Friday, February 13, 2009

I am a positively revolting hag

It is well over a decade since my first encounter with the ideas of radical feminist philosopher Mary Daly. She has a unique worldview that defiantly addresses the hubris of patriarchy. She is playful at times in addresssing what can be a very tedious academic topic of language as power.

The WEBSTERS' FIRST NEW INTERGALACTIC WICKEDARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, with images dawn by Jane Caputi is a 'brilliant, wild, and humor-filled Web-Work of words that frees the English language from its patriarchal and confining patterns by Weaving a fascinating, feminist, linguistic revolution'.

In the book she provides new phrases and interpretations of phrases which reveal hidden structures of power through language. Here are just a few that make me howl with laughter;

ACADEMENTIA n normal state of persons in academia, marked by varying and progressive degrees; irreversible deterioration of faculties of intellectuals

BORED, CHAIRMAN OF THE n any bore-ocratically appointed bore who occupies a chair - a position which enables hime to bore others all the more

COCKALORUM n a self-important little cock.

COCK-AND-BULL STORY n patriarchal history

And finally

POSITIVELY REVOLTING HAG : a stunning beauteous Crone, one who inspires positive revulsion from phallic institutions and morality, inciting Others to Acts of Pure Lust

Yesterday was a great day for me. In lots of different ways. But in relation to this post, I had a moment of self-realisation of myself as a positively revolting hag.

I had a difficult meeting at which I had to express the truth of my reality as I saw it, and in the process, jeopardise something I had been seeking for a long time.

Afterwards I just felt relieved that I was able to speak my truth and felt that that what I had said was received in good faith.

Being able to speak without fear or anger made the exchange a lot easier for everyone and made me realise what a long way I had come from the feelings of rancour experienced a decade ago.

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