Mary Daly, RIP

Mary Daly is dead.

I first read her in 1989.  She was fun and exhilarating, even though I rejected her absolutist understanding of gender.   Her fundamental sense of joy and her description for a transgressive, destabilizing laughter continues to appeal to me.  And I think she was right that God is more like a verb.

Daly was mistaken about the relationship between technology and feminism: technology has done much to liberate women, allowing them to be economically independent from men.   Her understanding of ancient religion was fanciful, if provocative.   Mythology was a way of concealing violence as much as it was a form of ancient wisdom.  I also think that “patriarchy” is too vague, at some point, to be helpful.

When I was in high school, I was intrigued by her non-response to Audrey Lorde.  I admit, at the time it was proof she was a selective thinker.  But in retrospect, her non-response was done out of respect for her sister, an awareness that the public sphere was not the location for such a fight.

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