Andrea Dworkin was a writer and one of the most recognisable voices of militant second-wave feminism. She graduated from Bennington College USA in 1968, before which she was active in the antiwar movement and spent several years living in Europe.
Dworkin was a prolific writer: her articles appeared in Ms., Newsweek, The Times Literary Supplement, The Village Voice, and The New York Times Book Review. Her many books include Pornography – Men Possessing Women, Intercourse and Heartbreak. Going further than many of her peer feminists, Dworkin’s polemical approach linked pornography directly to rape and violence and she was noted for drawing on her personal experience of sexual violence.
Famous for quotes such as ‘dead men don’t rape’, Dworkin’s extremism was felt by many feminists to have hindered rather than helped the women’s movement in the 1980s. Together with the feminist lawyer Catherine MacKinnon, Dworkin drafted a legal proposal that defined pornography as a civil rights violation against women. Dworkin was a central figure in media debate throughout her life, in some cases resulting in physical attacks upon the writer.