Mary Daly, radical feminist Catholic theologian, died on Sunday.
Best known for refusing to admit men to her feminist ethics class at Boston College (and eventually giving up her tenured position there as part of the settlement), Daly was one of the razor-sharp thinkers of the second half of the 20th century. Whether or not you agreed with her (mostly I didn’t), she always made you think, and often think twice. Her best known books are Gyn/Ecology and Beyond God the Father.
A few choice quotations:
You guard against decay, in general, and stagnation, by moving, by continuing to move.
Tokenism does not change stereotypes of social systems but works to preserve them, since it dulls the revolutionary impulse.
“God’s plan” is often a front for men’s plans and a cover for inadequacy, ignorance, and evil.
We will look upon the earth and her sister planets as being with us, not for us. One does not rape a sister.
The fact is that we live in a profoundly anti-female society, a misogynistic “civilization” in which men collectively victimize women, attacking us as personifications of their own paranoid fears, as The Enemy.
I still don’t agree with much of what she has said, but I’ll miss having new Mary Daly writings to disagree with.