Guest Post: Young Mormon Feminists (Re)Unite!
Saying Young Mormon Feminists has a bit of a rebellious streak would be putting it mildly. The very foundation for the blog was set back in July 2012 when founder Hannah Wheelwright was still a student at Brigham Young University, and received a particularly memorable visit from her home teachers. They informed her in no uncertain terms that her progressive and feminist ideals could be the perfect storm that would ultimately lead her away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Little did they probably suspect their conversation with Hannah would be the catalyst that would help launch a Provo Feminists Facebook page, a place for like-minded women to congregate and share their thoughts and experiences as feminist women of faith. As it turned out, Mormon women liked feeling both seen AND heard, and hundreds of them flocked to the Facebook page. It became so popular, in fact, that it was eventually turned into its own blog website, today known as youngmormonfeminists.org.
The blogosphere in the early 2010’s was not short on worthy Mormon feminist blogs, but what would set Young Mormon Feminists apart was a specific space designed for a younger generation of feminists who were part of a different wave than that of their predecessors— unapologetic, edgy, and focused on intersectionality. Since its inception, Young Mormon Feminists has been visited by hundreds of thousands of people and accumulated hundreds of posts from bloggers on topics ranging from reviews of LDS literature, to postulating about the gay law of chastity, and everything in between.
After several years at the helm of YMF, Hannah Wheelwright decided to pass on the administrative torch in 2017 in order to pursue other passions and interests. Fortunately, from time to time, several talented bloggers continued to produce content that challenged readers to think critically about their beliefs and examine their biases. And so, the blog has lived on, but at present, it is in need of new blood. Currently, the torch is being carried by me, Brittany Sweeney-Lawson, and my goal is to not do so alone.
So if you, yes YOU reading this right now feel fired up about feminism, I invite you to join YMF as a contributing writer and help spread the gospel of intersectionality and inclusivity. It takes a beehive to make a Deseret, ergo, we need voices from all genders, races, and walks of life represented on the blog. If you’d like to learn more or already have ideas for posts percolating in your head, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see some of the posts that have made the blog so impactful in the past, visit the website at youngmormonfeminists.org, and/or join the Facebook group and page.
Below is some additional information taken directly from YMF’s “About” website page that will help elucidate the blog’s purpose, who its audience is, and also answer some frequently asked questions.
We are young Mormon feminists advocating for change.
We are young:
We respect the sacrifices and efforts of people in the feminist movement throughout history. Their tenacity and unwillingness to compromise on the values they held dear resonate with us as stalwart examples of commitment to progress. We embrace this heritage and are dedicated to carrying it on as the next generation of young feminists. We are not naive; we may not remember or have even been alive at the time of many important feminist events, but we are actively seeking to learn and understand our heritage as we continue to fight for women’s rights today.
We are Mormon:
We are current members, past members, questioning members, and people who culturally identify as Mormons. We decry attempts to demean our faith based on our quest for greater understanding and equality. We value the efforts of Mormons who have battled both publicly and privately, loudly and silently, for change. As we navigate the paths of our own coming-of-age eras, we appreciate the ability to learn, grow, and take action for what we believe is right. We plead for a common understanding that each individual’s understanding of and relationship with deity is personal, private, and not to be coarsely judged by others.
We are feminists:
We define feminism as the advocacy for women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality. Furthermore, we acknowledge that there are a myriad of different oppressions and dedicate ourselves to the dismantling of kyriarchy. We reject the acceptance of extreme connotations as the definition for feminism and urge all people to do the same. We are not ashamed to call ourselves feminists. We are people actively seeking to eradicate vestiges of injustice in our societies in small and simple ways.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Exactly how young is “young”?
A. Although all are welcome on this blog, the average visitor is between 15-30 years of age.
Q. I see that some of your articles are not strictly about Mormons and feminism. What’s up with that?
A. Not everything is strictly related to the LDS Church, but we all write from the perspective of being young Mormon feminists.
Q. Why are there so many men contributing? This is supposed to be a feminist blog!
A. Our vision for the future of the feminist movement is that it will be made up of people of all sexes and genders. Everyone is affected by patriarchy and kyriarchy, and we welcome all people to educate themselves and eliminate oppression however they can.
Q. Do you have a current temple recommend? Does your bishop know about this? How can you be faithful members?!
A. As stated above, every contributor’s standing before God is their own business. We appreciate you not judging us for our heartfelt searchings for understanding. Also, not all of the contributors are currently active members.
Q. I think you just need to have a little more faith.
A. Thank you for your opinion.
Q. I have a question but it’s kind of personal. How can I contact you?
A. You can always email us at email@example.com. We welcome your questions!