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"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Snools Rule’: Mary Daly and the Radical Feminist School of Atrocious Writing

Posted on | March 15, 2014 | 93 Comments

Mary Daly (October 16, 1928 – January 3, 2010) was an American radical feminist philosopher, academic, and theologian. Daly, who described herself as a “radical lesbian feminist”, taught at Boston College, a Jesuit-run institution, for 33 years. Daly retired in 1999, after violating university policy by refusing to allow male students in her advanced women’s studies classes. . . .

In one of the deranged rants by anti-PIV feminist Radical Wind quoted here previously, this sentence occurs:

Women’s situation is more complex since we are oppressed by all the different classes of men who are the originators and subjects of patriarchal snooldom.

“Snooldom”? I noticed that, but figured it was a made-up nonsense word. My guess was that the writer had one of those word-blank moments, but rather than stop and look up the word she wanted, just wrote “snooldom” in the draft with the intention to go back and insert the desired noun later in editing, which she subsequently neglected to do.

My guess was wrong, however. “Snooldom” was coined by Mary Daly in her 1984 book, Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy:

Given these conditions of Stag-Nation, Elemental Shrews and Furies urgently experience the need for Re-Naming/Re-Claiming our stolen Flames, undoing the promethean theft of Fire, retrieving our ravaged desire.
The would-be preventers of this retrieval of gynergy, the ghosts/ghouls that want our movement dead, are snools. The noun snool (Scottish) means “a cringing person”. It means also “a tame, abject, or mean-spirited person” (OED). In sadosociety, snools rule, and snools are the rule. . . . Snools are sadism and masochism combined, the stereotypic saints and heroes of the sadostate. . . .
Snools appear and re-appear in various forms. . . . Among the henchmen required for the smooth operation of fixocracy are the cocks, danglers, pricks, and flashers who keep girls and women intimidated. Necessary also are the fakes, framers, frauds and hucksters whose job is to manufacture and spread delusions. Heavier work is assumed by rakes, hacks, rippers and plug-uglies. . . .
Such, then, are the rulers/snoolers of snooldom, the place/time where the air is filled with the crowing of cocks, the joking of jocks, the droning of clones, the sniveling of snookers and snudges, the noisy parades and processions of prickers. Such is cockocracy/jockocracy, the State of supranational, supernatural erections. . . .

What is this nonsense? It resembles the “word salad” of schizophrenics, and any reader can be forgiven for suspecting that Mary Daly was one of the first feminists to discover that Women’s Studies is a license to steal: Get yourself a tenured professorship, find a publisher, submit a 300-page manuscript crammed with absurdities, and nobody cares!

Any book published by a tenured Women’s Studies professor is automatically profitable, because she will assign it to her students, it will be favorably reviewed in feminist journals, all university libraries will order a copy, and with any luck, the book will be added to the syllabus in other Women’s Studies departments. The author will sell copies at book signings in lesbian bookstores and, if it gets any media attention at all — even an hour on C-SPAN’s “Booknotes” — you’re guaranteed to sell 5,000-10,000 copies this way.

Years ago, when I worked at The Washington Times, I acquired quite a collection of feminist books from the “discard” table where editors of the book-review section left the books they didn’t want to keep. One of those feminist tomes was Mary Daly’s 1998 book, Quintessence… Realizing the Archaic Future: A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto. There are no words strong enough to describe how unspeakably wretched this book is. In this, however, it does not differ from anything else Mary Daly ever wrote. One of the few serious attempts to analyze Daly’s weird gibberish was Mary F. Rousseau’s review of Pure Lust, which included this:

The book is an instance of what it seems to recommend — new perceptions and judgments, expressed in a new language. It seems indeed, to be its author’s self-portrait. . . .
But the operative word is seems. For after a careful reading of more than 400 pages of Joycean word-play, this reviewer remains unsure of several of its main points. Words which have several different meanings are used in all of their meanings at once, often with intricate efforts to link all of the meanings of a word to the agenda of radical feminism. As often as not, entirely new meanings are assigned to words and new words are coined.

Applying the phrase “Joycean word-play” to Mary Daly’s writing involves an unnecessary insult to James Joyce. It is more apt to compare Daly to the “Beat” writers of the 1950s and ’60s, Jack Kerouac or Allen Ginsberg, except that their bohemian rebellion against bourgeois convention did not presume to represent a philosophy or political ideology. Daly’s method can only be explained as an expression of Sloth, Greed and Pride — having once become known as a “feminist author,” after publishing The Church and the Second Sex in the radical year 1968, she had found her market niche, which she felt obligated to continue exploiting with a new book every five years or so thereafter. However, her paucity of ideas and her unwillingness to do actual research led Daly to the crucial insight that consumers of radical feminist books didn’t really care about facts or logic or coherent argument. No, the feminist readership consists of disgruntled misfits who want someone to give voice to their inchoate rage.

My theory, then, is that Mary Daly discovered she could write books by spending a few hours a week sitting in front of a word-processor, probably with a supply of whiskey and ice near at hand, typing any kind of stream-of-consciousness nonsense that popped into her head. So long as her rants were aimed at the phallocratic patriarchy, and invoked the celebration of radical liberated womanhood, the incoherent nature of Daly’s prose was actually a feature, not bug. No one could refute her “arguments,” because no one could make sense of them.

And if any critic dared to point out the obvious truth — that Mary Daly was just an ugly woman whose anger toward men involved a large measure of sour-grapes rationalization — well, MISOGYNIST!

As a racket, then, radical feminism is a perfect hustle for any lazy writer fortunate enough to obtain an academic sinecure. As a philosophy that presumes to explain how the world operates, however, it is a useless dead end, a one-way ticket to Bedlam.

Regular readers will therefore not be surprised to learn that anti-PIV fanatic Radical Wind is a major Mary Daly fangirl:

Women by contrast are dispossessed from all the words necessary to name and therefore conceive of our condition — this is one of men’s most deadly weapons against women’s liberation. As Mary Daly says, “Women have had the power of naming stolen from us. We have not been free to use our own power to name ourselves, the world, or God.” (Beyond God the Father: Towards a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation (1973), p.8). Radical feminists are cursed with this invisible distorting lens, men’s false reality separating us from the world and from ourselves, the meaning of our words doomed to never reach our recipients — we may repeat the truth of the atrocities again and again but so erased and reverted is our reality that even to get women to glimpse a modicum of men’s oppression and understand that men’s violence against us is not a victimless crime, may take years.

In other words, if feminist arguments don’t make sense, if they fail to persuade women that they are victims of oppression, this is not the fault of feminists. No, blame the patriarchy, which “dispossessed” women of the language they need to describe their “condition.”

Radical Wind repeatedly invokes Mary Daly as an authority:

[I]f we talk of popularity in terms of numbers, it isn’t difficult to see that the vast majority of women in the radical feminist community, especially those who have written and influenced current feminism, are not male-essentialist. As bloggers and regular commenters, including those who left, we’re just a handful, probably around 8-9 women, and the only published essentialist writers I know of are Mary Daly and Sonia Johnson. That’s two. Sonia Johnson, who in order to have her work published uncensored, self-publishes, and Mary Daly, whose immense philosophical work is often discounted as merely spiritual, and her essentialism is rarely if ever discussed seriously in radfem work.
Jan. 29, 2014

I’ve finally figured something out. That we’re not supposed to be angry against women, as in, our anger against women is purely manufactured by men. And if we are angry, we’re angry against the male colonisation in her, not really her, though what happens is that we confuse it with the woman and hit on her instead.
This ‘embedded maleness’ or ‘incarnate male presence’ as Mary Daly called it, are insidious male ideologies that men have hammered into our psyche, like an anti-personnel landmine fastened inside us which explodes in contact of other women, so that women turn against us, instead of turning against men and feeling sorry or compassion for the pitiable state that men have put us in.
Dec. 18, 2013

As Mary Daly says in Pure Lust, apparent microshifts in consciousness have the power to bring macrochanges in our reality, in women’s world and possibly the universe. The power yielded by moving ourselves and other women along with us is incredible. This is what I understand by the physics, or metaphysics of liberation — meta because it isn’t just a physical process, it transcends the physical realm. It reunites our male-fragmented parts and reintegrates ourselves to natural life movement.
Oct. 16, 2013

Men have made science to be full of endnotes, dead-talk, lies and boredom. I will never thank Mary Daly enough for coining the word “academentia”. They are not interested in the truth, but interested in concocting fake evidence to support their lies and propaganda against women, to legitimise their totalitarian regime and political agenda of destroying the universe. . . .
One thing I’ve noticed is that one reason why writing felt so much like a chore is that the process was separated from the ends. Men focus everything on an end product, which is a dead object, a finished object, a square frame. It is very much based on ejaculation, or perhaps male notion of extinction. I read that from Mary Daly in Gynecology more than a year ago and she formulated this in a way I hadn’t really found words for. It’s not living work. University essay-writing was all about deadlines, dead ends. This is deeply alienating.
April 13, 2013

So, science is a male conspiracy, “concocting fake evidence . . . against women,” as part of a “political agenda of destroying the universe,” and if women find writing a chore, this is because the idea of writing as a “finished object” is “based on ejaculation.”

Unnngh. Unnngh. Unnngh.

There — I’ve finished. Was it good for you? Now, fix me a sandwich.



  • cmdr358


    One of the things about “lesbianism” that’s always baffled me is that you’ll see two gals together but one of them is sporting a haircut like me (Marine Corps- high&tight) while wearing clothes that make her look like a trucker or longshoreman.

    So it appears to me that one of them actually wants to be a man while “her” partner wants to be with a man, albeit a man who has a vagina.

    So….are they really “lesbians” as we all understand the definition or are they just screwed up individuals whose particular disorder presents itself in this particular manner?

    And we’re the ones who are supposedly messed up?


  • WarEagle82

    I think I have to go with the “just screwed up individuals” answer here…

  • cmdr358

    That’s the answer I’ve always come up with.

  • Taxpayer1234

    Well Stacy, after all this rolling around in the feminazi mud pit, at least your skin will be soft. :p

  • Mm

    Is Sool related in any way to Zuul, the Minion of Gozer?

  • Dianna Deeley

    So evidence is never evidence unless it celebrates human extinction?

    I’m nonplussed.

  • Dianna Deeley

    So evidence is never evidence unless it celebrates human extinction?

    I’m nonplussed.

  • Dianna Deeley

    So evidence is never evidence unless it celebrates human extinction?

    I’m nonplussed.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Naw…they just want to get out of having to make sammichs for their men.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Naw…they just want to get out of having to make sammichs for their men.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Don’t get carried away – I’ve seen you when I’ve stalked you.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Don’t get carried away – I’ve seen you when I’ve stalked you.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I always wanna be Right.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I always wanna be Right.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Nice to meet you Miss Nonplussed! – ‘Dianna Deeley’ is a nom-de-plume then?

  • Bob Belvedere

    Nice to meet you Miss Nonplussed! – ‘Dianna Deeley’ is a nom-de-plume then?

  • ChandlersGhost

    Who exactly were these men who were clamoring to get into Mary Daly’s advanced women’s studies class?

  • DeadMessenger

    This is the sort of crap that makes me ashamed to be a woman. Radical Wind should change her name to Breaking Wind, because her writing (so-called) is much like verbal flatulence. When my kids were young, if they spewed any garbage even remotely resembling this…stuff…I would have told them to shut their pie holes until they could talk like normal human beings. And Mary Daly…this is what Dr. Seuss would sound like if he were a lesbian. On a bad acid trip.

    Seriously. Does anybody ever read this stuff? I mean, other than Stacy, who was forced to read it in the spirit of investigative journalism. Or else he was drinking heavily, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

  • Jeanette Victoria

    Mary Daly was a toxin, a poison, she helped destroy the gratitude of women. She damaged the greatest and most anti-misogynist culture in the history of the world ~Laura Wood

  • Rosalie

    And the “intellectuals” of the Catholic church hired this radical.

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  • K-Bob

    That word always trips me up. Every stinking time I think I want to use it I have to look it up.

  • Quartermaster

    It’ll never work. His skin is so tough because it’s so thick.

  • Quartermaster

    Be careful. Such things could get you banned. As soon as Wombat can quit laughing.

  • Quartermaster

    It’s 5 O’clock somewhere.

  • Proof

    Just trying to raise a little appreciation for all of Tolkien’s hard work. After all, when we went to school, nearly everything was in a three ring binder. Tolkien only required one ring to bind them!

  • Rosalie

    It’s more like he started to drink heavily after he read it.

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  • Bozikek

    Thank you kindly chief, just calling them like I see them. An eternal cornerstone of comedy will always be manly women and womenly men.

  • cmdr358

    Afterwards I thought to myself that while Mr. Ebert never would’ve worn plaid flannel, on Ms. Daly it looks good …err, right…err, appropriate, yeah that’s the word- appropriate.

  • Bozikek

    Well it’s definitely not “fitting”, she would need a tent!

  • texlovera

    Stacy, that joke had a helluva long set-up.

    But the punchline was worth all of it.

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  • edtastic

    One thing I learned from learning to appreciate ideas from idealogies other then mine is don’t assume people are stupid. Even their self deluding rationalizatons are a reflection on reality worth considering or at least connecting with one an individual sees as truth. Take this idea for instance:

    “One thing I’ve noticed is that one reason why writing felt so much like a chore is that the process was separated from the ends. Men focus everything on an end product, which is a dead object, a finished object, a square frame. It is very much based on ejaculation, or perhaps male notion of extinction”

    I see some useful depth here even though it’s absurdly sexists drivel reliant on bigoted stereotypes manufactured to idealize those of the writers own identity like the works of chauvinist. The idea of focusing on the ends rather than the continuum of time like Native American philosophy is relevant but the gender bigotry attached to it is not.

    Their gender chauvinism is the problem rather than the deconstruction of our social framework. They found some real problems in our approach to reality but they try to blame them all on men. That’s where they went wrong and that’s why their ideology is so toxic.

  • Jeanette Victoria

    LOL love this I’m going to shamelessly steal it

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  • Farmer_Joe

    I don’t know how BC came to hire her, but I definitely remember how hard they tried to fire her in the 90s. At first they tried to fire her because as a professor of Religion, all she did was insult religion, and they figured they could fire her for non-performance, but that didn’t fly. Then they went after her for not allowing boys in her class. She fought it hard, and they came up with a deal to let her “retire” (probably with a fat pension), that was probably less expensive than dealing with the lawsuits if they’d actually fired her.

    Anyway, point is, it wasn’t like BC was happy to have her there.

  • IHateFatChicks

    No one will miss this fat, fugly, irrational, shrill, bitter, angry, delusional piece of human garbage.

  • Hzle

    In many respects this is a superb, very funny piece. It’s 100% correct that some parts of feminism thrive despite being rhetoric that lacks any cogency. Also that by criticising feminism, one risks having someone shouting “misogynist” at you in some form or other.

    One thing I would advise against, however, is paying any attention to the RadicalWind blog. Do we know who this person is? It could just be a parody (I know Poe’s law 🙂 You can find plenty of examples which are definitely not spoofs – on purpose anyway.

    In any case RadicalWind is far removed from the more popular sort of feminism – that is every bit as unpleasant and destructive, but which is accepted as being a just and noble cause by so many otherwise decent women.

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