Andrea Dworkin in agony

By Julia Gracen

By Salon Staff
September 22, 2000 11:04PM (UTC)
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Andrea Dworkin and I agree upon one thing: Hardcore pornography is inherently degrading. Aside from that, we agree on nothing. Furthermore, I have always viewed her as an hysterical harpy more responsible for censorious social strife than any other single person, male or female.


Nevertheless, I feel it is incumbent upon me now to come to her aid. Under no circumstances should it ever be implied, let alone overtly stated, that someone whose ideas are controversial "has it coming" if and when they are attacked. The very idea is a moral outrage.

-- Rob Anderson

There seems to be an abundance of opinions on the reality or unreality of Dworkin's rape. Her agony, however, may be intensified by other factors. I wonder why no one has focused on the fact that Dworkin may, in fact, have drugged herself. "I used to worry about taking a Valium or two to fall asleep in strange hotels," she writes. (Valium to get to sleep, mixed with alcohol -- often a wicked combination).


Dworkin further avers, "Now I take on average 12 pills to sleep and they only work sometimes." This, in case no one notices, is prescription drug abuse. Clearly anyone who takes 12 pills to get to sleep is chemically dependent and most therapists would recognize this as a form of chemical dependency.

Like many celebrities in distress, she can always count on someone to prescribe a medication, and thus enable her continue her addiction(s).

-- Mark Worden


Well I, for one, must have the "heart of a diamond-bright stone," as I am unmoved by Dworkin's "plight." That her article is not universally condemned as an injurious parody of what is otherwise a serious issue, is a tribute to her exploitation of the feminist sympathy vote. Her "plight"? Your writer really needs to get a sense of proportion about the relative importance of plights. The trouble is that all women are potentially liars, so that even when men like me think we're freely and consensually communicating with the Dworkins of this world, we now know they are trying to oppress us.

-- Mike Wilcox


Julia Gracen misquotes and then misrepresents my comments at She writes: "'REM' at, although subsequently denying harboring any thought of Dworkin 'deserving' such a thing, said, 'Rape is about violence, and Dworkin makes herself a lightning rod for men with violence on their mind.' Dworkin should, therefore, just accept the universe's balancing of her accounts, these critics imply, and, above all, shut up about it."

That is absolutely false. My complete sentence is: "I can believe that Andrea Dworkin was drugged and raped -- rape is about violence, and Dworkin makes herself a lightning rod for men with violence on their mind (which is NOT to say that, if it happened, she deserved it -- not even Andrea Dworkin deserves to be raped)." No intelligent person could legitimately construe my point -- that it is completely believable that Dworkin could have been raped because it is completely believable that she could be a target of violence -- to reach the conclusion that I believe that being raped is in any way a "balancing of [Dworkin's] accounts." Salon should invest either in better readers or better fact checkers.

-- REM

Salon Staff

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