Who is she?
Andrea Dworkin was an American radical feminist best known for her feminist critique of pornography, which she outlined in her breakthrough book, Woman Hating.
She is also famous for her work with legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon – the pair drafted an ‘ordinance‘ for the US city of Minneapolis, recognising pornography as sex discrimination and a violation of women’s civil rights. Women involved in pornography were called to testify from all over America.
Rather than calling for pornography to be banned, they argued that victims of the porn industry should be able to claim damages for the harm it caused.
Andrea wrote many books about pornography and violence against women and was one of the world’s leading radical feminists of the 1970s and 80s.
She was uncompromising and was a forceful public speaker – she has been compared to Malcolm X, and Gloria Steinem likened her to the ‘Old Testament prophets’.
Why should we thank her?
Andrea influenced so many feminists, like Gloria Steinem, and arguably without her (and Mackinnon) we may not have examined the porn industry with such a critical eye. She exposed the sexism of the porn industry and the harm it can do to women. Andrea called it the “DNA of male dominance”.
“Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.”