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.

Read More

Random thoughts on Pioneer Day

Patty Bartlett Session’s Cross Stitch Sampler

I was sitting in a Women and Music class at BYU when the most preposterous statement I have ever heard about pioneers was made. We were discussing Mormon music when a fellow classmate argued that those without “pioneer stock” could not truly sing Come, Come Ye Saints like somebody with pioneer ancestry can.

“Just like a white woman can’t sing Summertime like a black woman can.” she argued

My response: ummmm…what?

I think there is a fundamental difference in experience here that makes this argument specious at best but every July 24th I find myself wondering if there is some psychic wound that those with pioneer heritage carry with them.

I wouldn’t know about this as I am the offspring of two converts to the church. While I always enjoyed the Pioneer Day celebrations that my midwestern wards put on and the pioneer bonnets were in constant rotation when I played dress-ups as a girl, I never felt personally connected to the pioneers.

Until I had children. mr. mraynes comes from a rather prominent pioneer family and knowing the above story, he joked that bearing pioneer stock allowed me to tap into that psychic wound and appropriately sing Come, Come Ye Saints. Once again, I doubt the veracity of this wry observation. But I do feel strangely connected Patty Bartlett Sessions, who would be my children’s great great great great great-grandmother. Indeed, I feel her presence and her grit and determination in my own daughter. Though I am a little apathetic about pioneers in general, I like to take a moment on this day to honor this grandmother and the other pioneers who make my children who they are.

So what say you? Do you share a strong connection with the pioneers, whether in your ancestry or not? How do you feel about Pioneer Day?

Read More

Argument For…

In part two of our “Argument Against/For” day (first installment here), I wanted to share the Argument for women’s suffrage, prepared by H. G. Cattell, an assemblyman in the 67th California district in 1911. Like this morning’s post, the 1911 argument is on the left and the altered one about women and the priesthood is on the right, with the paragraphs lined up so you can compare them. And again, you can tell it was written a century ago. I found the arguments for/against suffrage to be fascinating. I hope you enjoy it!

Read More

Argument Against…

In 1911, the state of California was in heated debate about granting suffrage for women. I recently came across one of the arguments against granting women suffrage, written by Sentator J. B. Sanford of the Democratic Caucus. Reading through it, I thought it would be fun to change some of the words. Below, I’ve included the full text of the 1911 argument on the left and an edited version about the ordination of women in the Church on the right. I’ve blocked the paragraphs together for easy comparison. The language is a little awkward and archaic, but so is the argument. Enjoy.

Read More

Last Pages

I only have four pages left in my current journal.
(I really don’t like the term ‘journal‘ but neither ‘sketchbook‘ nor ‘scrapbook‘ really fit either. The book is almost as full of taped in mementos, sketches, and the words of other people as it is of my thoughts and experiences. I think I’ll just start calling it my ‘book‘. Yeah.)

Read More