Posts Tagged ‘mary daly’

The Bible Said What?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The most intriguing article which I read was the Mary Daly article.  This article described the Holy Bible in such a way that was foreign to me.  I always thought that the Bible was egalitarian in a sense, however, after reading Mary Daly’s article I found that I was wrong. In terms of content, Mary Daly describes how the Old Testament “…failure to support  sex evolution of human consciousness   (Daly 77).  Daly stresses that the “subordination of women is built lies in the older of the two accounts of creation” (Daly 77).  This concept of man over woman is explored in the text which describes how God said “let us make mankind in our image of God” (Gen: 1:26)/////and further for Daly “…this is understood by exegeses to mean that the image of God is in the human person, whether man or women” (Daly 77).  However, such critics in which I have encountered would argue that when God said, man should have dominion that would mean that since God “breathed life into Adam first” he in some sense precluded all other beings.  Thus leaving Eve to be subordinate to her husband.

The treatment of women in the Bible, which for some aspects are specifically antifeminie to the times in which the Bible was written.  Primarily the most striking behavior is that of “Jesus.” As Daly points out, Jesus’ interaction with women, specific for his time is unusual.  For each woman, Jesus’ interaction with women is that each women is treated as an individual and a person.

As Daly comments, “the treatment of women by Jesus toward the Samaritan woman puzzled even his disciples, who were surprised that he would speak to her in public” (Daly 80).  My question to this is, having read the Bible, is the Big JC’s reaction to women (mostly everybody) really surprising considering that he had the most highest form of love, agape and loved everybody! Not really,  and as Daly points out Jesus gave everyone (all inclusive) the gift of brotherhood.

As many of those of whom are religious, just as Jesus at the heart of the debate lies the “Christian identity,” brushing the lines against race, class and Christianity. One distinct membership explored in the reading Just Good People which hints at how “…Community membership matters.” (Wilkins 95).   Specifically, in terms of Christians on campus in this example some Christians value themselves as Christians by action, those of “act,” and “play” the Christian role versus those who say they do and do completely the other.   These Christian boundaries are interesting in that as Jesus you can either choose to break the norm, or categorize yourself into a group that is significantly distinct.

After reading the Wilkins article, I found that Christianity or at least Wilkinson’s interpretation of young Christians were very cliquey.  The motto being “…there is much to be gained from being good, but there is also much to lose from being boring” (Wilkins 97).  The idea of children or even college primarily youth testifying to God is a significant feat to take to task.

Femme Fatal: Women Are People Too?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Perhaps Most Terrifying

I have always been confused by the term feminism.  Images of dark, dangerous, and deadly women wielding rusted scissors coming do violence to my manhood come to mind but so does the image of man and woman getting paid the same for doing the same work.  If the latter is feminism then certainly I am one.  It seems silly to suggest that a woman should be paid less for her work on the basis of her sex.  That isn’t to say she should work for a salary in the first place.  How I come at this issue I’m not certain.  Often I have a double impulse one traditional and the other more liberalizing.  I am prone to agreeing with Christopher Hitchens:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8WSpFuMByo  If a woman wants to work then by all means work.  If a woman wants to be a ‘full-time mom’ then so be it, no judgement.  I believe there are virtues associated with both options and that the ‘full-time mom’ is able, by virtue of time, to provide more hominess to the home and her children’s experience of it.  That is not to say that she loves her children more or that the working mother loves her children less.

Be There Because You Care

But what of the male role in this equation?  Mary Daly is very clear, and I think rightly so, in pointing out the churches (only the Catholic Church, it would seem) negative role in propagating the ‘back-seat’ (or even ‘out-of-the-car-entirely’!) position of the father.  What of his responsibilities and care for his children?  Should they really end solely at the office?  I suppose it makes sense, given the unavoidable ignorance of scientific reproduction, that many/most/nearly all church Fathers and theologians assumed woman was merely the passive agent procreation.  The male plants his seed within the waiting receptacle of woman who incubates and births his progeny.  But, in the end, it does take two and let’s not forget that “It’s Different for Women”:  Male/female relations starts to very much look like a power structure with women taking an early lead which men quickly stole in ‘civilization’.  That might be a slight too cynical (and simplistic) but after awhile the whole thing starts to look like a self fulfilling statement.  “Women shouldn’t be educated.  Why shouldn’t they?  Well, because it isn’t in their nature.  Oh, are you sure; have you bothered to teach them?  Well, no but that’s because they couldn’t learn since it’s in their nature.”  Our best example presently to bust this notion is simply the many thoughtful, competent, and educated women around us today who have made and make the world a better place.

Nice Breasts, But You Exist for Other Purposes Too

How does feminism (whatever it’s definition is) apply to organized religion?  Clearly this is a point of great debate today withing many Protestant churches and among many Catholics.  Churches are not established public institutions but ideally institutions for the public.  So, in effect, this is not an issue to which they are legally required to acquiesce.  Certainly, social pressures and those working within to change the system itself might act to influence the institution but there exists no legal injunction commanding obedience.  That isn’t to say such a law will never be passed but the odds do seem slim and might not that law be taking things too far?  There are, however, laws which prohibit discrimination based on disability and race (I assume they apply to private businesses and the like) so why not sex?  In short, yes or no to female ordination in churches and is this an issue the state should even be pressing?  In light of all this controversy, I am prone to asking the old, cliched, sort of cheesy question of WWJD.  So, What Would Jesus Do (or What Did Jesus (already) Say)?

Truth Hurts

Mary Daly and “Un-biting the Apple”

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Most of my reactions to this week’s readings are directed at Mary Daly’s article.  I definitely agree with Camille in that I would totally back up Daly’s words.  This has pretty much been one of my first opportunity to consider women in ancient history when reading biblical passages.  The only passage that really sticks in my mind referring to the relationship between men and women is found in Ephesians:

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.

This is a passage that I hear a lot when I go to church, and I often think of these lines before I think about Adam and Eve, despite the Genesis story being much more famous.  Mary Daly presents numerous arguments about Genesis, in reference to the position of women in relation to men.  There are those who believe that women are equal to men in the eyes of God because of the language of certain translations of Genesis, referring to “man” as “them” rather than separating the duties of the first men and women.  The responsibilities of reproduction and labor were not separated.  Others argue that women are inferior because they came from man (or more specifically, his rib).  Men come from God, and therefore serve God; women come from men and therefore serve men.

One of the passages in Mary Daly’s article was particularly incendiary.  On page 85, it is argued that women become more like men when they are pious and faithful.  If they are not, they are bound by the “name of her sex,” inferring that women are different in every way from men, and only men can perfectly achieve Christ-like qualities.  Women who don’t believe in Christ are just women, while women who love Christ “progress to perfect manhood.”  The article goes on to suggest that womanhood embodies “fickleness” or seductiveness or “garrulousness,” all qualities that distract women from serving God.  Men, on the other hand, are logical, smart, and not “slow to understanding” as women were  (and often still are) considered.

While reading the article, I wondered what history would have been like if Eve hadn’t been the one to bite the apple, but if Adam had instead succumbed first.  I read a book a couple years ago called Egalia’s Daughters, which describes what the world would be like if women were on top.  In this book, men wear skirts, are introduced to society like debutantes, and, when married, become “housebounds” (a play on the word “husband”).  There is even a gang rape scene in which a manwom (aka a boy in our world and the equivalent of our stereotypical female in the book) is attacked by women.

A quick guide to the book’s language:

All masculine objects become feminine and vice versa (a ship in our world is “she” but in the book a ship is a “he”)

Wom: our equivalent to a biological woman; the plural is “wim”

Manwom: our equivalent to a biological man; the plural is “menwim”

The book goes on the further satirize the duties of men and women by making “menwim” the begetter of children.  A “wom” gives birth into the arms of her housebound, who is tasked with raising the children.  Here, the male takes on the duty of reproduction, even though it is the female who carries the child.  Until you get used to the language, the book can be a little difficult to get through, but I like that it makes you think about the stereotypes of both sexes.  It makes you question what the world would be like if historically, women hadn’t been considered inferior to men.

**The title “Un-biting the Apple” is a reference to an essay in Theorizing Twilight**