Andrea Dworkin '68


Image of Andrea Dworkin; Photo: John Cavanaugh

Andrea Dworkin was a radical feminist writer and activist who became a lightening rod in feminist debates about pornography and censorship in the United States in the 1980s. A visible presence at anti-pornography rallies and “take back the night” marches, she wrote and lectured extensively on the subjects of sex, sexuality, and violence against women.

Among her best-known books are Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981), Intercourse (1987), and Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant (2002). Starting with her first book, Woman Hating (1974), Dworkin mapped what she saw as a war against men’s historical domination of women, and made the case against all forms of pornography, which she believed incited violence against women. In the 1980s, along with feminist lawyer Catherine A. MacKinnon, she wrote a municipal ordinance that was briefly adopted by several cities that defined pornography as a form of sex discrimination. (The Supreme Court eventually affirmed that the ordinance was unconstitutional in 1986.)