September 15, 2018

Like many progressive Mormons, I’ve enjoyed Robert Kirby’s self-deprecating humor ever since a friend introduced me to his column. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a hero, he was certainly someone whose writing I admired. When he published a bizarre defense of the men who manhandled Denson, I was confused. What was the point of that piece? Unlike his usual stuff, it wasn’t funny, and it’s also not like those men were in need of defending…. Read more

September 4, 2018

To the men who grabbed McKenna Denson without her consent and dragged her away from the pulpit: Let me tell you a story. It’s a story I’ve experienced a few hundred times: I’m standing in a room full of people. Maybe a classroom where I’ve just finished teaching a college writing course or the Relief Society room at my local chapel, where I’ve just finished teaching Sunday School. A man walks up, friendly, intending to open a conversation with me…. Read more

September 4, 2018

  Back in April I wrote about my experience with software systems and institutions that automatically treat my husband’s last name as the default for our family. While most readers expressed understanding, there were a few critical responses: It’s telling that Miss Nielsen put “own” in quotation marks, apparently unconvinced that I have a right to decide what people should call me. It’s also telling that Miss Nielsen assumed I owed her an explanation. How many men has she asked… Read more

August 17, 2018

Here’s hoping Lindsey releases a new, revised video: I’m a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a songwriter, and a violinist. See? Rolls right off the tongue. In case you haven’t heard yet, on Thursday President Nelson made good on something he’s probably wanted to do for ages: despite a decade of reclaiming the term “Mormon” with the “I’m a Mormon” campaign, official urls (,,, etc., we members of the Church of Jesus Christ of… Read more

August 15, 2018

This review contains major spoilers for Boots Riley’s 2018 film Sorry to Bother You. It’s well worth the watch, so come back to this after you’ve got to the theater! In the recent film Sorry to Bother You, unemployed and indebted Cassius “Cash” Greene accepts a last-ditch job with a telemarketing agency. Ushered to a spartan cubicle in a room crammed with perhaps one hundred other telemarketers, he’s told to “Stick to the Script”: provide a standardized pitch on each… Read more

August 9, 2018

  Image obtained through creative commons. I was 28 years old when I got married – an old maid by Mormon cultural standards. But in all the dates I went on before meeting my husband, all the relationships I was in, no date ever tried to pressure me to have sex. No date tried to put his hand up my shirt or grab my butt or pressure me into performing oral sex. In fact, most of the guys I dated respected my… Read more

May 27, 2018

My priesthood lesson prompt was very open-ended: “ministering.” My mind leapt to the recent kerfuffle over at BCC over a devotional at BYU in which Elder Neil L. Anderson proposed “A Holier Approach to Ministering” and, remembering that Elder Anderson and skeptics both had valid concerns, I decided I’d organize my lesson around the talk. To summarize: Elder Anderson expresses concern about how young folk are increasingly disaffiliating with formal religious communities and abandoning religious practices. Given that his prelude is… Read more

April 26, 2018

    Recently my alma mater, Brigham Young, mailed a request for donations. To my great surprise, it was addressed to a woman I’ve never met: Emily Ashcroft. You see, my husband’s name is Gary Ashcroft, which leads to all sorts of mix ups where people assume I go by his last name. When we got married, generous people wrote out checks to “Gary and Emily Ashcroft” without realizing that I had no way to deposit them. And every time… Read more

April 3, 2018

There’s no denying the historic nature of Saturday’s sustaining vote for two new apostles. Elder Gerrit Gong is Chinese American, while Elder Ulisses Soares was born and raised in Brazil, where he established his career before working for the Church. Like many members of the Church, I was overjoyed to see two men of color join the Quorum of the Twelve, a development I didn’t dare hope for after so many uninterrupted years with only white apostles. But there’s another… Read more

March 30, 2018

The more stories break about women who’ve been abused or sexually harassed by Mormon leaders, the more I realize how lucky I’ve been. Still, a recent guest post at The Exponent hit close to home because the writer, another Emily B, shares my first name and last initial. There are many Emily B’s in the world, but reading this article by someone with my name felt like watching another version of myself through the looking glass. It underlined how easily I could… Read more

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