The Problem with Automatically Changing Women’s Last Names and What to do if it Happens to You

When I got married in May, I had long since decided to keep the name I’ve had since birth. My name was already attached to higher degrees, as well as publications and teaching records. More importantly, my last name is an integral part of my identity that connects me to my family’s Quebecois roots. My husband supported my decision, but as many women have discovered before me, a number of family and friends objected. Some of my fellow Mormons objected to my decision on the grounds that the … [Read more...]

Who Calls Apostasy? Picking up the Pieces When Local Leaders Fail

Kate Kelly is not my favorite Mormon feminist, and Ordain Women is a movement I've never agreed with. In fact, I've gone out of my way to make it clear that I'm in a different feminist camp. But the news that the Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly would soon face a disciplinary council for apostasy and possibly be excommunicated - all in absentia since she moved across the country before receiving the news - struck a chord with me. It reawakened that bubble of fear that lives in a tiny, nearly … [Read more...]

If Your Sexual Thoughts Were Like My Asthma

When my mother was at BYU in the 70's, her bishop came into Relief Society and explained to the college-aged women that they were not dressing modestly enough. Why? Because their knee-length and calf-length skirts were baring their ankles and making it difficult for the men in their ward to control their thoughts. I'm talking about the 1970's, not the 1870's. If you're Mormon, or simply know Mormons, you've probably heard a lot about modesty and the way it's taught. And if you're like me, … [Read more...]

Diary of a Single Mormon Female: A Review

Few people are brave enough to publish their diary, and yet that is what Aleesa Sutton has done in Diary of a Single Mormon Female. Starting with a recent singles adult activity that Sutton jokingly describes as a savanna, full of competing lionesses but low on prey (I'll just note that I've met many desperate-for-marriage LDS men, so I do not support this stereotype), Sutton then retraces the steps that have brought her to where she is today: "Mormon and still single at the ripe old age of … [Read more...]

Why Mormon Feminism Should Be About Men Too

Anyone who has spent time in a feminist Mormon housewives discussion forum knows how frequently arguments break out over whether a new member has mansplained. So when I saw that the fMh blog had published an article addressed exclusively to wannabe male feminists, I hoped they would publish advice to help new members avoid these miscommunications. Instead, Reese Dixon managed to produce one of the most sexist and narrow-minded articles I've yet to see from a contemporary Mormon feminist. In … [Read more...]

The Nuance of Prejudice: Why Paula Deen’s Racism Terrifies Us

With such strong allegations against Paula Deen, and in light of her own botched attempts at an apology, it's hard to believe that anyone would not consider her decisions racist. In addition to using a racial slur which is itself a product of centuries of hatred and abuse against African Americans, Deen is condemned by the wedding she attempted to plan and a history of making racially insensitive remarks. Yet, despite all the evidence of Deen's racism, the majority of participants in a recent … [Read more...]

Mormon Affect as Seen in Tap Dancing Missionaries and Laughing Robots

"Turn it Off,” one of The Book of Mormon Musical’s most catchy and popular songs, provides a clear example of recent representations of Mormons in popular culture. The musical focuses on the story of two nineteen-year-old Mormon missionaries who travel to Uganda to proselytize and who quickly discover a world that is more complex than their upbringing and their missionary training have led them to expect. In “Turn it Off,” a more experienced missionary attempts to cheer up the elders (as … [Read more...]

Mormon women and the priesthood of God

The first time I was asked to teach Sunday School, I was petrified. Though I’d grown up with a mother who teaches for a living, surrounded by other family members who were interested in teaching in one form or another, I’d never considered myself a teacher and didn’t imagine I could be at all effective in that role. The joke is that since then I’ve fallen in love with teaching and am in fact a teacher by profession, but I’ve never forgotten how frightening and difficult that first … [Read more...]


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