Faculty Writing: On Andrea Dworkin’s New Popularity, and Israel’s Ethno-Authoritarianism

Writing in The Point magazine, Sophie Lewis reads the resurgent popularity of feminist polemicist Andrea Dworkin against itself—and against her own earlier feminist understanding. Lewis recounts how she, as a younger writer, drew energy from Dworkin’s vociferous condemnations of male supremacy; revisiting Dworkin’s writing in the present, she longs for a less violence-enraptured response to the trauma of misogyny. Just what might that look like? “We owe it,” Lewis writes, “to the world to become undespairing partisans of pleasureful danger, trauma-informed designers of lush promiscuities…whence we might glimpse the freak-friendly society of the future.”

Then, Suzanne Schneider, writing in Dissent magazine, reframes illiberal democracies like Israel and Hungary in terms of “ethno-authoritarianism” and analyzes the hold these ideas have on the imagination of the global right. In an effort to uphold apartheid conditions, Israel’s leadership has, since its establishment, prioritized nationalistic control over democratic rights—an attitude towards governance which nascent coalitions on the right have increasingly endeavored to export. “This global web of institutions, politicians, and intellectuals,” Schneider notes, “underscores a central irony about twenty-first century nationalists: they are the new internationalists, far outpacing the left in terms of political coordination across borders.”

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