Monday, April 11, 2005

Farewell, Andrea Dworkin

Andrea Dworkin's death will undoubtedly receive much less attention than did that of Pope John Paul II, or Terri Schiavo, but I believe it leaves a bigger hole in our culture. The pope, for all of his reknown, will be replaced by someone who most likely will carry on with policies and pronouncements very similar to his own. Mrs.. Schiavo, for all the difficult, front-page circumstances of her passing, was not a woman of public accomplishments.
Andrea Dworkin, however, carved out a unique role in our society, as a defender of women's rights to safety and dignity. As such she was, inevitably, demonized as a radical (horrors!) feminist.
The particular cause for which she became famous was her battle against pornography, which she characterized as a civil rights violation against women. Agree or disagree with her -- and there were troubling tendencies toward censorship on evidence in her writings despite her admirable premise -- she was an important voice, and an example of a purpose-driven life.