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 male Mor … [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 teaching exp … [Read more...]

Asking Hard Questions of a God Who Weeps

A few months ago I learned a hard lesson about public questions and faith, when a long-time friend chose my facebook wall as a place to tell me that I didn't seem to have a testimony of the Church. I've written about this experience on another blog, where I attempted to sort through the encounter and its implications.Recently I was reminded of this experience when the Wear Pants to Church debacle broke across facebook. As outspoken feminists encountered surprisingly bitter backlash from … [Read more...]

Mitt’s Coffee Ice Cream and Mormons in Bars: Is it Necessary to Avoid the Appearance of Evil?

About a month back I went to a bar for the first time in my life. When I reflected on the experience in my column at Go Girl Magazine, I explained that it wasn't unlike a night out with friends back at BYU: sure, the friends at the bar were drinking alcohol while I drank a coke, but there was enough sugar in my soda (and likely in their more colorful and swirly drinks) that I might as well have been out for cupcakes or ice cream or hot chocolate, as was my out-with-friends wont at BYU (no, I'm … [Read more...]

Are You a Good Mormon or a Bad Mormon? How Exclusive Language Might Just Lead to Apostasy

Like many liberal Mormons, I looked forward to Joanna Brooks's interview with Jon Stewart, like a teenage girl looks forward to a Justin Bieber concert. It's not just that I'm a long time fan of Jon Stewart, though I am. I was also excited to hear from a Mormon feminist who is still active in the church and for others to hear from her. Sometimes it seems that the only Mormons who get air time are men who are active in the church and women who left years ago and only wish they'd left the faith … [Read more...]

Faith Over Family: A Dating Dilemma for Mormon Singles

After living for eight years in Provo, Utah - first as a student at Brigham Young University and later as faculty - I am moving to Georgia. As with most moves, this decision is at once exciting and heart-breaking, as I will meet new people and encounter wonderful experiences, while also leaving behind friends whom I have come to cherish. But this move has also made me aware of my place in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a new way. Perhaps most notably, as I prepare to move, I … [Read more...]