Andrea Dworkin loved women as human beings who were and are being systematically oppressed and interpersonally harmed by men in many awful and common ways. Contrary to popular belief, she also loved men including but not limited to her father, brother, and life partner of thirty years. She also loved the younger men in her family, including her godson. This should not have to be said. But it does, quite unfortunately, need to be pointed out from time to time to break through the fantastically derisive mythologies about her that men have generated in order to do one thing: to silence and stigmatise her, to make sure the masses will not dare to understand what she wrote and what it meant, including what it required of her to write it. And should some of us understand, we had best not speak about it out loud, or we, too, will be silenced and stigmatised.
Her love of justice for women, and of books, surpassed her love of men. As far as I know, this is not a felony, or even a misdemeanor. (I could be very wrong about that.) When men value justice or books more than individual relationships, they are called many wonderful things: scholarly, literary, wise, brilliant, and genius. When women do this, there are few to no positive terms to describe them. The hush, or jeering, in any male supremacist place where Andrea Dworkin is mentioned as a great philosopher, as a great political thinker and strategist, is stunning.
For years, I've seen how she and other feminists have fought against great obstacles to demonstrate their love of women, their passion for justice for women, their work to create some forms of relief for women who are purposefully not innocently, systematically not anecdotally, hatefully not lovingly, harmed by men in ways both calculated and callous.
Women who love women, or justice for women, or safe spaces for women, at least as much or more than men, are miscategorised as "man-haters", among much worse terms.
Andrea hoped, against eras of evidence, that men would figure this out. She stated so in her speech to five hundred men, titled
I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape.
Here, in the audio piece below, Andrea speaks a bit about her history of activism and the context in which it existed, as well as the right of women to fight back against those who do them harm.
Nothing you are about to hear equals man-hating, and everything you are about to hear equals woman-loving.
Note what love rooted in a deep political awareness of male supremacy sounds like. Note what love might look like, expressed, when it doesn't mean pacifism.
[Posted to YouTube by a woman identifying herself as Jennaow.]
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