A Spider Woman Story

Janice E. Young


Spider Woman, the Cosmic Weaver, as healing symbol and image of empowerment, found a prominent place in the linguistic landscape of second-wave feminist discourse. Although not synonymous with feminism, feminist spirituality emerged as a strong current within the movement, a current which continues today. In Gyn/Ecology, a highly influential text of this era, Mary Daly shows the link between language, myth, and oppression and sets women to the task of recognizing ways in which our words and stories betray us. Further, she sets us to design words and stories through the power of Spider Woman imagery and textile metaphors. Using Daly’s work as a springboard, the following essay traces the emerging role of Spider Woman in developing a “gynocentric language” and a new linguistic landscape, evidenced in women’s writing as it continues into the new millennium.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18357/illumine5120061554

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ISSN (Print): 1705-2947
ISSN (Online): 1712-5634