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ANDREA DWORKIN, FEMINIST CRUSADER AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY AND VIOLENCE
SEPT. 26, 1946 -- APRIL 9, 2005

Andrea Dworkin wrote openly about the experiences as a prostitute, rape victim and battered wife that led her to become a crusader against pornography and violence against women -- and a lightning rod for the feminist movement.

Dworkin died Saturday at her home in Washington, said her husband, John Stoltenberg. She and Stoltenberg, who were openly homosexual, began living together in 1974 and married in 1998.

Dworkin was 58 and had been ill for several years from ailments including osteoarthritis.

Dworkin's radical-lesbian brand of feminism brought both attention and discord to the women's rights movement. Some women objected to her crusade against pornography as an infringement on women's choice of how to use their bodies, and civil libertarians opposed it as an assault on the First Amendment.

Her first book, "Woman Hating," published when she was 27, launched her lifelong advocacy on the ways pornography harms women.

"Pornography is used in rape -- to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act," Dworkin testified before the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in 1986, according to a transcript on her Web site.

She was widely known as a firebrand for her views on pornography and for her 1987 book "Intercourse," in which some reviewers said she labeled all sex as rape. She denied that but wrote about marriage laws that she felt "mandated intercourse."

Dworkin said repeatedly that she did not hate men, just the subjugation of women.

Originally from Camden, N.J., Dworkin graduated from Bennington College in Vermont in 1968 with a degree in literature.

She was arrested at a protest against the Vietnam War when she was 18 and sent to prison, where she said she was subjected to a body cavity search by prison doctors. She also said she married a man who beat her, was raped, and at one point became a prostitute.

Her many books included "Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation," which in 2001 won an American Book Award, given to honor cultural diversity in American writing.

She was writing a book with the working title "Writing America: How Novelists Invented and Gendered a Nation" when she died, Stoltenberg said.

A public memorial will be held in New York, he said.

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