Jul 22

Aurora Shooting-We need to talk about better identification and treatment for mental illness

Although this post is a bit off topic for a Mormon/feminist blog, I feel that it is important enough to discuss that I am including it here.  As most people are likely aware, on July 20th a 24-year-old man came through the exit door of a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire on the audience.  Twelve people have been confirmed dead from the shooting, and 58 people were injured. Continue reading

Jul 15

Emma and Eliza

This essay was originally posted at Both Sides Now. Its aim is to explore how contemporary Mormon women relate to and feel about polygny. Please be sensitive in the comments.

The excellent series at Feminist Mormon Housewives “Remembering the Forgotten Women of Joseph Smith” has given me pause on a lot of levels. It is a series of posts that, using primary and secondary sources, works to recover the stories, voices, and (when available) photographs of each of Joseph Smith, Jr.’s many plural wives.

As a historian-in-training and scholar of gender, I am always very pleased – no, thrilled – when there are sources available about women, and when the stories of women can be reclaimed from obscurity and inscribed in the record. As a scholar with some background in subaltern studies, I am delighted when we can find ways to tell the stories of not just the famous and powerful, but also of those who are often overlooked, usually the poor, minorities, and women.

(As an aside – I am relieved that I’ve never felt compelled in the slightest to do early LDS history professionally. The sources, though plentiful, are all so incredibly biased – whether toward apologetics or toward nasty and vengeful indictments of early leaders – that recovering any sort of coherent narrative of early LDS history, let alone attempting an accurate one, is phenomenally difficult. And I say this with the added acknowledgement that “accuracy” in history is a very thorny idea indeed.) Continue reading

Jul 10

Critical Thinking and the Modesty Meme; or, Why We Need More English Majors

Likely everyone has come across the following internet/facebook meme, but just in case you’ve been backpacking in the Andes for the last two weeks with no wifi, or don’t have well-meaning conservative facebook friends, or have blocked all the well-meaning conservative facebook friends, or just aren’t on facebook precisely so you can avoid things like this, here you go:

Continue reading

Jul 08

Continuity and Discontinuity in Identity During the Transition to Motherhood

One of the key principles of developmental psychology is continuity and discontinuity. In lay terms, this refers to what changes and what stays the same within an individual over time. I have been thinking a lot about this recently because of my own personal journey into motherhood and how that journey evolves as my son grows and changes.  Last week, I pulled out the photo books that my mom had faithful constructed of my growing up years.  Just looking at the photos reminds me of the type of person I was throughout childhood, high school, and undergrad.  I was always very contemplative and “in my head”. Continue reading