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Andrea Dworkin

From an article by Susie Bright about Andrea Dworkin (but not an obituary as someone characterized it; it was written in 2000). I'm not entirely comfortable with the subject and general tone of the article, but this was really well said and is primarily what I have been thinking about since learning that Dworkin has died.
Dworkin, as veteran observers know, is usually depicted as a shrill fatty. It's painful to read mainstream media coverage of her, because they insist that her entire reputation can be distilled to a lack of fashion sense, a fatal lack of "femininity." I don't think there's a female public figure alive who's been more castigated for their looks. It's frightening to consider that, if she was slim and blonde ( like MacKinnon) she would actually be treated in the diminutive; her views would be considered with at least a modicum of respect. But I don't care how loud or fat she is, in fact those are probably two of my favorite things about her, because they express her defiance.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
supergee
Apr. 11th, 2005 09:15 pm (UTC)
She has also written an obituary.
kightp
Apr. 11th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC)
Yup; that was the one I referred to in my journal entry. Although I think of it more as a eulogy (tribute to the dead) than obituary (abbreviated life history of the dead).
firecat
Apr. 12th, 2005 04:46 am (UTC)
Yes, I finally figured it out - I got to the article I quoted via a link in the obit/eulogy you posted.
starcat_jewel
Apr. 11th, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
Thought the first: Janet Reno. The degree of cattiness about her physical appearance was beyond belief. Hillary Clinton came in for her share as well, and look at what the liberals choose to attack about Ann Coulter! Which, sadly, all goes to prove the validity of much of what Dworkin was saying.

Thought the second was going to have been Ann Coulter, but she got subsumed into my initial point. :)
kightp
Apr. 11th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
And Margaret Thatcher, Bella Abzug, you name it.

I've heard it said that the worst thing you can call a man is "stupid," but the worst thing you can call a woman is "ugly." Dworkin, in her way, tried to chip away at that.
supergee
Apr. 11th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
Some liberals. I have enough negative things to say about Coulter's stupidity and viciousness that I needn't bother with irrelevancies.
starcat_jewel
Apr. 12th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC)
You're right, of course. But geez louise, I see enough people sniping about her "boniness" and "horse-faced" features that I just cringe. It's one of those "Waitaminnit, I thought we were better than that crap!" things. And if I don't call my fellow liberals on it, what does that make me?
firecat
Apr. 12th, 2005 04:50 am (UTC)
Conservatives hardly have a monopoly on ad hominem (or ad feminam) "debate" tactics.
supergee
Apr. 12th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
I'm a geek who found a home in the sf community. I always asssume that my side will do better arguing facts and reason than arguing appearance. I didn't like Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot.
angeyja
Apr. 11th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
It's possible they would have found soemthing else too. I only say, and not at all to argue your point but that I see the judging a lot at work. I had a situation that got pretty close to harassment this year with one of my newest people who is not American (not that being American has saved me from it either.)

I want to say it reminded me of highschool but it is so much worse. I don't know if it is worse when it is close to me or public figures. It really bothers me in both cases.

I read the post of sg's link this morning. I am not familar with the situation and I only found Suzie Bright last year but as a relatively uninformed outsider I liked it. I have soemone high up in the organziation who I really admire, and who is not favorably disposed towards me. It reminded me of that.

It was difficult to realize this. I still respect and admire her very much but I continue to know it's not reciprocated, and she has also doen soem nasty things. Getting past that, and with others was challenging. Also good for me, I think.

I was reading Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society, by Daniel Barenboim and Edward W Said last week. Aside from being a wonderful book in general, I thought, one of the things I admire about the dialogues is the way they exist in a place of both mutual respect and friendship and disagreeing viewpoints.

It's one of the things I have been grateful for at most points since I've come online. It doesn't seem to be also possible; but when it is it is wonderful to see, or be a part of.

susanstinson
Apr. 12th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)
This is true, I think. And it's painful.
rmjwell
Apr. 12th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)
I don't care about her size
But having seen her in a couple of televised debate situations, I think her conversational style was about as useful as John McLaughlin's or any of the other shouting heads on weekend news shows.

She seemed --at least later in her life when I encountered here-- to be more focused on shouting her viewpoint over anyone else's than engaging in a dialogue.
pir_anha
Apr. 12th, 2005 02:56 am (UTC)
Re: Andrea Dworkin
i didn't even know she was fat. i knew she was "loud", but i thought that to be less of a literal description than it seems now. i am really tired of such descriptions, to the point where i count them as a bad mark against the writer/publisher -- which means i read a lot less crap these days.

i didn't care for much of what dworkin wrote, but i think she played an important role in western feminism. only 59. damn.

it'll be interesting to read the mainstream obits now.
ruth_lawrence
Apr. 12th, 2005 07:45 am (UTC)
I don't mind in the least what she looked like.

Even if she was undistinguishable from a life-size Barbie, they'd have made negative remarks about her looks. It's par for the course, and brainless.

I just didn't agree with quite a lot of her assertions, and it bothers me that a lot of young women I'm seeing in here do.

Oh, well.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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