MargaretOH is the current Editor in Chief of Exponent II
Since I was about eight years old, I’ve suffered from headaches. As I child I went to multiple doctors and had many tests to try to determine the problem, but no one ever found anything wrong. Today, these headaches are painful and frustrating, but I’m able to function normally. As a teenager and young adult, they came on suddenly and were so painful that the problem was debilitating.
I served a year of AmeriCorps in between high school and college and spent ten months living and working in extremely rural areas of the southern United States with the same ten people. We got to know one another very, very well. One time, one of my teammates said to me, “You know why you get those headaches? It’s because your subconscious knows how internally conflicted you are. You believe in feminism, complex thinking, and social justice, but you’re also a Mormon. The two halves of your identity are fighting for control and it’s stressing you out.” I disagreed with him, but for years afterward I wondered to myself if he was right. Is it possible to be an active, believing Mormon and a feminist?
I didn’t know at that time that Claudia Bushman and the founding staff of Exponent II had already answered that question with a resounding yes. The first issue, published in 1974, proclaimed that Exponent II was “poised on the dual platforms of Mormonism and Feminism” and its purpose was “to strengthen The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and to encourage and develop the talents of Mormon women.” That those aims were consistent they intended to show “by our pages and our lives.”
I have given countless unpaid hours to Exponent II because I want it to stand and thrive as a living marker of the truth that it is not only possible, but fulfilling and rewarding, to be a Mormon feminist. I don’t begrudge those hours I’ve given to Exponent; I’ve grown tremendously from this work. But the demands of a growing organization are particularly challenging at the moment. Our blog demands tech support. Our magazine subscribers should have a website that meets their needs. Our subscriber database is covered in so many temporary tech patches that a volunteer must spend dozens of hours with each issue sorting through the mess.
If you can support Exponent II today, please do so. Our sons and daughters should know that there is a big, beautiful space for them in our community. Let’s keep the space vibrant and healthy.
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