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1 Yale J.L. & Feminism 37 (1989)
The ACLU: Bait and Switch

handle is hein.journals/yjfem1 and id is 47 raw text is: The ACLU: Bait and Switch
Andrea Dworkin
A Note from the Editors:
We asked Andrea Dworkin's permission to publish this piece after
hearing her present it at an informal reading.
Although Dworkin wrote the piece in 1981, she explained that, like
many of her essays, it has never been published in the United States. It
was published in England in the spring of 1988 in a collection of essays
entitled Letters from a War Zone. If all goes well, Letters from a War
Zone will be published in the United States next fall and Pornography:
Men Possessing Women, which has been out of print for years, will be
The Yale Journal of Law and Feminism is pleased to publish The
ACLU: Bait and Switch for the first time in the United States. We in-
clude the short preface Dworkin wrote to the piece for Letters from a
War Zone.
The American Civil Liberties Union claims to protect rights, political dis-
senters, and the vitality of political and creative discourse. The organi-
zation, in my view, is exceptionally corrupt, a handmaiden of the
pornographers, the Nazis, and      the Ku   Klux   Klan. Only the
pornographers give them lots of money. The Nazis and the Klan they
help on principle. It's their form of charity work. I didn't understand
this in 1981. 1 thought something was wrong but I wasn't exactly sure
what. I wrote this piece to try to raise a real debate about the values and
tactics of the ACLU. Forget it, folks. The ACLU is immune to criticism
because virtually none gets published - none on the Left. I couldn't get
this piece published but I did get some mean - even handwritten -
letters from left, progressive, and libertarian editors expressing their dis-
gust with my contempt for free speech. Speech is what I do; it ain't
free; it costs a lot. This piece has never been published before.
Towards the end of 1975, I received several letters asking me to become
a member of the ACLU. The stationery was lined with the names of
eminent women. The letters were signed by an eminent woman. The plea
was a feminist plea: the ACLU was in the forefront of the fight for
women's rights. In 1975, I earned $1679. Deeply moved by the wonderful

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