Page 6, 23rd July 1993

23rd July 1993
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Page 6, 23rd July 1993 — On be-ing and mindbinding
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People: ARY DALY, Anna, Conway Ha
Locations: London

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On be-ing and mindbinding

Outercourse: The be-dazzling voyage, containing recollections from my logbook of a radical feminist philosopher

(be-ing an account of my time/space travels and ideas

— then, again, now, and how) by Mary Daly, Womens

Press, £9.99

ARY DALY dedicates

this inventive, inspiring autobiography to her mother, Anna, who always urged her to "go do your own work, dear". It is a telling tribute to the source of one woman's search for self-identity and her quest as a feminist

r, philosophe whose scholarship and activism have challenged patriarchal assumptioni . From the publication of

her book Beyond God the Father in 1973, Daly has been devoted to the shattering of the "nxindbinding" of women, often subliminal, surfacing with, for example, a judge's casual remark about a murdered woman: "She brought it on herself". Daly's book Gynecology recovers the reality of Indian suttee (widow immolation on their husband's funeral pyre); Chinese footbinding (practised in China

over 1,000 years for and

now romanticised in modern history texts); and African genital mutilation (still affecting millions of women to this day).

Daly's description of the erasure of these crimes by man-centred historiography is a tour de force. One

can never be the same after reading this book. Moments of Outercourse give insights into the struggles of a feminist philosopher, from her exclusion from graduate courses in philosophy to Fribourg University, where she earned two doctoral degrees (in theology and philosophy) with highest honours. work as a of Daly's w

'webster' , a w connections, has sparked the spinning of women's awareness of their own history, marginalised in the patriarchal canon.

Her recent appearance in London was ample testimony to her inspiring presence as she addressed the packed Conway Hall,

In Outercourse Daly

reveals the taboo against women becoming self-identified philosophers. She states: "1 have uttered a Great Refusal of the patriarchal prescription of Selflobotomy for and by women." In fact Mary Daly has stood her ground on the boundary of academia, to where she continues excite/incite women's spirits to action. This autobiography is a voyage into four galaxies, interweaving her consciousness as a student, scholar, teacher and social activist. It is sparked by feminist insights into the recovering of women's past.

BY PROFESSOR MARY -AN-NE ROSSI




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