LDS Undergraduate Women: “Major” Decisions

Being a woman in a male dominated major at a school with a large LDS population can be difficult.  Although many of the male students won’t treat women any differently, there are some who will act threatened by or uncomfortable with women in these programs.  It is not that uncommon for women to be told that they are “taking up the spot” of a potential breadwinner, or asked what in the world they are going to do with their major once they are a stay at home mom.  Generally, the stereotypes of women in male dominated fields is that they are career oriented and thus are not interested in having a family.  There is also an assumption that women in male dominated majors must be planning on using the major in a stereotypical female way by going into teaching or part-time work. Read More

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”. Read More

Searching for Honesty and Wholeness in Teaching Women’s Studies

I’ve been a teaching assistant for an introductory Women’s Studies class the past few semesters. Last semester I had a rewarding and thought-provoking experience (I’ve actually had many, but I’m going to talk about one in particular) with one of my sections. We were talking one week about art and activism and the ways in which women have used art to represent their lives and make feminist statements. I think the reading prompted the students to consider how to negotiate feminism in their own lives because one student expressed frustration with translating the ideas from class into her lived experience. She was trying to deal with friends dismissing her by saying things like “Oh, there she goes again with her feminist complaints about patriarchy,” and she wanted to know what to say in these situations; basically, she wanted to know how to communicate the ideas she learned in class and have people actually listen. We talked in class some about that frustration, and ended up bringing the conversation back to the art we were discussing–how the women artists used humor, creativity, and personal experiences to reach their audience (rather than just angry ranting). Read More