Reading Kristof's column reminds me of Mary Daly's death this week. Daly the self-titled "radical, feminist, lesbian" pushed the envelope of Christian theology about as far as it could go in terms of feminism. I disagree with Catholic critics and others who dismiss her legacy. I believe she was a revolutionary who was far too radical for many--myself included at times--but who nonetheless made room for other feminist voices who otherwise would never have been heard. Reading Daly was never fun for me as a white male, but then when is reading about your culpability in a universal system of oppression ever fun? I think there is a line between protesting oppression and matching the oppressor's tactics that she crossed at times and also I think feminist writers of color rightly point out that despite her experience of oppression, she still held a position of privilege compared to them--BUT it takes someone radical to bust down the doors and let others in.
(I'm sure that Daly would find my compliments and criticism soaking in misogyny and patriarchy--and they probably are.)
From Kristof's article and Daly's writings, we are all reminded that the world needs more revolutionaries to change the place of women in the world's religions.
Grace and Peace,