How do you Handle Street Harassment?

How do you Handle Street Harassment?

With this summer’s burst of #yesallwomen, I’ve reevaluated how I deal with street harassment. I’ve lived in three states since I’ve hit puberty and in all places, I’ve experienced street harassment in some form. I’ve been trying to figure out how to deal with it for years.

Initially, I just did the “ignore” thing. My first experience of street harassment was being yelled at by some gals in a car while walking home from school as a teenager. I didn’t know what to do except ignore. Looking back, if I had been more informed, I suppose I could have taken down the license plate number and reported it, but that is too much thinking to do in the moment! I was not prepared to know to take down a license plate when I was a teenager.

Read More

To Sylvia

My Dearest Daughter,

Twelve days before your birth I wondered if I would be sacrificing you on the altar of my desire to be Mormon. I knew that remaining Mormon would mean that you would be confronted with the pain of being a woman in this church, even if you do not feel it as acutely as I do. Over the almost six years since I wrote that post I have documented the little “paper cuts” that you have experienced. Each one has broken my heart but you have met them with strength, determination and thoughtfulness. You are an amazing little girl.

Yesterday, however, you received a much deeper wound. Yesterday your history changed. Yesterday Kate Kelly was excommunicated from our church for “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church.” A lot has been written about this event but I want you to know your piece of the story.

Read More

What Would Jesus Do

We prioritize the feelings of men over the actual lived experience of women

This is a problem throughout society but since this is a Mormon feminist blog I want to discuss how this problem exhibits in the Mormon church and its culture. I will provide two examples that illustrate the problem and then show how we may, consciously or not, perpetuate the problem:

Read More

Y me dolió (And it hurt me)

By Anya Tinajero Vega
Co-founder of Mormonas Feministas. Convert of 19 years. Inquisitor, eternal student and daughter and granddaughter of exceptional women. To question is to live.  (English translation included below the Spanish text.)

Por Anya Tinajero Vega
Co-fundadora del Grupo Mormonas Feministas. Conversa a los 19 años. Preguntona, eterna estudiante e hija y nieta de mujeres excepcionales. Cuestionar es vivir.

¿Alguna vez se han preguntado cuántas veces ejercieron violencia (de todos tipos) hacia otra mujer (sin importar la edad) en la iglesia? ¿Cuántas veces vimos mal a una hermana por no llevar falda los domingos o por no querer aprender a cocinar/coser/bordar?

Esta vez quiero hablar de mí, de cómo es que después de años me encuentro escribiendo esto, de cómo desperté. Hablo de un “despertar” o de un “hasta que duele”. Me explico, yo hasta hace unos meses no me definía como feminista, tenía esa visión que predomina: que eran unas locas exageradas, odia hombres (seguramente lesbianas), amargadas, etc. Entonces un día me tocó y me dolió.

Por cosas del trabajo conocí a una organización que promueve los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de las mujeres, me hice su amiga y empecé a aprender sobre el tema. Pasaron algunos meses, hasta que la mamá de una amiga de la iglesia fue brutalmente golpeada. Entonces me enfrenté cara a cara con la violencia hacia la mujer. Lo más triste fue que cuando pedimos ayuda en la iglesia existieron muchos comentarios, pero el que más recuerdo fue: “pues es que ella estaba haciendo cosas no muy correctas, es su consecuencia”. Eso, lo dijo una mujer. No pude más que bajar la cabeza, sentir tristeza y coraje.

Read More

We Can Do Both

I was walking down the South Hill of BYU’s campus discussing a lecture I had recently attended with one of my only openly feminist friends. The lecturer had argued that women’s abilities were best spent at home raising children (read sons) that could then go out and change the world. For two young, idealistic feminists still trying to find their place in the world and in the church this talk was devastating. We were smart, capable, ambitious women with the potential to be a force for good in the world. I remember my friend saying, “I can do both! I should do both! Anything other than that is a cop-out. It’s me not being brave. It’s me wasting the talents God has given me.”

It was an important moment in my life, one that has stayed with me as I went on to motherhood, graduate school, and career. But that lecture was certainly not the last time somebody has declared that I am better suited at home, that any contribution I make to the world pales in comparison to what I can do for my children. Indeed, just this weekend I had a conversation with a very genuine woman who has raised and home-schooled an impressive number of children. All of those children went on to get degrees, sometimes multiple degrees, from ivy-league universities and are now making an important contribution to our society. When she heard, however, that I have four children and am trying to complete my Master’s thesis she urged me not to finish it but to pull my children out of public school and home school them instead. She sweetly argued that whatever honor I would get from finishing my degree would be nothing compared to the reward I would receive from making my children successful. Considering her record, I admit that her argument was both persuasive and guilt-inducing. I love my children, I want more than anything for them to be successful and I fear that my choices have negatively impacted them at times. 

Read More