Daniela's Reviews > Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism

Gyn/Ecology by Mary Daly
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's review
Sep 18, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: lost-in-translation-books

fascinatingly written, utterly absurd...Summarisable as follows: men are the root of all evit, beware women of their defiling touch! let them be terminated and we shall reign happily ever after with our unoppressive wickedaries!

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Michelle (last edited Jan 23, 2008 04:49AM) (new) - added it

Michelle Hmmm. While I do think her stance is really harsh, I also see it as necessary in terms of seeing through the myths that surround history. Saying that men are the #1 oppressors throughout history and currently isn't far fetched at all. I think that it makes people uncomfortable to say this out loud. This book was written without fear and I love that about it. I guess I'm a little surprised at how dismissive your review is. Was there anything of value in this book for you? Did you find it offensive? *Genuinely curious.*

Daniela Hi Michelle!
No, I didn't find Daly's book offensive, just desperately histrionic. The woman has a sharp mind and an unparallelled gift with words. She means to shock by all means and dismantles what is commonly taken for granted. Not a bad thing in itself. Yet, pillorising men as a category, no exceptions admitted, sounds to me dangerously fundamentalist.

message 3: by Michelle (last edited Jan 23, 2008 05:10AM) (new) - added it

Michelle Yeah, I know what you mean about the fundamentalism in this read. That is what I think is so harsh about it. The ironic thing about this for me is, even in men who I think are "progressive" or who are in many ways of a feminist mindset, they still benefit from a long history of oppression just by being a man. Much in the same way as white people, by default, still benefit from the oppressive actions committed on (and still being committed on) black people. So without even wanting to be a part of the oppressive culture/problem, men - in general - are the problem. For example, my husband takes full advantage of being male - to the point where he is passing women up for the same job positions. He knows this but does it anyway because it is allowed. He is a librarian. KwIM? I think that is why I liked this book so much. It allows me to see what is going on instead of "whitewashing" it. I needed the jolt this book provided. :) I'm glad you mentioned the fundamentalist aspect of it, though, because if not careful - or if falling into the wrong mind - this book could really be a catalyst for hate. Thanx for responding! :)

Daniela Don't worry, I got your comment. Indeed, men have privileges. yet, don't they also have to meet with higher expectations? EXPECTED to perform better than women, to withhold their emotional outbursts, etc. They benefit from century-old discrimination? Well, so do the beautiful or the body-abled. yet, they are not demonised.
Anyway, as I see it, books such as daly's will only enlighten the already enlightened ones. No battered housewife, no abused gypsy daughter married off and forced to get pregnant at 11 will ever profit by Daly's wit!

message 5: by Michelle (last edited Jan 23, 2008 07:06AM) (new) - added it

Michelle True, true. On all your points. Wouldn't it be lovely if one book held all the answers! Yes, men have unfair expectations placed on them based on their sex alone. A lot of these expectations are designed to keep them in positions of power (suppression of emotions, high expectations to perform) but only serve to hurt them and often those who love them. However, the irony is... that it is men themselves who created this kind of self oppression. It wasn't us who designed these standards! Poor fellas. Trapped in [no, burdened by] their own web of oppression.

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