- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2005

From combined dispatches

Feminist writer Andrea Dworkin died Saturday in Washington, according to her agent. She was 58.

The cause of death was not known, but Ms. Dworkin’s agent Elaine Markson told the British Guardian newspaper that the writer had become increasingly frail as her knees had weakened and she suffered a series of falls.

Ms. Dworkin was best known for her writings on pornography and violence against women.

“In every century, there are a handful of writers who help the human race to evolve,” feminist leader Gloria Steinem said yesterday. “Andrea is one of them.”

“The women’s movement, domestically and globally, has lost one of its most moving, brilliant, and clear voices,” said feminist writer Robin Morgan. “Andrea Dworkin was a fine writer, had a fierce intellect, and was an uncompromising feminist.”

Ms. Dworkin, together with feminist lawyer Catharine MacKinnon, were authors of a law defining pornography as a violation of women’s civil rights, enabling women to sue porn producers and distributors. The law was passed in Indianapolis in 1983, but was overturned by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals two years later.

“Pornography is used in rape — to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act,” Ms. Dworkin testified before the New York Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography in 1986, according to a transcript posted on her Web site.

A native of Camden, N.J., she became an activist in her teens, and was arrested in 1965 at an anti-Vietnam War protest in New York. She published her first book, ?Woman Hating,? when she was 27. In her writings, she famously denounced marriage as oppressive and compared heterosexuality to rape.

“Romance is rape embellished with meaningful looks,” she wrote in 1995. Ms. Dworkin also declared: “Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice.”

In her 1986 autobiographic novel “Ice and Fire,” Ms. Dworkin wrote: “I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.”

According to her agent, Ms. Dworkin died at the home she shared with her husband, John Stoltenberg, whom she married in 1998. Her husband yesterday said plans for a memorial service in New York are incomplete.

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