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On one hand, this is precisely the kind of question that false-equivalency tendentiousness lives for.

On the other hand, this is precisely the reason it's impossible to just ignore or dismiss that reaction. I suppose the more powerful historically question might be, "Why was Andrea Dworkin an important public figure in terms of the positions she advocated considering that there were other figures who said what she said in ways that were both more responsible and in some ways more eloquent?" E.g., is she precisely one of those figures who calls into question our current understanding of online discourse as uniquely relying on an economy of attention that drives extreme rhetorical formulations of potentially less provocative positions? Was she someone who adroitly maneuvered for attention or influence by using impossible-to-ignore rhetoric, or was she someone produced by a discursive moment where that was the only way to make particular kinds of arguments and get any attention at all?

But the comparison to Baldwin (and Peck) is a good one; it's really hard (for me at least) to enshrine anyone who isn't at least someone open to self-reflection and self-doubt, whatever the political position. Before I get to the substantive evaluation of the content, that affect matters enormously to me as a sign of a politics of possibility--I just can't imagine anything that I think of as progressive arising out of a politics that disallows self-reflection and self-doubt.

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