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April 11, 2005

Andrea Dworkin has died

Unlike a lot of feminists who've taken a hard stand on Andrea Dworkin, I refuse to; I neither adore nor revile her. I prefer this even-handed account of her life, as reported by the UK Guardian, over the dogmatic proclamations that she was either a messiah, or a hopeless man-hater. She was neither. She was, however, an important and trail-blazing feminist writer--love or loathe her. Or, as I do, appreciate her sharp perceptions for all their considerable worth, but don't take her extremes too much to heart. She certainly deserved all the recognition she got and then some, because she got us talking about the ways sex is used and abused in the oppression of women. Give her credit for that much, even if, like me, you're not too thrilled with the final direction her work took.

BTW, Susie Bright has a surprisingly warm obit for her on her blog. She may well be the last person you'd expect to feel that way about Andrea Dworkin. But read the piece, and you'll get some inkling as to why she can't really disparage her old mentor/nemesis too much. Who could, if they had anything even vaguely resembling a heart? Dworkin's life, her activism, even her excesses, all stand as cautionary tales of where the collective lack of heart in our society can lead a person awry. In the end, she deserves empathy. It certainly sounds like she could have used it.

As for me, unlike Susie Bright, I can't give Dworkin credit with interesting me in the erotic; that honor goes to Cosmopolitan (in the grand old days of Helen Gurley Brown) and Nancy Friday. But I will give her credit for alerting me to the ways, subtle and not-so-, that the erotic can and will be used against unwary women. And surely that is a salutory lesson even for the most avid pro-sex feminist.

April 1, 2005

Hey wingnuts...

...you can shut up about "Hanoi" Jane Fonda now.

Yeah, I know it bugs the hell out of you that Commander Barbarella isn't the right-wing bitch of your collective wet dreams, but can you just get over it already? She's said she's sorry about her lapse of judgment. Now it's YOUR turn.

Poor Pat Buchanan...(snicker)...

...he can't get no respect.

But he can get Blue Cheese salad dressing!

And maybe next time, he could get croutons. If he behaves himself, that is, and stops referring to my home and native land as "Soviet Canuckistan".

Whaddya say, Pat? Maybe you and Mr. Kristol should do potluck lunch sometime and discuss the merits of not being such a couple of right-wing pricks anymore. You can bring the salad; he can bring the pie.