Monday, November 30, 2015

Trees, like Radical Women, are most strongly bonded to each other in their roots - Mary Daly

"Many women express a sense of identity and/or communication with trees.

The intuition that women are like trees in our Rootedness was inspired by a letter from Io Ax, in which she commented that trees communicate with each other from root to root. They are Radical! So also women radically communicate with each other.

The closeness between women and trees becomes more evident when we consider other aspects of Rootedness. It has commonly been observed that trees are difficult to uproot when their roots are deeply and widely intertwined with those of other trees. That is, the trees, like Radical Women, are most strongly bonded to each other in their roots They "hold on to each other."

Another important aspect of Radicalness is manifested in certain trees, whose roots--even after the trees have been cut down--continue to grow/travel. From these traveling roots new trees can continue to sprout. Similarly, Feminist Foresisters who have been cut down by the patriarchs continue to be Radically Here with us--in their writings, in the recorded examples of their personal and political Feminist Acts, and through the exercise of their Elemental Presentiating Powers.

Clearly the more Radical/Rooted women are, the more adeptly we can stand our ground, expand our ground. It becomes more and more obvious to those who chose to move in this direction that we can never become "too Radical." -Mary Daly, QUINTESSENCE: Realizing the Archaic Future A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women


"In the jungle of the Upper Parana, the prettiest butterflies survive by exhibiting themselves. They display their black wings enlivened by red or yellow spots, and they flit from flower to flower without the least worry. After thousands upon thousands of years, their enemies have learned that these butterflies are poisonous. Spiders, wasps, lizards, flies and bats admire them from a prudent distance.

On this day in 1960 three activists against the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic were beaten and thrown off a cliff. They were the Mirabal sisters. They were the prettiest, and they were called Las Mariposas, “The Butterflies.”

In memory of them, in memory of their inedible beauty, today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In other words, for the elimination of violence by the little Trujillos that rule in so many homes."

~Eduardo Galeano, Children of the Days

Monday, November 16, 2015

It is Re-membering that makes it Real - Mary Daly

"To all the women who quietly made history.”

You may forget but
Let me tell you
this:someone in
some future time
will thing of us. -Sappho
We witness the phenomenon of re-discover over and over again. Matilda Joslyn Gage, who was erased by her contemporaries, towers as an intellectual giant over meanspirited “sisters.” The works of Virginia Woolf, who was driven to suicide by the oppressors of her Life, Live Now.

Our knowledge that we are creating great Memories of the Future becomes more substantial, more real, as we come to recognize who we are and the value of what we are doing. As we Realize our Genius and grow in Self-confidence we can know the value of our work to Future Foresisters and therefore be invigorated and spurred on to Hopeful, Courageous, Creative work Now.

The better we can Re-member our history, the better we can provide for our Future Foresisters. And our anticipation of their Future Thriving draws us forward.

The better we know who we are, the greater can be our Leaps. The doors are open. We ourselves have been opening them. We have only to remove the blinders imposed in the pseudoworld of the foreground to See that these Future Women are Here Now. Not only do the treasures of our own creation attract us. They attract the Future Foresisters who receive the Memories of the Future we have created. Mutual Magnetic attraction brings us together.

This is indeed Intergalactic Travel. It is Transtemporal Diaspora that transforms foreground temporal diaspora. Our Exile, Scattering, and Migration create an Outsiders' Society that is outside anything imaginable to be microscopic/telescopic re(visionaries. And it is Re-membering that makes it Real.”

-Mary Daly, Quintessence...Realizing the Archaic Future: A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rarest of all is a passionate spirit: Bertha Pappenheim (AKA "Anna O") from the Jewish Women's Archive

"I not only admired her but loved her, and will love her until the day I die. There are people of spirit and there are people of passion, both less common than one might think. Rarer still are the people of spirit and passion. But rarest of all is a passionate spirit. Bertha Pappenheim was a woman with just such a spirit. Pass on her memory. Be a witness that it still esists." - the philosopher Martin Buber's commemoration at her death. (Quoted from Judith Herman, M.D., Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, where I found out about her work.)

"Aware that Protestant and Catholic women had their own national organizations, Pappenheim believed Jewish women also needed a national organization to represent their needs. She turned exclusively to women, convinced that “men always and in every situation follow their private interests.” She expected women to volunteer their services, because Jewish organizations could not afford to pay for the amount of help they needed and because volunteer work would enrich what she saw as the empty lives of middle class Jewish women. She brought the League into the largest middle class feminist organization, the Federation of German Women’s Associations (Bund deutscher Frauenvereine). Pappenheim credited German feminism with giving “the shy, uncertain advances of Jewish women direction and confidence.”

Pappenheim's commitment to Judaism and to feminism went hand in hand. She argued that feminism could reinvigorate Judaism in Germany, insisting that Jews were turning away from Judaism because women—the transmitters of culture—were alienated from Jewish customs and communities. She did not blame women. Instead, she created the Jewish women’s movement to fight for women’s equality as both a means by which women would return to Judaism and an end in itself. She believed that social work for women within the Jewish community offered a form of practical politics to enhance women’s lives.

Although Pappenheim devoted her life to the League, she never ceased to do what she called “holy small deeds.” These included ministering to children in the home for unwed mothers that she set up at Neu Isenburg, personally advising its teenage residents, and writing about the tragedy of Jewish prostitution. Pappenheim attended all the major Jewish and secular international conferences on the subject of prostitution and the traffic in women; wrote her best known book, Sisyphus Arbeit (Sisyphus Work), describing the problem of Jewish prostitution and the traffic in women in Eastern Europe and the Middle East; and traveled to Eastern Europe to publicize the dangers of the traffic in women and to organize Jewish anti-white slavery committees. Her campaign blended two major concerns: the status of Jewish women and the fight against antisemitism. She hoped to alleviate the economic and social conditions that pulled Jewish women into the traffic, particularly the need for better education and employment opportunities; expose the Jewish agents responsible for this entrapment; and show the world that Jews were fighting the Jewish portion of this criminality.

Pappenheim’s writings, begun in the 1890s and continued throughout her lifetime, reflected her feminist and Jewish concerns. By 1899, when she published a play entitled Women’s Rights and a translation of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, she was firmly committed to fighting for women’s human rights and their educational advancement. Her pamphlets and books on Jewish life in Eastern Europe expressed her growing alarm at the conditions there. She attempted to mobilize Jewish communities to educate young women and to aid the victims of antisemitic government policies.

At the age of seventy-six she took several children out of Nazi Germany, delivering them to safety in an orphanage in Glasgow. She died in Isenburg of cancer on May 28, 1936 and was buried in the old Rat Beil-Strasse Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt. In her “last will,” written in 1930, she hoped that people who visited her grave would leave a small stone, “as a quiet serve the mission of women’s duties and women’s joy...unflinchingly and courageously.”

Selections from Jewish Women's Archive.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Realizing the Archaic Future A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto

"Throughout patriarchal history women have experienced surges of Memories of an Archaic Past. Patriarchal men have done everything they could to stop women from this Re-membering. They are doing this today--by deadening and killing of Women's Studies, by erasing Feminist books, i.e., making them inaccessible, putting them out of print, keeping them out of libraries, forcing women's bookstores out of business. They try to kill our Deep Memories by tokenizing/taming women faculty members and other professionals.

In the early 1970s Elizabeth Gould Davis and Monique Witting were outstanding examples of Memory Bearers of an Archaic Past. That period was marked by Volcanic Eruptions of Memories which were recognized by and assumed into the consciousness of many women. In the late nineteenth century Matilda Joslyn Gage was such a Memory Bearer. And there were many before that.

Those Memories are still alive. The Volcanic Eruptions that occur from Time to Time spew forth Lava that enriches the soil for the flowering of Elemental Feminist Genius. When the predictable backlash from the patriarchy occurs after each Eruption women become exhausted and feel betrayed. It appears that the Volcanic soil is also exhausted. We often have described this experience as "having to reinvent the wheel over and over." - Mary Daly, QUINTESSENCE: Realizing the Archaic Future A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Nawal El Saadawi: Women, Creativity & Mental Health

"We need to re-read our history or "heresy" (her story). Because of our fear of "heresy" we have buried our history, and women's names are buried in history. Their resistance is ignored, their creative work is not mentioned, except if they are accepted by powerful patriarchal critics."

Read the full essay here.