Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gold Standard Feminism

I often listen to National Public Radio while driving to and from work. NPR’s late afternoon/early evening news program is called “All Things Considered”, and on Wednesday evening, ATC aired a remembrance of feminist theologian Mary Daly.

I must live a sheltered life, because I had never heard of Ms. Daly. The ATC profile, however, had me laughing out loud at points. For example, we are asked to believe that the Catholic Church feared Daly because she was a radical lesbian feminist. According to Ms. Daly, the Trinity was derived from triple goddesses in ancient culture. The patriarchy stole all of women’s creativity, creative energies, and religion.

The fact that she was a member of the faculty in the theology department of a major Catholic University (Boston College) for more than thirty years, speaks rather negatively of our Catholic universities. Could it be that, rather than fearing her, the Church thought it best to either ignore her kook theories or actually present the authentic deposit of faith, which was at odds with what she was selling?

Professor Lawrence Cunningham of the University of Notre Dame noted that Daly could be described as the “gold standard for absolute feminism.” In other words, if Daly was a 10 on the feminism spectrum, then every other feminist would be something less than a 10, therefore allowing them to describe their views as “moderate.”

I really want to believe that most people would hear her theories and find them to be nonsense. The fact that many people apparently took them seriously makes me wonder whether our society is in need of a reboot.

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