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How to Use Wickedary.com


"The Muses/Demons attending all Wild women are Writers'/Readers' Guides to the Wickedary. Moreover, the Wickedary itself is a Guide Book for the Otherworld Journey, and it is filled with Guide Words that lead the reader ahead/around. As the Old Wives say:'One word/world leads to another.' Thus the words themselves, together with Websters who Hear them into speech/song, work to Spin threads and webs, and ultimately to Weave tapestries that represent the terrain of Realms Re-membered in this book."


- Mary Daly
(from "Preliminary Web Five" of the Wickedary)


This version of Mary Daly's Wickedary is designed to provide a seamless experience of Mary Daly's philosophy. I intend for the user to be submerged in play with this website. There are visual keys that will make this experience more informative, but they are intended to be unobtrusive. If you think that they are too obscure, feel free to use the feedback button to email me your comments.

In the original Wickedary, Daly divides her words into three "word-webs." In the book, the differentiation between the webs is expressed physically. Each word-web is a separate section, like a chapter. In the Wickedary.com, the word-web is indicated by the background image of the page. Below is the key.


Word-Web One

Elemental Philosophical Words and Phrases and Other Key Words

Word-Web Two

The Inhabitants of the Background, Their Activities and Characteristics

Word-Web Three

The inhabitants of the foreground, their activities and characteristics


In the book, Daly uses a system of symbols to indicate which of her books each word first appeared. This system is a series of lunar-like symbols. The new moon indicates The Church and the Second Sex; first quarter is Beyond God the Father; second quarter is Gyn/Ecology; and full is Pure Lust. Although I appreciate the double meaning of these symbols, not only indicating the book but also expressing her evolution from book to book, I simply display a thumbnail of the bookcover to show from which book each word originated.

Lisa Mackie, the programmer who created the CGI scripts for the site, and I have worked to add a system by which words within the definition are made hyperlinks. This process has been problematic because of Daly's use of capitalization to indicate meaning. Generally, words that are capitalized are words describing woman-positive words and definitions, while words in all lower case indicate patriarchal words and her names for patriarchal institutions. This feature in her writing has made the CGI scripts task of sorting data more complicated. We are still involved in developing solutions.

I am continually adding data to this project. There may be some links in the "See Also" and "Compare To" fields that do not have corresponding entries in the database at this time. This will be apparent, because the phrase "No definition found" will be printed on the page generated. Please feel free to use the "Feedback" link to let me know about dead links. I expect that the entire Wickedary will be added by the end of the year.

I created this project to investigate the potential of hypermedia as a medium for feminist argumentation and rhetoric. I also want to make Mary Daly's work more widely accessible. Please enjoy your explorations and let me know what you think.

Madrid Tennant
New York University
March 5, 2000