Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vale Mary Daly 1928 - 2010

The news has come that Mary Daly died on the 3rd. Love or hate her, Mary Daly would have to be one of the great feminist and lesbian thinkers, philosophers, theologians of the 20th century. She was radically essentialist and separatist which sadly gave rise to a very nasty transphobia. Consequently I've not read a lot of her work. Her Beyond God the Father, which I have read, is one the key and pioneering texts of feminist theology. If you haven't read it you should - you'll be richly rewarded by doing so.

There's a lot of stuff about her death on on the internet and the blogosphere. Here's a couple from The Adventures of a Notorious Ph. D. Girl Scholar and A Very Public Sociologist.

Vale Mary Daly. Recquiescat in Pacem. Eternal life be unto you and perpetual light shine upon you. May you always shine in the light of the Divine. May your name always be a blessing.

1 comment:

  1. Mary Daly did something that no other woman in America was able to do up to this point: she literally blasted a place for women as philosophers in their own right. She was also the great heroine of all lesbian feminists and separatists worldwide. Her works inspired my life of adventure, and I took her advice in battling male supremacy everywhere I live. When you read men's studies (all the philosophers of the past), you know that Plato is speaking to men, Aquinas doesn't even believe women have souls, so he is speaking to men, Augustine thinks original sin was female sexuality itself. Along comes Daly, and she says, let us put an end to patriarchy, let us create a world where women live for themselves, and throw their intellects and passions as far as they can go. She never let radical lesbians down, she was always there for us 100%. And I believe lesbian nation needs to regroup, because we most certainly are served by no other group but ourselves. Women's labor and creativity are so often ruthlessly co-opted by men and male interests. Dr. Daly, woman of the triple PhD, the woman who battled Jesuits, the woman who walked out of Harvard Memorial Chapel, the woman who brought to light the forgotten and erased foresister Matilda Joselyn Gage, and Gage the 19th century feminist who documented Catholic priests raping children... reads like yesterday's headlines, this women brought freedom and dignity to all women demanding not only legal freedom, but spiritual freedom. She brought down the statues of male gods and male secular religions and they fell harder than a bust of Lenin post-1989.
    I know I am going to miss her, but I thank her for teaching me the wisdom to destroy patriarchy every day in every way!