More Bad Academic Obituaries

I just heard that Andrea Dworkin has died. Having had a bit to do with both the academic study of pornography and feminism, I’m not a big fan [of her books, that is]. But I think it’s pretty obvious that we can expect a rash of highly suspect obituaries about her, as we saw with poor old Derrida last year. Despite the obvious attempt at giving her a fair go in this one from the Guardian, note the uneven passion in the alternate descriptions:

For her admirers, Ms Dworkin was a visionary. For her critics (mostly male) she was a tiresome scold, a man-hater and an undisguised advocate of censorship.

Update: this is better (the Guardian again); Susie Bright, who actually knows what she’s talking about, remembers Dworkin and discusses her contribution to feminism with warmth and elegance at her own journal.

5 thoughts to “More Bad Academic Obituaries”

  1. to be honest with you, i was shocked at how LITTLE the media seemed to care that Derrida was dead, and I expect the same will be the case for Dworkin.
    You only have to go across to France (for me that’s across, for you that’s like miles away, but still..) to have full front page coverage when these serious, respected academics passes away, but here in the UK people are more interested in Big Brother and Posh and Becks. It’s sad really..

  2. when you & David come to visit me, I’ll try to shield you entirely from the complete lack of interest of our media in anything but football (winter) and cricket (summer)

  3. I ran a bookstore in the Village back in the late 70s, and Dworkin was a regular customer. I didn’t agree with her politics — I think there was another group going then, No More Nice Girls, with Ann Snitow and Alix Kates Shulman, whihc was more pro-sex — but Dworkin was always warm and friendly. I exect mos of the obits for Dworkin will quickly deteriorate into ad feminem attacks — strident, humorless, etc. Her work maybe won’t withstand scrutiny, but as a person — to the extent I had contact with her — she was better than average.

  4. Chris, thanks for that story. Anne, Oh My God – who would have thought the boys still had so much vitriol in them? then again…

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