This is Kim Duckett, who opened the Saturday conference with a beautiful ritual which included powerful drumming and dancing in a ceremony which included a dancer metaphorically releasing women’s oppressions, batterings, and abuses into a cauldron to be burned away. I really, really appreciated everything Kim had to say. She spoke of these times in which we are living as times of “quickening,” urging us to recognize the way, as women, we are connected by our experiences, by our love and passion for each other, and feminism. Describing her own feminism as her spirituality, she said that the Feminist Hullaballoo was a gathering of transformation, but that we are the transformation.
“I am a radical feminist. I am a radical Lesbian Feminist. I blossomed as a lesbian feminist in the 1970s. And I remain and continue and will die a lesbian feminist. It is just who and what I am and why I’m here, no matter how it is expressed; for example, my early activism regarding rape and violence against wimmin, or teaching women’s studies in university for 28 years, or in my work as Ritualist, Priestess and shamanic psychologist.
“I serve Womankind/Her/Femaleness/The Life Force. And I am honored to be part of this grand gathering, to give thanks to my incredible radical feminist foremothers and cohorts, and to ensure the continuance of our Kind into the Future.”
Hye Sook Hwang is an incredible woman who describes herself as a “Native-Gyne of Korea”. She grew up in a working-class family in Seoul, Korea. She told a story of having always, from a very young age, wanted to be a cross-cultural missionary, of having become a Christian, and later joining a liberal Roman Catholic women’s missionary organization in the United States and finally traveling to the Phillipines as a missionary, believing her dream was about to be fulfilled, only to come face to face with the ugliness of patriarchal religion, nationalism and colonialism. Disillusioned, she abandoned Christianity, then discovered Mary Daly’s books, Beyond God the Father, and The Church and the Second Sex, which she has translated into Korean. Later, having returned to the university, she discovered the books, Epic of the Emblem City and the Handan Gogi (Archaic Chronicles of Han and and Dan) which introduced her to Magoism, an ancient transpatriarchal, gynocentric goddess tradition centered in East Asia (China, Korea and Japan). Her doctoral dissertation, “Seeking Mago, the Great Goddess: A Mytho-Historic-Theological Reconstruction of Magoism, an Archaically Originated Gynocentric Tradition of East Asia (Korea, China, and Japan,” embodies her work thus far.
Hwang said that nationalism, whether American, Korean, whatever nation, wherever it exists in the age of the rule of men, is a game of the patriarchal controllers, an ideology which always precludes the agency of women. She said that nationalism never acknowledges women even though it harnesses the energy of women. Quoting Virginia Woolf and others, she said that as women, we have no country, none of us does, that instead, the whole world is our country, which she calls “supra-nationalism.”
She set forth these ideas:
(1) Contemporary politics exclude the agency of women;
(2) Ethnocentric, nationalist, colonialist ideologies help no one;
(3) Culture must be acknowledged, but redefined according to gynocentric principles, gynocentric orders not based on domination, and that our understanding of these principles will deepen as we study and learn of pre-proto-patriarchal cultures from around the world, cultures which are matrilineal, matrifocal, and matrilocal.
She said that patriarchal cultures and the world’s great patriarchal religions have tried, but have not been able, to destroy or remove women’s gynocentric heritage, and that in fact, gynocentric community was responsible for maintaining whatever unity has existed among people held in the thrall of patriarchal power across the centuries. She said the first cross-cultural missionaries were women, that Magoist tradition invented the concept of cross-cultural “missionaries,” and that Magoists were dispatched throughout the world where they held intercultural meetings spoken in gynocentric languages.
This was a theme echoed throughout the conference, that the time has come for women, females, to transcend patriarchal, nationalist discourses and ideologies, together with the rhetoric and politics of the patriarchists, that it was time that we unite globally as females, as women, to transform the earth.
To be continued