UPDATE: Susie Bright has a lot to say about Andrea Dworkin here:
It was Andrea’s take-no-prisoners attitude toward patriarchy that I always liked the best. Bourgeois feminists were so BORING. They wanted to keep their maiden name and have it listed in the white pages; they wanted to get a nice corner office in the skyscraper. When I was a teenager in the 70s I couldn't relate to those concerns. It was Dworkin's heyday....And here:
I loved that she dared attack the very notion of intercourse. It was the pie aimed right in the crotch of Mr. Big Stuff. It was an impossible theory, but it wasn’t absurd. There is something about literally being f**ked that colors your world, pretty or ugly, and it was about time someone said so.
The contradictions between Dworkin's brilliance and her lunacy have always gotten under my skin. ... Every time I put down one of her books, I was impressed by her passion, and by the risks she could take with her imagination--- and yet I was also convinced that she was cracked. The more she attacked sexism, the more I felt imprisoned by her concept of sex itself. Her arguments for liberation folded in on themselves, in a victimized dervish dance; they became just another bar and stripe in the code of the double standard.ANOTHER UPDATE: There are some interesting comments to this post, including one with the phrase "Shame on you, Prof. Althouse." The third comment says "Nice to see another Susie Bright fan," which made me stop and ask myself whether I am a Susie Bright fan, which made me remember I love Susie Bright's contributions to the commentary track of this DVD.
AND MORE: Dworkin said she liked George Washington, and that was enough for Richard Brookhiser. But there's more:
Later on, when NR twitted feminists for supporting a later president, Bill Clinton, I got a note from Dworkin pointing out that she didn't. I wrote a paragraph for "The Week," beginning with the old New Yorker lead-in, "A friend writes..."Ah, how that resonates! Feminism was only a means to an end for a lot of people who positioned themselves as the voices of feminism. Their abjectly partisan goals came to light when they supported Clinton and (especially) smeared Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky. It was an appalling spectacle. I care a lot about feminism, but I have not trusted the self-appointed voices of feminism since then. Dworkin, for all her overstatements and wackiness, was truly devoted to feminism as an end. She didn't care enough about free speech and she was over-the-top in her aversion to heterosexual sex, but I mean to honor her with this post.
Dworkin's prose was unrelenting, hard, clean and compelling. Florence King praised it (while disagreeing with many of her conclusions). She really meant it. R.I.P.
YET MORE: Cathy Young has comments inside and on Hit & Run. I respond to the Hit & Run piece and ask if I've been too kind to Andrea Dworkin here.