Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mary Daly Quotes of the Week: On Female Complicity

From The Church and the Second Sex:

"The New York Times, in the context of an article concerning the pope's visit to the Netherlands in Belgium, featured an Associated Press photo of a middle-aged woman in Brussels kneeling at the feet of the pope, her gaze turned upward, her hand clutching the sleeve of his immaculate white robe.

Countless pornographic magazines feature stories and photographs of women kneeling before men to perform fellatio under explicit or implicit threat of violence. No present overt violence forces women to writhe and grovel and kneel before the holy father. The act appears voluntary. Hence, the spectacle elicits Nausea. Moreover, the Nausea is intensified if a feminist tries not to acknowledge her Disgust with this woman as her sister. She does not want to feel the Disgust she may be feeling."

Female complicity in patriarchal institutions appears voluntary much in the same way that female participation in "gang-bang porn" appears voluntary. Men reward women for "Self-destructive and woman-hating behavior," as Daly borrows from Andrea Dworkin's explanation for female anti-feminism, with money, praise, shelter, safety, and rules. In exchange for these "payments," all that is asked of women is the acceptance of their own subordinate status, an acknowledgement that men are full persons somehow closer to god than are women, and a demonstration of the utmost, as Daly calls it, "loyalty to the divine males."

"Yet, it is essential to realize that without the loyalty of women the church and its churchmen would shrivel and die."

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