Methodoltry – Mary Daly

As I work on my introduction chapter, I am coming across some deep layers of imbedded patriarchy in myself. When I catch this tendency, I find myself going back to Mary Daly. Now she is not sexy (read here threatening) to patriarchal culture. She is a broom-riding dyke who speaks like a Druid Bardic adept and was, apparently, a cranky bitch of a person who GASP! Didn’t care to nurture by way of explanation other people’s problems with swallowing what she had to say.

Really her theories are so fucking deep that I get scared of them because my own embedded oppression arises when I read her, quick as I try to swat that shit that shit comes up. What if I’m not perceived as pretty as I say what I have to say based on what I have seen and cannot, as a feminist, unsee? Why am I trying to explain and validate women’s spiritual traditions, including my own, within a system that fundamentally dismisses them? Really? I paid all this money for this opportunity to tell you with your own words what your words cannot contain?

Well, within that rant, I find this quote by Daly fits the bill. “One of the false gods of theologians, philosophers, and other academics is called method. It commonly happens that the choice of a problem is determined by method, instead of method being determined by the problem. This means that thought is subjected to an invisible tyranny. “

She goes on to quote philosopher Suzanne Langer (a process philosopher who I didn’t know about till now, though I know of the males, and thank you for the continual erasure of women’s contribution to history like the tide that washes away the beach).

“The limits of thought are not so much set from outside, by the fullness or poverty of experiences that meet the mind, as from within, by the power of conception, the wealth of formulative notions with which the mind meets experiences. Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that were always there.”

Continuing to ride my broom while fighting the good fight in this the season of the Ancestors – Samhain 2012.

Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosopy of Women’s Liberation (Boston. Beacon Press, 1973), 11.