I’ve been thinking about Andrea Dworkin a lot lately, and I’ve put off writing about her. How can I properly write about Andrea? I was a dedicated feminist as a young adult, but drifted away from feminism due to illness and life. I’ve only recently recommitted to feminism, and have read very little of Ms. Dworkin’s work.
But you know what? When I was paying attention, it was easy to realize how important she was. It was easy to see how her rage cut through all the bullshit, getting right to the heart of the matter. Do I agree with everything Andrea Dworkin stood for? Well, I don’t know since I’ve read so little of her work. But I intend to change that situation. The first book of hers I’m going to read is Life and Death.
Here’s the thing. I’ve never met a person (yet) with whom I agree completely. I don’t agree with myself on everything. But I’m able to disagree on minor or major points without throwing a woman’s entire ideology into the trash.
April 9th will be the first anniversary of Andrea’s death. The mainstream media barely reacted when she died. That reaction seems fairly predictable. What really offended me was to see how some feminists reacted to her death. Lindsay Beyerstein posted about Andrea’s Death, saying it was unthinkable for the mainstream media to overlook a feminist of Dworkin’s stature. However, Beyerstein also wrote this:
Indeed. I have about as much regard for Dworkin’s work as I do for the philosophical writings of the late pope.
WHAT? She’s equating a woman who fought tooth and nail for women’s rights her entire life to one of the men directly responsible for women’s oppression? It’s disgusting to see a comparison of Andrea with the pope, for the planet’s sakes, and it’s sad to see her contempt for a critically important woman.
I won’t post a selection of comments about her death because I don’t think that most of them deserve attention. There’s one comment, however, that I can’t let go:
Though she died young, she seems to have well outlived her particular brand of feminism.
It’s tragic of course that she died an early death, but just about no one would have wished her ideology a longer life.
Au contraire, my little short-sighted one. Andrea did not outlive her particular brand of feminism. There’s an entire movement out here keeping the ideology going. We’re still fighting, Andrea. I’m grateful you finally have peace.