Wednesday, January 6, 2010

To Honor Mary Daly; thoughts for this day


[photograph of Mary Daly is from here]

I hope more people read her work and study what she says about patriarchy and its values, dynamics, lies, and distortions. I hope people reading her work brings forth more activism, particularly from men, who come to understand that it is our job to challenge male supremacy and men's domination of women. I hope it encourages men to not drain the energies of women and to support women having woman-only space.

Sexism really shows itself in white men's attitude towards "books" and what they are for. When I get to know a white man, they are usually class privileged or academically privileged and inevitably they will tell me about their favorite author or volume. I have yet to meet one white man whose favorite book is by a womanist or feminist of color. And I have yet to meet a man who has given any serious consideration to reading and comprehending Mary Daly's work, on any level: politically, philosophically, linguistically, as activism, as prose, as literature. While this doesn't at all surprise me, I am reminded of how many books by white men I was made to read when growing up who demonstrated no awareness at all of women as human beings existing not for men, but for themselves. You'd think men, being caring of women, would want to know what a woman's liberated mind is like. 

The comments around the blogosphere about Mary's death and life are poignant and also troubling. Troubling because there is usually the need to say "I didn't completely agree with her on all things" or "I was never that kind of feminist" or to subtly or not so subtly put down her work as "incorrect" or "too extreme" while men's patriarchal extremity in writing has ever been similarly ostracised or treated as if it had a contagious illness: we liked her okay, but I never wanted to identify with her. I suspect this is, in part, due to her being a lesbian, not the femme kind, and not the fun-for-men kind. Her writing is wild and wonderful and great fun. But women who don't focus on and take care of men emotionally as they write will not be read by men. Whereas misogynist men's writings will always be required reading somewhere.

I noticed how the Mary Daly page on Amazon.com doesn't list more than two of her books, even though all are listed there, separately, or more or less together if you just search "Mary Daly". Maybe that can change, at least. Hey Amazon.com: how about collecting all of those titles and putting them on the Mary Daly page? Makes sense, huh?

I leave you with this, a short piece about Mary I found earlier today:

4 comments:

skemper said...

Just so you know, the content you've reposted here was originally created for Bostonist.com. Boston Blog is an illegitimate site that rips off its content from us without permission. Please change the credit to acknowledge us (the link is http://bostonist.com/2010/01/05/sin_a_smidge_for_mary_daly.php) or remove the content. Thanks! And thanks, too, for recognizing Mary.

rick said...

The piece that you linked to is actually content scraped from Bostonist.com and reprinted without permission. We're thrilled that you liked our piece, but please change your links to give us proper credit.

Julian Real said...

Hi skemper,

Thank you so much for alerting me to this, and let me know if there's anything more you'd like me to do about this, other than the recrediting I've done above in the post.

Julian Real said...

Thanks also, rick, for letting me know!

I hope this matter gets cleaned up across the web!!!