On the Death of a Feminist Icon
I have been ruminating over this post since hearing last week that Dr. Mary Daly, feminist philosopher and former Boston College professor, had died at the age of 81.
It is an understatement to say that Dr. Daly was a controversial figure. I have mixed feelings about her, admiring her for her revolutionary thinking on gender and gender relations while being personally appalled at the more regressive/reactionary aspects of her work and life. As hard as I have tried to imagine a justification for her insistent gender separatism in her women’s studies classes at BC, for example, I cannot help but conclude that her actions were ultimately detrimental to the cause of egalitarianism. And perhaps that was the point. Maybe her goal wasn’t gender equality but female supremacy, repressive matriarchy as a replacement for repressive patriarchy.