Chapter Four of Mary Daly’s 1973 book, Beyond God the Father, is available to read here:
Transvaluation of Values: The End of Phallic Morality (also available as an RTF here)
In which Mary Daly discusses the “potential impact of radical feminism upon phallocentric morality”, asserting the “key role of women’s becoming in the process of human liberation” which is absent in the analyses of the influential nonfeminist theorists of liberation at that time, such as Herbert Marcuse.
Intrinsic to the re-creative potential of the women’s movement … is a new naming of values as these have been incarnated in society’s laws, customs, and arrangements. This means that there will be a renaming of morality which has been false because phallocentric, denying half the species the possibility not only of naming but even of hearing our own experience with our own ears. (p.100)
A few quotes to give a flavor of the chapter. On abortion:
As for feminist consciousness: abortion is hardly the “final triumph” envisaged by all or the final stage of the revolution. There are deep questions beneath and beyond this, such as: Why should women be in situations of unwanted pregnancy at all? Some women see abortion as a necessary measure for themselves but no one sees it as the fulfillment of her greatest dreams. Many would see abortion as a humiliating procedure. Even the abortifacient pills, when perfected, can be seen as a protective measure, a means to an end, but hardly as the total embodiment of liberation. Few if any feminists are deceived in this matter, although male proponents of the repeal of abortion laws tend often to be shortsighted in this respect, confusing the feminist revolution with the sexual revolution. (p.112)
On rape and genocide:
It should require no great imaginative leap to perceive a deep relationship between the mentality of rape and genocide. The socialization of male sexual violence in our culture forms the basis for corporate and military interests to train a vicious military force. It would be a mistake to think that rape is reducible to the physical act of a few men who are rapists. This ignores the existence of the countless armchair rapists who vicariously enjoy the act through reading pornography or news stories about it. It also overlooks the fact that all men have their power enhanced by rape, since this instills in women a need for protection. Rape is a way of life. Since this is the case, police do not feel obliged to “believe” women who report rape. Typical of police attitudes was the statement of Police Captain Vincent O’Connell of Providence, Rhode Island, concerning women who attempt to report rape: “We are very skeptical when we first interview them. We feel there’s a tendency for women not to tell the truth.” (p.117)
The logical extension of the mentality of rape is the objectification of all who can be cast into the role of victims of violence. Rape is the primordial act of violation but it is more than an individual act. It is expressive of a basic alienation within the psyche and of structures of alienation within society. Rape is an act of group against group: male against female. As I have pointed out, it is also an act of male against male, in which the latter is attacked by the pollution of his property. Rape is expressive of group-think, and group-think is at the core of racial prejudice whose logical conclusion and final solution is genocide. (p.118)
On the “sexual revolution”:
Female becoming is not the so-called “sexual revolution.” The latter has in fact been one more extension of the politics of rape, a New Morality of false liberation foisted upon women, who have been told to be free to be what women have always been, sex objects. (p.122)
The chapter concludes with the words:
The primordial experiencers of powerlessness and victims of phallic injustice, fixed in the role of practitioners of servile and impotent “love,” having been aroused from our numbness, have something to say about the Most Holy and Whole Trinity of Power, Justice, and Love. Grounded in ontological unity this Trinity can overcome Rape, Genocide, and their offspring, the Unholy Spirit of War, which together they spirate in mutual hate.
Women are beginning to be able to say this because of our conspiracy – our breathing together. It is being said with individuality and diversity, in the manner of outlaws – which is exactly what radical feminists are. It is being said in the diverse words of our lives, which are just now being spoken. (p.131)