Sunday, July 22, 2007

Blog Entry #2 - Crystal Fitzthum

I know that this is very late. I had some health / car issues, but here it is:

Andrea Dworkin was born on September 26, 1946 and passed away on April 9, 2005. Though she was born in the United States of America, Dworkin traveled to the Netherlands and married an anarchist that she had become involved in. Shortly after their marriage, the abuse began. Afraid for her life, Dworkin left her husband and was left homeless, turning to prostitution for money to survive. It is likely that these experiences caused her to become a radical, feminist writer who “wanted instead to write books that were fire and ice, wind sweeping the earth… that, once experienced, could not be forgotten (Memorial).”

Dworkin is well known for her stance on pornography. She felt that pornography “degrades women, discriminates against them as a class, and incites men to sexual violence (Answers).” Upon returning to the United States, Dworkin brought with her the feminist movement in a radical way. She wrote several books, including Woman Hating, which was written with Ricki Abrams, Pornography: Men Possessing Women, and Intercourse.

Later in life, Dworkin met a feminist named John Stoltenberg. After living together, she married Stoltenberg. Though she openly stated that she was a lesbian and Stoltenberg stated that he was gay, the two were life partners and loved each other. Their marriage was not public because they knew that people would not understand it.

Dworkin died in 2005 at the age of 58. She had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. This had started long before the problems began, and she tended to blame her homelessness and other problems early in life, while many others blamed her obesity. No matter the cause, Dworkin achieved much for the feminist movement and wanted to be remembered “in a museum, when male supremacy is dead. I'd like my work to be an anthropological artifact from an extinct, primitive society (Wikipedia).”

As previously stated, her greatest achievements were her writings. Though her writings were the most important aspect of her feminist work, Dworkin also attempted to gain freedom for women though the government. In 1986, she successfully convinced officials to pull men’s magazines, such as Playboy, from the shelves of most stores. This decision was later reversed, though it was an accomplishment that she was able to convince them to do it in the first place. She also did work in Canada to get pornography banned for its oppression of women.

Dworkin dedicated most of her life to the feminist movement, fighting for equal rights for everyone. Her opinions were considered radical for both left and right-winged people. Because she claimed to be a lesbian, many right-winged people did not care for her, and because of her views on pornography, many leftists disagreed with her. Despite this, her work against pornography was great. Pornography is degrading to women and was a worthy cause to fight. I think that she opened the doors to many other females who may have been afraid to let their opinions be heard. Her voice in her books and her actions through the government were loud and strong, giving other women the courage to fight for their rights and freedoms.

I had not previously heard of Andrea Dworkin, but I think that it would be interesting to read some of her books. While I don’t agree with her view that all sexual intercourse between man and woman is degrading to women, I do think that pornography is degrading. I think it would be very interesting to read some of her books and to learn more about the things she accomplished in her life. I think that her works can help me to better understand my feelings on issues like pornography.

More information and sources can be found at the Andrea Dworkin website as well as the following sites:

No comments: