This week I decided to do an informal survey of the representation of women in my ward building. I had the general impression that there were few women, but I decided to actually go through and count. The numbers are a little imperfect, for several reasons. First, I did not have access to any of the male-only rooms which were locked, including two Bishop’s offices, the Stake offices, the High Council Room and the Clerk’s office. Second, many paintings and posters feature images that include very small or indistinct figures that can’t really be counted one way or the other. A few paintings include androgynous angelic figures that I decided not to count either way. As part of my survey I included both framed paintings and images on bulletin boards, but excluded any snapshots or local images.
In my ward the various auxiliaries are assigned bulletin boards to decorate as they choose, but most feature pictures taken from church magazines, lesson manuals or the Gospel art kit. A few have posters produced by the church or affiliated organizations promoting conferences and programs. I figured since I was doing the survey I might as well keep track of ethnic representation as well, since most church art tends to depict the people of the Americas or the Fertile Crescent as looking like they are from northern Europe. Accordingly, my stat numbers of non-white people reflect only individuals who are clearly represented as not having pale skin or light hair, rather than people who are supposedly of a non-white ethnicity (the Nephites) but actually look like Vikings. Here are my findings.
Representation of people with special needs or disabilities: 1 boy with Down syndrome on a pass-along card tacked to a board.
Number of non-white women depicted: 2
Number of non-white men depicted: 11
Total number of women depicted: 48
Total number of men: 245Read More