Seeing phallocracy as the root cause of "rapism, racism, gynocide, genocide, and ultimate biocide" (p. 203), she urged women to drop their ties to all patriarchally created groups and tribes, including ethnic, religious, and national identifications and to cleave to their bonds with each other.
Allowing that women (for example, slave-holding women) have often expressed unspeakable cruelty to each other, she understood this cruelty as a function of the patriarchal "soul molding sado-institutions" (p. 203) we are socialized into that enable our oppression of other women, that desensitize and dissociate "the woman who has 'power' from her more oppressed sister" (p. 202).
While Daly's view that women's primary loyalties should be to other women is disputed by other feminist thinkers who, while sharing Daly's commitment to women, also affirm other loyalties, her work does point to the importance of female relationships and friendships.
Although in her essay "Be-Friending: Weaving Contexts, Creating Atmospheres" Daly wrote, "I do not mean to suggest that every woman, or even every feminist, can 'be friend to' or 'be friends with' every other woman" (p. 199) she did envision, in stark contrast to the hair-pulling, eye-gouging state of perpetual and allegedly natural female rivalry hyped by reality TV, "the creation of an atmosphere in which women are enabled to be friends".
Imagine that it might be possible for women whose existences couldn't seem more divergent from one another's to become friends.
Women like Ginger and Pam.
Oftentimes it seems that Ginger is Pam's only true friend in the world; and a dedicated friend she is.
In Pam's moment of anguish over the loss of Eric who is seemingly the single most significant figure in her life, it was Ginger who braved her wrath and offered her comfort.
And although Pam's cutting words and tone warned Ginger to back off, the vampire was in desperate need of the solace Ginger's simple embrace offered; the human woman remained steadfast and held her boss close despite her fear. Like the hug Holly asked for from Andy, it was just what Pam needed, and ultimately she realized this and accepted it.
Ginger has always been there for Pam; a woman who despite her extreme femininity could be characterized as an Athena woman - a woman born of man (she was made by Eric) who, like Joan of Arc, or Queen Elizabeth I seems "constitutionally born for a man's world" (Ward, 2006, p.127). An archetype described by Carl Jung as "a man who is accidentally a woman" (Ward, 2006, p. 127). Pam's sexual attraction to and preference for female partners does not necessarily translate into an appreciation of and desire for friendship and mutuality in platonic relationships with other women.
Is Ginger a participant of sorts in in what Daly saw as the process of Be-Friending; a metapatterning in personal relationships, in political activity, in a work or theory or art, in spiritual understanding, or all of the above that makes our friendships possible? That allows us to break through the rancor society fosters between us to invent new ways of living and being? That helps us accept our own femaleness?
Ward writes of the misogyny of Athena. Can Ginger's olive branch of friendship open the Athenian Pam to the power of female friendship?
I hope so.
Daly, M. (1989). "Be-Friending". In Plaskow, J. & Christ, C. (Eds.) Weaving the Visions. (pp. 199-207). San Francisco, CA: Harper.
Ward, T. (2006). Savage Breast. New York, NY: O Books.