Philosophy Faculty Publications

Title

Our Blood: Andrea Dworkin on Race, Privilege, and Women’s Common Condition

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2016

Publication Source

Women's Studies International Forum

Abstract

In this article, I make some initial moves toward addressing questions such as:

  • In what specific or distinctive ways do radical feminists talk about race and racism?
  • What are the strengths, as well as any pitfalls, in these ways of talking about it?
  • Does radical feminists' emphasis on the commonality of women's oppression incline us to erase, downplay or, as Audre Lorde (1984b) famously warned an audience at a feminist conference (p. 111), merely tolerate racial and other forms of difference among women?

I take as my main source the work of Andrea Dworkin, an iconic figure within radical feminist thought. In her classic essay “Feminism: A Movement to End Sexist Oppression,” bell hooks writes approvingly of "individual radical feminists … who based their analyses on an informed understanding of the politics of domination and a recognition of the interconnections between various systems of domination even as they focused primarily on sexism" (1984, p. 19).

Herein, I contend that Dworkin belongs in the category of radical feminists that hooks describes. Focusing on some of her earlier writings—particularly Our Blood and Right Wing Women—I demonstrate that Dworkin thought and wrote not only about race, but about multiple unjust hierarchies, in sophisticated and multidimensional ways.

Inclusive pages

68-76

ISBN/ISSN

0277-5395

Comments

Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

58

Peer Reviewed

yes