BEYOND GOD THE FATHER: Towards a Philosophy of Women's Liberation by Mary Daly

BEYOND GOD THE FATHER: Towards a Philosophy of Women's Liberation

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Marxist thesis that Gods are made by men has been getting a literal interpretation by Women's Libbers. ""The entire conceptual system of theology and ethics developed under the conditions of Patriarchy,"" Ms. Daly claims ""have been the products of males and tend to serve the interests of sexist society""; the Holy Trinity of God (the Father), the Son (a ""scapegoat""), and the Holy Spirit have become symbolic justifications for Rape, Genocide and Hate, while woman, the primeval Eve deprived even of a language of her own, has been split into Mary Magdalene and the Holy Virgin -- hence the double standard. If Women are to be personalities instead of magnifying mirrors for men they must begin with a Camus-like refusal to assent to all establishments and models and, via a recreated language, form an ""ultrasonic"" sisterhood ""on the boundaries"" of masculine society where it will be eventually possible to build an existentially courageous, androgynous community in which love and power will no longer be sexually segregated. Daly's philosophy of Liberation has been constructed from derivative materials -- de Beauvoir, Tillich, Nietzsche, Buber, among others -- but behind the metaphysics there are flashes of sharp, this-world analysis (for instance, that the sexual revolution has often given rise to ""non-professional"" whoredom instead of achieving true sexual liberation; that homosexuality might be more appropriately described as ""a deep relationship with another person of the same sex with or without genital activity""). It's too bad that Ms. Daly, a professor of theology, has limited the book's appeal by using language often incomprehensible to the general reader.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1973
Publisher: Beacon