On Friday April 7, in Oxford, the Centre for the Study of Social Justice hosted the Andrea Dworkin Commemorative Conference.
It kind of warms my heart to see 'social justice' and 'Andrea Dworkin' linked like that...
I had a fab time. Spent the day mostly with my friend,whom I
love dearly, and I met other women friends, like V who I've known in an internetty way for donkeys. I also got to meet other women who I've only known by their user names for a while. All of them are totally fab feminists. The day passed all too quickly.
Laurelin took notes. I didn't. I'd had to park my car in a field and take a park and ride to get to the venue. I wasn't able to carry much. So I'll leave it up to her to do the analytical stuff. She's better at it than I am anyway. But I will say that while a certain speaker was dissing Andrea Dworkin's total worldview by repeating media lies about her I was so pleased that Catharine MacKinnon, who was actually there when the incidents that that speaker was talking about took place, was actually there. I mean there, with us, and able to set the record straight.
Sheila Jeffrey's is lovely. She made me laugh a lot and her perception of the way women are encouraged to think about themselves completely resonates with me. Knives? Blood? To 'look "right"'? She seemed totally sane to me.... And she has a wicked sense of humour (for a feminist ;))
Julie Bindel....ah...well... I love Julie Bindel already. It was she who said that wonderful thing about it being the fact that men can buy and sell women's bodies that keeps us all unfree... Julie actually knew Andrea as a friend. They talked and laughed together. They called and wrote to one another. I wish I'd had that kind of relationship with Andrea Dworkin....I got the feeling that Julie Bindel knows she's lucky to have had it.
John Stoltenberg - Andrea's husband - brought tears to my eyes. That man still obviously loves her so much. Not only does he love her but he loves what she loved. Made me think a bit really.... He's gay. Andrea was a lesbian. What the pair of them love(d) is humanity. Humanity is reduced to nothing by pornography. John Stoltenberg is now the custodian of Andrea Dworkin's passion. She changed his life and he's vowed to be custodian of her work. If Andrea Dworkin could trust that man for 30 or more years then I'm sure I can trust him too.
Dr Catharine A MacKinnon... I'm sorry....totally gone here. She sat in the next seat but one to me! Can you imagine that? And, if it hadn't been for the 'certain speaker who dissed Andrea' who came and lodged herself between us, I might even have spoken to her. Nevertheless, she did notice me....and I hope to be going to hear her speak again quite soon. She is very accademic, there are no two ways about it. But her love for Andrea Dworkin shines through. We have that in common...
It was an excellent day and I loved it.