in June 18, 2014
I’m Tessa, and I am a Mormon feminist because I believe that God loves men and women equally—he does not esteem one flesh above another. But some of the current policies, practices, and teachings of the church (both as an organization and as a culture) privilege men over women. I believe that we need to talk about these problematic policies, practices, and teachings and make changes to better reflect God’s equality.
Frightening people into silence won’t make these problems go away, so I’m speaking up.
in June 17, 2014
My name is Danielle and I am a Mormon Feminist.
I am a mormon feminist because no women are needed to decide on an excommunication of a woman and I am tired of people thinking that members who have questions cannot share their concerns in the public.
Control is enacted when only one gender operates the leadership, decision making and discipline of both genders.
Truth stands on its own. It doesn’t need convincing or incentives, it is truth. Only frailties and imperfections seek to be hidden.
Man is imperfect. Woman is imperfect. We are all struggling together to be more like Christ.
People who are close to the spirit cannot be led astray. It is only when people listen to others above the spirit that they stand in risk of being led astray. Everyone tries to make you in their own image. I want to be made in God’s image and frankly, he is a feminist.
in April 3, 2014
The only thing I ever wanted to be was a Mother in Zion; barefoot and pregnant with 6+ kids. I understood God sent women to be mothers, and I would be obedient and follow Him. It seems Heavenly Father decided to play a joke on me. After 12 years of homeopathic and medical intervention (we do have one child from IVF) and foster care and a failed adoption in attempts to fulfill my gender role: I needed a break. Due to financial circumstances, I found myself an educated, full-time working mother with no desire to have more children. I came to realize working full-time did not lessen my ability to mother effectively. In no way did extra work and responsibility lessen my motherhood. Of all people, I – the woman with unexplained infertility of 12 years – cherished my motherhood.
As a walked this new path, I felt the Spirit confirming to me that this was His will. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace when I was not trying to have children and fill my gender role, that I was sent here with my unique talents and skills to build His kingdom. I felt like I had been so converted to gender roles, I spent 10 years without seeking His will for me. All of the certainty I’d lived with before vanished, and when my lived experience and personal revelation conflicted with teachings of the Church – I had to repack how I saw the Gospel and the Church Organization. I saw that they were separate, and I never questioned the core doctrines of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ … but I had a lot of questions for our culture and organization. Especially in my role as a mother, I was concerned about the opportunities available to my daughter.
Why do we teach motherhood = priesthood? My husband’s fatherhood is equal in every way to my motherhood. Why aren’t the funding and structure of our programs similar for boys and girls? Why can’t I serve as a financial clerk or a stake auditor or in the Sunday School Presidency? Why can’t men and women serve respectfully in callings side-by-side (like at my workplace) without seeing each other as sexual objects? Why does my church culture use fear and shame to teach modesty and sexuality? Even if priesthood is to only be used by men for completing saving ordinances – why can’t women serve on any board in equal number to the men in decision making roles? If women are innately unique and are different – wouldn’t it only strengthen our decision making boards to have a 50/50 split that represents a full-breadth of experience in the Church? Why can’t a woman serve as a spiritual leader to women and men, and not just to women only? Why do we publicize the name of every man called as a mission president, but we don’t even know the names of the women serving on our general leadership boards? Why don’t we have curriculum materials about teachings of the female leaders of our Church? Why have the opportunities for women in the church shrunk and lessened, instead of expanded? Isn’t the pattern of revelation to desire first, study it out ourselves, and then ask God? Despite my questions I have a burning testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ – I have questions and yet choose to believe.
During this time I struggled with the label feminist, I was terrified to use the f-word in Mormonism, even though I was sympathetic to their causes. There finally came a point where I felt like I wasn’t living authentically without claiming the label. I had to decide to let go of fear, embrace vulnerability, share my story, and be authentic. I felt prompted to start blogging to share my story, at Confessions of a Moderate Mormon Feminist. I found that calling myself feminist brought comfort and companionship at a time when others were rejecting me, calling me apostate, and loving me conditionally. I found I could attempt to break down barriers and stereotypes about what a Mormon feminist is. While not all of my interactions have been positive - I focus on responding to the promptings of the Spirit and loving others and inviting them to Christ.
My name is Kristine, I am a Mormon feminist, and I will follow God’s plan for me.
I’m Jamie, and I’m a Mormon Feminist.
My parents’ goal was to raise us to be strong girls. I was always taught that I was smart and capable. My parents taught me that I was blessed with a brain, so I had better use it.
I always have been a feminist; it just took me a while to realize it. As a child and teenager I would devour books full of young women who could be described only as strong. It was expected that I get a college degree; I saved for it from the time I started kindergarten. I was raised in an environment that nurtured the feminist in me. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I assigned the name feminist to what I have always been. I put the title on like a comfortable jacket; it just fits in every way. I already knew the feeling I just needed the name.
Once I started seeing the small injustices and inequalities in Mormon culture, I couldn’t stop seeing them. I started asking why. Why can’t the Young Women do the same activities as the Young Men? Why are young women considered more accountable for the chastity in a relationship? There is no doctrine in these things; it is simply just how things are done. I have found my place as I try to repair the culture. Men and women have so much more value when both are treated fairly.
Viewing the Gospel as a feminist provides so much richness and depth. My love and testimony of the Gospel have only grown since I started looking as a feminist. I could see that it was a place where I could grow, and I could create a place for myself and others to learn and change together all while growing closer to each other and our Heavenly Parents. I can help improve the church I love just by doing what I am passionate about. I am able to see a place suited just for me.
in April 2, 2014
Hi, My name is Karen and i am a Mormon Feminist. I’m pretty sure I’ve been a feminist my whole life. When I was about 12, I wanted to get my Patriarchal Blessing. When I talked to the Patriarch that day, he asked me about my feelings towards the Equal Rights Amendment. i don’t think he expected me to have any strong feelings, but he was wrong. Even when he asked me questions about things like drafting women into the military, I didn’t want anyone to have to go to war.
The older I got, the stronger my opinions became. In high school, I was one of the few girls I knew who really felt strongly about women’s rights. I was outspoken. My father, who was actually fairly conservative, taught me from the time i was young that it was okay to be strong, to be smart. I didn’t have to pick a traditional “girl” career if I didn’t want to. Most of my friends felt like they needed to go to college to find a husband. Even though I got married right out of high school, I knew I had other options.
I had four children, three girls and one boy. I tried to raise them to understand there was nothing wrong with being a girl. I tried to instill in them it was not appropriate to call someone a “sissy” or say they did something like a girl. I work in a junior high school today. I love the student I work with. It is so common to hear people bash each other, using being feminine as a slur. Boys still think it is okay to force a girl to have sex if she doesn’t want to, just because she went on a date with him.
I think, by being a feminist, i am honoring the gifts my Heavenly Parents have given me. I know, without a doubt I am a daughter of Heavenly Parents, who love me, the same way I love my children. They want me to be successful and happy.They want me to use my talents to help myself and to help others.
I am a Mormon feminist because there is still a certain population of men who think they can explain to me and to my girls why we need to live according to their rules and not what is actually in our best interest. I am a Mormon feminist because I am capable of making decisions for myself. I am a Mormon feminist for my father, my children and my grandchildren and for all the children I work with. There is little I can do to change the world. But this? I can do this!