Radical Feminist theory was what nourished me in the 1980’s and 1990’s as i struggled to reconcile the paradox that my Mother could love me, a male… yet also establish, describe and document her absolute conviction that Men were the cause of all our troubles. i read Robin Morgan, Andrea Dworkin, bell hooks, Sonia Johnson… and i read a little Mary Daly.
Mary spun me and spun me until out of my dizziness i arrived at the border of a new space, a space outside of sides… the reality of Patriarchy shown to be a façade, the proverbial “man behind the curtain” an apt metaphor for the truth we live.
today i am living in the center of a storm with one foot in either opposing side of the whirlwind. i am a “Transgender Woman” on HRT… yet i relate most closely with Gender Critical analysis of what gender is and whose interests are served by its perpetuation.
here is a quote from Mary Daly. i invite any Transgender Woman to read it and contemplate on it and realize (hopefully) that Radical Feminism is not an enemy of Transgender Women. it is a philosophy that holds the promise of us all transcending the trap of endless dualistic division that has the entire Natural world at the point of destruction. i consider it completely ironic and strange that males who benefit from taking an opportunity to exit the trap of Manhood by becoming Women would not feel a deep affinity for Feminism… but then, i find that most people have read very little of Feminist theory… choosing instead to engage in polemical shouting and vitriol.
this is an ugly reality… one that doesn’t speak to my heart. the heart of a male, a male who cries for us all, prisoners of Patriarchal conflict and perpetual strife, the result of a delusional need to maintain conceptual divisions at all levels and so doing, maintain the status quo. even if Men do start wearing lipstick. the important part is to keep us all fighting. i want out of that.
from Mary Daly,
‘Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation’, 1973
“…Women and Men inhabit different worlds. Even though these are profoundly related emotionally, physically, economically, socially, there is a wall that is visible to those who almost have managed to achieve genuine interplanetary communication with the opposite sex.
The pre-requisite of this achievement is communication with the divided self, discovery of the lost self.
The adequate meeting of the two worlds, then, cannot be imagined as a simple one-to-one relationship between representatives of humanity’s two halves, for half a person really never can meet the objectified other half.
The adequate “cosmosis” will require a breakdown of walls within the male psyche as well as within the female. it will require in men as well as in women a desire to become androgynous, that is, to become themselves.
Whenever men manage to see this promise in themselves of actually finding themselves, of finally agreeing with themselves, they will have reached the threshold of the new space. The will have begun to discover the covenant.
If they do not shrink from the knowledge of the good news because it means loss of undeserved privilege and prestige or because it means setting forth on a long and perilous trip into uncharted territory, they might succeed in becoming human.”