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Copy of Mary Daly Presentation

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Ellie Riegel

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Mary Daly Presentation

Daly as an Ecofeminist
Quintessence: Realizing the Archaic Future
Websters' First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language (with Jane Caputi and Sudie Rakusin)
Outercourse: The Bedazzling Voyage Containing Recollections from My Logbook of a Radical Feminist Philosopher
Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy
Gyn/Ecology, the Metaethics of Radical Feminism
The Church and the Second Sex
Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation
Natural Knowledge of God in the Philosophy of Jacques Maritain
The Problem of Speculative Theology
-Born October 16, 1928 in Schenectady, New York into a Catholic family.
-Received B.A. in English, doctorates in sacred theology and philosophy, and was one of the first women to obtain a doctorate in religion.
-Taught at Boston College from 1967 to 1999
-remembered for radical lesbian feminist views and contribution to ecofeminism.
-Died January 3, 2010 at age 81
Historical Context
Mary Daly
-Term first coined by the French Feminist Francois d’Eaubonne
-1970’s-second wave- Feminism, world peace, environmental movements begin to intertwine
-Became more substantial academically during 1980s.

-Ecofeminism is a social movement which views the oppression of women and nature as interconnected.
-Works against the connected oppressions of gender, race, class, and nature.
-Helping the environment is integral to stopping oppression of women.
-Some ecofeminists claim that since the beginning of the modern science era, imagery has caused people to associate women with nature and men with science.
-Not typically liberal feminists. Do not seek equality with men.
-Aim for “liberation of women as women.”
-Emphasis on stereotypical female qualities--nurturing, childbirth, domestically active.
-Often attracts criticism.
-One of the first academics to support ecofeminism
-Wrote Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism in 1979
-Claims that men have always sought to oppress women, starts to formulate ecofeminist views
-Daly was a vegetarian, animal rights activist, and member of the group “Feminists for Animal Rights”

Ellie Riegel, Katie Wray, Taylor Santana, Abby Jameson, Davontae Singleton

November 1969: NOW Leader Betty Freidan dubs lesbianism “the Lavender
May 1970: Rita May Brown Leads Radical Lesbian talk at “Second Congress to Unite Women.”
September 1971: NOW recognizes lesbian rights as “a legitimate concern for feminism”
Lesbian Feminism
“I had explained that a woman's asking for equality in the church would be comparable to a black person's demanding equality in the Ku Klux Klan.”
“There are and will be those who think I have gone overboard. Let them rest assured that this assessment is correct, probably beyond their wildest imagination, and that I will continue to do so.”
“If God is male, then male is God. The divine patriarch castrates women as long as he is allowed to live on in the human imagination.”
"It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God
Teaching Career
The Catholic University would not allow Daly to obtain a P.h.D in religion
Ph.D. in religion from St. Mary’s College in 1954
Doctorates in philosophy and theology from University of Fribourg
Daly's Philosophy
-1959-1966: taught philosophy courses at University of Fribourg
-1964-1999: taught theology, feminist ethics, and patriarchy courses at Boston College
- almost lost her job because her first book, The Church and the Second Sex, was so controversial
- moved from Christian reformist to radical, post-Christian feminist
-1999:took a leave of absence instead of taking male students in her class
-had been privately tutoring male students
-protested a commencement speech made by Condoleezza Rice-spoke to schools and groups
Daly was often accused of hating men. Thus her entire teaching philosophy was skewed.
-She wouldn't allow men students in her class with females.
-The only way she would teach them was if they were completely separated, but them she still held a bias to them
-In an interview with What Is Enlightenment? magazine, Daly said, "I don't think about men. I really don't care about them. I'm concerned with women's capacities, which have been infinitely diminished under patriarchy. Not that they've disappeared, but they've been made subliminal. I'm concerned with women enlarging our capacities, actualizing them. So that takes all my energy."
-Later in the interview, she said, "If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males."
-Advocated reversal sociopolitical power between sexes
On Men
- died of long-term illness January 3, 2010
- many different reactions
“God-hater” “man-basher” “witch and madwoman”
“audaciously creative” “mother of modern feminist theology”
- inspired feminist theologians such as Rosemary Radford Ruether, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, and Rosemary Haughton
On Religion:
Saw the church as dominated by patriarchal ideals that placed women in positions of inferiority
Deemed traditional Christianity and feminism completely incompatible
On Female Liberation
As Radical Lesbian Feminist
Understanding the definition of feminism as a movement for female equality, is Daly a feminist?

“Our Rage enables us to recognize the reality that is hidden by the foreground. It
triggers our breakthrough to seemingly esoteric, yet utterly available knowledge.”
“To conclude that womb envy is the key to phallocentric deception and to fixate
upon female biological fertility would be just another way of falling into the trap of demonic deception”
Women operating on patriarchy’s boundaries can spiral into freedom by
renaming and reclaiming an ancient woman-centered reality that was stolen and eradicated by patriarchy”
1. The Virgin birth
Church, as corrupted by the patriarchy construes Mary to be
passive rape victim
In parthenogenesis of ancient myth, eggs develop independently of
2. Adam giving birth to Eve
3. The Trinity
Argues that the trinity derives from the "Triple Goddess"
In ancient Sumarian creation myth, goddess Iahu, was the“exalted
dove” who laid the egg of the universe --> replaced by Yaweh in christianity.
The Catholic Church

February 1976: The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asserts that the church has no authority to ordain women
“The masculine character of the hierarchical order which has structured the church since it’s beginning... seems attested to by scripture in an undeniable way.”
Still some confusion: April 1776 Pontificial Bible Commission votes against proposition that New Testament clearly prohibits women priests.
1994: Pope John Paul officially declares that the Church may not ordain women
Full transcript