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Oh, Andrea Dworkin

Jenny Diski: Misogyny: The Male Malady by David Gilmore

6 September 2001
Misogyny: The Male Malady 
by David Gilmore.
Pennsylvania, 253 pp., £19, June 2001, 0 8122 3608 4
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... off the tongue. He half-heartedly suggests ‘misandry’ or ‘viriphobia’ as names that might be applied to the female version of misogyny, but since the only practitioner he can come up with is AndreaDworkin, it’s hardly worth the coinage. In the 1950s and 1960s there used to be a term for it, though lately it has fallen into disuse. In those days it cropped up regularly in conversations that ...

Signor Cock

Roy Porter

25 June 1987
by Andrea Dworkin.
Secker, 259 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 436 13961 8
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... You only have to read the torrent of filthy abuse pouring out of this diatribe against sex and men to see that AndreaDworkin is a sick lady. It’s one long hysterical denunciation of sexual intercourse as really bad news for women. The way she rants on is of course the give-away symptom of sexual frustration. Clearly she ...


Michael Neve

20 October 1983
by Timothy Leary.
Heinemann, 397 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 434 40975 8
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Freud and Cocaine 
by E.M. Thornton.
Blond and Briggs, 340 pp., £12.95, September 1983, 0 85634 139 8
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Right-Wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females 
by Andrea Dworkin.
Women’s Press, 254 pp., £4.95, June 1983, 0 7043 3907 2
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Hidden Selves: Between Theory and Practice in Psychoanalysis 
by Masud Khan.
Hogarth, 204 pp., £12.50, July 1983, 0 7012 0547 4
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... always re-educated, and very rarely re-educate ourselves. Certain themes in the life and work of Sigmund Freud, of the LSD prophet Timothy Leary, and of the more strident feminist authors, of whom AndreaDworkin is undoubtedly one, give glimpses of the culs-de-sac into which many roads turn. Unsurprisingly, Freud comes off least badly, but the case made against him by E.M. Thornton is so one-track ...

The Mantle of Jehovah

Francis Spufford

25 June 1987
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 224 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 7011 3169 1
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... the genre, seem silly. You could, of course, draw a contrast simply in terms of range of Bad Moments covered: Norman Mailer has preferred to steer clear of the peculiar pains of childbirth, and AndreaDworkin has chosen not to dwell on the distinctive horror an uneasy Christmas dinner can become, while Byatt can and has handled both as elements in her continuing series of novels. That series began ...

Drawing lines

Bernard Williams

12 May 1994
Only Words 
by Catharine MacKinnon.
HarperCollins, 128 pp., £9.99, June 1994, 0 00 255497 6
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... has considerable political and human costs. One victim of MacKinnon’s tactic is her responsibility to the law. It is quite unclear what her proposals about pornography would in fact catch. She and AndreaDworkin designed a Model Ordinance making pornography actionable as a civil rights violation; it was declared unconstitutional in the United States, though a version of it has had more success, with ...
19 November 2019
... How do minds close? Under what series of angers, of single visions, does the deliberate deafness take hold?’ is the way a piece began that yoked together Timothy Leary, anti-Freud polemic and AndreaDworkin. ‘Oliver Sacks is the Jules Verne of the neurological interface’ was the opening of another piece. Just as often, the most startling insights appeared as throwaways. ‘It’s a moot ...

Room for the Lambs

Elizabeth Spelman: Sexual equality

26 January 2006
Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws 
by Catharine MacKinnon.
Harvard, 558 pp., £25.95, March 2005, 0 674 01540 1
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... virago and porn scourge’, she is likely to regard the animus her remarks provoke to be a measure of the work still to be done to create sexual equality. On the occasion of the recent death of AndreaDworkin, one of her main partners in the battle against pornography, MacKinnon said that it was precisely because Dworkin unceasingly and unapologetically provided the ‘heavy artillery of the women ...


Mary-Kay Wilmers: The Menopause

10 October 1991
... them upsetting. In fact, I wonder whether all my ironies aren’t simply one more way of sucking up to the ruling class. Is it just me, or do men care what women say provided they don’t look like AndreaDworkin? On the other hand, I can’t say I think it’s entirely men’s fault that women live as if under their spell. Looking back at what I’ve written so far, it seems clear that I made a ...

Travelling Southwards

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

19 July 2012
Fifty Shades of Grey 
by E.L. James.
Arrow, 514 pp., £7.99, April 2012, 978 0 09 957993 9
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... me into an ecstasy of submission.The first thing to say about this decade’s multi-million-selling contributor to the art of terrible writing about sex is that she will not easily be mistaken for AndreaDworkin. It’s not that Fifty Shades of Grey and E.L. James’s other tie-me-up-tie-me-down spankbusters read as if feminism never happened: they read as if women never even got the vote.† Before ...

High-Step with a Bull

T.J. Clark: Picasso, The Vollard Suite

2 August 2012
Picasso Prints: The Vollard Suite 
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... of Love, The Embrace and so on. Rape is the one now preferred. Maybe it is preferable, but it is still not good – not good because it is too sure of the name for its object. I am more or less with AndreaDworkin on this: sexual intercourse, as we and Picasso know it, is a set of events in which violence, violation, absurdity of effort and exaltation, dreadfulness of submission, simple pain and ...
25 January 2018
Butterfly Politics 
by Catharine MacKinnon.
Harvard, 490 pp., £23.95, April 2017, 978 0 674 41660 4
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... societies, and that their pervasiveness is intimately linked to the pornography industry, which exploded in the 1980s and has been growing ever since. MacKinnon and her close collaborator AndreaDworkin set out to take on the pornographers, and to do it on MacKinnon’s home ground: the field of law. As they saw it – Dworkin died in 2005 – they faced nearly insurmountable obstacles, including a ...

How do they see you?

Elizabeth Spelman: Martha Nussbaum

16 November 2000
Sex and Social Justice 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Oxford, 476 pp., £25, July 1999, 0 19 511032 3
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Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Cambridge, 312 pp., £17.95, May 2000, 0 521 66086 6
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... the case of any heavyweight contender, the direction of her blows is shaped in large part by her chosen sparring partners: Aristotle, Kant, Mill, Marx, John Rawls, Amartya Sen, Catharine MacKinnon, AndreaDworkin, Susan Moller Okin. Though some of the nudging she gives feminists – typically referred to in Sex and Social Justice as ‘them’ but in the more recent Women and Human Development as ...
5 December 1991
Iron John: A Book about Men 
by Robert Bly.
Element, 268 pp., £12.95, September 1991, 9781852302337
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The way men think: Intellect, Intimacy and the Erotic Imagination 
by Liam Hudson and Bernadine Jacot.
Yale, 219 pp., £16.95, November 1991, 0 300 04997 8
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Utne Reader. Men, it’s time to pull together: The Politics of Masculinity 
Lens, 144 pp., $4, May 1991Show More
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... or less unembarrassable, Americans are fatally attracted to the embarrassing: they have an anti-talent for it (the Oscars, the primaries, the hearings, the trials, Shirley Temple, Clarence Thomas, AndreaDworkin, Al Sharpton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Swaggart). Whereas, over here, maleness itself has become an embarrassment. Male consciousness, male pride, male rage – we don’t want to hear about it ...

Tall and Tanned and Young and Lovely

James Davidson: The naked body in Ancient Greece

18 June 1998
Art, Desire and the Body in Ancient Greece 
by Andrew Stewart.
Cambridge, 272 pp., £45, April 1997, 0 521 45064 0
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... was something else. Even the youngest boys in the room turned to stare, gazing at him ‘as if he were a statue’. By now, perhaps, too many page-three captions in the Sun and too many lectures from AndreaDworkin have taken the impact out of the epithet ‘stunner’ and taught us to think of beauties as passive victims rather than masters of the gaze, but to the Greeks the idea that someone could ...

Making It

Melissa Benn: New Feminism?

5 February 1998
Different for Girls: How Culture Creates Women 
by Joan Smith.
Chatto, 176 pp., £10.99, September 1997, 9780701165123
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The New Feminism 
by Natasha Walter.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.50, January 1998, 0 316 88234 8
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A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States 
by Sheila Rowbotham.
Penguin, 752 pp., £20, June 1997, 0 670 87420 5
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...  there was something truly depressing about diktat feminism at its height – but description will surely remain the foundation of the most intelligent feminist writing. From Virginia Woolf to AndreaDworkin, the power has always come from the detail. Naomi Wolf is far more readable and interesting on her anxiety at first receiving a substantial pay cheque or on what her pregnant belly told her ...

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