April 12, 2005
Andrea Dworkin (1946-2005)
Posted by Christine Hurt

Andrea Dworkin died on Saturday at the age of 58.  I'm not sure why her passing receives almost no mention, when compared to the media's coverage of the deaths of Hunter S. Thompson or Saul Bellow (not to mention the deaths of attractive women killed by their husbands that were previously unknown to the public at large).

When I went to law school in 1990, I was introduced to the writings of Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, and Susan Estrich.  These women opened a whole new world to me.  I think it is hard to understand sitting in 2005 the impact of these writings.  Through the efforts of these women and Oprah Winfrey, people talk about rape now.  Regardless of whether I believe in every statement contained in these women's writings, these women moved the pendulum.  Their efforts helped create an environment where a day time talk show host could say "date rape" on television.  If this swinging of the pendulum allowed just one woman to call a rape crisis hotline or come forward after being raped that would not have in a different environment, then we owe Andrea Dworkin a debt of gratitude.

Tip to Althouse and Kevin Drum.

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