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April 14, 2005


enetia robson

Jed. I salute you. Your overview of what Andrea Dworkin came to mean to you was moving and insightful. The fact that a man, an ordinary man, as you call yourself, can see the truth of her philosophical stance, makes me hope that the world will change.

This world is filled with ordinary people with a commonly known language and a method of speaking to each other instantly. We have the means to change the world.

If we do not change the world then we are hopeless robots who were braindamaged way back when before you were ever born.

I am writing from England, where I am saddened to report that the old, creaking, creeping, capitalist culture is still oozing its way across the land, stultifying and suffocating people's lives in return for some small material comfort for which they are hocking their futures.

Government is all but dead here, ideology is just a wet dream as the political thinkers try to squirm into each other's territory.

On the ground, mental and physical violence is normal on council estates, in schools, police cells, prisons, hospitals and in the privacy of people's homes.

Pornography is all. Advertisements, films go beyond soft porn. Children are sexualised at earlier ages.

The rape of fellow beings reflects the rape of the planet and its resources. How else could the attitude of the west to Africa and its problems of starvation, debt, AIDS, be seen otherwise? Here we throw away enough food to pay off the council tax of the whole country. Yet we allow a whole continent to starve. Even in a capitalist system surely this makes no sense economically. Even capitalists must surely wish for Africa to prosper so that we can exploit Africans the more effectively?

Andrea's polemics illuminated one key part of personal interraction - the effect of porn and violence on women and on the men who were also its victims.

Her analysis has a wider relevance. The packaging of the earth's resources and its landscapes as holiday destinations is also pornography.

Thank you for your tribute to Andrea Jed Brandt. Carry on fighting. You have no choice.

s. melmoth

thanks for an intriguing personal reaction to Ms. Dworkin's death. Your narrative directly caputures the extreme fires of anxiety that Dworkin lit in all men. Of course they feared, hated, and maligned her - she knew our game, she called our bluff.

I've been saddened at the general distaste shown for Dworkin among "left" bloggers. Now that "being a victim" has become so hideously unfashionable, our American intellectual elite has made it nearly impossible to name systems of oppression without being charged with something like essentialism or elitism or some other poppycock.

One wonders what such folks do to doctors who dare offer prognoses that don't "feel good." "Hey Doc - you may say I have cancer, but I'm not a victim! How dare you? Who do you think you are? You don't know me."

Ironically, the same liberals who had no time for the making the "personal political" when it meant radical politics, have now decided that their liberal personalities should define everyone's politics. "I know girls who LOVE porn! and thus misogyny is an evil hoax created by man-hating feminazis who want to put women down by making them victims."

I'm sorry to ramble here. Dworkin's death and the response to it has hit me with an emotional force I could never have expected. The vitriol and willful misreading of her radical voice only heightens my already pained awareness that the space for radical thought in this nation has nearly disappeared completely. I merely flail this way and that in my pained resistance. Luckily I could find your voice to put some structure to my pain.

R.I.P. Ms. Dworkin
I only hope you know how many men were thankful for your voice - how many men took your teachings personally and responded by attacking their own patterns of oppression instead of attacking you. We are in your debt and we will fight to protect your message.


Jed, thanks for this beautiful, thoughtful post. I've read Dworkin's memorial site everyday since I posted, and I am always thrilled (and grateful) to find men there. It does a weary heart good. This memorial reminds me that we are not alone; that many of us are thinking and acting and doing on our and others' behalf. Thanks again.

Christopher Day


Bravo. Thank you for this. I'll spread it around.


Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff

The comments here have made my day-- all of them. I am particularly encouraged by your to-the-point assessment, S. Melmoth, of the effects of the backlash against radical feminism on American politics and American culture, just generally. You are, sadly, right on.

I am grieving Andrea Dworkin, but I am finding such inspiration in realizing that there are so many of us determined to move forward with the work she began. I am an old school political radical, marched in the freeways in the '60s, and I've found myself honestly worried that our work might have been in vain. Reading the tributes here and elsewhere, I am feeling hopeful again, for the first time in a long, long time.

In solidarity,

(Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff)
The Margins


me, too

everything is everything

i liked your obit a whole lot. I never checked out Dworkin's work, but know I will.


I have recently been reading her books, and the more I read the more I find that she was not talking to me. She never talked about the issues or struggles of real women. She did not care for the women of Palestine. Her work was based on guilt-tripping and aimed at accademics. She had nothing inspiring, nothing new or good to offer. It's so-called feminists like her who inspired a whole generation of young women to say stuff like "I believe that women should be equal but I'm not a feminist".

Goodbye Andrea, Lets hope the next generation has something better to offer.


It's easy to blame one person for the failings of an entire group of people, Jo, but even though it's isn't fair. Feminism has survived through many attacks, and will survive, and though our 'failings' are innumberable, because we are human after all, we'll still fight for women.

She gave a voice to women's pain and even if it was a voice you couldn't hear many others heard it. To dismiss that is to dismiss reality. She changed people.


While reading the first few lines of this I was ready to spew all sorts of verbal lashings your way--but this is a very incredible piece. Thanks.



Thank you for your reflections on Andrea Dworkin and her work. Her death has hit me much harder than I thought, and has forced a compression of a range of feelings I've had for years on her and her work. My views have evolved over time, and now that evolution is in my face, forcing me to confront my past and acknowledge her role in my growth.

As a young gay man in the '80's eager to prove my feminist credentials, I took all the women's and gender studies classes available in my state university. I had come out of the closet into a community of radical lesbian feminists, most of whom thought it was "cute" that a man could think of himself as a feminist, and I was more than happy to accept that condescending attitude as a mark of "renouncing my male privilege," like a middle-class kid declaring himself "downwardly mobile," as if poverty was a lifestyle choice. If only it were so easy. Dworkin was the kind of feminist purist who would see through me and my laughable attempts to renounce my privilege, and so she scared me. Later on, during the sex wars that came to a head at the Barnard Conference, with confrontations between Dworkin's Women Against Pornography and the "pro-sex" feminists, I threw my lot in with the pro-sexers and denounced WAP as a tool of the right-wing.

As the years have passed, I have actually read Dworkin's work and have had no choice but to acknowledge the truth in it: that violence against women is one of the foundations of our culture.

Her death brought back all these internal and external conflicts in me, as well as the basic truth of her life's work. Her death has made me grieve my youthful naivete, but more importantly it has made me regret how little actual progress has been made in the struggle against gender hierarchy and male supremacy.

Thanks again for your reflections, and the chance to ruminate on Dworkin's work and life, and on my own.

John Magisano


Andrea Dworkin helped me understand the insanity of my childhood, the father who so severely abused his family that no tear was shed when he died. Why my mother put up with him. She had no choice, unless she wanted an even worse hell, an unknown hell. Damn those who damn Andrea Dworkin.

Carole Trainor

Goodbye (From Canada) Andrea Dworkin

Its December 27th, 2005 and I just discovered that Andrea Dworkin died in April.
I hardly know how to react to this except to say Thank you Ms.Dworkin, for the price you were willing to pay for truth. Your contribution to humanity lives on.
Carole Trainor, Canada


definitly late to respond, but since i bumped into this article after so long it was posted, other people can do it, so i m going to answer Jo, who said andrea didnt care about women in palestine, she did:

John Cavanagh

I am the photographer who took the photo of Andrea pictured here. The photo is (c)John Cavanagh. Andrea asked me for a copy of this image and appeared pleased with it. We spent a total of about 2 hours together and she was one of the kindest people I have ever met.

celebrity oops

She if bitch. Burn in hell.

marie cartier

I want there to be another comment after this past one...andrea dworkin was one of the only people that i know of to actually sit down and talk to women about being in the sex industry, to spend time with them, to interview them, to collect their simply dangerous the conditions of the work are... she was fearless in her fire to change the reality of women's lives...when you think of her infamous quote, "i want a 24 hour truce during which there is no rape," and people call her..militant? I also want a 24 hour truce during which there is no rape...who doesn't? and when we think of how hard it would be to get that, how near impossible...we realize how little women have dared to ask for, how when a woman asks for even this she becomes so impossible to deal with. i want a 24 hour truce on rape i want a 24 hour truce on rape i want a 24 hour truce on rape...andrea...
can we hear you yet?

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Andrea Dworkin is a very interest person and women that enjoy been a women that doesn't need a men...

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ahhhhh yes yes yes, people i just out about Andrea well by passing from ma Gender studies teacher and yes i cant get enough of her book that ma teacher borrowed to me


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