The Other McCain

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

The Myth-Making of Academic Feminism

Posted on | November 2, 2016 | Comments Off on The Myth-Making of Academic Feminism

‘Rebirth of the Goddess’ author Carol Christ.

“We question the most unquestioned assumption of all, the notion that scholarship is or should be objective. . . .
“Feminists understand that the ethos of scholarly objectivity is in fact mythos. We know that there is no dispassionate, disinterested scholarship.”

Carol P. Christ, 1997

“If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males.”
Mary Daly, 1999

A basic rule of researching feminism is that if you ever encounter an author who cites Mary Daly as a source, you know you’re dealing with a person who is (a) dishonest, (b) insane or (b) both insane and dishonest. Any intelligent person knowledgeable of abnormal psychology can read Mary Daly’s first three books — The Church and the Second Sex (1968), Beyond God the Father (1973) and Gyn/Ecology (1978) — and conclude that Professor Daly suffered a complete nervous breakdown sometime in the late 1960s, and that her subsequent work was the product of a mind destroyed by chronic schizophrenia. Any psychiatrist could read Beyond God the Father and find symptoms of Daly’s dementia on every page and, in the “reintroduction” of the second edition, published in 1985, the symptomatic word salad typical of schizophrenia is clearly in evidence.

Anyone who attempts to read Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism, or Professor Daly’s wretched 1984 book Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy, will discover how she produced page after page of deranged gibberish and called it “philosophy.” If Mary Daly was a philosopher, then Charles Manson is a philosopher, too.

‘Beyond God the Father’ author Mary Daly.

Only because she was a college professor, with a cult of similarly psychotic feminists willing to defend her, was Mary Daly able to continue teaching until 1999, when she was forced into retirement by a federal civil rights lawsuit over her policy of banning male students from her classes. No educated adult could take Mary Daly seriously, except as an example of how feminism (and particularly the academic fraud called Women’s Studies) serves as a breeding ground for dangerous antisocial lunacy.

Carol P. Christ, who has a Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale University, is arguably the most influential figure in “feminist spirituality.” Among other things, she is an adjunct professor of Women’s Spirituality in the department of Philosophy and Religion in the School of Consciousness and Transformation at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In 1978, at the “Great Goddess Re-emerging” conference at the University of California-Santa Cruz, she gave a speech called “Why Women Need the Goddess.” A search of Google Books shows “Why Women Need the Goddess” is cited in nearly 1,000 different books, and we find almost 400 citations in a Google Scholar search. This essay is cited in such diverse works as Professor Alison M. Jaggar’s Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1983), Professor Cynthia Eller’s Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America (1993), and Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether’s Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History (2005). In this influential essay, Carol Christ invokes the theological authority of Mary Daly:

In Beyond God the Father, feminist theologian Mary Daly detailed the psychological and political ramifications of father religion for women.
If God in “his” heaven is a father ruling his people, then it is the “nature” of things and according to divine plan and the order of the universe that society be male dominated. Within this context, a mystification of roles takes place: The husband dominating his wife represents God “himself.” The images and values of a given society have been projected into the realm of dogmas and “Articles of Faith,” and these in turn justify the social structures which have given rise to them and which sustain their plausibility.

Leave aside, for the moment, any consideration of whether what Professor Daly claimed is true, and instead note merely this: Carol Christ cites Professor Daly’s 1973 book as if it were self-evidently true, and thus rests her argument squarely on Professor Daly’s authority. And let it not be said that Carol Christ was alone in placing total confidence in Professor Daly’s authority. Practically every feminist in academia endorsed Professor Daly’s rejection of Christianity as a “patriarchal” religion. Professor Eller writes in Living in the Lap of the Goddess (p. 47):

Mary Daly . . . led the way for many women to matriculate into feminist spirituality after long years as the perennial freshmen of the established religions. In 1971, Daly was invited to be the first woman preacher in Harvard Memorial Church. Her sermon topic was “The Women’s Movement: An Exodus Community.” She ended her sermon by walking out of the church in protest . . . and inviting the other women present to do likewise. She defended this exodus in her sermon, saying: “We cannot really belong to institutional religion as it exists. . . . Singing sexist hymns, praying to a male god breaks our spirit, makes us less than human. . . .”
This feminist rejection of established religions saw women’s oppression in patriarchal religion occurring along many axes. . . . But the entire interlocking system of oppressions was finally summed up in a single metaphor: the maleness of God. Simply put, a religion with a male god is no religion for women.

If feminism is a religion, Mary Daly was its first Pope and, as Carol Christ says, feminists reject “the notion that scholarship is or should be objective.” Claims to objectivity are merely mythos, she asserts, and “feminist spirituality” — the anti-Christian religion of which Professor Daly can be considered the founder — aims not only to destroy the mythos of scholarly objectivity, but also to create its own mythos.

What does “feminist spirituality” require? In “The Radical Theology of Feminism,” I described how Professor Daly advocated “castrating God”:

In her 1973 book Beyond God the Father, Professor Daly called for “cutting away the Supreme Phallus” (p. 19) so that “Christianity itself should be castrated” (p. 71), because “the role of liberating the human race form the original sin of sexism would seem to be precisely the role that a male symbol cannot perform. The image itself . . . functions to glorify maleness” (p. 72). Daly endorses “an ethic which transcends the most basic of role stereotypes, those of masculine/feminine,” bringing about an “androgynous world” free from “the archaic heritage of psycho-sexual dualism,” a liberation made possible by women “castrating the phallic ethic” (pp. 105-106). As bizarre as all that may sound, Daly furthermore called for a “renaming of the cosmos” by a feminist sisterhood she called the “Antichurch . . . the bringing forth into the world of New Being” (pp. 138-139). Daly continues on pg. 140:

There is a bond, then, between the significance of the women’s revolution as Antichrist and its import as Antichurch. Seen in the positive perspective in which I have presented it, as a spiritual uprising that can bring us beyond sexist myths, the Antichrist has a natural corrrelative in the coming of the Antichurch, which is the communal uprising against the social extensions of the male Incarnation myth, as this has been objectified in the structures of political power.

Daly describes this as “the Second Coming of female presence not only as Antichrist but also as Antichurch,” as a “rising woman-consciousness” that “has an organic consequence in the rejection of sexist rituals” (pp. 140-141). Daly sees this “spiritual dimension of feminist consciousness” as unleashing chaos and terror by destroying the “Christocentric cosmos”:

This women’s revolution as Antichurch represents this terror of chaos and says it will no longer kept at bay. It rejects not only the myths of patriarchy but their externalization in ritual.

So, according to Professor Daly, feminism is Antichrist, rejecting the “myth” of Jesus as the divine incarnation of God. And it is Professor Daly’s authority, we recall, which Carol Christ invoked in justifying feminism’s rejection of Christianity. Having repudiated the God of the Bible — because “a religion with a male god is no religion for women,” as Professor Eller says — where does the feminist turn for spiritual and moral guidance? In her 1997 book Rebirth of the Goddess: Finding Meaning in Feminist Spirituality, Carol Christ describes her own search:

The God I met in church was, like my father and grandfathers, wise and powerful, the ultimate judge in whose eyes I hoped to find favor. . . . I suppose I decided to major in religion [at Stanford University, where she got her bachelor’s degree in 1967] in the hope that I could understand God well enough to make myself acceptable to him. . . .
Several years of graduate study in theology convinced me that there was something wrong with the traditional image of God. . . . Gradually, it began to dawn on me that the image of God as Father, Son, and Spirit was at the root of the problem. . . .
As I became increasingly alienated from God as Father, I found myself unable to attend church, sing hymns, or pray. . . .
[In Berkeley, California, in 1975], when I heard the name of the Goddess in a [witchcraft] workshop led by a woman called Starhawk, I felt the experience of my entire life affirmed. . . .
A series of mystical experiences in places where the Goddess had been worshiped in ancient Greece convinced me that I had chosen the right path.

Here we have, then, a first-person narrative of how feminism leads a woman to become “increasingly alienated from God as Father.” The farther she advances in the study of theology, the less hope she has of making herself “acceptable” to a “wise and powerful” God, whose “traditional image” her feminism requires her to reject, so that she is “unable to attend church, sing hymns, or pray.” Exactly as Professor Daly said, feminism requires the castration of God — the destruction of male authority, in heaven and earth alike. Feminists have no use for a “wise and powerful” God, just as they deny that any man can have the wisdom or power necessary to exercise the fatherly authority of judgment. Having denied that the God of the Bible could have any authority over her, Carol Christ says she found “the right path” through witchcraft, as taught by Starhawk (neé Miriam Simos), high priestess of a neo-pagan feminist witchcraft cult known as the “Reclaiming” tradition. Starhawk was one of the earliest disciples of Z. Budapest (neé Zsuzsanna Emese Mokcsa), high priestess of the Dianic Wicca cult of feminist witchcraft.

High priestesses of feminist witchcraft Starhawk (left) and Z Budapest (right).

Carol Christ would not accept the authority of the Bible, and she was “alienated” from God the Father, but she knew she had “chosen the right path” by following the Goddess of neo-pagan witchcraft. Keep in mind that Carol Christ turned to Wicca and goddess-worship after receiving her Ph.D. from Yale Divinity School. It should be noted that Yale University was founded by a group of Puritan (Congregationalist) ministers to train young men as clergy. Among the first alumni of Yale was Jonathan Edwards, who married the daughter of Yale’s chief founder, and whose most famous sermon was a classic of Calvinist doctrine, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Yale was an all-male institution, which did not admit its first female undergraduate until 1969. Scarcely six years later, however, immediately after getting her Ph.D. at Yale, Carol Christ became a convert to neo-pagan Wicca — rapid progress, indeed!

Anyone who wishes to study the influence of the “feminist spirituality” movement should read theologian Peter Jones’ books The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back: An Old Heresy for the New Age (1992) and Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America, as well as Donna Steichen’s 1991 book Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism, and Philip G. Davis’ 1998 book Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality. You might also wish to read Sanctifying Misandry: Goddess Ideology and the Fall of Man (2011) by Katherine K. Young and Paul Nathanson. These authors approach the subject from different perspectives, but all of them see how neo-pagan feminism, the “path” Carol Christ followed, has sought to gain influence within the Christian church, and with astonishing success in liberal denominations. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has been practically destroyed by feminists. The ELCA has drifted so far into pagan goddess worship that to call it “Lutheranism” is an insult to Luther; to call it “Christian” is blasphemy. What happened? Perhaps instead of studying theology at elite universities, women should take time to study the Word of God.

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
Exodus 22:18 (KJV)

“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.”
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 (KJV)

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
I Samuel 15:13 (KJV)

“Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies . . . they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:20-21 (KJV)

No Christian has any excuse for ignoring the Bible’s repeated warnings against all manner of witchcraft and other pagan practices. Despite this, Carol Christ, who studied religion at Stanford because she hoped to “understand God well enough to make myself acceptable to him,” abandoned the Bible under the influence of theologians she studied at Yale, became a feminist and by 1975 was studying neo-pagan Wicca, to which she has subsequently devoted her entire career.

Feminism is a hate cult. Both secular feminism and neo-pagan “feminist spirituality” are a hybrid offspring “of a marriage between Marxism . . . and Romanticism,” Young and Nathanson write in their 2011 book about the anti-male hatred (“misandry”) that feminism encourages:

No feminist, not even the most ideologically oriented one, would ever admit to promoting hatred. And yet it is hard to imagine anything other than hatred as the result of accepting what goddess ideologues such as Daly, for example, have written about men. But . . . faced with this charge, some feminists try to justify or at least excuse it by arguing that misandry among women is an inevitable result of misogyny among men. . . . Other feminists claim to disapprove of misandry but remain silent about it all the same. By doing so, of course, they implicitly condone the rhetoric of the goddess ideologues.

In order to justify their anti-male hatred, feminists have created a mythology that portrays Christianity as bad for women, while celebrating goddess-worship (neo-pagan Wicca) as good for women. This mythology involves tendentious claims about the history of witchcraft, portraying witches as beneficent healers and “wise women” wrongfully victimized by the oppressive power of patriarchy. Mary Daly promoted this myth, as did feminists Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English (Witches, Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers, 1973) and Andrea Dworkin (Woman Hating, 1974). This myth of witches as heroic martyrs was also adopted by Marxist feminist Professor Maria Mies in her 1986 book, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour:

The attack of church and state against the witches was aimed not only at the subordination of female sexuality as such, although this played a major role, but against their practices as abortionists and midwives. . . . This war against women raged throughout Europe for at least three centuries. . . .
Sexual autonomy is closely connected with economic autonomy. . . . The new capitalist class rose on the subjugation of women. . . .
Recent feminist literature on the witches and their persecution has brought to light that women were not passively giving up their economic and sexual independence, but that they resisted in many forms the onslaught of church, state and capital. . . .
It seems plausible that the whole fury of the witch-hunt was not just a result of the decaying old order in its confrontation with new capitalist forces, or even a manifestation of timeless male sadism, but a reaction of the new male-dominated classes against the rebellion of women.

You see here, then, that the witches-as-victims mythology not only demonizes the patriarchal power of men and Christianity, but is also used by feminist academics to demonize capitalism. This theme of the witch as a leader of anti-capitalist resistance has been developed further by Marxist feminist Professor Silvia Federici in her 2004 book Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation:

The witch-hunt, then, was a war against women; it was a concerted attempt to degrade them, demonize them, and destroy their social power. . . .
There is, in fact, an unmistakable continuity between the practices targeted by the witch-hunt and those banned by the new legislation that in the same years was introduced to regulate family life, gender and property relations. . . .
Just as today, by repressing women, the ruling classes more effectively repressed the entire proletariat.

Whether or not the historical evidence supports the claims of Professor Mies and Professor Federici, the relevant point is that this is what feminist professors are teaching their students to believe. As hate propaganda — inciting hatred against men, against Christianity, against capitalism — this feminist mythology serves as historical justification for a political movement that seeks to mobilize such hatred.

This mythology, as I say, has sought to influence Christian churches, as illustrated by the case of Samantha Couchoud Field. She attended a Bible college in Florida and then got her master’s degree at the Baptist-run Liberty University in Virginia, but now calls herself “a liberal, pro-choice feminist with socialist-considering-Marxism political tendencies,” and celebrates witches as “the women who dared, who questioned, who argued. . . . I am proud of every woman who dares to follow this path.”

“Witchcraft IS the sin of rebellion. I rebel.”

The myth of witches as feminist rebels against Christianity, capitalism and “male domination” has become a common theme in popular culture, cropping up in all sort of places. Joamette Gil graduated in 2010 from Evergreen State College in Washington State, where she majored in “Social Justice & Psychology,” and is now a student at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. She recently raised nearly $40,000 on Kickstarter to publish Power & Magic: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology. A self-described “queer Afrocuban,” Gil was interviewed about this project by the lesbian blog Autostraddle:

The witch as an archetype is very near and dear to me. I remember dabbling in Wicca as a high schooler. The more I learned about the Wiccan philosophy of will and taking matters into your own hands, the more I realized that that was how my Afro-Cuban mother had raised me all along. She practices Santeria, a syncretic Afro-Cuban religion that involves a great deal of community practice, ritual, sacrifice, and connection to the elements. . . .
Witches were persecuted for centuries for having the audacity to have knowledge, power, and influence in a white Christian male-dominated world. . . .
My favorite thing about magic is that it’s whatever you want it to be! Whether that’s potions or tarot or singing or writing. Whatever rituals we live by that make us feel ready and strong as we face each day — that’s magic. Taking hold of our lives and spaces in order to shape them into what we will them to be — that’s magic. Protestors chanting is an incantation. . . .

So according to this “queer Afrocuban,” who started “dabbling in Wicca” in high school and majored in “social justice” at college, witchcraft is just like her mother’s devotion to Santeria (which is to Cuba what voodoo is to Haiti) and, hey, “it’s whatever you want it to be!” On closer inspection, of course, it’s about college-educated feminists who identify with witches, an “archetype” they have been taught to view as heroic women “persecuted . . . in a white Christian male-dominated world.” Keep in mind, of course, that the historical facts about witches are not actually relevant to the feminist myth about witches. Whatever the facts may be, what matters is what feminists believe, and how the spread of this belief — via academic textbooks or comic books — functions to justify a particular worldview.

This feminist worldview is anti-male, anti-Christian and anti-capitalism. And if that sounds vaguely familiar, it should.

“[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Pat Robertson, 1992

Why is this happening? You may have noticed a pattern: Professor Mary Daly, Professor Carol Christ, Professor Alison Jaggar, Professor Cynthia Eller, Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether, Professor Maria Mies, Professor Silvia Federici — women with prestigious degrees, appointed to positions of authority in our universities, entrusted with the education of America’s youth, have betrayed their trust. And so also have America’s parents betrayed their trust. “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3 KJV). Would Christian parents knowingly send their young son or daughter to a university that employs professors who advocate Marxism and defend witchcraft? Or are parents so lazy and ignorant that they cannot be bothered to investigate what is being taught at these universities?

Witch-burning in 1555, before the witches had faculty tenure.

“Male-centered models and paradigms serve long-established interests and therefore must be questioned. Similarly, the truthfulness of the primary and secondary texts that have been handed down through male tradition must be challenged.”
Carol P. Christ, 1997

Remember that Professor Carol Christ’s work has been cited in hundreds of other books and academic journal articles. A search of Google Scholar finds more than 2,300 citations to Mary Daly’s Beyond God the Father, and Professor Federici’s Caliban and the Witch has more than 650 citations in Google Scholar. Among those citations is Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls, a 2013 book by Professor Bridget Anderson of Oxford University in England, where she is research director for the Centre on Migration Policy and Society. “Bridget Anderson’s research interests include low waged labour migration, deportation, legal status, and citizenship. . . . She has worked with a wide range of national and international NGOs including the Trades Union Congress, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the International Labour Organisation.”

‘Us and Them’ author Professor Bridget Anderson.

People who treat academic feminism as a joke have failed to understand that this isn’t a matter of a handful of kooky women’s groups on campus. What is taught in university classrooms eventually has an influence far beyond campus, including important matters of national policy, so that Professor Federici’s Marxist-feminist mythology about witchcraft is cited in a book on immigration policy by Professor Anderson, an influential academic in England who has advised a variety of organizations. The myth-making of academic feminists has important consequences because of a process I explain in my book Sex Trouble (p. 98):

By this incremental process — articles by professors little known outside the world of academic feminism, published in obscure journals and anthologies seldom read by anyone outside the scholarly echo chamber of Women’s Studies — has feminism erected its intellectual Tower of Babel. And feminism’s power on campus is such that no administrator, professor or student dares challenge it. Acquiring intellectual respectability through the accretion of essays, articles, conference papers and books, academic feminism acquires its scholarly pedigree. Women’s Studies, a field that did not exist before the 1970s, has created for itself a vast stockpile of academic resources, recognized works which appear in the notes and bibliographies of new works produced in the publish-or-perish process by which graduate students gain advanced degrees, and by which junior faculty prove themselves worthy of career advancement.

Professor Silvia Federici and her book ‘Caliban and the Witch.’

Consider just one example of how this works: On page 164 of Caliban and the Witch, Professor Federici cites Professor Daly’s 1978 book Gyn/Ecology as authority for the claim that previous scholarship on European witch-hunts was tainted by misogyny “that discredits the victims of the persecution.” Professor Federici again cites Professor Daly in her notes (pp. 206-208), and the reader will find on page 208 another note where Professor Federici cites further sources:

Two feminist writers — Starhawk and Maria Mies — have placed the witch-hunt in the context of primitive accumulation, reaching conclusions very similar to those presented in this volume. In Dreaming in the Dark (1982) Starhawk has connected the witch-hunt with the dispossession of the European peasantry from the commons, the social effects of the price inflation caused by the arrival in Europe of the American gold and silver, and the rise of professional medicine.

Yes, that’s correct — Professor Federici (who taught for nearly two decades at Hofstra University) cites the authority of Starhawk, a high priestess of neo-pagan Wicca, the same woman who taught a 1975 witchcraft workshop in Berkeley where Professor Carol Christ converted to Wicca. And in turn, among the hundreds of scholarly citations of Professor Federici’s book we find a treatise on international immigration policy by Professor Anderson of Oxford University.

How could this be? Well, academic feminists reject “the notion that scholarship is or should be objective,” as Professor Carol Christ said. Recall also that Professor Daly advocated “a decontamination of the Earth” which would involve “a drastic reduction of the population of males.” Yet despite Professor Daly’s genocidal hatred of males, we may observe that Professor Federici (like hundreds of other academic feminists) finds nothing wrong with citing Professor Daly as a source, and hundreds of other academic feminists in turn cite Professor Federici as a source, so that the contamination of hatred spreads like an epidemic.

Can anything be done to eradicate this intellectual disease? Are we helpless to prevent university classrooms from becoming neo-pagan covens where students are taught myths by academic feminists who promote the works of Wicca high priestesses and genocidal man-haters?

Far be it from me to advocate a return to burning witches at the stake. However, I think most parents and taxpayers would agree that employing witches as university professors is probably a bad idea.



Comments are closed.