Feminist theorist and self-proclaimed “revolting hag” Daly (Outercourse, 1993, etc.) offers a sharp-tongued assessment of today’s political landscape.
“For readers who cannot Hear written words in their heads and feel them as they read, it is especially important to Speak them Out Loud,” writes the author. This proves to be helpful advice, since such impenetrable phrases as, “Some Trivial Women… proclaim that this must be the Time of Times for manifestations of Trans-spatial/Transtemporal and Intergalactic consciousness,” might make a little more sense when read aloud, repeatedly. Getting beyond Daly’s peculiar language, one sees that the core of her polemic is not especially original. She asserts that patriarchy has been around for only about 5,000 years; before that, everyone lived in societies that were peaceful and gynocratic, a term she prefers to “matriarchal,” because “matriarchy” implies that all women have children. Today, society is experiencing a backlash, she continues. The patriarchy has separated women from each other and appointed reactionaries like Condoleezza Rice to positions of power so the rest of us will be fooled into thinking that women are in the forefront. Profoundly concerned about rampant environmental degradation, Daly suggests that the fate of women is closely linked to the fate of the planet. Much of the book is presented as imaginary dialogues between the author and such figures as 19th-century activist Matilda Joslyn Gage. Though the state of things is depressing, declares Daly, we can still laugh, listen well to one another and see the current moment as an opportunity for inaugurating a new style of politics and community.
Requires a lot of work and yields little reward.