Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation

Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation

Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation

Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation


This book, first published in 1973, was written in an atmosphere of exhilaration and great hope. As Linda Barufaldi describes her memory of that time/space, it was one of "communal inspiration." To Name the process im plied in that communal inspiration, I have invented the word Be-Friending, which means "the creation of a context/atmosphere in which leaps of Metamorphosis can take place." Be-Friending is Realizing the Lust to share happiness, and it is possible when women begin to remember our Elemental potency and therefore experience Be-Longing, the Lust for happiness. Happiness, under stood in this context, is not a mere passing emotion. It is a life of activity, of Unfolding spiritual, intellectual, sensory, physical, e-motional potency.


This book is in a real sense a sequel to The Church and the Second Sex, published in the late sixties, just before the contemporary tide of women's liberation writings burst forth. The earlier book manifested some of the anger and ebullient hope that characterized the period immediately following the Second Vatican Council.

The perceptive reader will notice that essentially the same anger and the same hope are the wellsprings of this book, but that the focus has shifted and the perspective has been greatly radicalized. The transition to a wider and deeper perspective within the author's own consciousness has been dramatic -- as have been the five years between publication dates. For women involved in liberation, these have been years of intense living "on the boundary" -- a veritable full generation of change measured by the accelerated time flow of this age.

If the transition has been dramatic, it has also had its funny side. It has been a source of amusement to friends and to myself that some of the critique of language made in this book could be applied to the earlier one. Hopefully, neither they nor I will now regress to a position of standing still or even of running more slowly -- which in these times would be equivalent to running backwards.

Some of the footnote references in this book are to other books and articles. Others are references to conversations with women, the best discussions I have ever had. The free-floating creativity in these discussions has outranked in the quality of its intellectuality most of the scholarly material I have read. I suspect that a great deal of this material had its source in the intuitions and reasoning of women who, of course, did not receive credit and were consigned to the customary role of having ideas stolen from them. Having been denied equal access to the realm of the printed word, women still have primarily an oral tradition. My references to conversations are meant to be a reminder of that tradi-

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