Monday, April 11, 2005

Andrea, My Sister.

Finally, one of the mainstream media sources has reported Andrea's death. It is in The Guardian, a broadsheet here in the UK. Many people are seeing that as a representation of how Andrea was treated in life as well, where she was in many ways taken much more seriously in Europe and the UK than she ever was in the States, her home country.

The Feminist Daily News Wire says,
4/11/2005 - Andrea Dworkin, a feminist icon and scholar, died on Saturday at the age of 58. Her cause of death was not known, but her agent Elaine Markson told the Guardian that she had become frail in the last week and had a series of falls. Dworkin was the author of over a dozen books, and was known best for her writings on pornography and violence against women, as well as her theories on how these issues contributed to sexual inequality.

“The women’s movement, domestically and globally, has lost one of its most moving, brilliant, and clear voices,” said Robin Morgan, a noted feminist author (her books include Sisterhood Is Powerful and Sisterhood Is Global) and former editor-in-chief and current Global Editor of Ms. magazine. “Andrea Dworkin was a fine writer, had a fierce intellect, and was an uncompromising feminist.”

Dworkin, together with feminist lawyer Catharine MacKinnon, wrote a law defining pornography as a violation of women’s civil rights, enabling women to sue those who produce and distribute pornographic materials. The law was passed in Indianapolis in 1983, but was overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals two years later.

The works of Dworkin on sexual inequality and to end pornography have been highly controversial. The Guardian described Dworkin in 2001, saying, “Dworkin is a threat, of course, to exactly the extent that radical feminists have always posed a threat – pointing out unapologetically the degree to which violence against women and children by men remains rampant.”

for Andrea, My Sister. (died April 9th, 2005) by Helen Caddes
'My prayer for the women of the next millennium: have hard hearts; and learn how to kill'- Andrea Dworkin (1999)

you died yesterday
and I never knew
because I was sending
a sister
you would have loved
to see Carmen.

I called a good friend
of yours
without knowing
and bitched about
the minutae of life,
male privilege,
and how I was going to be
myself again
at long last
how you two had inspired me
to that
how i couldn't stand
to live in a world
that wasn't colored by your
collective radiance.

fiery, raging, angrily
I told her the things
I was brave enough
to tell you in person.

I'm not sure if you understood
the high honor
I felt
seeing you speak
at my college
in Tennessee.

nobody could understand
my excitement.
i wanted to kiss everyone.
i was so impressed by anyone
who even showed up
that night
that i continued to give them credit
years later

I want a tape of that speech
from the Holocaust Conference
where you confided to us
that you'd spit on Hitler's grave.

you died after the pope,
which I'm sure pleased you

you died before you got to see
who the new pope was,
but you know,
the world is better without a new pope

hierarchies, lies, unjust courtrooms.
my one chance to see you.

I asked you a question,
and my dear,
I will be eternally glad
that I had the huevos to.

I can talk to you whenever I want to now,
during this,
the week before the sixtieth anniversary
at Ravensbruck.

the pope is dead.

Andrea, you will never die.

your fire will live through me
and our sisters

anyone who misquotes her again
we've got her back.
and we've got it forever.

trust this woman's wisdom,
get a new perspective on
the world you think you know
and watch it change around you

watch the power of love intermingled
with truth
as it is tapped by my tears.

my anguished cries
no one understood
amidst the clutter of moving
screaming into the night
railing against the angels
from taking ours from us
until her next reincarnation.

an honest woman who should have been president
and you lied about her.

America, you should be ashamed.

you loved men for the sacred virtue
of their genitalia alone
and silenced a fucking legend.

I will never forgive you.

read something of hers
and you will never forgive yourself,

shining amidst the stars
in some spiral galaxy
kissing away the pains
of earthly strife
Andrea shimmers
as the sun shines through
my window.

each new day,
i will live for her
and strive to learn the words
she'd have me say.