Mary Daly Quotes

Feminist Theologian

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Mary Daly, a feminist theologian, was noted for her strong critique of patriarchy and of traditional religion, especially the Roman Catholic church. She was fired from Boston College (or involuntarily retired) after a lawsuit challenged her exclusion of men from classrooms.

Selected Mary Daly Quotations

  • If God is male, then male is God. The divine patriarch castrates women as long as he is allowed to live on in the human imagination.
  • What I'm trying to do right now is wake women and others up to the right-wing backlash -- the converging of conservative Catholicism and fundamentalism and all the rest, together with biotechnology, nectech [cloning, genetic manipulation, biological warfare]. All of that is stifling diversity and integrity, and so what I'm really working for is critical mass, a critical mass of feminists, ecologists. . . rebels. . . so there can be a survival of consciousness, a survival of biological and spiritual integrity, intellectual integrity.
  • Courage to be is the key to the revelatory power of the feminist revolution.
  • Courage is like -- it's a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It's like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.
  • You guard against decay, in general, and stagnation, by moving, by continuing to move.
  • If there's an insight, I'll take it.
  • Tokenism does not change stereotypes of social systems but works to preserve them, since it dulls the revolutionary impulse.
  • Women have had the power of naming stolen from us.
  • 'God's plan' is often a front for men's plans and a cover for inadequacy, ignorance, and evil.
  • It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God.
  • Why indeed must 'God' be a noun? Why not a verb - the most active and dynamic of all.
  • We will look upon the earth and her sister planets as being with us, not for us. One does not rape a sister.
  • Work is a substitute "religious" experience for many workaholics.
  • I had explained that a woman's asking for equality in the church would be comparable to a Black person's demanding equality in the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Patriarchy is the homeland of males; it is Father Land; and men are its agents.
  • Women who are Pirates in a phallocentric society are involved in a complex operation. First, it is necessary to Plunder -- that is, righteously rip off -- gems of knowledge that the patriarchs have stolen from us. Second, we must Smuggle back to other women our Plundered treasures. In order to invert strategies that will be big and bold enough for the next millennium, it is crucial that women share our experiences: the chances we have taken and the choices that have kept us alive. They are my Pirate's battle cry and a wake-up call for women who I want to hear.
  • The fact is that we live in a profoundly anti-female society, a misogynistic "civilization" in which men collectively victimize women, attacking us as personifications of their own paranoid fears, as The Enemy. Within this society, it is men who rape, who sap women's energy, who deny women economic and political power.
  • Males do indeed deeply identify with "unwanted fetal tissue," for they sense as their own condition the role of controller, possessor, inhibitor of women. Draining female energy, they feel "fetal." Since this perpetual fetal state is fatal to the Self of the eternal mother (Hostess), males fear women's recognition of this real condition, which would render them infinitely "unwanted." For this attraction/need of males for female energy, seen for what it is, is necrophilia -- not in the sense of love for actual corpses, but of love for those victimized into a state of living death.
  • Since women on average survive men by a significant number of years, it should not be surprising that gynecology is functioning to remedy this unacceptable situation.
  • The gynecological profession and the popularizing media have combined their efforts to make the poisoning of women appear acceptable. Just as popping The Pill is both "normal" and normative for younger women, so is estrogen replacement therapy for their mothers and older sisters.

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

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Your Citation
Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Mary Daly Quotes." ThoughtCo, Sep. 20, 2021, Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2021, September 20). Mary Daly Quotes. Retrieved from Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Mary Daly Quotes." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 29, 2023).