interview with Mary Daly [MD]
WIE: Because you also speak about inventing an image of an idyllic prehistoric culture, it sounds like you're not concerned with any risk of romanticization.
MD: What is the risk? I mean, we live in hell. This is called hell. H-E-L-L—patriarchy. Do you watch TV and see the stuff from Kosovo? The ethnic cleansing, genocide—watching them get on trains and go off to nowhere and starve and die and have the shit bombed out of them by NATO. Is it romantic to try to remember something better than that? There's a reality gap here. How can I make it clearer? We're living in hell and he's talking about a danger of romanticism in imagining something that is a hope for something better in the future? I think that the question comes from not looking deeply enough at the horror of phallocracy, penocracy, jockocracy, cockocracy, call it whatever—patriarchy. If you experience the horror of what is happening to women all the time, it is almost unbearable, right? All the time! And a lot of it is mental horror, spiritual horror, together with the physical horror and the atrocities that I've analyzed in detail. Then, when you are acutely aware of that and desire to exorcise it, the exorcism welcomes, requires, some kind of dream. The accusation of romanticism belongs to a detached intellect, not seeing the desperate need for escape from where we are. And when I speak, it's out of desperation; I know it! I know what women's lives are like! Intuitively, instinctively, experientially, I know. I don't have to have been there in prison and had my genitals cut up and experienced the horrors that happen to women now—I am existentially aware of it. So I don't have patience with that.
WIE: Some people say that exclusively blaming men for the patriarchy is misguided. Transpersonal theorist Ken Wilber, in an article entitled "Don't Blame Men for the Patriarchy," writes: "'Patriarchy' is a word that is always pronounced with scorn and disgust. The obvious and naïve solution is to simply say that men imposed the patriarchy on women. But alas, it is nowhere near that simple. . . . If we take the standard response—that the patriarchy was imposed on women by a bunch of sadistic and power-hungry men—then we are locked into two inescapable definitions of men and women. Namely, men are pigs and women are sheep. . . . But men are simply not that piggy, and women not that sheepy. One of the things I try to do . . . is to trace out the hidden power that women have had and that influenced and cocreated the various cultural structures throughout history, including patriarchy. Among other things, this releases men from being defined as total schmucks and releases women from being defined as duped, brainwashed and herded."
MD: Usually for someone at that state of consciousness—which is unconsciousness—if anything would work, it would be to make the analogy with racism. Because that's back where he is in that. It would be like saying, "Well, that this is a racist society is the fault of blacks, too, and you can't just blame white people for a racist society. The others must have collaborated in it." And the fallacies become immediately obvious, don't they, when you speak of that case. So it works for me to just make that comparison and see if they can flounder their way through it. You could say certainly that some blacks would appear to have collaborated in that, but it's shallow sounding. It doesn't work, although there have been "Uncle Toms" and all that. So that's the way I would approach it.
Amazonian woman spinning, this is what REAL WOMEN look like...I chose this photo because Spinning, while yes has a freeing element, is also binding, because it forces one to be stationary.
WIE: Along similar lines, Sam Keen told us: "Men and women have been in this thing together all along. . . . Any time you put the blame on one of the genders, you have rendered the other inferior. . . . In America, women are just as injurious to the world as men are." He has also written: "Are we to excuse womankind from complicity and active participation in the spoiling of the environment? Go to any mall and watch the frenzied buying of the latest fashions, any landfill and see the mountain of disposable diapers and trash, any thrift store and count the discarded items of serviceable but no longer 'stylish' clothes and appliances, and it will be obvious that womankind is as compulsive a consumer as mankind. . . . There is an existential and moral fallacy involved in seeking to transfer all the blame . . . onto the shoulders of men. The issue is not genderal. We all have dirty hands."
MD: I can't stand it. He's too smart for me. It's just not worth answering. Each sentence is full of falsities. Again, it's like saying the blacks get the benefit of supermarkets over here and things that they don't have in the jungles and villages of Africa—so what?
It's true that to be a feminist now absolutely requires being an ecofeminist or what I would call a "Radical Elemental Feminist." There's no way that you can accept the pollution and the destruction of animals and the harm to nature out there because what happens to nature is happening to us; we're sisters. But I just want to say that in with this "frenzied buying" statement there is nothing about the context. Why are women so frenzied to buy the latest fashions? Because their lives are so empty and they've had no opportunities. Because their self-image has been so damaged. I can go on and on about the damage that has been done to women under patriarchy. And then women are blamed for going out and buying all the time, but there's nothing left for them when their creativity has been smashed. This is very woman-hating, the way it's written.
It's not that I don't get mad at women for their complicity, but it's not the same level of being mad. I can get so angry at tokenized women—women who sell their sisters out. It happens all the time on a more sophisticated level, but I always have to remind myself to go to the source. It's more annoying to see women doing it because I believe they have the inherent capacity to do better than that. But I also see how they've been smashed down, and so I always go to the source. Why are women the way they are, the ones who are woman-hating, who have all of those hideous qualities that women get in patriarchy? I hate that, too—to have to see women in that condition is hateful, it's disgusting.
But you see, I have great respect for the inner power in women that can grasp far more than is attributed to them. I don't just think that I'm smarter than Sam Keen. I think many, many women are smarter than Sam Keen. One of the typical ironies of patriarchal society is that he gets to have a voice, while you can walk around and talk to many highly intelligent women on the street whose voices are not heard and who have insights he lacks. Yet he gets to have a "name"; that's the joke of it. And for me to honor that is ridiculous. No woman who is really on track would be wanting to read these men—they're boring. I think that emphasizing male authors in this context serves no purpose. Why not take some radical feminist texts and talk about them? Maybe you're writing for the wrong audience. Look, are we trying to raise the energy level, to convey joy in life, to convey biophilia and encourage the biophilia that's in women? Or are we trying to just go on dialoguing with these men? What I try to do is speak to women on the highest level of vibration that there is, and those who can hear, who can sense, on that level do get it. And then they can spread it to others; there's a ripple effect. Women, my tribe, radical lesbian feminists—the women who get it—are overjoyed to have their lives affirmed. And I want that joy to exist because that inspires courage and movement forward and creativity. That's my job.
read rest here http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j16/daly.asp?page=1
I prefer to SPIN like this, however...