This encounter is based on a true story, as recounted in Andrea Dworkin's memoir "Heartbreak: Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant.”
Allen Ginsberg and Andrea Dworkin: joined in unholy matrimony. Apart from their distinctive wooly aesthetics what could associate these two? Why they were co-god parents, forced together perversely, here sitting side-by-side at their godson’s bar mitzvah, welcoming a thirteen-year-old boy to “manhood.”
Age may be just a number but not where the law is concerned: In 1982 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the production and distribution of sexual media of minors wasn’t protected free speech. Dworkin was elated. She hated porn, all of it; she made no small fact of this. Ginsberg made no small point of feeling the contrary. Subject of one of the nation’s most notable obscenity trials for his now-classic "Howl" in 1957, Ginsberg defended “free speech” to the point of a very public and controversial association with the North American Man/Boy Love Association—an organization dedicated to the promotion of “consensual” pederasty. And that is what concerns Dworkin here—in this interaction part imagined, part real: Ginsberg’s penchant for pictures skewing young. Who has agency? Should Robert Mapplethorpe go to jail? Words like feminism and fascism are bandied about in this debate over art, sex, and ideology.