The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

12 April 2005

Feminist Damaged Campus Gender Relations

Marriage Equals Rape?

Dworkin's Legacy Is Anger, Bitterness and Division

If one person could be held responsible for the rotten state of gender relations at America's universities today, it would be Andrea Dworkin, who died Monday at 58.

It was Dworkin who pushed fringe notions about marriage that came to dominate Intro to Feminism courses that became standard fare for incoming female students.

Is marriage really forced servitude or rape? Is sex always coerced by the male party? When a woman smiles at a man, is it really her way of being submissive? All of this was brainwashing material for Dworkin's campus soldiers.

The permanent damage she did to UC-Santa Cruz, where I attended, may never be repaired.

It's a hate movement, no different from racists, or other groups who use division to win followers.

The irony is that the radical who ultimately did so much damage on campus began with the very kinds of noble causes that feminists have now abandoned: a campaign against pornography, abuse against women and prostitution.

It would be easy to see conservatives teaming up with her in the present day, even if the right opposes these vices for slightly different reasons.

But Dworkin quickly took a turn into loonyville, ultimately turning the feminist movement into the object of ridicule, rather than mainstream American acceptance.

Sadly, her hate will live on, funded by taxpayer subsidies, at colleges across America for years to come.

(AP- Anita Chang, Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Dworkin, a self-proclaimed radical feminist once described as the Malcolm X of the women's movement, devoted her work and more than a dozen books to fighting what she considered the subordination of women, notably in marriage and pornography.

She campaigned frequently on the subject and teamed with legal scholar Catharine A. MacKinnon to draft an ordinance defining pornography as a violation of women's civil rights, allowing women to sue for damages. The ordinance was inspired by the situation of Linda Marchiano, who as Linda Lovelace appeared in the pornographic film "Deep Throat" and later said she had been coerced.

The anti-porn ordinance was originally drafted for Minneapolis but vetoed by the mayor there. It was adopted by other communities, but later ruled unconstitutional.

"Pornography is used in rape - to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act," Dworkin testified before the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in 1986, according to a transcript on her Web site.

She was well known as a firebrand for her views on pornography and her 1987 book "Intercourse," in which some reviewers said she labeled all sex as rape. She denied that, but wrote about marriage laws that she felt "mandated intercourse."


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