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Issue 01 – Easter 2020


Andrea Dworkin, Renaissance Woman


In The eXile, a Vice-like and now defunct magazine from the days when anyone knew who Matt Taibbi was, the poet and self-styled war nerd John Dolan once referred to Andrea Dworkin as the only American feminist who believed “you’d actually have to live out the philosophy.” Most feminists who came of age in the sexual revolution, Dolan insinuated, engaged in a little performative college lesbianism for “street cred,” then defected to the “cool dudes.” Dworkin didn’t do this, but she also didn’t live out her vocally avowed lesbianism. Her thirty-one-year relationship with her husband, John Stoltenberg, was continent. Stoltenberg maintained relationships with men throughout the marriage, but Dworkin refused dalliances with women, feeling like she wasn’t good enough to have them. What is one to make of this? Dolan comes close to the truth when he concludes

Dworkin didn’t know a thing about her audience. Didn’t know they were talking career and fun when she was talking sacrifice, martyrdom. It’s no accident her heroine was Joan of Arc. Dworkin was a Catholic without knowing it, an old-time Catholic who never suspected it of herself.

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Monica Costa

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