Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism

Excerpts from Gyn/Ecology (1978) by Mary Daly, PhD:

The Dionysian solution for women, which is violation of our own Hag-ocratic boundaries, is The Final Solution. To succumb to this seductive invitation is to become incorporated into the Mystical Body of Maledom, that is, to become “living” dead women, forever pumping our own blood into the Heav­enly Head, giving head to the Holy Host, losing our heads. The demonic power of Dionysian deception hinges on this invita­tion to incorporation/assimilation, resulting in inability to draw our own lines. To accept this invitation is to become unhinged, dismembered. Refusing is essential to the process of the Self’s re-membering, re-fusing.

The madness which is the Dionysian Final Solution for women is confusion—inability to distinguish the female Self and her process from the male-made masquerade. Dionysus sometimes assumed a girl-like form.  The phenomenon of the drag queen dramatically demonstrates such boundary vio­lation. Like whites playing “black face,” he incorporates the oppressed role without being incorporated in it. In the phe­nomenon of transsexualism, the incorporation/confusion is deeper. As ethicist Janice Raymond has pointed out, the majority of transsexuals are “male to female,” while transsexed females basically function as tokens, and are used by the rulers of the transsexual empire to hide the real nature of the game.`’ In transsexualism, males put on “female” bodies (which are in fact pseudofemale). In a real sense they are separated from their original mothers by the rituals of the counseling process, which usually result in “discovering” that the mother of the transsexual-to-be is at fault for his “gender identity crisis.” ss These “patients” are reborn from males. As Linda Barufaldi suggested, this fact was symbolized in the renaming of the renowned transsexual of tennis, Renee (literally, “re-born”) Richards, whose original first name was Richard.”b The re-birthing male supermothers include psychiatrists, surgeons, hormone therapists, and other cooperating professionals. The surgeons and hormone therapists of the transsexual kingdom, in their effort to give birth, can be said to produce feminine persons. They cannot produce women.

– Gyn/Ecology, pp 67 – 68

Daly writes with deep healing anger and uncompromising vision.

– Publisher’s Weekly (back cover of Gyn/Ecology)



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Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at, chairs the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group, is the jurisdictional representative to the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS), serves on the national steering body for UCHAPS and is the Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation of America.

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