The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Much of what Andrea Dworkin had to say made me profoundly uncomfortable.
For that, and for her courage in continuing to say it, she has my
gratitude and my respect. She also had a deep understanding of and respect
for the power of words -- still and always our primary medium of
intellectual exchange, most especially in this space. The currency of
words is so profoundly debased in political life & in much of the media
that it's especially important to rememember that:

"...words matter. Words can be used to educate, to clarify, to inform, to
illuminate. Words can also be used to intimidate, to threaten, to insult,
to coerce, to incite hatred, to encourage ignorance. Words can make us
better or worse people, more compassionate or more prejudiced, more
generous or more cruel. Words matter because words significantly determine
what we know and what we do. Words change us or keep us the same. Women,
deprived of words, are deprived of life. Women, deprived of a forum for
words, are deprived of the power necessary to ensure both survival and

"The Power of Words, 1978"

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