How does the following quote give you a different perspective on the institute of religion?Women have had the power of naming stolen from us. We have not been free to use our own power to name...

How does the following quote give you a different perspective on the institute of religion?

Women have had the power of naming stolen from us. We have not been free to use our own power to name ourselves, the world, or God. -Mary Daly

Expert Answers
wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mary Daly’s quotation speaks to the condition of injustice by concentrating on one theft perpetratedby the "institute of religion"– the power to name (that is, identify, organize, give value to) the important parts of their existence.

Religion has moved away from its original function – to bring us together in spiritual belief. The terms “organized religion” and “institute of religion” demonstrate the primary reason why women have “lost their power of naming” (although anthropologists might argue that that has always been the right of the male).   If we look at, for example, the medieval history of the Catholic Church, we realize it was more a political and military force than a spiritual guide (there were more anti-popes than popes).  Even the “gatherers” of the disparate books of the Bible made the political choice of minimizing women’s roles (Mary Magdalene, for example) so as to dominate the Church leadership.  The Protestant Revolution, also a political/military movement disguised as reform, did little to repair the imbalance.

“Disenfranchise” meant nothing, since the earthly powers did not recognize any female enfranchisement in the first place.  Women were to bear children – that was the extent of their “powers.”  The Catholic Church today still refuses to give women “personhood.”

samjazael123 | Student

Well to actually answer this we must go to many different religions of the world. Christianity in fact is kinda gender gapping what christianity truly represents. One of the witnesses at the crucifixion was in fact his mother a women "mary" which was a common name in the time of Jesus. In a way women had a somewhat authority even when man became soul power. During the 14th century Nuns where part of the economy in fact they helped people with funding charities as well as helping people learn in the monastaries. Most women today tend to see the church as part of a gender gap. Yes it was true, but it mattered what status you in fact where. The early church women even died for the Christian faith. There is a legend written around the 2nd century a.d tells of a women whom was pregnant and she confessed to become a christian and she said, Men are nothing, but decievers! She said, that she can do things on her own. The Roman Authority saw her as a threat. Saint Paul convinced her that chastity is important in life. Even though she got pregnant and the father of the child left her. The Romans claimed that she was a Christian, but she was forced to convert back to paganism. She then became furious at the roman government and became a follower of Saint Paul her name was Priscilla. Her child grew up to be under the rule of Constantine and supossedly was a holder of a secret of Christianity. As I can say this manuscript was lost for many years, but was found in catacombs. She was heavily persecuted, yet she survived. She was considered the first Nun (even though she wasn't a virgin) just like the first pope wasn't chaste either. Catholic Doctrine is contradictory even to St.Paul. I guess this was a huge ideal to the gender gap of early Christianity.

adi4672 | Student

wordprof is neither Catholic nor a woman. I am both Catholic and woman. And here is what I can assert about both. First, the term Catholic has one meaning which can be found in the Greek language (see reference for the expression "katholikon"):"encompassing all truth." Two, women in the Catholic Church have always played the most significant role in keeping tradition alive: educating children in the true faith.

You may find these words hurting your beliefs. I apologise if they do so. I live in a country where there is freedom of religion and freedom of speech. These freedoms allow me to practice Catholicism in its true form without imposing this religion on anyone else. And freedom of speech allows me to speak up positively without insulting others who do not share my views.

If wordprof thinks that the Catholic Church refuses to give women personhood, he is entitled to have this view. It does not mean that his claim is true. As regards the original quote, as a Catholic woman, I am going to give you a counter-quote: "His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye." (John 2:5, Douay-Rheims).