Andrea Dworkin Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Women's Rights Activist
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Andrea Dworkin used her background in writing to oppose the adult entertainment industry. The feminist and activist fought against the subjugation of women and supported women's civil rights.
Childhood And Early Life
Andrea Dworkin was born on September 26, 1946, in Camden, New Jersey. Her father was a school teacher. Her mother was a strong believer in pro-choice and legal birth control. Both of her parents were socialists and instilled their beliefs in their children. Not only did her parents influence her activism, but also some of the dramatic events in Dworkin's life.
When she was nine years old, Andrea Dworkin was sexually molested by a stranger while at the movies. Also, Dworkin went to prison after her arrest protesting the Vietnam War. While in prison Andrea Dworkin had to endear a pelvic exam that was humiliating to her. Her testimony against the prison caused an uproar to the point that the jail was eventually closed.
Andrea Dworkin attended Bennington College. She earned a degree in literature in 1968.
Andrea Dworkin had been writing for a long time but started poetry collections and a novel while in Greece. When Andrea Dworkin returned to the United States after living in the Netherlands, Andrea Dworkin worked for fellow poet Muriel Rukeyser. It was Rukeyser's encouragement that led to Dworkin's professional career as a writer. Pornography and radical feminism were the topics of her first book Woman Hating. Her criticism helped her gain a voice as an advocate against the adult pornography business.
Andrea Dworkin worked with Catharine MacKinnon, a feminist attorney, on an ordinance that allowed people to sue pornography producers. Their reason was that pornography was a form of sex discrimination. The ordinance was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis that it violated first amendment rights. Andrea Dworkin continued to speak out against pornography and the violation of women's civil rights in her 1981 book Pornography: Men Possessing Women.
Andrea Dworkin spoke to groups and organizations about the effects of pornography on society. Her efforts and support helped others who were fighting against the unfair and negative treatment of women. Andrea Dworkin argued against all forms of pornography as it incited violence against women. When the publications in the United States would not print her work, Andrea Dworkin was able to get them published abroad, particularly in Great Britain.
Personal Life And Legacy
Andrea Dworkin married Cornelius Dirk de Bruin in 1 969 in Amsterdam. They divorced in 1972 based on the account that he abused and tortured her throughout their marriage. In 1998, Andrea Dworkin married John Stoltenberg. Andrea Dworkin was also a writer and activist. They were together until her death. Andrea Dworkin died on April 9, 2005, at the age of 58.
The work of Andrea Dworkin influenced other activists. Andrea Dworkin influenced and motivated other activists to take a long look at the effects of pornography and how it dehumanized women. While her fictional novels did not do as well as her non-fiction writing, Andrea Dworkin made an impact through her publications.
As an outspoken critic against the pornography industry, Andrea Dworkin had her share of counterattacks on her position. Larry F, Lynn the publisher of Hustler magazine was one person in the pornography industry who challenged her.
There were lawsuits about her in reference to cartoons as well as her statements in books. For example, Flynn alleged that Andrea Dworkin endorsed incest based on her statement in Woman Hating about the parent-child relationship being primarily erotic. She sued Hustler. However, the lawsuit was dismissed.
Awards And Achievements
• American Book Awards, Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation, 2001
Summary Of Major Works
• Woman Hating (1974)
• “Take Back the Night” speech (1978)
• A Battered Wife Survives essay (1978)
• Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1979)
• “Midwest Regional Conference” speech (1983)
• Intercourse (1987)
• Right-Wing Women
• Heartbreak: The Political Memoirs of a Feminist Militant (2002)
• Ice and Fire
• Life and Death