Mary Daly Died

"More than any other radical feminist thinker, Daly reclaimed language–the “power of naming’ and linked it to the inventive recovery of the hitherto unimaginable. "

"Daly’s Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy (1984) and Webster’s First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language (1987) introduce and explore an alternative language to explain the process of exorcism and ecstasy. In Wickedary Daly provides definitions as well as chants that she says can be used by women to free themselves from patriarchal oppression. She also explores the labels that she says patriarchal society places on women to prolong what she sees as male domination of society.

Daly said it is the role of women to unveil the liberatory nature of labels such as “Hag”, “Witch”, and “Lunatic”.

Daly's work continues to influence feminism and feminist theology, as well as the developing concept of biophilia as an alternative and challenge to social necrophilia. She was an ethical vegetarian and animal rights activist. Gyn/Ecology, Pure Lust, and Webster's First New Intergalactic Wickedary all endorse anti-vivisection and anti-fur positions.

Daly was a member of the advisory board of Feminists For Animal Rights, a group which is now defunct." From Wikipedia

Posted at Hecate

"Mary Daly, hugely influential Goddess scholar, widely-read feminist, and a woman whose writings rocked my world and changed my life, is dead at 81. I disagreed with a few of her ideas about sexuality, but she taught me most of what I know about the poison of patriarchy. She lived her ideals, making academia back down once, and quitting rather than violating her principles when the religious right went after her. Just how much the catholics hated her is made clear in catholic "culture"'s post on her death: ...."

I did not know Daly as a goddess scholar. I saw her as a Radical Feminist.

"Studying archetypal forms and prepatriarchal religion convinced Daly that church doctrine consisted of a series of significant "reversals." She explained these to NCR writer Jeanette Batz in 1996:

the Trinity, from the triple goddess once celebrated worldwide;

the virgin birth, from the parthenogenesis that once begat divine daughters;

Adam giving birth to Eve.

Women operating on patriarchy's boundaries, she once wrote, can spiral into freedom by renaming and reclaiming an ancient woman-centered reality that was stolen and eradicated by patriarchy.

She took great delight in castigating the "eight deadly sins of the fathers": processions, professions, possession, aggression, obsession, assimilation, elimination and fragmentation.

"Laugh out loud," she urged, "at their pompous penile processions."

As for God, there's simply no way to rid the language of allusion, she wrote, so, "if you must be anthropomorphic," she preferred “Goddess.”

I think I read Beyond God the Father but Gyn/Ecology:The Meta-Ethics of Radical Feminism was the first Daly book I read that stunned me. This is a book that helped me find the words out of my oppression. Then I read, Wickedary and Pure Lust which added the finishing touches - wrapped it up. I lost interest in reading somewhere at the end of Pure Lust. After that or during that book Mary got deep into lesbian politics and I felt she romanticized women in ways she had not before. Romanticized relationships between women - wrote her hopes rather than reality. Hope and illusion about gender differences. Thought women manage power better than men...

I did and do agree with her analysis of transsexuals as a male problem. She was close to it and had a clear view of it in the catholic church's jealousy and hatred of women. She saw transsexuals as reinforcing and validating gender stereotypes.

Daly's analysis toward transsexual's cannot be dismissed with labels. She demanded individuals have the courage to live their inner realities and challenge society's assumptions about gender rather than cutting off their genitals to conform and fit in with gender stereotypes. Courage rather than cowardice is what real women have to exhibit every day in order to live free in patriarchy. Those who are seduced by the Big Lie hate her because she refused to validate choices that contribute to the slavery of all women.

Left women tried to burn her at the stake for not being diverse enough. Thought she was too white. Yet it was Daly who recognized the global oppression of women in 1974 and she did detailed analysis of the slave status of women of color all over the world, especially in GYNecology. The left women still have not caught up to her brilliance and they probably never will. Women of color in the US are glorifying Africa and Muslim culture. To think people like that could ever criticize such a superior intellect is laughable. Daly spoke out against clitoridectomy and infibulation in the 1970,s while her women of color critics were celebrating Muslim culture and rationalizing the veil.

"And she would say again and again that we underestimate misogyny and talk about the Burning Times, shouting to be heard over the voices of male academics and statistically thwarted historians who wanted proofs and records and details and numbers. Daly looked back and saw women burning, over and over again, burning women disappearing from history, women’s lives and horrible deaths unrecorded, the hatred of women that reached back to the brutal dawn of patriachy."

Daly is right up there with Phyllis Chesler, Andrea Dworkin.... the great feminist theoreticians.

I am doing it - Laughing Out Loud at their absurd labels - their penile processions - it has been dangerous and liberating -- here -- in the Middle East, it has meant the death and torture of my sisters -- I spit on their penile processions and the female camp followers whose ignorance and greed drives them on in their self defeating ambition --- Thank you Mary. I will tell the young girls to read GYN/Ecology when they want to understand Radical Feminism
. The world is less for your passing.

While reading some comments on a pagan site, I found this which sums up how I feel
Audrey · 19 hours ago

Mary Daly, the great voice for uncompromising women's freedom worldwide will never be forgotten. She'll always be the great one to me, the woman who said NO MORE to male supremacy, to the rape culture of religions, and she was the true voice of radical lesbian everywhere who wanted lands free to grow without the oppressors anywhere near. And she did it all with wit, with great humor, and no one will ever be able to stop her ideas as time goes by. Quintessentialist is what she would say to the cockaludicrous prickers and plug uglies. She stopped the penile processions and put an end to the witchcraze which is still in the churches today. I raise the double ax to her, and drink of mighty toast...death to patriarchy!


Blogger Val said...

Great post - now I've got to unearth my copy of Gyn/Ecology & finish reading it!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Greenconsciousness said...

Thank you dear, I am wishing you healing on every level.

8:10 AM  

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