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Pure Lust (Part 3) September 19, 2011

Posted by FCM in books!, politics, self-identified feminist men, trans.
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ive finally (finally!) finished reading mary daly’s “pure lust.”  ive written previously about male-identifying women and naming the agent (parts 1 and 2, respectively).  i am apparently reading her books in the opposite order in which she wrote them, but thats okay: she tells us that “the direction of the Journey is not linear, but spiraling, [so] new Voyagers may join at any point.”  we previously discussed “quintessence” here and here.

women arent supposed to be female-identified or female-identifying under patriarchy — this means they are supposed to identify with and be supportive of men and male institutions and perceptions in every way, all the time.  part of this is not naming the agent of womens suffering — namely men, and mens institutions and men individually too.  male-identified women who refuse to name men as the agent of harm are also expected to reserve “touching” and being touched — physically, emotionally and psychically — to being touched by men.  thus, the taboo against lesbianism for women includes physical and sexual touching, yes, but it also includes women emotionally and psychically “touching” each other too.

one way we are monitored and maintained in this no-touch-zone is by the refusal of female-only space.  even the space normally filled by ones own shadow is filled with maleness, when you are a woman: theres always a man there, they follow us in the street.  women partnered with men sleep and lie awake with men at their backs (the presence of absence).  single women who sleep alone sleep with absent men.  men who arent there and never were are “absentee” but men and maleness are always there.  to recognize the state of no-men as “mens absence” at all is to recognize that the entire world belongs to men, and none of it belongs to us.

disallowed from “touching” each other or even knowing ourselves (especially after having been subjected to PIV and PIV-centric sex) patriarchy separates women from our selves and from each other, and partners us all with men.  the partnering is literal and more literal.  maleness permeates everything.  and one thing men love (which is obvious because they keep creating it) is death.  on a global scale.  another is womens incalculable suffering.

womens “separatism” under patriarchy, then, is a reversal in terms: we have already been separated.  women “separatists” seek to separate women from the causes of our fragmentation and to separate us from that which has already separated us from our selves and each other, and from our female-identified ingenuity and creativity.  we seek to make ourselves whole again, and to sweep the shit and grit from the corners and spray the place down of its maleness death on a global scale and incalculable female suffering because it is everywhere.  its in our minds too, and we need a place to contemplate this so that we can locate it and remove it.  this is not an end in itself: we are not exterminationists afterall.  (thats mens job).  and most of us dont particularly like to clean (sorry teh menz!) and its not a ritual cleansing, either.  no.  this is in preparation for spinning true female-centered creative thought.  its not just male-free space we need, its what we do with it once we get there.

men might pretend they dont know this is what we are doing, and pretend its about “excluding them” and that its about them at all, but their adamance that we not do it belies this.  their adamance that we do not do this particular thing, this thing especially is because women not accessing female-centered female-identified creativity, contemplation and making contextual connections and weaving new context for ourselves, is central to what men are trying to do.  for women to do these things is antithetical to what men are trying to do and are doing.  and what men are doing is…death, on a global scale.  and womens incalculable suffering (which includes soulcrushing boredom BTW).  clearly, this is intentional on their part, because they keep doing it.

men dont care, really, that what women separatists are doing together in the woods, in our front rooms, online, might exterminate men: men kill each other all the time, who cares about that?   obviously not them.  their right to cause and their actually causing death on a global scale is what they are trying to protect.  them, being the cause of womens incalculable suffering, including our soulcrushing boredom, is whats at stake, if women are allowed to separate ourselves from men.  on others they will not give up easily.  on this one, they will not give up at all.

mary daly, of course, reminds us that some of us have managed and will manage to do it anyway.  she doesnt even talk about men, but to name them and expose what they do.  she talks about women and how when we create and protect our women-only-space and move beyond embedded patriarchal patterns, to whatever degree we can, the “leaps of transformation” and female-centered energy women create when they are doing this alone (and particularly together) are contagious: the context that is created expands and lingers, so that its there for the next woman and the next.  the context is vibrant, and encourages leaps of thought — “spinning” beyond patriarchal thought into metapatriarchal consciousness.  feminist thought, in other words.  (heres an interview* where the interviewer keeps trying to get her to talk about “men” and “gender” and male-defined spirituality and she keeps refusing to do it, and keeps coming instantly back around to women.  its amazing.)

this is where we envision (and create?) our new woman-centered reality.  in these spaces and in these moments of metapatriarchal thought and creativity, we can see and feel ourselves being free(d) and we arent wincing at mens whinging or bored with their repetitiveness.  they are dead wood.  which (since this seems to be the issue of the day) kind of begs the question: what if feminist “spinning” isnt the goal?  can we have men in the room (and in our heads) if we want to do other things?  like…organizing and politicking within patriarchal structures and within male-centered reality?  like enacting legal reforms for example?  i guess so, if you can manage to mitigate the potential and actual physical harm to women of men being there.  never leave your drink unattended, and walk in groups to your cars when its over, that kind of thing.

but this kind of organizing within patriarchy, and not meta-patriarchally, is quite another thing, isnt it, than feminist spinning.  for feminist spinning to occur, women need to talk to each other, and take leaps with and because of each other, in women-only space.  thats what these blogs are, and its why we have gotten so much work done these last few years.  so with that, i would like to thank everyone who has been involved in these discussions, and those who continue to be a part of this: weaving women-centered context and spinning ideas and envisioning — creating? — a real future for us all.  without knowing “what” we were doing at the time, being without words for it but knowing it was happening and feeling it (mary names it) i have experienced this.  we have done this and we are doing it.  the context and movement we have created is real.

*seriously though — read the interview.  its amazing.



1. Loretta Kemsley - September 19, 2011

What a powerul post. I had forgotten so much of Mary Daly’s wisdom. Now I have to read her again. I found my head nodding all the way through.

We instinctually seek women only spaces. I remember my mother and her friends doing this in the early 1950s, long before the second wave of feminism. Of course, the women’s “coffee clatches” were mocked, even on TV shows and in books for and about women. Women only spaces are still being mocked and attacked today. So little has changed. Sigh.

But yes, blogging and epublishing has removed the gatekeepers that have been used to either alter or silence women’s voices. Not only that, it allows us to transcend the obsession with our bodies. We can morph our e-bodies into anything we wish and cannot be stopped from doing it. I use symbols of My Essence: the horse and the goddess. That upsets some people, and they demand a photo of “me,” meaning my physical body. They do not get it. The horse and the goddess are Me. They are My Essence. The fact these faceless people cannot accept that means they do not have my best interests at heart.

Thanks for sharing Daly’s thoughts and adding your own. I really love this post.

FCM - September 19, 2011

thanks loretta. as for e-bodies and photos, someone pointed out a while ago that the only “women” you see anymore that use a headshot as their profile/gravatar pic online are transwomen. that about says is all. and i associate all of you with the images you have chosen. i myself am a dripping orange slice on a blue-green background, as you know. 🙂 imagine if we couldve used gravatar pics in our junior high school yearbooks? i always remember picture day being terrifying.

2. Sargasso Sea - September 19, 2011

without knowing “what” we were doing at the time, being without words for it but knowing it was happening and feeling it (mary names it) i have experienced this. we have done this and we are doing it. the context and movement we have created is real.

Interesting. I had started reading this post but was interrupted by some writing I felt compelled to do. Mine ended up being 2 pages but you said essentially the same thing in 3 sentences!

Lovely. 🙂

3. radish - September 20, 2011

Thank you so much for the link to that interview. I fell in love with Daly’s words when I was 18 and first read Pure Lust, and reading those words again, a lifetime later, and re/membering is amazing.

4. Miska - September 20, 2011

I love this post! I read ‘pure lust’ a few months ago during my online hiatus. One of my favourite things about Daly’s writing is how she can talk about women, while not talking about men. At all. This is actually really hard to do. I aspire to it.

One of the few male friends I have who I still regularly see often borrows my feminist books. He saw “pure lust” lying around my house and picked it up and read the blurb. He told me it looked interesting, and i was like “yep, but I dont recommend you read it”. Because it’s a not a book which has a ‘feminist argument’ which men must be convinced of. It’s a not a book about men, or for men. It has NOTHING to do with men. And frankly, I’m not interested in sharing it with men.

I have to say also – the most important thing I have taken away from radfem blogging is the value in women-only spaces and discussions. It’s the thing I miss most whenever I take a break from blogging. Even if there wasnt a political argument for separatism (which there most certainly is), separatism is an end unto itself. At the very least it is a way to escape the soulcrushing boredom which you mention here.

FCM - September 20, 2011

thanks radish and miska! i love how many of us have read “pure lust” and i am glad this post is speaking to those who have read her.

re radfem blogging space, this was really an eye opener for me too, as we have talked about before. i never expected to go FAAB-only (male free) but as a blogger who has to write AND mod comments, i started to realize that there was a shared structural problem with some of the comments here. and the problem was that the comments lacked reading comprehension (ie. the person commenting either hadnt read, or didnt understand, or didnt want to TRY to understand what was already written in the post and previous comments) AND the comments added nothing to the discussion. they were BORING, and very often derailed what was a really INTERESTING convo into very BORING territory. often this very boring territory was stagnation or even backward movement with endless “questions” and rehashing old points, (debate) instead of forward movement and new ideas. what i realized was that many of these problematic comments had been left by people who were obviously MALE. either by their names or by their mannerism, i could tell they were men. being that i am extremely busy in real life, i stopped approving these garbage comments because i didnt have time or energy to deal with them, and didnt like what they were doing to the work that was being done, or that we were TRYING very hard to do. viola! femonade was MAAB-free in short order.

of course, some women got caught up in this net of spammed bullshit comments, but i didnt miss them because they were doing the same damn thing and it was BORING. so very boring, and i didnt have the time or energy for it. looking back, i think these were male-identified women, who were doing the same thing the men were, in order to sabotage and derail “feminist spinning” to support male institutions and male-centric information-exchange (debate) and quash real feminist work. real work that was moving forward and creative and wonderful. men and male-identified women literally destroy radical space. they destroy it. its intentional and deliberate, and its functional and necessary for them to do this.

radfem bloggers have a difficult job, but maintaining FAAB-only space is critical. i had no idea. now i do. 🙂

5. Miska - September 20, 2011

Yes, even funfems acknowledge the problem of “what about the menz” derailing (they’re the ones who invented the term, I believe). But what they refuse to acknowledge is that the ONLY way you will get rid of “what about the menz” derailing is by having a women-only space. That’s the only solution.

And I’m reminded of the convo you had here about how men (and male presence) stop women from following their thoughts to the end. When men are about women self-censor their own thoughts to a large degree. This is why separatist space is essential for feminists.

FCM - September 20, 2011

also, i cannot imagine any man reading daly and getting anything out of it. i still cannot comprehend how she ever got published, and i absolutely cannot comprehend how gyn/ecology (for example) received a glowing review from the NYT book review!? WTF? i think her multiple doctorates helped with the credibility problem all women and all radical feminists have, but it still seems strange to me that she was so successful getting her message and her work out there. she was amazing in so many ways. the interview i linked to mentioned in the intro how that publication wanted to interview someone who was credentialled in both “gender” and “spirituality” and all the research they did lead to daly. LOL and the interviewer admitted how misguided she had been when she assumed that mary daly cared at all about either gender OR male-defined “spirituality.” she didnt. at all. she wouldnt even waste her time discussing them. and i LOVED how mary refused to entertain the idiotic male authors that were being quoted at her for her response. she eviscerated them (if only because the interviewer wouldnt stop quoting them and expecting a response) and then came back around to women, instantly. it was so refreshing, and so unlike anyone i have ever read. i did kind of feel bad for the interviewer though, she was in so far over her head. mary had apparently refuse the interview repeatedly, but this woman wouldnt stop asking. i hope she learned something from the experience, and knows that she was very lucky to have had it.

FCM - September 20, 2011

agree that the only solution is to ban them completely. there is no other solution, they are incapable of dialoging on these issues or even understanding (or even attempting to!) what we are saying and what we are DOING in these spaces. they cant even dialog properly in fun fem spaces, when fun fems are operating completely within the patriarchal value system and the male-centric debate structure. they cannot stand what women are saying and doing on any level, even on mens terms really. although some men are cunning enough to pay them some lip service. but even lip service doesnt fly here. even lip service is BORING, not that many men would even bother pretending to give it to radfems. most of them email me now with that shit! LOL oh, goody! i still get emailed “comments” too. which i dont even read.

6. Sargasso Sea - September 20, 2011

Just finished reading the interview! Hahaha! It was seriously one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time.

Q: What do you think about what men think?
A: I don’t.


That poor interviewer was, indeed, in waaaaay over her head.

7. yttik - September 20, 2011

Cool post, FCM. That spinning, weaving, envisioning that happens in women only space is unbelievably powerful work. I don’t even have the words to describe how vital it is, how important.

You know it’s powerful because since the beginning of time, there has been a concerted effort to prevent women from gathering together without men around. They still fear us dancing in the moonlight and cavorting with the devil, I guess.

“Cavorting” is a funny word, it means to prance about in a sprightly manner, to have lively fun. It’s kind of difficult to oppress people when they’re busy prancing around and having lively fun.

I have a group of friends, we’ve been trying to all get together for a couple of years now. The other day one said, “it feels like there’s a great conspiracy to keep us apart.” Oh, there certainly is! Who knows what trouble we could cause over an uninterrupted cup of coffee?

8. SheilaG - September 20, 2011

Daly’s work is essential reading for every woman who wants absolute liberation. I’ve been reading her work since about 1982, and have been to a couple of her lectures and book tours. Her philosophy has just had an amazingly powerful guidance system installed in me. It helps me navigate through patriarchy, to take it apart the way one would dismantle a bomb.

So I congratulate any woman who starts digging in to Daly. The Irish wit and wordplay alone are worth it. The Wikidary is the ultimate word weapon against the snools, prickers and bores. FCM has picked up on this first hand when she realized that even allowing men here is an utter waste of time. Mary Daly believed in women 100%, and she led by example.

Daly always insisted that women address each other in our own native language, and in that interview that FCM and others referenced at “Enlightenment” magazine (I think that was the title)– you can still get the article online and everyone here should read it, because she just decimates patriarchy. I did feel a bit sorry for the young woman who interviewed her (early 90s???), because she still was caught in the patriarchal web, and she kept on insisting that Daly respond to male spiritual blobs. Daly kept trying to steer her back to women… Gage, 19th century feminists, women’s language and capacities.

She is the greatest intellectual threat to patriarchy on earth, bar none. And everyone has tried to derail and stop her, but they can’t. At her lectures, there were often no men present, and she never took questions from men.

I’ve talked to many of her former students, and attended her memorial service, so I met a bunch of other students as well.

When men are brought up, she is quite definite, she says she is only interested in the capacities of women. Just listening to Rosanne Barr’s tape recording of a phone call with Daly… you can hear that online too is incredible. Be a student of Daly, and you’ll have the power of her insights.
She never let us down EVER. She never sold us out, and I am proud to say, she is probably the greatest radical lesbian philosopher and visionary of the 20th century.

FCM - September 20, 2011

id never even heard of that magazine before i read the MD interview. heres what it has to say for itself on its “about” page:

Conscious evolution for thinking people

Millions of people around the world find themselves searching for a more meaningful, relevant, and profound way to engage with life. Not only do they want to become more conscious as individuals, they want to personally participate in the creation of a better world. Often they turn to spiritual media to help them understand the complexity of our world, and to find purpose and meaning.

Many media outlets today, from small niche publications to mainstream television shows, are seeking to meet that need. Indeed, if you’ve been paying attention to the convergence of spirituality and popular culture, you’ll notice a variety of trends: some media outlets cover positive news—think Ode magazine and Current TV; others help individuals to find more personal purpose, meaning, and happiness in life—think Oprah and her online course with Eckhart Tolle; and still others attempt to engage people in more meaningful social action—think Good magazine and Mother Jones.

Where does EnlightenNext fall within that spectrum? Well, from a certain perspective, it doesn’t. Although EnlightenNext shares audiences and certain similarities with other spiritual media, it is also doing something decidedly different; it is creating a category of its own. That’s why we’re just as easily associated with Wired magazine as we are with Harper’s and The Economist and yet none of those associations adequately pinpoint the core value of EnlightenNext’s role in culture. You might call that core value “conscious evolution for thinking people.” At EnlightenNext we call ourselves “the magazine for Evolutionaries.” We are a niche publication for those “Evolutionaries,” for people who are passionate about the evolution of consciousness and culture. We are the place that leading thinkers in science, spirituality, politics, ecology, and business look to for an in-depth perspective on these many areas of life.

EnlightenNext provides content that is at once philosophically rich, spiritually deep, and immediately accessible. Its in-depth features are a refreshing respite from today’s sound bite culture. Yet it also includes enlightening and pithy commentary that go far beyond the status quo of today’s spiritual marketplace and the world of cultural commentary and current events.

Ultimately, EnlightenNext is offering a new way to think about—and live—life. For individuals who find themselves at the crossroads of the old and the new, EnlightenNext answers questions that traditional religious worldviews and even science can no longer satisfy: Who are we? Why are we here? And where are we going? We give our audience a “meta” context—a new worldview, or perspective, that synthesizes the relationship between self, culture, and cosmos into one coherent whole. And we do so not simply as a group of investigative journalists gathering opinions and reporting the news, but rather as leaders in this evolutionary movement who care deeply about where our world is heading and are inspired to create a better future.


how utterly boring! just, ew! everything they talk about here thats worth salvaging — the parts about context, evolution, “content that is at once philosophically rich, spiritually deep, and immediately accessible” can be found in everything mary daly wrote, and THEN SOME. it can also be found on many radfem blogs. male-defined spirituality is truncated, boring, and its a cult with self-identified leaders, like this schmuck who started this “enlightenment” magazine. heres what they say about their esteemed leader:

Andrew Cohen, founder of EnlightenNext magazine, is a spiritual teacher and acclaimed author widely recognized as a defining voice in the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality. A life-changing awakening in 1986 brought Cohen to the end of his own search for liberation while simultaneously starting him on an exploration of the meaning and significance of enlightenment for our time. This has led him to a profound investigation of the human predicament and into dialogue with sages, saints, and spiritual luminaries from nearly every tradition and beyond.

In 1992, Cohen released the first issue of EnlightenNext (formerly What Is Enlightenment), expanding his own inquiry through the public forum of a magazine and pioneering an innovative form of spiritual journalism reminiscent of classical Socratic dialogue. Over the last decade on the pages of EnlightenNext, Cohen has brought together leading thinkers—mystics and materialists, philosophers and psychologists—to call for a higher and wholly contemporary synthesis of the spiritual truths found in the East and the empirical rigor of the West. Through the magazine and his writings, Cohen is creating a new context for understanding enlightenment as a human evolutionary imperative. Together with a growing network of integral visionaries, including Ken Wilber and Don Beck, he is helping to define a culture of thought that places spiritual transformation at the center of any vision of transforming the world.


just EW, again. gross. particularly the end: with a posse of pricks and doodbros at his side, our esteemed leader offers a completely banal but never-ending mental exercise to distract everyone from patriarchy and misogyny, and the ways these manly fake prophets are actually benefiting from the status quo and dont want ANYTHING to change, ever, and how they arent actually spiritual at all, but for their blatant worship of giant cock, otherwise known as god…

FCM - September 20, 2011

again, i am amazed that they even published daly. she was/is so extraordinary in every way.

9. Sargasso Sea - September 20, 2011

I’m guessing that they only published it because they couldn’t understand it; didn’t understand the profundity of what she was saying in basically not answering those… BORING questions!

Boring, boring, boring!!!

10. Sargasso Sea - September 20, 2011

(same goes for her body of work; they probably thought they would let her *hang herself*)

11. SheilaG - September 20, 2011

Mary Daly was published in the context of the power of the second wave of the women’s liberation movement. The books had a huge audience because radical feminism was gaining power, women’s challenges were scaring men into backing down. The backlash against second wave had not really gotten into gear yet.
Beacon Press, Daly’s publisher has long been friendly to radical feminism.

And don’t forget, men underestimate women, don’t read us, don’t understand us. Arrogant men just ignore these texts, and they are very challenging reading. We know for a fact that men just don’t understand true women’s liberation because they are the oppressors. Daly showed us that the real challenge was not talking to men, but reaching women with this revolution. For it is women who remain in prison until we can liberate all women.

Even a lot of women find Daly hard to understand, or get a very biased view of her through the trans attacks on her, and on the lies that were told about her. “Open Letter to Mary Daly” and the lie that Daly did not respond to Audre Lorde being a prime suspect.

Daly said a hallmark of patriarchy is the erasure of women’s past, and this is never ending. She proved that radical feminists have existed for eons, but are erased by moderates, men, and women who fear this. The time that Mary got her works off to a good start was 1968. Most people who were not old enough, don’t really know how radical a time period this was, how women just busted down oppressors everywhere.

Also, most straight women don’t know about lesbian contributions to radical feminism, and don’t read this stuff either.

Our challenge is to keep these books alive, to keep feminism alive, and to create a climate where these ideas flourish within a liberation context. Blogs like this help do this. But it takes very hard work, very determined thinking to gain power to do battle with male supremacy. Daly gives us the tools to do this, and she sets the example.

She gave Enlightenment magazine a real run for its money. Wait till you read Gyn/Ecology and her takes on Gandhi, Dag Hammerskold among other “male” “leaders.” She’s just amazing!!!

12. Loretta Kemsley - September 20, 2011

It could be they published it because they’d scheduled it, thinking it would be in another form. Based on the questions, it appears it might have been a “gotcha” type article that didn’t work out but they’d already committed to publishing something about her, perhaps even had publicized the upcoming article.

13. The Masked Lily - September 20, 2011

Mary Daly blows me away.. I’m forever grateful that she did get published. The tyrannies would do anything to see her out of print, ugh.

And Loretta, how true!! I love the idea of using a symbol, a spirit animal, something beyond male scrutiny and personally meaningful to represent yourself online.

I feel bad that my icon is currently Amelie Poulain’s face.. And “Lily” I use as a nickname for the muse Calliope.. But I think I will change it to something not objectifying, something more meaningful.

and spot on, the He god of patriarchy really is a giant cock, a big violent misogynist hellmongering cock. the embodiment of patriarchy.

I would really like to read about that.. Drawing on old traditions and birthing new ones, adventures in real women’s spirituality. Laugh if you like, but one of my favourite music videos is by Tori Amos for her song Past the Mission. She’s no radfem but in that video, set in the streets of Italy, crowds of women gather, walking together. Then one stern looking young male priest appears and every women suddenly lies flat on the ground, and he walks over them instead of around them. Then the women get up and act like nothing unusual happened.. And of course it’s not unusual, it’s patriarchy, but it gave me shivers when I first saw it (before I’d grown conscious of my own feminism..). If only every womon could stay standing without fear of male violence .

14. SheilaG - September 20, 2011

People often underestimate Mary Daly … Her first book “The Church and the Second Sex” came out in 1968. Boston College (a catholic men’s school at the time) fired her when it came out. The male students took to the streets in outrage, and she was hired back and given a tenured position. All a part of 60s activism.

So she is the origin, and all roads in feminist religious studies and feminist philosophy lead back to her. She influenced several generations of women in the academy, pushed so many women out of bondage, and had a huge group of former grad students helping her at the nursing home at the end of her life.

She faced unbelievable hatred, and Boston College never really gave her raises… they were always trying to “starve” her out of the job. Highest salary they ever gave her was around $43,000 a year. Other BC professors were paid over $80,000.

She and Janice Raymond alerted the world over 30 years ago of the dangers of the trans invasion of women’s spaces. And of course they hate radical feminists, and are always out to destroy their work.

I know of no woman who give Mary Daly serious study ever being the same again. You will jump so far over the patriarchy, like the cow jumped over the moon (another Daly metaphor).

15. SheilaG - September 20, 2011

I look at “Enlightenment” magazine as just another male distraction of women. Buddhism, male cult leaders all a part of the “godfather” cult.
Mary dealt with the obfuscation of “gender queer” “gender” replacing women’s studies…. she was on to it all, and still she perservered. Nothing could stop her powerful mind. She is so right all the time, so nuanced and obvious… so focused on the well being of women.

It’s been almost two years since she died, and still I miss the possibility of another Mary Daly book, another lecture… I do hope someone is able to publish videos or tapes of her lectures for all of us to experience.

16. SheilaG - September 20, 2011

Masked Lily….:LOVE your name and website. Don’t change that great icon!!!

17. cherryblossomlife - September 21, 2011

LOVE this post. I wanted to take my time to reply properly but there’s too much to address, so I’ll just pick this:

In that interview, tHis was my favourite Mary Daly line on Sam Whoeverheis:

“I can’t stand it. He’s too smart for me.”


FCM - September 21, 2011

yes that was SOOO funny. LOL bet old sam keen had his feelings hurt a bit by marys complete and utter disregard for him and his idiotic ramblings.

18. cherryblossomlife - September 21, 2011

That Andrew Cohen, founder of EnlightenNext I’ve MET him. What a misogynist.

I was 18, and my friend invited me to a spiritual talk he was giving in London. She was from the U.S and her parents had been involved in one of his communes. I thought, why not. Was open minded and not yet a radfem.

I was a little behind schedule because I was new to London and had gone there by train alone. I happened to walk into the venue at the same time that Andrew was walking past the door. I sort of looked at him a bit bewildered, wanting to ask him where I was supposed to go, and he gave me a *sneer* with these eyes that felt like they were boring right into me.

A woman asked him a question about pain. SHe’d had a terrible hip pain for some time, and wanted to know why some people had to bear pain and some didn’t, and he practically sneered at her, basically saying that she was privileged for what she had, and in the same sentence moved onto the subject of “rich people feeling guilty for being rich,” and how spiritually empty they were for it. But she hadn’t asked him about that. She’d asked him about pain.

I felt extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire lecture, then afterwards I went out for dinner with my friend and her other friends and they were all discussing what he’d said, but I felt no affinity with what they were saying. At the very least, it seemed pretentious.

I now compare the ego-stroking all those people were doing for that one man to the mind-blowing *recognition* I felt alone in my bedroom when I read Pure Lust

19. cherryblossomlife - September 21, 2011

oops, okay, my radfem mission is to NOT talk about men

FCM - September 21, 2011

it ok cherry, women need to know stuff like that. thanks. even mary daly talked about men when she was naming the agent, and naming what they do. dworkin was very good at calling men out by name too. norman mailer mustve be so happy when she died. too bad for him and his “legacy” all her call-outs are in writing for all to see.

FCM - September 21, 2011

And yes its “enlighten NEXT” not enlighten MENT. Sorry bout that!

20. The Masked Lily - September 21, 2011

FCM, I posted a (somewhat on topic) excerpt involving women’s spirituality & Mary Daly from a very interesting book., http://sailorcalliope.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/excerpt-towards-a-women-centred-spirituality-by-annette-van-dyke/

And SheilaG, thanks so much! I’m glad you like my moniker 😀
I thought you & other readers might find

21. The Masked Lily - September 21, 2011

oops, I thought FCM and readers might find it interesting

22. SheilaG - September 22, 2011

Thanks for the link Masked Lily, and thanks for the expose of Cohen.
Daly was about the best for calling out famous males… well Dworkin was pretty good too. It was unstoppable truth, and at the time THAT was mind blowing…. WOW someone has something bad to say about Gandhi… sounds kind of trivial now, but back in the 80s NO ONE was telling the truth of that girl molesting man.

It is imperative that women expose through their personal experiences all the male cult leaders, rulers etc.

There is so much protective propaganda around male secular saints, that feminism is the labyrus to cut away the myth and unbind the minds.

Thanks for all the Daly commentary. It’s rare for women to read her, and I know of no women IRL who are actually doing this. So this internet discussion is so wonderful, thanks all!!!

23. yttik - September 22, 2011

Some of us don’t just read Mary Daly in real life, Sheila G, we actually live her. Not as much as I’d like too, but I do carry her with me always. Her words and reminders pop into my head at the strangest times and if it weren’t for all her wonderful wordplay, I may have well died of boredom years ago.

If you see me smirking quietly in the back of some PTA meeting somewhere, you’ll know that’s what I’m doing, thinking of Mary Daly. It’s like opening a window in a stuffy room and letting in a breath of fresh air.

24. SheilaG - September 22, 2011

I agree with the “living Mary Daly” life. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not applying her tactics to defeating patriarchy, and rising.
Her tactics are incomparable if applied IRL, that’s what so great about her works. Application… and very few radical feminist writers were able to lay this out so well.

Her life is an example of how to defeat the powers that be, how to get one’s radical message out there despite all opposition… so in less taxing situations… say the almost all male conference I had to attend today, I knew just what to do. Sit with all the women, and claim male free space as best as possible. Do not engage the prickers and plug uglies, withdraw, create women only space… even today this is radical tactical action, and it’s so radical that patriarchy now sends the trans attacks on women’s space, and still we are fighting back. Thanks Mary!!

25. cherryblossomlife - September 22, 2011

yes, you can’t help but carry Daly’s spirit with around with you after reading her. I’ll never forget the day I had a run-in with a priest here in Japan, in the local park, (foreigners sometimes talk to each other because of the commonalities we have as outsiders) and how he literally tried to use psychological techniques to get me to start going to church.
But what did I have in my bag at that very moment but “Beyond God the Father”. I gave him all these on-line come-backs, the kind you usually only think of after the fact, and kick yourself for not saying. Well that day, I *said* them.

Among others, I made the point that the very conversation we were having was political because he had the power of the church behind his words, and I only had nature on my side. He gave me this confused grin. Urgh, what a rapisty character he was.

26. Maggie - September 23, 2011

Hey, great post. And this is a great little blog you’ve got here, FCM. Just posting to let you know that if I don’t comment here it doesn’t mean I’m not reading. 😉

I really appreciate your work on anti-PIV, pomo feminists, transgenderism and on famous radical feminist authors.

Mary Daly is awesome. I have Pure Lust at home though I’ve not had time to read it yet… so thanks for this recap on her work. Separatism can only happen to very limited possibilities under male supremacy. Most places that advocate ‘women-only’ or ‘lesbian-only’ discusion groups or spaces are trans-inclusive. And you can be sure that the trans-‘women’ almost always will turn up.

Men have now violated and polluted virtually every area of female life. They are a poison who will never let us live as our normal (real) selves. They forbid every womyn from being herself. They impose their sick and twisted power in any way they can think of.

For instance, as days go by, I see less and less difference between MTF transgenderism and pornography. It is all about males getting access to females’ bodies through coercion, manipulation or shutting womyn up with threats…

FCM - September 23, 2011

hi maggie

i agree that most women in most times and places do not have anything approaching female-only space, none that they can police anyway. men can normally come and go as they please, so the best some women can do is to make it very unpleasant for men to be there so they want to leave us alone! but they almost never do, or they are waiting nearby for us to get back to our normal lives, cleaning up their messes. but i think what daly suggests is not to advocate for our own spaces just for the sake of having them (although we should have them regardless of what we do with them) BUT that the feminist-spinning only happens there, and that is what we need and what we want. so while men are busy excluding us from everything they have deemed important, just because they can, we need this space because of what men have done to us, so that we can inspire each other to even imagine a better way. would we need physical space if we werent so colonized mentally, physically and psychically? or if men werent so deliberate in destroying our work and our creative energy? i dont know. but we are colonized, and men do this, and we do need it.

thanks for reading!

27. cherryblossomlife - September 24, 2011

The other tactic patriarchy uses is to *enforce* women-only spaces as defined by them. You see this in Japan, and I saw it a lot in Russia when I lived there, whereby you’d go to a party and the men would be on one side of the room talking literature, and the women on the other side of the room talking how best to get the washing done when they turned the hot water pipes off for testing (WTF).
Patriarchies do thrive on segregating the sexes (look at Islam!), but there is a big difference between this and authentic women’s spaces, defined and created by women themselves.

28. Maggie - September 24, 2011

True. There are plenty of partriarchal womyn-only spaces where absolutely no Spinning is going on, e.g. Xtian convents, Islamic Womyn’s spaces, etc…

We really have to manage to create authentic (and SCAM-free) womyn-only spaces, and spin in them; even if we can only use the Internet for this.

What bugs me is that, outside the Net, ‘women-only’ feminist of lesbian discussion groups (the ones in which there could potentially be some serious Spinning going on are SCAM-inclusive, for the most part. It is really sad. 😦

(btw: SCAM = Surgically and/or Chemically Altered Males)

29. Maggie - September 24, 2011

feminist or lesbian, I meant.

30. cherryblossomlife - September 25, 2011

that’s the good thing about living in a country where women’s status is so low, that no SCAM would ever want to be considered as a *real* woman

31. lush - September 25, 2011

I plan on reading the comments to this later, but I just needed to say that reading you (and all the other radfems online and Mary Daly, though I haven’t gotten very far into Outercourse, the first Daly book I’ve bought) just gives me so much hope and makes me feel less crazy when I look at the world I live in and think, “Holy shit, what is going on!?!” So, thanks.

32. Luckynkl - October 1, 2011

The interview made me laugh. It brought up fond memories. I can just picture MD shooing away the “what about the men” talk in that impatient way of of hers. I think I only dared to go there once or twice with her. She’d just say, “Oh, who cares about men. Let’s talk about something else.”

See, when you talk about men, it requires having to think about them for longer than 30 seconds. That’s way too long. They don’t deserve that much time and energy. Mary Daly wasn’t interested in what men were doing. She was interested in is what YOU were doing. What were you creating? What were you spinning? What were you contributing to better the lives of yourself and other women? That’s what she was after. To take the focus off of men and put that time and energy into yourself and other women. And that’s what we mean by being woman-centered and woman-focused.

I did have the pleasure of knowing both Mary Daly and Andrea Dworkin IRL. No, we weren’t bffs. We were acquaintances. But MD did ring me up at home from time to time and we’d shoot the breeze or she’d show up to coach me from the sidelines and cheer me on when I was in the heat of battle. “Go Lucky, go!” But that was Mary. Always there to root women on when she could. She didn’t think herself above it all.

Gyn/Ecology is my favorite MD book. Quintessence, however, was Mary’s. MD did hand out copies of Pure Lust tho. So what did I do? I gave her Gyn/Ecology to sign. :p She just looked at me and then scribbled “Pure Lust!” in it. LOL, what a character.

As for the SCAM noise, I’m sure you know that MD was not a supporter. Ahem. She had their number right from the get-go. When the FMF was about to acquire Ms., we went to their site and were not pleased to find SCAMs on the cover. So we fixed that. :p I mean, how absurd. Claiming yourself to be a feminist org and putting men in drag on the front page. How does one do that with a straight face?

SheilaG is right tho. If you’ve ever read MD, you’ll never be the same again. And if you knew her, just be prepared to make the FBI’s shit list and have your house surrounded by a SWAT team. :p

33. SheilaG - October 1, 2011

Thanks Lucky… love the Mary Daly stories of what she was like IRL. We need to know the women behind the myths 🙂

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