going to prison. The deal for the briefcase fell through, but the man who had promised Dworkin the money gave her the airline ticket anyway, and she returned to the United States in 1972.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|pp=332–333}}; {{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|p=22}}Before she left Amsterdam, Dworkin spoke with Abrams about her experiences in the Netherlands, the emerging feminist movement, and the book they had begun to write together. Dworkin agreed to complete the book—which she eventually titled Woman Hating—and publish it when she reached the United States.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|p=22}} In her memoirs, Dworkin relates that during that conversation, she vowed to dedicate her life to the feminist movement:{{quotation|Sitting with Ricki, talking with Ricki, I made a vow to her: that I would use everything I knew, including from prostitution, to make the women's movement stronger and better; that I'd give my life to the movement and for the movement. I promised to be honor-bound to the well-being of women, to do anything necessary for that well-being. I promised to live and to die if need be for women. I made that vow some thirty years ago, and I have not betrayed it yet.|Andrea Dworkin|Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant, 122.}}

Return to New York and contact with the feminist movement

In New York, Dworkin worked again as an anti-war organizer, participated in demonstrations for lesbian rights and against apartheid in South Africa.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=123}} The feminist poet Muriel Rukeyser hired her as an assistant (Dworkin later said, "I was the worst assistant in the history of the world. But Muriel kept me on because she believed in me as a writer."){{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=3}} Dworkin also joined a feminist consciousness raising group,{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|p=124}} and soon became involved in radical feminist organizing, focusing on campaigns against violence against women. In addition to her writing and activism, Dworkin gained notoriety as a speaker, mostly for events organized by local feminist groups.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=139–143}} She became well known for passionate, uncompromising speeches that aroused strong feelings in both supporters and critics, and inspired her audience to action, such as her speech at the first Take Back the Night march in November 1978, and her 1983 speech at the Midwest Regional Conference of the National Organization for Changing Men (now the National Organization for Men Against SexismWEB, A Brief History of NOMAS,weblink National Organization for Men Against Sexism, July 5, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 3 June 2009, no, May 2012, ) titled "I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape".BOOK, Dworkin, I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape,weblink Fall 1983, Letters from a War Zone, 162–171, July 5, 2009, In 1977, Dworkin became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP).WEB,weblink Associates {{!,   The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press||language=en-US|access-date=2017-06-21}}

Relationship with John Stoltenberg

In 1974 she met feminist writer and activist John Stoltenberg when they both walked out on a poetry reading in Greenwich Village over misogynist material. They became close friends and eventually came to live together.WEB,weblink Living with Andrea Dworkin, John Stoltenberg, Lambda Book Report, May–June 1994, July 5, 2009, John Stoltenberg, Stoltenberg wrote a series of radical feminist books and articles on masculinity. Although Dworkin publicly wrote "I love John with my heart and soul"BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea Dworkin,weblink Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Vol. 21, 1994, Thomson Gale, Farmington Hills, MI, 978-0-8103-4518-8, and Stoltenberg described Dworkin as "the love of my life",WEB,weblink Imagining Life Without Andrea, John Stoltenberg, April 30, 2005,, October 18, 2018, John Stoltenberg, she continued to publicly identify herself as lesbian, and he as gay. Stoltenberg, recounting the perplexity that their relationship seemed to cause people in the press, summarized the relationship by saying, "So I state only the simplest facts publicly: yes, Andrea and I live together and love each other and we are each other's life partner, and yes we are both out."Dworkin and Stoltenberg were married in 1998; after her death Stoltenberg said, "It's why we never told anybody really that we married, because people get confused about that. They think, Oh, she's yours. And we just did not want that nonsense."

Later life

In 1992, The New York Times Book Review published a lengthy letter of hers in which she describes the origins of her deeply felt hatred of prostitution and pornography ("mass-produced, technologized prostitution") as her history of being violently inspected by prison doctors, and battered by her first husband and numerous other men.NEWS,weblink Pornography and the New Puritans, Dworkin, The New York Times, May 3, 1992, July 11, 2009, Dworkin was a strong opponent of President Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal.WEB,weblink Who's a Hypocrite – and Who Cares?, James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 1998, March 4, 2011, She also expressed support for Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick.Candice E. Jackson. (Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine). Torrance, Calif.: World Ahead Publishing. p. 240.Dworkin "was demonised not only by pornographers but by many liberals, whom she held in almost equal contempt", and "while she was irritated by liberal feminists such as Naomi Wolf, she accepted that her views were not palatable to everyone. 'I have a really strong belief that any movement needs both radicals and liberals,' she explained. 'You always need women who can walk into the room in the right way, talk in the right tone of voice, who have access to power. But you also need a bottom line.'"Andrea Dworkin, in The Telegraph, op. cit.{{efn|Naomi Wolf is an American author and former political consultant.}}In 2000, she published (Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation), in which she compared the oppression of women to the persecution of Jews, discussed the sexual politics of Jewish identity and antisemitism, and called for the establishment of a women's homeland as a response to the oppression of women.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Scapegoat|pp=245–246, 248, 336}}Take No Prisoners, in The Guardian, May 13, 2000, as accessed Sep. 6, 2010.Ouma, Veronica A., Dworkin's Scapegoating, in Palestine Solidarity Review (PSR), Fall 2005 {{webarchive|url= |date=2010-12-08 }}, as accessed Oct. 21, 2010 (citing, in part, in {{harvnb|Dworkin, Scapegoat|pp=336–337}}).In June 2000, Dworkin published controversial articles in the New StatesmanWEB,weblink The Day I Was Drugged and Raped, Dworkin, June 5, 2000, New Statesman, August 20, 2018,weblink August 3, 2018, no, and in The Guardian,NEWS,weblink 'They took my body from me and used it', Dworkin, The Guardian, June 2, 2000, July 11, 2009, London, stating that one or more men had raped her in her hotel room in Paris the previous year, putting GHB in her drink to disable her. Her articles ignited public controversyWEB,weblink A Post-Mortem Analysis of Andrea Dworkin, David A. Roberts, April 27, 2005,, July 11, 2009, when writers such as Catherine BennettNEWS,weblink Doubts about Dworkin, Catherine Bennett, The Guardian, June 8, 2000, July 11, 2009, London, and Julia GracenWEB, Julia Gracen,, September 20, 2000,weblink Andrea Dworkin in Agony, July 11, 2009, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 13, 2009, published doubts about her account, polarizing opinion between skeptics and supporters such as Catharine MacKinnon, Katharine Viner,NEWS,weblink 'She never hated men', Katharine Viner, The Guardian, April 12, 2005, July 11, 2009, London, and Gloria Steinem. Her reference to the incident was later described by Charlotte Raven as a "widely disbelieved claim", better seen as "a kind of artistic housekeeping".WEB,weblink Body of Evidence, New Statesman, June 19, 2006, Charlotte Raven, July 11, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 4 June 2009, no, Charlotte Raven, Emotionally fragile and in failing health, Dworkin mostly withdrew from public life for two years following the articles.NEWS,weblink A life without compromise, September 30, 2004, Julie Bindel, The Guardian, July 11, 2009, London,weblink" title="">weblink 29 May 2009, no, NEWS, Louise Armstrong,weblink The Trouble with Andrea, The Guardian, July 25, 2001, July 11, 2009, London, Pat Califia, ed. (Forbidden Passages|Forbidden Passages: Writings Banned in Canada). Pittsburgh: Cleis Press, 1995.Adam Parfrey. "The Devil and Andrea Dworkin," in Cult Rapture. Portland, OR: Feral House Books, 1995. pp. 53–62.In 2002, Dworkin published her autobiography, Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant. She soon began to speak and write again, and in an interview with Julie Bindel in 2004 said, "I thought I was finished, but I feel a new vitality. I want to continue to help women." She published three more articles in The Guardian and began work on a new book, Writing America: How Novelists Invented and Gendered a Nation, on the role of novelists such as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner in the development of American political and cultural identity, which was left unfinished when she died.

Illness and death

During her final years, Dworkin suffered fragile health, and she revealed in her last column for The Guardian that she had been weakened and nearly crippled for the past several years by severe osteoarthritis in the knees.NEWS,weblink Through the pain barrier, July 11, 2009, Dworkin, April 23, 2005, The Guardian, London, Shortly after returning from Paris in 1999, she had been hospitalized with a high fever and blood clots in her legs. A few months after being released from the hospital, she became increasingly unable to bend her knees, and underwent surgery to replace her knees with titanium and plastic prosthetics. She wrote, "The doctor who knows me best says that osteoarthritis begins long before it cripples—in my case, possibly from homelessness, or sexual abuse, or beatings on my legs, or my weight. John, my partner, blames Scapegoat, a study of Jewish identity and women's liberation that took me nine years to write; it is, he says, the book that stole my health. I blame the drug-rape that I experienced in 1999 in Paris."When a newspaper interviewer asked her how she would like to be remembered, she said, "In a museum, when male supremacy is dead. I'd like my work to be an anthropological artifact from an extinct, primitive society".NEWS,weblink Obituary, Julie Bindel, The Guardian, April 12, 2005, July 12, 2009, London, She died in her sleep on the morning of April 9, 2005, at her home in Washington, D.C.WEB,weblink The Prisoner of Sex, Ariel Levy, New York (magazine), New York, May 29, 2005, July 12, 2009, Ariel Levy (journalist), The cause of death was later determined to be acute myocarditis.WEB,weblink First Year: An Interview with John Stoltenberg, March 11, 2006, Beth Ribet, July 12, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 15 June 2009, no, She was 58 years old.


Critique of pornography

Andrea Dworkin is most often remembered for her role as a speaker, writer, and activist in the feminist anti-pornography movement. In February 1976, Dworkin took a leading role in organizing public pickets of Snuff in New York City and, during the fall, joined Adrienne Rich, Grace Paley, Gloria Steinem, Shere Hite, Lois Gould, Barbara Deming, Karla Jay, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Robin Morgan, and Susan Brownmiller in attempts to form a radical feminist antipornography group.BOOK, Susan Brownmiller, Susan Brownmiller, In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution, 1999, Dial Press, New York, 978-0-385-31486-2, 297–299, Members of this group would go on to found Women Against Pornography in 1979, but by then Dworkin had begun to distance herself from the group over differences in approach.Brownmiller, In Our Time, pp. 303, 316. Dworkin spoke at the first Take Back the Night march in November 1978, and joined 3,000 women in a march through the red-light district of San Francisco.Brownmiller, In Our Time, pp. 391–392.In 1981, Dworkin published (Pornography: Men Possessing Women), which analyzes (and extensively cites examples drawn from) contemporary and historical pornography as an industry of woman-hating dehumanization. Dworkin argues that it is implicated in violence against women, both in its production (through the abuse of the women used to star in it), and in the social consequences of its consumption by encouraging men to eroticize the domination, humiliation, and abuse of women.

Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance

In 1980, Linda Boreman (who had appeared in the pornographic film Deep Throat as "Linda Lovelace") made public statements that her ex-husband Chuck Traynor had beaten and raped her, and violently coerced her into making that and other pornographic films. Boreman made her charges public for the press corps at a press conference, with Dworkin, feminist lawyer Catharine MacKinnon, and members of Women Against Pornography. After the press conference, Dworkin, MacKinnon, Gloria Steinem, and Boreman began discussing the possibility of using federal civil rights law to seek damages from Traynor and the makers of Deep Throat. Boreman was interested, but backed off after Steinem discovered that the statute of limitations for a possible suit had passed.Brownmiller, In Our Time, p. 337.Dworkin and MacKinnon, however, continued to discuss civil rights litigation as a possible approach to combating pornography. In the fall of 1983, MacKinnon secured a one-semester appointment for Dworkin at the University of Minnesota, to teach a course in literature for the Women's Studies program and co-teach (with MacKinnon) an interdepartmental course on pornography, where they hashed out details of a civil rights approach. With encouragement from community activists in south Minneapolis, the Minneapolis city government hired Dworkin and MacKinnon to draft an antipornography civil rights ordinance as an amendment to the Minneapolis city civil rights ordinance.The amendment defined pornography as a civil rights violation against women, and allowed women who claimed harm from pornography to sue the producers and distributors in civil court for damages. The law was passed twice by the Minneapolis city council, but vetoed both times by Mayor Don Fraser, who considered the wording of the ordinance to be too vague.BOOK, Donald Alexander Downs, The New Politics of Pornography, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1989, 34–65, 978-0-226-16162-4, The Minneapolis Ordinance and the Feminist Theory of Pornography and Sexuality,weblink Another version of the ordinance passed in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1984, but was overturned as unconstitutional under the First Amendment by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case American Booksellers v. Hudnut. Dworkin continued to support the civil rights approach in her writing and activism, and supported anti-pornography feminists who organized later campaigns in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1985) and Bellingham, Washington (1988) to pass versions of the ordinance by voter initiative.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|pp=90–95}}


Right-Wing Women

In 1983, Dworkin published Right-Wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females, an examination of women's reasons for collaborating with men for the limitation of women's freedom.BOOK, Dworkin, Abortion,weblink Right Wing Women, 1983, July 8, 2009, In the preface to the British edition,Reprinted in {{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|pp=185–194}} Dworkin stated that the New Right in the United States focused especially on preserving male authority in the family, the promotion of fundamentalist versions of orthodox religion, combating abortion, and undermining efforts to combat domestic violence,{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|pp=192–193}} but that it also had, for the first time, "succeeded in getting women as women (women who claim to be acting in the interests of women as a group) to act effectively on behalf of male authority over women, on behalf of a hierarchy in which women are subservient to men, on behalf of women as the rightful property of men, on behalf of religion as an expression of transcendent male supremacy".{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=193}} Taking this as her problem, Dworkin asked, "Why do right-wing women agitate for their own subordination? How does the Right, controlled by men, enlist their participation and loyalty? And why do right-wing women truly hate the feminist struggle for equality?"{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=194}}

Testimony before Attorney General's Commission on Pornography

On January 22, 1986, Dworkin testified for half an hour before the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography—also known as the "Meese Commission") in New York City, and answered questions from commissioners after completing her testimony.Dworkin's testimony is reprinted as: {{citation| last = Dworkin | first = Andrea | author-link = Andrea Dworkin | contribution = Pornography is a civil rights issue: 1986 | editor-last = Dworkin | editor-first = Andrea | editor-link = Andrea Dworkin | title = Letters from a War Zone: Writings, 1976–1989 | pages = 276–307 | publisher = E.P. Dutton | location = New York | year = 1989 | isbn = 978-0525248248 | ref = harv | postscript = .}}
  • Available to view online as: NEWS, Dworkin, Andrea, Andrea Dworkin, Pornography is a civil rights issue,weblink No Status Quo, Nikki Craft, 22 August 2015, Dworkin's testimony against pornography was praised and reprinted in the Commission's final report,WEB,weblink Victimization, Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, 1986, July 8, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink April 20, 2009, yes, mdy-all, and Dworkin and MacKinnon marked its release by holding a joint press conference.BOOK,weblink The Obscene, Disgusting, and Vile Meese Commission Report, Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex, 1994, Cleis Press, San Francisco, Pat Califia, July 8, 2009, Patrick Califia, The Meese Commission subsequently successfully demanded that convenience store chains remove from shelves men's magazines such as Playboy (Dworkin wrote that the magazine "in both text and pictures promotes both rape and child sexual abuse")WEB,weblink Pornography and Feminism, Colleen McEneany, FeministUtopia,weblink" title="">weblink July 20, 2006, July 8, 2009, and Penthouse.WEB,weblink Politics and Pornography: A Comparison of the Findings of the President's Commission and the Meese Commission and the Resulting Response, David M. Edwards, July 9, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink August 25, 2009, yes, mdy-all, The demands spread nationally and intimidated some retailers into withdrawing photography magazines, among others.WEB,weblink The Rev. Donald E. Wildmon's Crusade for Censorship, 1977–1992, Christopher M. Finan and Anne F. Castro, Media Coalition, July 9, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink May 6, 2009, yes, The Meese Commission's campaign was eventually quashed with a First Amendment admonishment against prior restraint by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Meese v. Playboy (639 F.Supp. 581).
In her testimony and replies to questions from the commissioners, Dworkin denounced the use of criminal obscenity prosecutions against pornographers, stating, "We are against obscenity laws. We do not want them. I want you to understand why, whether you end up agreeing or not."{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=285}} She argued that obscenity laws were largely ineffectual, that when they were effectual they only suppressed pornography from public view while allowing it to flourish out of sight,{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|pp=285–286}} and that they suppressed the wrong material, or the right material for the wrong reasons, arguing that "Obscenity laws are also woman-hating in their very construction. Their basic presumption is that it's women's bodies that are dirty."{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=286}}Instead she offered five recommendations for the Commission, recommending (1) that "the Justice Department instruct law-enforcement agencies to keep records of the use of pornography in violent crimes", (2) a ban on the possession and distribution of pornography in prisons,{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=287}} (3) that prosecutors "enforce laws against pimping and pandering against pornographers", (4) that the administration "make it a Justice Department priority to enforce RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) against the pornography industry", and (5) that Congress adopt federal anti-pornography civil rights legislation which would provide for civil damages for harm inflicted on women. She suggested that the Commission consider "creating a criminal conspiracy provision under the civil rights law, such that conspiring to deprive a person of their civil rights by coercing them into pornography is a crime, and that conspiring to traffic in pornography is conspiring to deprive women of our civil rights".{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=288}} Dworkin compared her proposal to the Southern Poverty Law Center's use of civil rights litigation against the Ku Klux Klan.Dworkin also submitted into evidence a copy of Boreman's book Ordeal, as an example of the abuses that she hoped to remedy, saying "The only thing atypical about Linda is that she has had the courage to make a public fight against what has happened to her. And whatever you come up with, it has to help her or it's not going to help anyone". Boreman had testified in person before the Commission, but the Commissioners had not yet seen her book.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=289}}


In 1987, Dworkin published Intercourse, in which she extended her analysis from pornography to sexual intercourse itself, and argued that the sort of sexual subordination depicted in pornography was central to men's and women's experiences of heterosexual intercourse in a male supremacist society. In the book, she argues that all heterosexual sex in our patriarchal society is coercive and degrading to women, and sexual penetration may by its very nature doom women to inferiority and submission, and "may be immune to reform".BOOK,weblink Occupation/Collaboration, Intercourse, Dworkin, February 14, 2013, Intercourse (book), Citing from both pornography and literature—including The Kreutzer Sonata, Madame Bovary, and Dracula—Dworkin argued that depictions of intercourse in mainstream art and culture consistently emphasized heterosexual intercourse as the only kind of "real" sex, portrayed intercourse in violent or invasive terms, portrayed the violence or invasiveness as central to its eroticism, and often united it with male contempt for, revulsion towards, or even murder of, the "carnal" woman. She argued that this kind of depiction enforced a male-centric and coercive view of sexuality, and that, when the cultural attitudes combine with the material conditions of women's lives in a sexist society, the experience of heterosexual intercourse itself becomes a central part of men's subordination of women, experienced as a form of "occupation" that is nevertheless expected to be pleasurable for women and to define their very status as women.Such descriptions are often cited by Dworkin's critics, interpreting the book as claiming "all" heterosexual intercourse is rape, or more generally that the anatomical mechanics of sexual intercourse make it intrinsically harmful to women's equality. For instance, Cathy YoungWEB,weblink Woman's Hating: The Misdirected Passion of Andrea Dworkin, Cathy Young, 2005-04-19, Cathy Young, says that statements such as, "Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women," are reasonably summarized as "All sex is rape".Dworkin rejected that interpretation of her argument,WEB,weblink The Andrea Dworkin Lie Detector, Nikki Craft, Andrea Dworkin Online Library, July 8, 2009, Nikki Craft, stating in a later interview that "I think both intercourse and sexual pleasure can and will survive equality"WEB,weblink Fighting Talk, Michael Moorcock, New Statesman, New Statesman and Society, April 21, 1995, July 8, 2009, Michael Moorcock, and suggesting that the misunderstanding came about because of the very sexual ideology she was criticizing: "Since the paradigm for sex has been one of conquest, possession, and violation, I think many men believe they need an unfair advantage, which at its extreme would be called rape. I do not think they need it."

Butler decision in Canada

In 1992, the Supreme Court of Canada made a ruling in R. v. Butler which incorporated some elements of Dworkin and MacKinnon's legal work on pornography into the existing Canadian obscenity law. In Butler, the Court held that Canadian obscenity law violated Canadian citizens' rights to free speech under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms if enforced on grounds of morality or community standards of decency; but that obscenity law could be enforced constitutionally against some pornography on the basis of the Charter's guarantees of sex equality.BOOK, Brenda Cossman, Bad Attitude/s on Trial: Pornography, Feminism, and the Butler Decision, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1997, 107, 978-0-8020-7643-4, Feminist Fashion or Morality in Drag? The Sexual Subtext of the Butler Decision,weblink The Court's decision cited extensively from briefs prepared by the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), with the support and participation of Catharine MacKinnon.BOOK, Christopher Jon Nowlin, Judging Obscenity: A Critical History of Expert Evidence, McGill-Queen's University Press, Quebec, 2003, 126, 978-0-7735-2538-2,weblink Andrea Dworkin opposed LEAF's position, arguing that feminists should not support or attempt to reform criminal obscenity law.BOOK, Joan Mason-Grant, Pornography Embodied: From Speech to Sexual Practice, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2004, 176, n. 30, 978-0-7425-1223-8,weblink In 1993, copies of Dworkin's book Pornography were held for inspection by Canada Customs agents,JOURNAL,weblink Canada's Thought Police, Zachary Margulis, Wired (magazine), Wired, March 1995, July 8, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2009, no, fostering an urban legend that Dworkin's own books had been banned from Canada under a law that she herself had promoted. However, the Butler decision did not adopt Dworkin and MacKinnon's ordinance, Dworkin did not support the decision, and her books (which were released shortly after they were inspected) were held temporarily as part of a standard procedural measure, unrelated to the Butler decision.WEB,weblink Statement by Catharine A. MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin Regarding Canadian Customs and Legal Approaches to Pornography, Catharine A. MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, August 26, 1994, July 8, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 26 June 2009, no,


Dworkin published three fictional works after achieving notability as a feminist author and activist. She published a collection of short stories, The New Woman's Broken Heart in 1980. Her first published novel, Ice and Fire, was published in the United Kingdom in 1986. It is a first-person narrative, rife with violence and abuse; Susie Bright has claimed that it amounts to a modern feminist rewriting of one of the Marquis de Sade's most famous works, Juliette.WEB,weblink Andrea Dworkin Has Died, Susie Bright, April 11, 2005, July 11, 2009, Susie Bright, However, Dworkin aimed to depict men's harm to women as normalized political harm, not as eccentric eroticism. Dworkin's second novel, Mercy, was published in the United Kingdom in 1990. According to The Telegraph, the novels "were not popular".Andrea Dworkin, in The Telegraph, April 13, 2005, (section "News", subsection "Obits", subsubsection "Culture"), as accessed February 15, 2013 (obituary).Dworkin's short fiction and novels often incorporated elements from her life and themes from her nonfiction writing, sometimes related by a first-person narrator. Critics have sometimes quoted passages spoken by characters in Ice and Fire as representations of Dworkin's own views.WEB, Gladden Schrock,weblink Feminist Hate-Speech, The Fatherhood Coalition, July 11, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 27 May 2009, yes, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Mind-Programming of the Masses, Eric Ross, MacDworkinism and VAWA: The Fraud of the Millennia, July 11, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink May 8, 2008, 2017-11-21, cf. Dworkin, however, wrote "My fiction is not autobiography. I am not an exhibitionist. I do not show myself. I am not asking for forgiveness. I do not want to confess. But I have used everything I know—my life—to show what I believe must be shown so that it can be faced. The imperative at the heart of my writing—what must be done—comes directly from my life. But I do not show my life directly, in full view; nor even look at it while others watch."{{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|p=15}}

Life and Death

In 1997, Dworkin published a collection of her speeches and articles from the 1990s in Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War on Women, including a long autobiographical essay on her life as a writer, and articles on violence against women, pornography, prostitution, Nicole Brown Simpson, the use of rape during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Montreal massacre, Israel, and the gender politics of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.NEWS,weblink Obituary, The Times, April 13, 2005, July 18, 2009, London, Reviewing Life and Death in The New Republic, philosopher Martha Nussbaum criticizes voices in contemporary feminism for denouncing Catharine MacKinnon and Dworkin as "man-haters", and argues that First Amendment critiques of Dworkin's civil ordinance proposal against pornography "are not saying anything intellectually respectable", for the First Amendment "has never covered all speech: bribery, threats, extortionate offers, misleading advertising, perjury, and unlicensed medical advice are all unprotected". Nussbaum adds that Dworkin has focused attention on the proper moral target by making harm associated with subordination, not obscenity, civilly actionable.Nevertheless, Nussbaum opposes the adoption of Dworkin's pornography ordinance because it (1) fails to distinguish between moral and legal violations, (2) fails to demonstrate a causal relationship between pornography and specific harm, (3) holds a creator of printed images or words responsible for others' behavior, (4) grants censorial power to the judiciary (which may be directed against feminist scholarship), and (5) erases the contextual considerations within which sex takes place. More broadly, Nussbaum faults Dworkin for (1) occluding economic injustice through an "obsessive focus on sexual subordination", (2) reproducing objectification in reducing her interlocutors to their abuse, and (3) refusing reconciliation in favor of "violent extralegal resistance against male violence".Nussbaum, Martha C. "Rage and Reason." The New Republic. August 11, 1997, pp. 36–42.

Legacy and controversy

Dworkin authored ten books of radical feminist theory and numerous speeches and articles, each designed to assert the presence of and denounce institutionalized and normalized harm against women. She became one of the most influential writers and spokeswomen of American radical feminism during the late 1970s and the 1980s. She characterized pornography as an industry of damaging objectification and abuse, not merely a fantasy realm. She discussed prostitution as a system of exploitation, and intercourse as a key site of subordination in patriarchy. Her analysis and writing influenced and inspired the work of some contemporary feminists, such as Catharine MacKinnon,NEWS, Jeffries, Stuart,weblink Are women human?, April 12, 2006, The Guardian, July 18, 2009, London,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2009, no, Gloria Steinem,NEWS, Heller, Zoe,weblink" title="">weblink 5 July 2015,weblink The New Eve, December 6, 1992, The Independent, Independent on Sunday, July 18, 2009, London, John Stoltenberg, Nikki Craft,WEB, Craft, Nikki, Nikki Craft,weblink The Nikki Wiki: All About Nikki Craft,, July 18, 2009, Susan Cole,JOURNAL, Cole, Susan G., Sex, lies and ideologies, Now (newspaper), NOW, 24, 37, May 12–19, 2005,weblink harv, and Amy Elman.JOURNAL, Waltman, Max, The Civil Rights and Equality Deficit: Legal Challenges to Pornography and Sex Inequality in Canada, Sweden, and the U.S., Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Ottawa, 27–29 May 2009, July 2009, 1452255, harv, Pdf. Rebecca Traister stated that Dworkin’s book Intercourse was one of the books that inspired her 2018 book Good and Mad, and as of 2019, The Wing sells pins of Dworkin’s face.NEWS,weblink Opinion | Not the Fun Kind of Feminist,, 2019-02-22, 2019-02-22, The New York Times, Goldberg, Michelle, However, Jessa Crispin reproved contemporary feminists for abandoning Dworkin’s work in her 2017 book Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto. Dworkin's uncompromising positions and forceful style of writing and speaking, described by Robert Campbell as "apocalyptic",WEB, Campbell, Robert L.,weblink Radical Feminism: Some Thoughts on Long's Defense (blog), History News Network, March 29, 2004, July 12, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink November 27, 2010, yes, mdy-all, earned her frequent comparisons to other speakers such as Malcolm X (by Robin Morgan, Susie Bright, and others). Gloria Steinem repeatedly compared her style to that of the Biblical prophets;NEWS, Honigsbaum, Mark,weblink Andrea Dworkin, embattled feminist, dies at 58, The Guardian, April 12, 2005, July 12, 2009, London, NEWS, Steinem, Gloria, Gloria Steinem,weblink" title="">weblink 15 July 2009, no,weblink Gloria Steinem remembers feminist writer and activist Andrea Dworkin, Democracy Now!, June 23, 2005, July 12, 2009, Susan Brownmiller recalls her Take Back the Night speech in 1978:{{quotation|Saturday evening culminated in a candlelit "Take Back the Night" march (the first of its kind) through the porn district, kicked off by an exhortation by Andrea Dworkin. I'd seen Andrea in my living room, but this was the first time I'd seen Andrea in action. On the spot, I dubbed her Rolling Thunder. Perspiring in her trademark denim coveralls, she employed the rhetorical cadences that would make her both a cult idol and an object of ridicule a few years later. Dworkin's dramatized martyrdom and revival-tent theatrics never sat well with me, but I retained my respect for her courage long after I absented myself from the pornography wars. Her call to action accomplished, three thousand demonstrators took to the streets|Susan Brownmiller|In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution, 302–303}}Many of Dworkin's early speeches are reprinted in her second book, Our Blood (1976). Later selections of speeches were reprinted ten and twenty years later, in Letters from a War Zone (1988) and Life and Death (1997).She maintained some political communication with the political right wing. She authored the book Right-Wing Women, reviewed as premised on agreement between feminists and right-wing women on the existence of domination by men in sex and class, but disagreement on strategy.JOURNAL, Foster, Sallie L., "Right-Wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females", by Andrea Dworkin (Book Review), Library Journal, 108, 1, 59, January 1983,weblink harv, She testified at a Meese Commission hearing on pornography, while Attorney General Edwin Meese was serving socially conservative President Reagan. She had a political discourse with National Review writer David Frum and their spouses arranged by Christopher Hitchens.NEWS, Frum, David, David Frum, Andrea Dworkin RIP (blog),weblink" title="">weblink 26 February 2014,weblink David Frum's Diary, National Review Online, National Review, April 12, 2005, May 9, 2010, yes, NEWS, Staff writer, The Nation: Seeing Eye to Eye; A Radical Feminist Who Could Dine With (Not On) Conservatives,weblink The New York Times, 17 April 2005, 9 May 2010, Her attitude and language often sharply polarized debate, and made Dworkin herself a figure of intense controversy. After her death, the conservativeBOOK, Sullivan, Andrew, Andrew Sullivan, The conservative soul: how we lost it, how to get it back, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2006, 978-0060188771, gay writer Andrew Sullivan claimed that "Many on the social right liked Andrea Dworkin. Like Dworkin, their essential impulse when they see human beings living freely is to try and control or stop them—for their own good. Like Dworkin, they are horrified by male sexuality, and see men as such as a problem to be tamed. Like Dworkin, they believe in the power of the state to censor and coerce sexual freedoms. Like Dworkin, they view the enormous new freedom that women and gay people have acquired since the 1960s as a terrible development for human culture."NEWS, Sullivan, Andrew, Andrew Sullivan,weblink" title="">weblink 14 March 2014,weblink The far-left-theocon alliance (blog), Daily Dish, April 18, 2005, July 5, 2009, yes, Libertarian/conservativeWEB, Young, Cathy, Cathy Young,weblink Welcome to the website of writer and journalist Cathy Young, July 12, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 11 June 2009, no, journalist Cathy Young complained of a "whitewash" in feminist obituaries for Dworkin, argued that Dworkin's positions were manifestly misandrist, stated that Dworkin was in fact insane,WEB, Young, Cathy, Cathy Young,weblink Anti-feminist? Moi? (blog),, Blogger (service), Blogspot, November 24, 2005, July 12, 2009, NEWS, Young, Cathy, Cathy Young, The Dworkin Whitewash (blog), April 17, 2005,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink 11 April 2010, no, Reason (magazine),, Reason Foundation, criticized what she called Dworkin's "destructive legacy", and described Dworkin as a "sad ghost" that feminism needs to exorcise.NEWS, Young, Cathy, Cathy Young, The Misdirected Passion of Andrea Dworkin, The Boston Globe,weblink April 18, 2005, July 12, 2009, Other feminists, however, published sympathetic or celebratory memorials online and in print.NEWS, MacKinnon, Catharine A., Catharine MacKinnon, Who Was Afraid of Andrea Dworkin?,weblink The New York Times, April 16, 2005, July 12, 2009, WEB, Staff writer,weblink Andrea Dworkin Dies, Ms. (magazine), Ms., April 11, 2005,weblink" title="">weblink December 25, 2006, July 12, 2009, Catharine MacKinnon, Dworkin's longtime friend and collaborator, published a column in The New York Times, celebrating what she described as Dworkin's "incandescent literary and political career", suggested that Dworkin deserved a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and complained that "lies about her views on sexuality (that she believed intercourse was rape) and her political alliances (that she was in bed with the right) were published and republished without attempts at verification, corrective letters almost always refused. Where the physical appearance of male writers is regarded as irrelevant or cherished as a charming eccentricity, Andrea's was reviled and mocked and turned into pornography. When she sued for libel, courts trivialized the pornographic lies as fantasy and dignified them as satire".{{Efn|Libel, in law, defamation by writing or printing.}}{{Efn|Satire, a literary genre intended to ridicule.}}Dworkin's reports of violence suffered at the hands of men sometimes aroused skepticism, the most famous example being the public controversy over her allegations of being drugged and raped in Paris. In 1989, Dworkin wrote an article about her life as a battered wife in the Netherlands, "What Battery Really Is", in response to fellow radical feminist Susan Brownmiller, who had argued that Hedda Nussbaum, a battered woman, should have been indicted for her failure to stop Joel Steinberg from murdering their adoptive daughter. Newsweek initially accepted "What Battery Really Is" for publication, but then declined to publish the account at the request of their attorney, according to Dworkin, arguing that she needed either to publish anonymously "to protect the identity of the batterer" and remove references to specific injuries, or to provide "medical records, police records, a written statement from a doctor who had seen the injuries". Instead, Dworkin submitted the article to the Los Angeles Times, which published it on March 12, 1989.{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=330}}


Some critics, such as Larry Flynt's magazine Hustler and Gene Healy,NEWS, Healy, Gene, Gene Healy, Andrea Dworkin: I Just Don't Get It,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Criterion, May–June 1998, December 8, 2006, July 18, 2009, allege that Dworkin endorsed incest. In the closing chapter of Woman Hating (1974), Dworkin wrote that, "The parent–child relationship is primarily erotic because all human relationships are primarily erotic", and that, "The incest taboo, because it denies us essential fulfillment with the parents whom we love with our primary energy, forces us to internalize those parents and constantly seek them. The incest taboo does the worst work of the culture... The destruction of the incest taboo is essential to the development of cooperative human community based on the free-flow of natural androgynous eroticism".{{harvnb|Dworkin, Woman Hating|p=189}}{{Efn|Incest taboo is a norm forbidding sexual relations between closely related individuals.}} Dworkin, however, does not explain if "fulfillment" is supposed to involve actual sexual intimacy, and one page earlier characterized what she meant by "erotic relationships" as relationships whose "substance is nonverbal communication and touch",{{harvnb|Dworkin, Woman Hating|p=188}} which she explicitly distinguished from what she referred to as "fucking".{{harvnb|Dworkin, Woman Hating|p=187}}Dworkin's work from the early 1980s onward contained frequent condemnations of incest and pedophilia as one of the chief forms of violence against women, arguing once that "incest is terrifically important in understanding the condition of women. It is a crime committed against someone, a crime from which many victims never recover".{{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|pp=139–142, 149, 176–180, 308, 314–315}}; Dworkin, Intercourse, pp. 171, 194; {{harvnb|Dworkin, Life and Death|pp=22–23, 79–80, 86, 123, 143, 173, 188–189}} In the early 1980s she had a public row with her former friend Allen Ginsberg over his support for child pornography and pedophilia, in which Ginsberg said, "The right wants to put me in jail," and Dworkin responded, "Yes, they're very sentimental; I'd kill you."{{harvnb|Dworkin, Heartbreak|pp=43–47}} In 1985, When Hustler published the claim that Dworkin advocated incest, Dworkin sued them for defamatory libel; the court dismissed Dworkin's complaint on the grounds that regardless of whether Hustler's interpretations of her reflections on incest were valid, even a faulty interpretation of a work placed into the "marketplace of ideas" could not amount to defamation in the legal sense.WEB,weblink Dworkin v. L.F.P., Inc., 1992 WY 120, 839 P.2d 903, July 12, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink May 7, 2008, yes, mdy-all,


Other critics, especially women who identify as feminists but sharply differ with Dworkin's style or positions, have offered nuanced views, suggesting that Dworkin called attention to real and important problems, but that her legacy as a whole had been destructive to the women's movement.NEWS, Marking, Havana,weblink The Real Legacy of Andrea Dworkin, April 15, 2005, July 12, 2009, London, The Guardian,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2009, no, Her work and activism on pornography—especially in the form of the Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance—drew heavy criticism from groups such as the Feminist Anti-Censorship Task Force (FACT) and even some fellow anti-pornography feminists, who criticized the Dworkin–MacKinnon legal approach as undermining civil rights.{{Citation needed|date=January 2016}}Dworkin also attracted criticism from sex-positive feminists, in what became known as the feminist sex wars of the late 1970s and 1980s. The sex wars were a series of heated debates which polarized feminist thought on a number of issues relating to sex and sexuality. Sex-positive feminist critics criticized Dworkin's legal activism as censorious, and argued that her work on pornography and sexuality promoted an essentialist, conservative, or repressive view of sexuality, which they often characterized as "anti-sex" or "sex-negative". Her criticisms of common heterosexual sexual expression, pornography, prostitution, and sadomasochism were frequently claimed to disregard women's own agency in sex, or to deny women's sexual choices. Dworkin countered that her critics often misrepresented her views,See, for example, {{harvnb|Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone|p=110}}: "One of the slurs constantly used against me by women writing in behalf of pornography under the flag of feminism in misogynist media is that I endorse a primitive biological determinism. '{{harvnb|Dworkin, Woman Hating}} clearly repudiates any biological determinism; so does Our Blood (1976), especially "The Root Cause." So does this piece, published twice, in 1978 in Heresies and in 1979 in Broadsheet. The event described in this piece ["Biological Superiority: The World's Most Dangerous and Deadly Idea"], which occurred in 1977, was fairly notorious, and so my position on biological determinism—I am against it—is generally known in the Women's Movement." and that under the heading of "choice" and "sex-positivity", her feminist critics were failing to question the often violent political structures that confined women's choices and shaped the meaning of sex acts.See, for example, the 1995 Preface to Intercourse, pp. vii–x, and Intercourse, Chapter 7.


In addition to books, articles, and speeches listed here, she wrote for anthologies, and wrote additional articles, and some of her works were translated into other languages.Richards, Deborah, Andrea Dworkin September 26, 1946 – April 9, 2005, Apr. 12, 2005, in H-Women, on Humanities and Social Sciences Net Online (discussion list message) ("John Stoltenberg has sent these items this morning; they were prepared by Andrea Dworkin") {{Webarchive|url= |date=April 25, 2016 }}, as accessed Oct. 8, 2010. She also published in Gay Community News.300 Women Who Changed the World: Encyclopædia Britannica Profiles: Andrea Dworkin, as accessed February 15, 2013.



  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Woman Hating, Penguin Books, New York, 1974, 978-0452268272, {{harvid, Dworkin, Woman Hating, | title-link = Woman Hating }}
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Our blood: prophecies and discourses on sexual politics, Harper & Row, New York, 1976, 978-0060111168,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Pornography: men possessing women, Women's Press, London, 1981, 978-0704338760, Pornography: Men Possessing Women,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Right-wing women: the politics of domesticated females, Women's Press, London, 1983, 978-0704339071,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, MacKinnon, Catharine A., Catharine MacKinnon, The reasons why: essays on the new civil rights law recognizing pornography as sex discrimination, Women Against Pornography, New York, 1985, 15992953,

Contains: * JOURNAL, MacKinnon, Catharine A., Catharine MacKinnon, Pornography, civil rights, and speech, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 20, 1, 10–68, Winter 1985,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-03-04,
weblink" title="">Extracted in Pornography and Censorship, in Doing Ethics by Lewis Vaughn, second edition, {{ISBN|978-0393934281}}
* JOURNAL, Dworkin, Andrea, Against the male flood: censorship, pornography, and equality, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Gender (formerly Women's Law Journal), 8, 1–30, Spring 1985,weblink Pdf.
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Intercourse, Free Press, New York, 1987, 978-0029079706, Intercourse (book),
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, MacKinnon, Catharine, Catharine MacKinnon, Pornography and civil rights: a new day for women's equality, Organizing Against Pornography, Minneapolis, MN, 1988, 9780962184901, Available online.
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Letters from a war zone: writings, 1976–1989, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1989, 978-0525248248, {{harvid, Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone, }}
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, MacKinnon, Catharine, Catharine MacKinnon, In harm's way: the pornography civil rights hearings, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1997, 978-0674445796,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Life and death: unapologetic writings on the continuing war against women, Virago, London, 1997, 978-1860493607, {{harvid, Dworkin, Life and Death, }}
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation, Free Press, New York, 2000, 978-0684836126, {{harvid, Dworkin, Scapegoat, | title-link = Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation }}
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Heartbreak: the political memoir of a feminist militant, Basic Books, New York, 2002, 978-0465017546, {{harvid, Dworkin, Heartbreak, }}
  • Dworkin, Andrea (2019), Last Days at Hot Slit. The Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin, edited by Johanna Fateman and Amy Scholder (Cambridge: The MIT Press) {{ISBN|9781635900804}}

Chapters in books

  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Pornography happens to women, Lederer, Laura, Delgado, Richard, Laura Lederer, Richard Delgado, The price we pay: the case against racist speech, hate propaganda, and pornography, Hill and Wang, New York, 1995, 978-0809015771,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Biological superiority: the world's most dangerous and deadly idea, Jackson, Stevi, Scott, Sue, Stevi Jackson, Sue Scott (sociologist), Feminism and sexuality: a reader, 57–61, Columbia University Press, New York, 1996, 978-0231107082,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Pornography, Jackson, Stevi, Scott, Sue, Stevi Jackson, Sue Scott (sociologist), Feminism and sexuality: a reader, 297–299, Columbia University Press, New York, 1996, 978-0231107082,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Pornography, prostitution and a beautiful and tragic recent history, Whisnant, Rebecca, Stark, Christine, Rebecca Whisnant, Not for sale: feminists resisting prostitution and pornography, 137–158, Spinifex Press, North Melbourne, Victoria, 2004, 978-1876756499,

Other non-fiction

  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Landscape of the ordinary: violence against women, Morgan, Robin, Robin Morgan, Sisterhood is forever: the women's anthology for a new millennium, 58–69, Washington Square Press, New York, 2003, 978-0743466271, Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium, BOOK, Library Resource Finder: Table of Contents for: Sisterhood is forever: the women's anthology for a new millennium,weblink, DePaul University, 15 October 2015, 978-0743466271, 2003,

Fiction and poetry

  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Child, Heraklion, Crete, 1966, 4708955,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Morning hair, Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, 1967, 9290267,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, The new womans broken heart: short stories, Frog in the Well, East Palo Alto, CA, 1980, 978-0960362806,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Ice and fire: a novel, Secker & Warburg, London, 1986, 978-0436139604,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Mercy, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 1991, 978-0941423694,


  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Marx and Gandhi were liberals: feminism and the "radical" left, Frog in the Well, East Palo Alto, CA, 1977, 6189987,
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Why so-called radical men love and need pornography, Frog in the Well, East Palo Alto, CA, 1978, 8309555,
  • JOURNAL, Dworkin, Andrea, Against the male flood: censorship, pornography, and equality, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Gender (formerly Women's Law Journal), 8, 1–30, Spring 1985,weblink Pdf
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Pornography is a Civil Rights Issue for Women, 1986

, Organizing Against Pornography, Minneapolis, MN, 18843030, weblink" title="">Page 1 of 4 Page 2 of 4. weblink" title="">Page 3 of 4 Page 4 of 4
  • NEWS, Dworkin, Andrea, Pornography is a civil rights issue for women, No Status Quo, NoStatusQuo, Nikki Craft, 1986, weblink" title="">Pdf. weblink" title="">Page 1 of 2 Page 2 of 2
  • JOURNAL, Dworkin, Andrea, The ACLU: bait and switch, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, 1, 1, 37–40, Spring 1989,weblink Pdf
  • JOURNAL, Dworkin, Andrea, Prostitution and male supremacy, Michigan Journal of Gender and Law, 1, 1–12, 1993,weblink Page 1 of 2. Page 2 of 2
  • BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Are you listening, Hillary? President Rape is who he is,weblink 1999,
  • Excerpt with Note from John Stoltenberg, 25 May 2007
  • JOURNAL, Dworkin, Andrea, Book review: A good rape,weblink New Statesman, 30 June 2003,
  • Review of Lucky by Alice Sebold, {{ISBN|978-0684857824}}
  • JOURNAL, Dworkin, Andrea, 22 September 2003, Book review: Out of the closet,weblink New Statesman,
  • Review of Normal: transsexual CEOs, cross-dressing cops, and hermaphrodites with attitude by Amy Bloom, {{ISBN|978-0679456520}}
  • JOURNAL, Dworkin, Andrea, The day I was drugged and raped,weblink New Statesman, 4 March 2013,

Speeches and interviews

Reviews of Dworkin's works

Related work

She was a member of The American Heritage Dictionary's Usage Panel.The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 3d ed. 1992 ({{ISBN|0-395-44895-6}})), p. xii (The Usage Panel); the panel is discussed at id., p. vi (Introduction).

See also






Further reading

  • Brownmiller, Susan (1999). In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution ({{ISBN|0-385-31486-8}})
  • Robinson, Jeremy Mark (2008). Andrea Dworkin ({{ISBN|978-1-86171-126-7}}). Crescent Moon
  • Strossen, Nadine, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights ({{ISBN|0-8147-8149-7}}). New York University Press, 2000. (First edition New York: Scribner, 1995)

External links

{{Feminism}}{{Radical feminism}}{{Authority control}}

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