Friday, December 24, 2010

The Holy Mothers

Late theologian Mary Daly reminds us that when men start doing the things that women do, it has a tendency to become Very Important Business. Religion, of course, is no exception. She writes:

"Virginia Wolf, who died of being both brilliant and female, wrote that women are condemned by society to function as mirrors, reflecting men at twice their actual size. When this basic principle is understood, we can understand something about the dynamics of the Looking Glass society. Let us examine once again the creature's speech.

That language for millenia has affirmed the fact that Eve was born from Adam, the first among history's unmarried pregnant males who courageously chose childbirth under sedation rather than abortion, consequently obtaining a child bride. Careful study of the documents recording such achievements of Adam prepared the way for the arrival of the highest of the higher religions, whose priests took Adam as teacher and model. They devised a sacramental system which functioned magnificently within the sacred House of Mirrors.

Graciously, they lifted from women the onerous power of childbirth, christening it 'baptism.' Thus they brought the lowly material function of birth, incompetently and even grudgingly performed by females, to a higher and more spiritual level. Recognizing the ineptitude of females in performing even the humble 'feminine' tasks assigned to them by the Divine Plan, the Looking Glass priests raised these functions to the supernatural level in which they alone had competence. Feeding was elevated to become Holy Communion. Washing achieved dignity in Baptism and Penance....

In order to stress the obvious fact that all females are innately disqualified from joining the Sacred Men's Club, the Looking Glass priests made it a rule that their members should wear skirts....[The] necessary accoutrements included delicate white lace tops and millinery of prescribed shapes and colors. The leaders were required to wear silk hose, pointed hats, crimson dresses and ermine capes, thereby stressing detachment from lowly material things and dedication to the exercise of spiritual talent."

-From Beyond God the Father

Daly ends by encouraging women to stop reflecting and start becoming. For only then will the holy men, who gaze at their own magnified reflections, come to stop believing in their superior size.

Fun fact: Statistically speaking, it is extremely likely that all of the reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh are female, as males typically lose their antlers before Christmas.

But do we really expect reality to get in the way of some good male-magnifying mythology this time of year?

No comments: