Mary Daly : biography
Mary Daly (October 16, 1928 – January 3, 2010) was an American radical feminist philosopher, academic, and theologian. Daly, who described herself as a "radical lesbian feminist", taught at Boston College, a Jesuit-run institution, for 33 years. Daly retired in 1999, after violating university policy by refusing to allow male students in her advanced women's studies classes. She allowed male students in her introductory class and privately tutored those who wanted to take advanced classes.
Views on transsexualism
In Gyn/Ecology, Daly asserted her negative view of transsexualism, writing, "Today the Frankenstein phenomenon is omnipresent . . . in . . . phallocratic technology. . . . Transsexualism is an example of male surgical siring which invades the female world with substitutes."Daly, Mary, Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism (Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, pbk. [1st printing? printing of 90?] 1978 & 1990 (prob. all content except New Intergalactic Introduction 1978 & prob. New Intergalactic Introduction 1990) (ISBN 0-8070-1413-3)), pp. 70–71 (page break within ellipsis between sentences) (New Intergalactic Introduction is separate from Introduction: The Metapatriarchal Journey of Exorcism and Ecstasy). "Transsexualism, which Janice Raymond has shown to be essentially a male problem, is an attempt to change males into females, whereas in fact no male can assume female chromosomes and life history/experience."Daly, Mary, Gyn/Ecology, op. cit., p. 238 n. "The surgeons and hormone therapists of the transsexual kingdom . . . can be said to produce feminine persons. They cannot produce women."Daly, Mary, Gyn/Ecology, op. cit., p. 68 (n. 60 (at end) omitted).
Daly was also the dissertation advisor to Janice Raymond, whose dissertation, published in 1979 as The Transsexual Empire, is critical of transsexualism.
Brittany Shoot criticized Daly as transphobic for these views.
Before obtaining her two doctorates in sacred theology and philosophy from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, she received her B.A. in English from The College of Saint Rose, her M.A. in English from The Catholic University of America, and a doctorate in religion from Saint Mary's College.
Daly published a number of works, and is perhaps best known for her second book, Beyond God the Father (1973). Beyond God the Father is the last book in which Daly really considers God a substantive subject. She laid out her systematic theology, following Paul Tillich’s example. Often regarded as a foundational work in feminist theology, Beyond God the Father is her attempt to explain and overcome androcentrism in Western religion, and it is notable for its playful writing style and its attempt to rehabilitate "God-talk" for the women's liberation movement by critically building on the writing of existentialist theologians such as Paul Tillich and Martin Buber. While the former increasingly characterized her writing, she soon abandoned the latter.
In Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism (1978), Daly argues that men throughout history have sought to oppress women. In this book she moves beyond her previous thoughts on the history of patriarchy to the focus on the actual practices that, in her view, perpetuate patriarchy, which she calls a religion.
Daly’s Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy (1984) and Webster’s First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language (1987) introduce and explore an alternative language to explain the process of exorcism and ecstasy. In Wickedary Daly provides definitions as well as chants that she says can be used by women to free themselves from patriarchal oppression. She also explores the labels that she says patriarchal society places on women to prolong what she sees as male domination of society. Daly said it is the role of women to unveil the liberatory nature of labels such as “Hag”, “Witch”, and “Lunatic”.
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