No Man´s Land

An interesting interview with Mary Daly at Enlightment Magazine.

Just a few lines from it:

WIE: In your book Beyond God the Father, you call into question the image of the male-gendered God. You write: "The biblical and popular image of God as a great patriarch in heaven, rewarding and punishing according to his mysterious and seemingly arbitrary will, has dominated the imagination of millions over thousands of years. The symbol of the Father God, spawned in the human imagination and sustained as plausible by patriarchy, has in turn rendered service to this type of society by making its mechanisms for the oppression of women appear right and fitting. If God in 'his' heaven is a father ruling 'his' people, then it is in the 'nature' of things and according to divine plan and the order of the universe that society be male-dominated." Your challenge of the image of the male-gendered God has without a doubt made many people deeply question the idea of a God with a male face, as well as the limiting and damaging effects of this image on our social, political and cultural structures.

Now, many feminists have responded to this by replacing the word "God" with "Goddess," and by replacing the image of God as Father with the image of Goddess as Mother. Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man, whom we also interviewed for this issue of our magazine, said that "we do not begin to get on a spiritual journey until we go beyond the gendered metaphors for God. What in the world could it possibly mean to say Mother Nature? What's motherly about it as opposed to fatherly or brotherly?" While he specifically said that he appreciates the work you've done to dismantle the image of God the Father, he also said, "I think Mary Daly should be as critical of [God the Mother] as she has been of the notion of God the Father." What do you think about this?

MD: You see, I don't care what Sam Keen thinks. Do you understand? If that seems like the epitome of arrogance, so be it. How can I care what he thinks? He doesn't get it.

WIE: Right. Well, I'm not so much specifically asking about him personally, but about the idea that gendered images for Godmale or femaleare ultimately limited.

MD: Well, it's not totally adequate because it assumes that there are two sexes throughout the universe. These are the models for reality, and I don't know if there are a hundred sexes or if sex would be of any interest whatsoever in some system other than our solar system. How can I know? So it's limited, but insofar as our experience gives us images, certainly the female is more appropriate for talking about nurturing life, loving and creativity on every level. If you have to choose between the two, female obviously is better. And I don't even have to choose between the two; I mean, the other isn't worth consideration anymore. It's just hanging all over putridly. So, I wouldn't call the book "Beyond God the Father" now, I'd just say "Beyond God."

It sounds like she has a chip on her shoulder.


and your thoughts Donna?

I think many men need to read that. Not that I agree with it completely, but there are new ideas.

As a woman, I´ve been suffering from sexism thru all my life. I´ve already faced unemployment due the fact I´m a woman, I wasn´t promoted either, my ideas were not accepted in my job.

The concept of net instead of hierachy is something men need to learn.

It all really comes down to which of these you believe:

1 Men are superior and should dominate women.

2 Men and women have equal but different roles in the family and in society.

3 Men and women are equal and should fill any role they want to. Examples would include a man staying home with the children while the woman worked, a woman as a firefighter or boxer, a man as a nurse or babysitter.

4 Women are superior and should control men.

Helwig summed it up perfectly

Oh and I'll take a number 2

So will I. Crazy that we actually agree on something man.

No... not at all...

It is about culture, I´m not talking about what is right or wrong, but what do you do in your real life to improve women´s quality of life...

In Brazil, for example, black women uses to earn only 35% of a white man salary in the same job...

What do you do to change this situation?

Number 2 is not an acceptable answer for me.

So what is acceptable to you? Number 3?

Yes, 3.

Except to what concerns about physical abilities. Most women are not strong, and as much as I know no men can give birth.

What Donna said (=3, within natural physical limitations of course)

"different roles in the family and in society"

This kind of thought, in my opinion, led people to believe that blacks were inferior in the past.

Many men still believe that they "possesses" their wives.

Donna that type of thought really seems to run rampant on the Holyground. Whenever someone has a group they feel has been wronged they immediate equate them with "the blacks" I would think that one would be hard pressed to be able to find a group who really deserved to be put in that same light of oppression.

"Equal but different roles" means just that. The husband goes to work and makes money. The wife tends to the home and takes care of the children while the man works. The husband is the disciplinarian(butchered that one I'm sure) and the mother is the attentive nurturing force. To you I'm sure that sounds like the most abusive hell-hole imaginable.

However for decades of American history it managed to produce some of the best men and women in regards to character and resolve. Do you really think that the way men and women have taken over each other's attributes today is progress?

Loud, aggressive women who think they are running the show with little to no self respect. Can't be bothered to raise kids so they dump them with the babysitter to go clubbing. Sleep with who they want whenever they want, because they are liberated from the bullshit concept of "being a lady"

Or how about the emasculated "men" of today? Spending more time looking in the mirror than their girlfriends. Lying to one girl while they have the chick they are cheating with on the other line, because pop culture has taught them that they are "players" Would sooner run away in fear than help someone else in need.

Cause that is not too far off from what is going on in many places in America today. So when I say equal but different roles I say it as American tradition that seems to produce the best results for society.

"To you I'm sure that sounds like the most abusive hell-hole imaginable."

More like any malechauvonist dream out there..

Please, please tell me how that situation was a male chauvonist dream? And how come you disregarded all my other points and chose to just post one remark?

Whats the "O.C." man? Today two incomes is almost a necessity you are right. However the situation I described was defined more by the relationship between the two than by the mother not working. A bunch of kids I knew went home to empty houses to microwave themselves mac and cheese for dinner. That or they roamed the streets getting into trouble.

"Please, please tell me how that situation was a male chauvonist dream?"

Because it is. you described it perfectly yourself:"The husband goes to work and makes money. The wife tends to the home and takes care of the children while the man works."

Ask any feminist what they think about your "roles" and the two genders "natural" place in the world.

"And how come you disregarded all my other points and chose to just post one remark? "

Because they weren´t relevant to the topic really. What you decribe seems to be some kind of general "moral decline", it has nothing to do with what you think the different genders should do.

And your comment about -"American tradition that seems to produce the best results for society."-just made me LMAO!

Let me ask you this, have you ever lived outside the States?

"I would think that one would be hard pressed to be able to find a group who really deserved to be put in that same light of oppression."


Donna, wouldn't you agree that men and women have different roles in society and family?

Due to our chemical and biological make up, I think certain sexes have advantages over certain other sexes when it comes to certain activities.

I think a woman can take better care of a child than a man because a woman's body is specifically designed for that task. Women are less aggressive, more nurturing and more giving towards their children then men. Their body also produces milk to feed a baby. These are just a few of the biological advantages that women posess that have steered them into the specialization of taking care of chidren.

Men on the other hand, by nature, are more agressive, less nurturing and cannot produce milk. This makes them less efficent when it comes to taking care of the young. Men make up for this by being physically bigger, stronger and more durable (in some aspects) and thus are better designed for other tasks.

Just like with other animals, males and females of the species play different roles that help achieve the same goal, the survival of the species.