Exponent Classics: Something About Learned Women

Something About Learned Womenby Lucy M. Hewlings,
First published in The Women’s Exponent, vol. 7 no. 17
February 1, 1879

The question has been asked, “Was there ever a time when there were no learned women?” To this query we reply, No! never since the creation of Eve, our first mother, down to the present, when the cause of women’s social and political rights has become a distinct national question; we admit there has been an unusual intellectual activity for the last twenty years, both in Europe and America, and that there has been advancement and progress in this respect within the last decade, but we are apt to felicitate ourselves, and perhaps are too indiscriminate on the progress achieved in female education.

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Exponent II’s Political Issue Now Online

It’s here! It’s here!

After our Exponent II Gets Political Blog series, we are pleased to announce the online publication of our Fall 2012 issue (scroll to the bottom of the page). Hard copies will be in the mail this Saturday morning.

We are so excited about this issue with insightful pieces from Mormon academics, politicians, and women discussing frankly their choices for the next United States president. And, there’s the suffrage song written by Woman’s Exponent founding editor Louisa Greene Richards, “Woman Arise.” There are a few (very few) copies still available, so get your subscription now before we’re sold out.

Letter from the Editor

“Hey, Red Aimee! Have a great summer. Stay cute and cool.” This sentiment, or something closely resembling it, fills the pages of my eighth-grade yearbook. At the time, I tried to think of it as a term of endearment, hoping that it meant I was at least interesting enough to have been given a nickname. But the truth was, as an inactive Mormon  girl growing up in Provo,Utah, in the 1980s, the last thing I needed was to also be considered a Communist!

Growing up, I had always been vocal about various social causes. At age eight, I joined Greenpeace and circulated a petition through my elementary  school to “help save the whales.” In the sixth grade, I chose to research the Soviet Union for our school’s World’s Fair. As a child of the Cold War who’d spent sleepless nights wondering when the “star wars” would begin, I wanted to learn about the children of the U.S.S.R. and whether or not they shared my fears. At age 12, I was too young to be interested in Communism-! was interested  in world  peace-but my teacher was uncomfortable  with  me researching this “godless nation.” In this politically  conservative environment, my burgeoning progressive viewpoints were often seen as radical at worst and marginal at best to many of my peers and teachers. Staged debates in middle and high school on topics including women serving in the military, capital punishment, climate change, and the welfare system often left me standing on my own. The fact that my progressive positions could be labeled “Communist” by my peers speaks to how unacceptable and threatening even a baby Democrat could be to
some in this bastion of conservatism.

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Poll: Political Leanings

mormon politics graph

Source: Pew Research Center, 2012.  (Click to enlarge.)

Since this is a Mormon blog, and in America, at least, most Mormons tend to be politically conservative, I thought it odd that so few politically conservative Mormons contributed to our upcoming politically-themed issue of Exponent II magazine and our recent series of politically-themed blog posts. Exponent staff tried to make both the magazine and series politically balanced, but achieving balance was challenging because conservative submissions were so scarce. Is the Exponent community really that different from the rest of our Mormon peers? Let’s find out.

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When Mormons Sit at the Cool Table with the Christian Right

When Mormons Sit at the Cool Table with the Christian Right

They have hipper music than we do; awesome stadium seating churches and exciting, fiery sermons, complete with multi-media special effects. Of course we stuffy Mormons get jealous of some right-wing Christian groups.

I live in Utah, where Mormons like myself dominate the religious landscape, while conservatives (not me) dominate politics. Every now and then, conservative Mormon politicians try to prove that they can be cool too and start promoting the Christian right agenda. These fellow Mormons use religious rhetoric as they call on all Christians, especially the Mormon kind of Christian, to join their cause. Their speeches baffle me; from my vantage point on the left, their political agenda doesn’t sound like it is related to the faith we share.

Are their political views really more Mormon than mine? I’m examining some of these socially conservative policies to see just how Mormon they really are. I will make every effort to do so without bias, although I disclose that I am an unrepentant liberal.

Rating Scale

Jello: Oh my heck! This position really is Mormon.

Cola: This position is Mormon-neutral. 1

Coffee: This position conflicts with Mormonism.

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Moderation in All Things

I side 93% with Barack Obama

I have seen this quiz pop up all over my facebook wall recently. It’s pretty straight forward, you answer a series of questions about your opinions on “political” issues and it comes back with what politician you agree with most. I decided to take this quiz a couple days ago when writing another word of my thesis about domestic violence seemed completely overwhelming. I was not incredibly surprised by the results–as you can see in the image I side with Barack Obama about 93% of the time. I am a liberal through and through (in fact, the times I did not agree with Obama it was because my answers were more progressive than his).

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