The mission of the Men's Resource Center for Change is to support men, challenge men's violence, and develop men's leadership in ending oppression in our lives, our families, and our communities.
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The MRC in the World Community
2005 Men's Walk to End Abuse: Success!
Voice Male - Summer 2005
Andrea Dworkin, 1946-2005
A Feminist Who Believed in Men
By Robert Jensen
Of all the lies told about feminists, one that always made me particularly angry and sad is the claim that Dworkin--and by extension, any woman with a similar critique of men's violence--hated men. Dworkin's prolific and powerful writings, particularly her critique of pornography, made her a target for some of the ugliest attacks levied against any feminist over the past four decades, and the label "man-hater" was at the center of the campaign to marginalize her and her ideas.
I am a man who has read all of Dworkin's books, and here's how it looks to me: I don't think she hated men. I think she loved us. I think Andrea Dworkin loved men because she loved people, and men are people--men are human beings--no matter how hard we sometimes seem to want to prove otherwise by our behavior.
Here's what Dworkin said when she addressed a men's conference and asked them to work against rape:
Dworkin wanted to help men claim our humanity, not just for our sake but because she wanted to stop men's violence against women. She wanted an end to the harassment, rape, battery, child sexual assault. And she knew that required men to change, to save ourselves. In that same speech, she challenged men to take that responsibility:
Dworkin was called a man-hater not because she hated men but because so many men do not want to face that challenge, so many men will not come to terms with what it will take to end that violence. Dworkin is gone, but her challenge remains, and I would like to restate it for men: Before dismissing her work as man-hating, read her work for what we can learn, not just about the experiences of women but about ourselves. Take up that loving challenge she offered. (See www.andreadworkin.net)
It's a cliché to say that a powerful writer "changed my life," but no other phrase captures what Dworkin's work has meant to me. I don't know exactly who I would be today if I had never read--never felt--Dworkin's passion for justice. I am not sure exactly what I would be doing if I had never come to understand--as she helped me understand--that feminism is not just a movement for the liberation of women but a gift to men.
I suppose I would be more of a man, but perhaps I would be less of a human being.