Craig White's Literature Courses

Terms / Themes

Text / Textiles

+ Spinster

by gender


from Mary Daly, Gyn / Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism (1978)

3 deceptive perceptions were / are implanted through language--the all-pervasive language of myth . . . . Thus, for example, the word spinster is commonly used as a deprecating term, but it can only function this way when apprehended exclusively on a superficial (foreground) level. Its deep meaning . . . is clear and strong: "a woman whose occupation is to spin." . . . A woman whose occupation is to spin participates in the whirling movement of creation. . . .

4 Spinsters can find our way back to reality by destroying the false perceptions of it inflicted upon us by the language and myths of Babel. . . . This is unmasked when we begin to see through patriarchal language. Thus, the Latin term texere, meaning to weave, is the origin and root both for textile and text. . . .

5 If we look at the term text in contrast to textile . . . . "Texts" are the kingdom of males; they are the realm of the reified word, of condensed spirit. In patriarchal tradition, sewing and spinning are for girls; books are for boys.



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