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Mary Daly and Boston College

The Controversy: Feminist Discriminates Against Men?


Mary Daly, a radical feminist writer and theologian, taught theology and social ethics at Boston College. (Daly prefers "thealogian" and "thealogy.") Mary Daly's policy was to admit only women to her classes on feminist theology and ethics, teaching men privately.

In 1998, a student who had not taken the prerequisite women's studies course tried to register, and was told by Daly that he could take the course with her individually. This student was supported by the Center for Individual Rights, an organization that opposes Title IX, and one tactic used is to file lawsuits applying Title IX to male students.

In 1999, facing this lawsuit, Boston College terminated Mary Daly's contract as a tenured professor. She and her supporters filed a lawsuit and requested an injunction against the firing, on the grounds that due process had not been followed.

In February, 2001, Boston College and Mary Daly's supporters announced that a settlement had been reached, thus taking the case out of the hands of the court and judge.

What's your take on this? Vote in the poll, then read below to find out more about Mary Daly and her writings, the Boston College controversy and different perspectives on Daly's stance.


Mary Daly, who taught theology and ethics at Boston College, was retired -- without, according to Daly, her consent -- for refusing to enroll a man in her women's ethics class. Do you think:

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More About Mary Daly:

Outcome of the Lawsuit:

Mary Daly Ends Suit, Agrees to Retire
The Boston College newspaper with their perspective on the end of the lawsuit.

More on the Daly/Boston College Controversy:

battling stag/nation
Article at Salon.com on the Daly controversy, including some background on the Center for Individual Rights, an organization which seeks to undermine Title IX by filing lawsuits claiming discrimination under that act.

Is Mary Daly a Sexist Pig?
An opinion: "Any educational institution that supports the kind of misguided and sexist notions of people like Ms. Daly is doing both itself and its students a grave disservice."

Judge Denies Daly's Bid for Injunction
A staff writer on the Boston College paper writes about the lawsuit at the point where a Massachusetts judge refused to issue an injunction to keep Mary Daly teaching.

More on Mary Daly:

After the Death of God the Father
A 1971 Commonweal article that lays out her theology clearly, though it has evolved: "The widespread conception of the "Supreme Being" as an entity distinct from this world but controlling it according to plan and keeping human beings in a state of infantile subjection has been a not too subtle mask of the divine patriarch."

Mary Daly Bibliography
An exhaustive listing of the works of Mary Daly, including her books and journal articles.

The Thin Thread of Conversation
An interview of Mary Daly by Catherine Madsen in Cross Currents.

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