Re-membering the Revolution by Xochitl Alvizo

This post includes information about a conference scheduled for next spring at Boston University: A Revolutionary Moment: Women’s Liberation in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Call for Papers is due July 1st – just two days away!

I remember how Mary Daly used to ask me where the feminists were – what were they up to today? I would try to update her on the things I was aware of here in Boston, events at the Women’s Center in Cambridge, conferences by Women, Action, and the Media, the latest publication of Rain and Thunder: A Radical Feminist Journal of Activism and Discussion, and the myriad of things happening within feminist theology with which I was most familiar. Nonetheless, Mary was never satisfied with my responses, “Where is the revolution?” she would ask. At the time, I didn’t quite understand her disappointment. I could tell she wanted me to update her on something big – she wanted to hear of sweeping changes, lots of them. I often thought that the changes were already there, that big things had taken place and were incorporated into the daily life of society. I was always vexed that I couldn’t give her the answer she was looking for – but also, I didn’t know exactly what she was looking for. Then one day she asked me to find her a book that was on one of her shelves – she didn’t know which shelf – so I went searching, and in that search I discovered a world that gave me a glimpse of the revolution Mary wanted and I understood a little bit more  why Mary was dissatisfied with feminism today. Continue reading “Re-membering the Revolution by Xochitl Alvizo”

Room at the Table: The “Problem” of Men By Lara Helfer

This post is written in conjunction with the Feminist Ethics Course Dialogue project sponsored by Claremont School of Theology in the Claremont Lincoln University Consortium,  Claremont Graduate University, and directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao.

Lara Helfer is a 3rd year MDiv Student at Claremont School of Theology. She is humbled and excited by the intelligence, passion, and commitment of her classmates and professors, and looks forward their feedback and challenges to her very first blog post. 

As an out lesbian for more than 25 years, I have always struggled with the separatist movements associated with radical feminism. For me, affiliating as a ‘woman loving woman’ means just that, I love women. But wait – I love men too!  Whom I partner with – and yes, as a lesbian my partner is a woman – is but one aspect of me. Being a lesbian is not all of who I am, by far. I can’t, and do not wish to, imagine my life without men as an integral part of it. Continue reading “Room at the Table: The “Problem” of Men By Lara Helfer”

Hands Off By John Erickson

This post is written in conjunction with the Feminist Ethics Course Dialogue project sponsored by Claremont School of Theology in the Claremont Lincoln University Consortium,  Claremont Graduate University, and directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao.

John Erickson is a doctoral student in Women’s Studies in Religion at Claremont Graduate University.  His research interests involve an interdisciplinary approach and are influenced by his time as the director of a women’s center and active member in the GLBTQ and women’s rights movements.  His work is inspired by the intersectionality of the feminism, queer identity, and religious political and cultural rhetoric.  He is the author of the blog, From Wisconsin, with Love and can be followed on Twitter at@jerickson85.

I find it little ironic that I am writing about Mary Daly’s formidable “anti-male” book Gyn/Ecology.  I remember reading the book when I was a sophomore in college and I owe much to Daly and her opus because they helped me to identify as a radical.

I know my position in feminism is sometimes misunderstood.  I have often found myself on the defensive end when someone asks me the question: “Why are you a feminist?”  However, although my identification as a feminist is always changing and growing, the label “RADICAL” is one I proudly wear on my chest everyday.   Continue reading “Hands Off By John Erickson”

Mary Daly: Radical Elemental Feminist and Sinner By Gina Messina-Dysert

While some argue that Mary Daly was too radical, I have been greatly influenced by her contributions to the field of feminism and religion.  I can still remember the first time I read a piece of her work.  It was during my undergraduate career at Cleveland State University in a course entitled “Women and Religion.”  I was immediately impacted and wanted to know more about this bold, strong and courageous woman, and although I had already considered myself a feminist, it was in that moment I recognized the existence of patriarchy in religion.  Shortly thereafter I applied to a graduate program in religious studies and became better acquainted with Daly’s work and the intersection of feminism and religion.

While I must admit that I am troubled by some of Daly’s claims and disagree with some of her contentions, I have also been significantly influenced by her foundational work in feminist theology, her demand for women’s liberation and Spinning of new tales and new ideas.  Daly called for women to have the courage to be, to experience a new fall out of patriarchal systems and into a new being that allows women to discover their capabilities, the dynamic power women possess within themselves.

According to Mary E. Hunt, co-founder and co-director of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER), “Her contributions to feminist theology, philosophy, and theory were many, unique, and if I may say so, world-changing. She created intellectual space; she set the bar high. Even those who disagreed with her are in her debt for the challenges she offered…She always advised women to throw our lives as far as they would go. I can say without fear of exaggeration that she lived that way herself.”[1]

While I never had the opportunity to meet Mary Daly, I have no doubt been inspired by her brilliance, courage, wit, and spirit.  My feminist and theological views have been shaped through her influence. I have been able to spiral into freedom and rename and reclaim my own experiences; I have found my own creative power.  Thank you for having the courage to sin big Mary Daly.

“There are and will be those who think I have gone overboard. Let them rest assured that this assessment is correct, probably beyond their wildest imagination, and that I will continue to do so.” – Mary Daly

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