A World of Hags, On Second Wave Feminist Difference Thinking in Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism
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In this thesis the book, Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism, by Mary Daly, is researched as an artefact of second wave feminism and how it articulates and reflects ideas on difference thinking. In her book she writes on how women can resist oppression and fight the patriarchy by analysing and resisting society. Daly calls for a radical change in society so women can exist outside male control. She writes that this must be done by changing language, re-evaluating knowledge production, rewriting history, and building feminist communities, separate from men. Her work calls for a narrative by, and for women. Daly uses the figure of the Hag to discuss feminist ideas, which can be compared to the contemporary feminist witch. The Hag is the radical feminist that facilitates this change and way of being. To analyse this book, the theories from the authors Luce Irigaray, Sandra Harding, Adrienne Rich, and bell hooks are used to find concepts on language and discourse, knowledge production, and feminist community within difference thinking in Daly’s work. Content analysis, supported by close reading, will be used to trace these theories within Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. Daly ultimately creates a language and discourse where women have autonomy. She sketches a way of knowing that is articulated by this new language and is sensitive to diversity that is produced by and for women. Being a feminist and being able to peel back layers of patriarchal oppression is possible due to sisterhood. Women coming together to support and educate each other is the cornerstone of Daly’s radical feminist reality. Her themes need to be situated within second wave feminism because some of the ideas are dated. However, she makes interesting strides and interpretations of feminism and society that add to difference thinking and larger discussions on feminism within second wave feminism.