Zelophehad’s Daughters

Through the Looking Glass: The Worth of Men

Posted by Kiskilili

(See here.) Men have a sacred role in the purification and sanctification of women, said a member of the Coven of the Sixty-six at Tuesday’s devotional. Whether a father, husband, brother or son, men have the divine nature to love others and the destiny to complete women, said Elder Gwendolyn L. Petunia.

What Is Priesthood?

Posted by Kiskilili

On the heavenly side, it’s the “eternal power and authority of God” whereby Creation itself was undertaken; on the earthly side, it’s the “authority to . . . act in [God’s] name.” All sorts of grandiose claims have flown quite naturally from the claim that priesthood is the power of God; after all, if priesthood holders’ blessings […]

A Partner to Adam

Posted by Lynnette

In describing the honored place of women in the plan of salvation, LDS leaders commonly cite the narrative found in Genesis 2, in which Eve is created as a helpmeet to Adam. They often emphasize that in order to be a true helpmeet she would have to be the equal of Adam, and reference the […]

Theory and Practice

Posted by Kiskilili

“I know it works in practice,” a French scholar (steeped in a tradition emphasizing Cartesian rationalism) is reported to have said, “but does it work in theory?” Certain churches may be the only institutions in this country that are more sexist in theory than they are in practice, as Mark Chaves suggests in his study Ordaining […]

Talking About Gender Differences

Posted by Guest

This guest post comes to us from Beatrice. In our society, we like to talk about the differences between men and women. It is the stuff upon which great novels and films are built. It can be used as a source of bonding with our same-sex peers “Oh, my husband does that too,” or it […]

A Bloggernacle Bestiary

Posted by Kiskilili

We’re fond of the terms “conservative” and “liberal” to describe a spectrum of approaches to Church teachings, from unwavering compliance on the one extreme to thumbing one’s nose on the other. However, while certainly useful in a limited way, these terms fail to take account of the network of possible methods whereby members can interpret various Church teachings in light of […]

When Did Chimpanzees Become Our Gods?

Posted by Kiskilili

Although I find the field interesting, I have some suspicions about evolutionary psychology, and Satoshi Kanazawa is doing little to allay those reservations with his recent post on what evolutionary theory tells us about happiness (hat tip to BCC’s side bar). The crux of his argument seems to be: do whatever you want, because that […]

Cruelty to Boys

Posted by Eve

For most of my life I’ve found Mormon-girl and Mormon-woman culture infuriating and alienating. I despise passive-aggressive triangulation and insincere niceness and gossipy backstabbing, in others and especially in myself. I’m all for greater assertiveness and directness and less apology for one’s existence and neurotic hand-wringing over one’s perceived sins, chief among them the sin […]

Documenting Changing Church Rhetoric on Gender Roles

Posted by Ziff

My impression is that Church rhetoric defines women by their roles more often than it does men. Women are wives and mothers. Even if they aren’t technically mothers, women are mothers, because that’s just who they are. Men, on the other hand, sure we’re admonished to be good husbands and fathers, but those roles are discussed as being […]

Women and the Priesthood, Fifteen Years Later

Posted by Eve

Maxine Hanks’s 1992 anthology Women and Authority includes a chapter by D. Michael Quinn, provocatively entitled “Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843.” Quinn makes it clear that he’s not arguing simply for what I’ll here call “soft” claims about women’s priesthood status, for example, that women hold the priesthood only “through temple marriage […]

Priesthood Attenuation

Posted by Kiskilili

There was a time not so long ago when only priesthood holders could offer sacramant meeting prayers. Priesthood blessings were said unequivocally to be more efficacious than ordinary prayer. And the priesthood may have even enabled those who held it to more appropriately interpret scripture and other sacred text than non-priesthood-holders. 

Can Women Be Exalted?

Posted by Lynnette

One of the questions which came up in my post last fall about my reservations concerning the doctrine of Heavenly Mother was that of female exaltation more generally. It’s an issue that’s been at the back of my mind ever since. The discussion on my recent poll about the Celestial Kingdom inspired me to re-visit […]

When Objects Attack!: Struggling with Domesticity

Posted by Seraphine

When I’m living on my own, my house is very often a disaster. I only have a limited amount of time and energy, and for me, making sure that I fulfill my teaching and other life responsibilities is more important than whether or not my house is in order. No one except my fiance and […]

Mormon Aesthetics on the Runway

Posted by Kiskilili

Architecturally, our roots seem deeply planted in low church sensibilities, at least when it comes to chapels. No stained glass windows anywhere in sight for us; no gilded reliquaries, stations of the cross, imposing statues, or pictures of any kind adorn our chapel walls. Our meeting houses are modest, simple, functional, and spartan. Nothing that […]

Guest Post: How Mormon Women Negotiate Contradiction

Posted by Guest

The following is by Katya’s friend Nocturne, who is gathering information for a paper she’s writing, as explained below. We’re hoping her questions will generate insightful reflections upon personal experience and lively discussion. If you would like to respond to her questions privately, we’d encourage you to send your answers to “info at zelophehadsdaughters dot […]

Exploring a Misconception about Feminism: Women’s Superiority

Posted by Seraphine

One of the complaints I often hear about feminism (on the bloggernacle and elsewhere) is that feminists say that women are superior to men, or that feminism is about advancing women above or ahead of men (etc.). When I hear this I am confused, since in all women’s studies classes I’ve taught and in all […]

The Trouble with Chicken Patriarchy

Posted by Kiskilili

When it comes to patriarchy, the Church is all over the map. Husbands preside, but husbands and wives are equal partners. “While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side” (Boyd K. Packer). The two are “equally […]

Secular Usage of “Preside”

Posted by Ziff

In a discussion last year at T&S about what it means for a husband to preside, Jim F. argued that it doesn’t really matter what preside means outside the Church because the word just isn’t much used outside the Church (and perhaps court). Kiskilili disagreed, saying that she thought that secular usage was more common. […]

Does Elohim include Heavenly Mother?

Posted by Kiskilili

I’ve often heard it repeated in the Church that Elohim, the Hebrew word for “God,” refers not just to God the Father but to a divine Couple. The evidence adduced for this position is the fact that in Hebrew the term is morphologically a masculine plural. (Its singular form, Eloah, also appears in the Bible, […]

Why I Don’t Want to Believe in Heavenly Mother

Posted by Lynnette

It’s high time I confess a heresy that may put me at odds both with many Mormons and with many feminists: I’m not really all that enamored of the idea of the divine feminine, of the doctrine that we have a Heavenly Mother. I don’t recall when I first encountered the teaching that we have […]