Mary Daly, 1928 – 2010

January 6, 2010

I read quite a bit of her stuff back in the day. I found The Church and the Second Sex to be quite powerful and Beyond God the Father moreso. Gyn/Ecology is a pretty awesome read, but I don’t know if I managed to get all the way through Pure Lust. I don’t know if she considered the modern understanding of the European witch burning (in Gyn/Ecology she claimed 9 million; modern consensus estimates are quite a bit lower, from 60,000 to 100,000 according to Wikipedia), but I rather doubt it would change her overall picture at all. It’s not like we lack for evidence of the historical suffering of women.

She was certainly uncompromising in her separatism, as her final kerfluffle with Boston College attests. My views on separatism are somewhat complicated, but I certainly don’t think the suit brought against BC and the attempt of the male students to force their way into her class were remotely blows for justice. On the other hand, I don’t see how one could reasonably formulate a policy that would allow her to do her thing while not letting in odiousness, if odiousness should think to take advantage of it. My personal policy, on the other hand, is not to disrupt separatist activity that I have good reason to think is helpful, or at least, materially neutral.

She helped radicalize me and I am grateful for that.

%d bloggers like this: