A call for Mormon feminist activism in 2010

Words of Wisdom

The Words of Wisdom book is a project of LDS WAVE.

One of the Top Ten Most Commented Posts of 2010, Mormon Feminist Activism by Jessawhy, particularly caught my attention.  In this post, Jessawhy examines “the possibilities of the future of Mormon feminism as a movement” and asks:

What if there is more to Mormon feminism than isolated blogs like Exponent and ZD and fMh), retreats like DAM, Exponent, Sophia Gathering, and Pilgrimage, and women getting together for book groups and lunch groups? What if Mormon feminism stopped being just a casual thing that many of us have in common, a place to lay our burdens on the breasts of those who care and understand? What if Mormon feminism could actually DO something?

She goes on to explore options for a Mormon feminist movement including activism and advocacy, which apparently weren’t happening so much in 2010, but is certainly the direction the movement has taken since. That same year, Jessawhy went on to be a founder of LDS WAVE: Women Advocating for Voice and Equality.

The most commented post of 2010 was:

The New CHI and Priesthood in the Home by Guest Jesse

Jesse read the new Church Handbook of Instructions Volume 2 and noticed a subtle shift toward more egalitarian wording:

Hair splitting?  Perhaps.  But at least this time my split ends are making me happy.

The next most commented posts were both polls by Corktree.  She asked, “How often do you wear garments?” and 39% of respondents said they take them off for bathing, swimming, intimacy, exercise and yardwork.  The question “What was your major in college?” only had three multiple choice response options, so it is not surprising that 69% of respondents answered, “Other” and provided their major in the comment section.

Rounding out the top ten:

My Non-believer Lifestyle by Jana

Many years ago I imagined that if I were ever to lose my testimony of the church, my life would dramatically change–for the worse. …However, in the space of time since my testimony has wavered and waned, I haven’t noticed a dramatic difference at all.

The female half of God? by Corktree

Many women are able to find her in their lives and are able to connect with her in ways that I am not. I see the beauty in this and I want to support efforts to include a feminine divine in our worship and to praise it. I just don’t know how to believe that this must look like what many Mormon Feminists see as a literal Mother of us all.

A Husband’s Perspective on Mormon Feminism by Jessawhy‘s husband, Markawhy

Markawhy made quite the bold statement in a forum for people who are passionate about women’s rights in the LDS Church:

I’m wondering why I don’t care more about this.

Capable of Providing by Whoa-man

I commented that “I might want to stay at home for awhile once I had kids.” My husband agreed and said, “I might want to stay home at some point as well.”

Strong Mormon Women’s Names by EmilyCC

I just think this baby should be named Emmeline. I love it because it’s after a long-time editor and frequent contributor (often under pen names) of Woman’s Exponent and former Relief Society president, Emmeline B. Wells.

American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites UsWho Thinks Women Should Hold the Priesthood? Men, Apparently by Deborah

Researchers found that Mormon men were more accepting of the idea of female ordination than Mormon women.  Deborah suggests a reason why:

It is more “dangerous”/heretical for a Mormon women to support female ordination than it is for a Mormon man to believe the same.



April Young Bennett

April Young Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series and host of the Religious Feminism Podcast. Learn more about April at aprilyoungb.com.

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1 Response

  1. Ziff says:

    Thanks for the look back, April. Wow, Jessawhy’s suggestion sure was prescient!

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