Zelophehad’s Daughters

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Arguing About Women’s Suffrage

Posted by Lynnette

In early 1895, Susa Young Gates sent out a letter “to many of the prominent people in Utah” asking them to share their views on women’s suffrage, and then printed their responses in the Young Woman’s Journal. The overwhelming majority supported female suffrage. A sampling (this got a bit long, but they’re worth a read):

Why Discourage Women from Serving Missions?

Posted by Ziff

About a month ago, my beloved sister (and occasional ZD contributor) Melyngoch entered the MTC on her way to the Sweden Stockholm mission. I expect that she will be a very good missionary. She seems to have a great sense of purpose: she knows who she is and what she is doing and why. I […]

More Thoughts on Benevolent Sexism

Posted by Seraphine

Since first reading this post over at FMH (and the fracas that ensued in the comments) awhile ago, I’ve been thinking about the phenomenon of “benevolent sexism,” or more precisely the phenomenon of “benevolent sexism” within the church.

Why I Worry

Posted by Seraphine

Preface: A month or two ago, there were a few conversations on the bloggernacle that highlighted a couple of common responses to feminist concerns. Dan Ellsworth over at Mormon Mentality decided to give the ZD bloggers some advice: he argued that we spend too much time thinking about the church (and our feminist concerns), and […]

Mormon Stories Podcast

Posted by Seraphine

John Dehlin interviewed me for the second episode in his series of podcasts on Mormonism and feminism. I gave an overview of the three waves of feminism, and didn’t really talk a lot about Mormonism at all (he wanted to start with a podcast that gave some background on the women’s movement.) Anyway, head over […]

After Gonzales v. Carhart

Posted by Guest

This guest post comes to us from frequent ZD commenter and blogging veteran ECS. Much of the publicity surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent abortion decision has died down. The Court’s reasoning in Gonzales v. Carhart, however, deserves a closer look. Whether you believe a woman has a right to terminate her pregnancy is not […]

Women as Possessions

Posted by Lynnette

The extended discussion on Seraphine’s thread about modesty, and in particular the issue raised there about seeing women as objects, has gotten me thinking about another, somewhat related question. To put it bluntly, I’m wondering: do Latter-day Saints believe that in some sense women are the possessions of men?

Feminism’s Critique of Modesty

Posted by Seraphine

A recent post at Pandagon by Amanda Marcotte clarified some concerns I’ve had for awhile now about certain (but not all) discussions of modesty in our church discourse. Now, while I’m guessing that many of the readers of our blog would dismiss some of her stronger claims about modesty and “compulsory femininity,” I primarily wanted […]

The Sexisms of Graduate School

Posted by Eve

It’s an age-old and tiresome story, and I’ve watched more than one friend undergo some variation on it. He’s got what you want: the knowledge, the erudition, the passing grade on exams, the dissertation signature. He’s brilliant, an acknowledged expert in your particular area of study, an incisive thinker and an wide-ranging scholar, and he […]

Inequality: perception or reality?

Posted by Vada

Comments on various threads here have made me think about an issue I’ve always had. People (women, blacks, Latinos, just about everyone) complain about inequality a lot, but in my experience there is more complaining than there is inequality. This is not to say that inequality doesn’t exist. But I still think it’s sometimes more […]

A Cafeteria Feminist Manifesto

Posted by Eve

In the spirit of fostering further discussion, I’d like to gently unravel several issues from the tangled skein of Seraphine’s Separate but Equal thread below and give each its own consideration. One of these is a fundamental difference in the role authority plays in Mormonism and feminism and the differing degrees of skepticism and partial […]