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 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...]