I want to know what Andrea Dworkin would have had to say about Harvey Weinstein.
It’s been half a century since Dworkin — a controversial member of the first generation of radical feminists to theorize about sexual violence — and other second-wave feminists started the modern conversation about sexual violence, and sometimes it seems that there hasn’t been much progress. Take the fact that Weinstein’s repeated sexual assaults on women have been an open secret in film, journalism and politics for at least 30 years. Hundreds of people conspired to conceal his predatory behavior.
Yes, conspired. It’s the conspiracy, as well as how it ended, that makes me interested in what Dworkin herself might have written in this space. A feminist often rejected and reviled by other feminists, Dworkin understood that colleagues and co-workers, friends and family, played key roles in enabling and covering up sexual violence. But she also believed that the sound of women’s voices was a powerful antidote to what she saw as a ubiquitous form of oppression.
To read the rest of this essay, originally published on October 20 2017, go to The Washington Post.