Patriarchal Religion and Feminism

Comment on Mary Daly’s

“Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation”


Daly opens the mind to the reader and exposes the viewer into the dark ages of patriarchal philosophy. She reminds us of Tertullian, and how he said to women in general “You are the devil’s gateway”. Of Augustine, who openly said “women are not made to the image of God”. She reminds us of Thomas Aquinas, who defined woman as misbegotten males. And she even remind us of Martin Luther King who once said “God created Adam lord over all living creatures but Eve spoiled it all”.

This is how women have been represented – or dare I say misrepresented – for centuries.

What disgusts me the most is not these men, but the women who to this day still hold them in glorified positions of love, sanctity and deity. Do we women, have such a short term memory? Or perhaps men have achieved their goal of keeping women from knowledge. A goal that has descended upon generations of blind women who repeat like parrots what their religions have poured all over them? Why must we think of these men as saviours and philosophical geniuses when they doomed women for centuries? Yes, we must not forget the times in which these theories where proposed. But we must also remember the impact they had over the subjection of women.

“Patriarchal religion has served to perpetuate all of these dynamics of delusion, naming them “natural” and bestowing its supernatural blessings upon them. The system has been advertised as “according to the divine plan”. (P.2 Problem, Purpose and Method)

According to the divine plan, and in the name of God many atrocities have taken place. To my knowledge this fact doesn’t condone them.

On the other hand, Mary Daly also goes into arguing that women must get rid of the patriarchal signs in religion. Not extinguish nor diminish religion, but to let go of the signs and symbols attached to male superiority in the name of the father. If woman are to do this, they will to free themselves. It won’t be easy as “many of these have been used to justify oppression”.


Jihane Rodriguez


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