Zelophehad’s Daughters

Let’s Make the Hymnbook More of a His and Hers Book

Posted by Mike C

This Sunday in sacrament meeting we sang the hymn O God, the Eternal Father. I noticed this time, more than previous times, the gender-exclusive language: That sacred, holy off’ring, By man least understood… With no apparent beauty, That man should him desire… To walk upon his footstool And be like man, almost… I understand that […]

Gender-neutral Language in Conference

Posted by Ziff

In a recent discussion in a Facebook group, I guessed that one way the Church might have improved recently in its treatment of women is in GAs using more gender-neutral language in talks. My memory is that President Hinckley, for example, when he quoted scriptures talking about men, would sometimes explicitly point out that it […]

“I am no man!”

Posted by Galdralag

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King, Éowyn, a human noblewoman, disguises herself as a man and goes to battle, eventually facing the dreaded Witch-King of Angmar. Upon seeing her, armored like a warrior, the Witch-King scoffs, citing an ancient elven prophecy that no living man can kill him. Éowyn removes her helmet, showing herself […]

What does “hearken” mean?

Posted by Melyngoch

This ended up a little longer than I’d intended, but I like my findings too much to trim it down. If you’re not totally entranced by descriptive lexicography, I can’t say I understand, because I don’t (what’s wrong with you?); however, I can suggest that you read the first two paragraphs, the bolded paragraph in […]

St. Augustine and the Sunday School Teacher

Posted by Melyngoch

In reflecting on the value of figurative language in On Christian Doctrine, Augustine explains that “I contemplate the saints more pleasantly when I envisage them as the teeth of the Church cutting off men from their errors and transferring them to her body.” I’m totally with him in that I love the idea of Aquinas, Joan of Arc, and hey, maybe Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon too, chomping us down into the digestive tract of Christian devotion; it offers something for the imagination to chew on during a dull sacrament meeting.

Why I Love Poetry

Posted by Eve

This semester I’m taking a course in French phonetics in mild defiance of my department’s new stricter graduation timelines; I’ve already fulfilled the language requirement, and I simply want to improve my pronunciation. It’s fascinating. As I told Lynnette enthusiastically over the phone last weekend, “We’re learning all about where in the mouth you say […]

In Praise of Feminine Language

Posted by Eve

A couple of months ago Idahospud favored us with a fascinating analysis of blogging genderlect over at FMH, which reminded me of a long-simmering desire to take a manly stand for womanspeak. (Oh, the androgyny.) Every once in a while the Bloggernacle revisits the familiar critique of the stereotypical LDS woman’s inability to make a […]

(The) Bishop

Posted by Lynnette

When I was a teenager, one of my good friends omitted the use of an article when talking about the bishop: for example, “I’m going to talk to bishop” as opposed to “I’m going to talk to the bishop.” I figured it was simply a language quirk of her family (and since I come from […]

Why Words Matter

Posted by Seraphine

One of the things that we sometimes discuss in my Women’s Studies classes is the issue of language. Many feminists critique the use of “man” or “mankind” to refer to men and women, the use of “he” as a generic pronoun, etc. Feminists argue that inequality in language occurs on a spectrum of related discriminations, […]