An Ethnographic Examination of the Representation of Women’s Bodies in a Religious Publication (Running Title: Boobs in the Ensign)

In a conversation among some of the permabloggers, we started talking about modesty within LDS culture. Although I felt that everything that could be said about modesty has been said already, Ziff raised an interesting question of whether women with certain body types were more likely to be shown in the Ensign than women with other body types. Specifically, he posed the question of whether women with smaller breasts were more likely to be shown than women with larger breasts. Given that I like to code and analyze data almost as much as Ziff does (I mean, really, I doubt that anyone in the universe could love this as much as Ziff does), I decided to conduct an assessment of this very question.  Read More

Blind spot: The assumption that all women can use their sexuality to influence others.

I was recently listening to the awesome feminist mormon housewives podcast episode in which Lisa Butterworth talks to Brad Kramer about what it means to be a male feminist.  I particularly liked his discussion about modesty and sexuality and how he wants to frame those issues for his children.  There are many, many parts of this discussion that I wholeheartedly agree with.  For example, I really like his discussion about how the current modesty rhetoric in the church reinforces the idea that girls and young women are primarily sexual instead of sexuality being only a part of who they are as a person overall.

That being said, there were a couple of statements within this discussion that brought me up short.  Read More