Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mormon Underwear: The Difference Between Magic and the Sacred

The Endowment Room in The Boston Temple

I received my first set of temple garments nearly two years ago. I was home in New Hampshire for Christmas vacation, a month before my 25th birthday, and I was at the Boston Temple to receive my Endowment. Most Mormon adults first participate in the ceremony known as The Endowment a few days before becoming a missionary or getting married. As a single but faithful member in my mid-twenties, I had received permission to make those covenants without serving a mission.
The ceremony wasn’t even close to salacious. I prepared through another ceremony where other women spoke words that symbolically cleansed me, symbolically promised me blessings, and symbolically prepared me for the Endowment. Then, wearing my new garments under a white dress, I went into a chapel and waited for the ceremony to begin.
The ceremony itself was, again, symbolic. We watched a video that recounted the story of creation and the garden of Eden, a story found in Genesis. We covenanted to follow all the commandments we had agreed to follow in order to even enter the temple. (Follow the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity and Law of Consecration – take responsibility for preventing poverty as we’re able). The ceremony was long and symbolic to the point that unless you go in believing it means something, you’d probably find yourself quite bored. Then we went through to the Celestial Room (pictured below), the one place on Earth where Mormons feel most comfortable discussing this sacred ceremony.
I’d wanted to participate in that ceremony for years. I’d been yearning probably since I was eighteen, but the ceremony is so sacred and the covenants so binding that it was recommended I wait for a mission or marriage or simply till I was a little older. The question of what age is old enough for an unmarried adult who is not serving a mission – well, that’s a question for another day. What I can tell you, though, is that for at least the first six months after I took part in the ceremony, I lit up each time I remembered that I was wearing garments.
I would be sitting there grading papers or reading a book or watching TV, or out with friends having fun, and suddenly I’d remember, “I’m wearing garments,” and it made me so happy that I wanted to laugh with joy. That is how significant this religious clothing has been to me as a symbol of the covenants I’ve made with God.

Unfortunately, these garments are misunderstood by many and even referred to as “magic underwear,” as in this recent SNL clip:

Due to the sacred, personal nature of what garments represent, many Mormons bristle at references to our “magic underwear” and yet hesitate to correct those false assumptions. When I searched for statements from other Mormons in preparation for writing this article, my searches yielded no information through Mormon.org, the website officially set aside by The Church for people who are not themselves Mormon but who are curious about the faith.
Wondering what other resources a curious person might encounter, I tried googling the question “What are Mormon temple garments?” Keep in mind, I was using the terminology that those outside my faith often don’t even know. With the exception of a Huffington Post article by Matt Bowman, most sources that showed up were from ex-mormon and anti-mormon websites. While I recognize those last two perspectives as valid, they can’t do much to educate those outside the faith on what current members actually believe about garments.
So, when I saw yet another magic underwear slam earlier this week (on a facebook friend’s wall), I decided it was time to address this issue on Go Girl. Now that you know that garments mean to me personally, I want to lay out a bit on why the “magic underwear” myth is false and why it is inaccurate and even hurtful to use that term.

First off, what are temple garments?
Temple garments are an article of clothing that most devout adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wear. They consist of a bottom and a top, but beyond that can vary quite a bit. Generally the tops have sleeves and the bottoms come down close to the knee, and they’re usually made with white fabric, but there are some exceptions, such as with military clothing. Fabrics vary substantially from a t-shirt-style cotton, to a spandex-like material, to the mesh that a hot-blooded Northerner living in Georgia (ahem, me) depends on to stay cool.
The top and bottom both have symbols sewn onto them, which represent our covenants as well as the spiritual blessings we believe Heavenly Father wants us to receive.

How are they worn? Are they really underwear?
While we don’t usually refer to garments as underwear, yes, we do wear them as underwear. Women still wear bras, and I don’t mind sharing that I wear “normal” store bought underwear (like any woman, I hate the word ‘panties’) when I have my period. But even during my period I wear the garment bottoms over them. Like underwear, I wear garments to bed, and like with underwear I try to keep them from showing under my clothing. As I move about during the day, does an edge of lace occasionally show above the neckline of a shirt? Of course. And while you get your occasional Mormon jerks who make a big deal about that, most Mormons are rational human beings.

Knee-length underwear? Sounds pretty inconvenient.
Yes, it can be. Using a public restroom always takes a few moments longer, as I need to tuck the garment top into the garment bottoms to keep it from showing when I leave the stall, and some of the silky-style tops slide around in ways that make it hard to keep them from showing.

And you’re sure, absolutely sure, that they’re not magical?
Don’t I wish I had access to underwear that could stop bullets, or – better yet! – allow me to fly. If I find anything along those lines, I promise to share the knowledge.

So, if it’s not true, where did the myth of magic underwear originate?
The answer, I’ll admit, is murky. Some blame this myth on Mormon folklore that sprung up when Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of the church, was martyred while not wearing garments. Of the four church leaders held in the prison where Joseph Smith was massacred, only the leader who was wearing garments was spared. Apparently some folks wondered if this correlation reached the level of causation. I’d put such speculation in the same category as legends about Saints’ relics: just as most contemporary Catholics can chuckle over those legends, I’ve never met a contemporary Mormon who claimed that Joseph Smith’s death stemmed from removing his garments.
Today it’s true that some Mormons will discuss temple garments as a source of protection, but if you press them for specifics, they’re likely to explain that we believe we can receive added blessings (a consciously vague term that includes emotional peace and spiritual insights) by honoring our covenants to God. Garments are a tangible, daily reminder of those covenants.

But why does it bother you when I refer to the symbol of covenants you hold sacred as something as degrading and implausible as “magic underwear”?
So glad you asked!
It’s hurtful to me because dismissing religious clothing as “magic underwear” is tantamount to dismissing that religion’s beliefs altogether. Would you call a Catholic priest’s robes “magic bathrobes”? Would you call cross necklaces “magic t’s”? Or Jewish Yarmulkes “magic caps”?
If you would, then I’m glad that you’re at least consistent. If not, then why is my faith deserving of less respect than those faiths?

But, come on, aren’t “magic underwear” cracks at least a little funny?
First off, I mostly see “magic underwear” jokes made in groups without Mormons, by those who don’t expect a Mormon to see/hear. It’s an exclusive joke used to dismiss Mormons as outsiders.
Secondly, here’s a good rule of thumb in determining whether a joke is entirely at the expense of another group or whether the group is chuckling with you: do they make similar jokes?
Mormons make polygamy jokes.
Mormons make jokes about not drinking coffee.
Mormons make jokes about their constant appearance of cheerfulness (and thus I love this song Edit [10/27/12 4:05pm]: I love this song even though it's coming from those outside the faith and isn't completely accurate).
Mormons make jokes about being naïve about sex, drugs, and booze.
Mormons make jokes about their blondness, their addiction to chocolate, and their obsession with homemade rootbeer floats.

But I have never, not even once – and I spent eight years at Brigham Young University – I have never heard a Mormon make a joke about “magic underwear.”

Temple garments are sacred to us, so please try to respect that.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Feminist Review: Take This Waltz




This small, Canadian romantic indie film starring Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams and Luke Kirby and directed by Sarah Polley seems like it should a moving and insightful film about relationships (much like Michelle Williams earlier movie, Blue Valentine, was). However, despite its female centered love triangle, the film offers little of interest.

If you were to read the synopsis of this film on IMDB it would tell you that “A happily married woman falls for the artist across the street,” a pretty uninformative summary since it’s apparent from the first scene that Margot is unhappy and struggling in her marriage.  The film follows Margot (Michelle Williams) as a slightly off-kilter aspiring writer married to chicken cookbook-writer Lou (Seth Rogen). Margot meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) while doing research for a pamphlet she’s writing and then again on the plane, only to discover that he lives on the same street as her. And so begins their romance, full of clichéd significant looks and fevered whispers, as they get lost in the forbidden.

Unfortunately, my two sentence synopsis was far more interesting than the movie itself, since much of the movie was long shots of Williams looking confused and depressed and Rogen acting oblivious.  The music was a particularly pretentious brand of lackluster indie and on the whole, the film just felt like it was trying too hard to be profound.

In reality, the best parts of the film came from Margot’s interaction with her sister in law, Geraldine or the brilliant Sarah Silverman. Silverman’s character is a recovering alcoholic who, at the end of the film, offers one of the two best lines in the film, “Life has a gap in it, it just does, but you can’t go crazy trying to fill it.” (She’s also a part of a legitimately funny scene involving the incredible world of water aerobics, I tried to find a clip of it online, but alas, I failed).

It’s after the water aerobics scene when we get the second best line of the film, delivered by a naked older woman in the women’s locker room (a great scene by Polley that doesn’t shy away from the normally unsightly issue of aging and women’s bodies); Margot is wistfully considering the merits of “something new” with Geraldine and the woman smiles wisely and replies “New things become old.”

There was a subplot of the film that had some potential as well had it been developed a bit more, in particular the issue of Margot’s sexuality. It’s obvious that Margot and Lou are not the most sexually active of couples since we see Margot attempt to seduce Lou several times, only to be rejected in favor of his cooking. While the lack of sex doesn’t seem to especially bother him, it could be argued that one of the reasons Margot continues to seek after Daniel is the promise of sexual discovery that he offers her. At one point in the film, there is a montage of Daniel and Margot having sex  (it sounds spicy, but really, don’t get excited) where it becomes apparent that Margot is finally able to explore that part of herself; the premise was interesting and one that I think many women can identify with, however I think it could have been fleshed out a little more.

I wanted this film to be good; the trailer was interesting, all of the actors are talented, and Polley is a promising new director (who I would be interested in seeing more of in the future). While there were good moments and unique ideas being toyed with, the film was, in reality, a lukewarm portrayal of a good topic; in short, I was bored most of the time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mormon Miracles and Mormon Heart Break

This weekend something beautiful occurred that might just reshape the Mormon world for a new generation, and yet I find myself incapable of expressing how I feel. Because this weekend something else happened that broke my heart.

As a blogger, I find myself in a loop. I say I want to write about issues that affect religious feminists, and sometimes I do, sometimes I address current, contemporary issues. But more recently, I find that I am caught in the place of laying foundations for a deeper discussion: let me tell you how hard it is to be caught in two worlds, I say, and then I'll tell you more. But then something happens, before I get to the more, that drags me back to the start.

Last week, for instance, I wrote about the struggle many Mormon feminists face in trying to find a place for themselves in the church. I ended on a question, hoping that my post would double as a longer, more contemplative one and as a question of the week. As a teacher (and perhaps by nature), I am always posing questions. You could say I do it to play devil's advocate, but even that isn't quite right, because my questions always come from the heart, even if I'm more interested in them for the generative power they might have than I am for any immediate application in my own life.

That question I asked was a simple: What can we do better?

I intended to follow up this week, with a Part 2 that would lay out some of my own ideas and answers to that question. I was going to list off ways that feminist Mormons and non-feminist Mormons could each make a difference in helping feminist Mormons to feel like an accepted, valued, and respected part of the ward community. My feeling has long been that many who leave the church would have stayed if they had felt more accepted by the general congregation. Not just invited, but welcome and accepted and valued.

One friend responded to my question, but most others read and held their peace, which I was perfectly content with.

Meanwhile, I made some remarks on facebook last week. I posed a question for other Mormon academics about the use of "slippery slope" logic (often identified as a logical fallacy) in church classes. Friends responded thoughtfully, offering thoughts on cases when that form of logic was helpful and other times when it could, in fact, turn into a fallacy. I also posed a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek question about temperatures in church buildings, with got much more of a reaction than I'd have expected.

Perhaps most provocatively, I decided I was sick of hearing stereotypes about what sorts of people support Obama, and broke my own rule about stating over facebook which politician I support. Yes, most people can guess from my liberal leanings how I feel, but until now I had not stated on fb which politician I would vote for. I still have not and will not publicly express on facebook my reasons for supporting Obama. So it was immense for me to state that I am a Mormon (active and temple-going), who paid income tax last year, who did not have health insurance for the greater part of the year, and who would have supported Romney four years ago - but who nevertheless would be voting for Obama this time around. I ended with, "stereotypes don't hold up," because that was my only purpose in posting that status - establishing that the stereotype that only those who receive more gov't money than they pay in taxes support Obama simply doesn't hold up.

A long-time friend of mine (whom I will refer to as Sarah to avoid sharing her real name) asked why I supported Obama. I said I was happy to explain, but only in private, to which she replied that Obama supporters never describe why they support him. Still, true to my word, I gave her my answer in a private message.

All of what I have told you is background and context for what happened this weekend. (I know, I know, I'm long-winded!)

This weekend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a semi-annual conference. This conference is divided into 6 sessions, most of which are 2 hours long. During the first session on Saturday, we received amazing news: women will now be eligible to serve missions when they turn 19, instead of waiting until they are 21. When I heard this news, my heart lifted. When I think about this news, my heart lifts.

To describe what this news means for me, for my toddler niece, for the children I will some day have takes more than words. Before this Saturday, the policy was that eligible men could (and were strongly, strongly encouraged to) serve 2-year missions. Women could serve 18-month missions when they reached 21. The catch? These young missionaries cannot be married, and they cannot date for the duration of their missions. As you might imagine, that earlier age of 19 made it much more feasible for willing men to serve missions. Some took a year off after high school to earn money and then began college when they returned. Others spent a year at college, then served a mission, then returned to school. As difficult as many men have found it to return to school after a couple years away, most have returned to freshman or sophomore courses.

For women, it has been more difficult, though many have still happily served. By 21, many women find that 18 months out of the dating and academic world would (or does) disrupt their plans in bigger ways. For those unfamiliar with that position, imagine taking as much as two years off from school, between preparing and serving, at the end of your junior year of college. That's right, as you're accelerating from advanced coursework into professional level coursework, you take off for a minimum of 1-1/2 years and return rusty, most of your pre-mission friends and classmates already having graduated. Of course, the common-ness of missions at CES schools facilitates those transitions as well as it can, but for LDS women at other universities, that challenge must be even worse. Of course, all of these obstacles only increase my respect for women who have served missions. Still, this age change will dramatically increase the number of women who serve missions over the next year and in the future, and over time that change will transform cultural gender dynamics in the church.

Yet, admidst all the joy this weekend occasioned for the Mormon and feminist in me, something happened that leaves me wondering again how much work it will take for Mormon feminists to no longer be seen as an oxymoron. While watching one of the sessions, I heard a story from a speaker who described her delight when she saw a girl in a grocery store who wore a t-shirt that proclaimed herself a Mormon. When this speaker described a hypothetical t-shirt she would be happy to wear and how this t-shirt would proclaim that she is a Mormon and proud of it because she is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, it raised some questions for me that I wanted to consider more. I thought about the overlap (and difference) between the gospel and the church and wrote as a facebook status:

Question for my Mormon friends: is there a difference between ashamed of the Gospel and being ashamed of the Church? In other words, can you be ashamed of one and not the other?

To avoid the assumption that I was indirectly claiming to be ashamed of the church, I added (just a question I thought of when she mentioned the T-shirt). Most of my friends responded thoughtfully, but one friend (remember "Sarah"?) wrote the following:

Sustain your leaders. The questions you have seem scary to have since you have a temple recommend. You don't seem like you have a testimony of Christ or of Our Prophet and the principles. You need to read the church literature and ponder and figure things out for yourself. More than always turning to others for answers pray to God.

When I told her that I believe in the power of asking questions in order to learn and strengthen faith, she then steamrolled me with multiple lengthy messages, as well as finding NAW and posting comments that I have since removed, in order to protect her identity. In her expanded comments, she proceeded to tell me

And I sincerely do not think you are actually seeking answers. I do not think you are going to act on the advice of others. Your questions show you have pride. You need to ask pray for humility. 

and

You know the answers you just do not want to do the work. You post all things publicly so I will post back publicly the truth.

Also pro gay is against families. Anything against families is against Christ.

and

Keep pretending, keep justifying and keep making excuses. But I know what Truth is. I know where the church and gospel and leaders stand on issues....and I agree with them, because I have studied the gospel, church materials, conference talks, scriptures and lots of time pondering,

You agree with world on issues that are against the church and yet you think you understand the gospel??

The questions you write clearly state that you do not understand a lot of things about the gospel.

Instead of listening and being humble..you refuse to listen to anyone that says stop turning to the world and start looking within

among many other gems. On the blog she even insinuated that my experience with abuse had driven me from the church, a claim so outrageous and offensive that I couldn't imagine why blogger, The Mormon Child Bride, included it in her list of the top 5 things not to say to friends and family who are questioning or have left the faith. When I asked Sarah to stop saying these things, she did not, and I ultimately blocked her on facebook for my own mental and emotional health.

But while I could laugh off this reaction - after all, I am not planning on leaving the church or even doubting its truthfulness, and it's likely that Sarah's reaction is merely coming out of her own problems - while I could laugh this all off, I find myself wondering how many other Mormon friends, acquaintances, and family see the questions I pose as signs of coming apostasy but have the good sense not to pick a fight.

It wouldn't be the first time that an unorthodox Mormon gained a reputation as not believing or as "apostate," despite regularly attending church, fulfilling callings (unpaid positions, such as Sunday school teachers), and even holding a temple recommend (meaning a Bishop has agreed to the member's worthiness and strong testimony). Several years ago, for instance, rumours spread throughout the mission that covered my home ward that the Relief Society in my ward was apostate. These rumors came down to the questions that feminist sisters posed in lessons, questions with made missionaries and recent move-ins from western states uncomfortable.

More recently, a rumor spread through the family that one of our family members did not have a testimony. When I asked her what she had actually said, she explained that it was a hypothetical question, meant to inspire thoughtful discussion. As a class was discussing the importance of developing and nurturing a testimony of the Gospel of Christ and of the Church, she said, "Why is it important to have a testimony? If I didn't have a testimony but still kept the commandments, why wouldn't that be enough?" Rather than considering the question, younger members of the class answered, "having a testimony is everything," while older members reassured her that she, personally, would gain a testimony in time.

These reactions to thoughtful questions - whether it's casual dismissal of the question or outright rejection of the seeker - these reactions are dangerous. These reactions reinforce the stereotype of our church being filled with brainwashed sheep. These reactions circumvent our progress as thinking, believing, developing, children of God with divine potential.

So, to those (few, I hope) fellow Mormons who are frightened of questions about the church, I have some questions for you:

Do you think that General Authorities ask no hard questions as part of their service? That changes like the missionary age requirements from the weekend, or revised temple policies of the 1990s, or extending the Priesthood without regard to race of the 70s all came without ever asking difficult questions?

And if those men asked difficult questions as General Authorities, do you think that they never asked or contemplated similar questions before their callings? That they mysteriously learned skills of reasoning with the Lord when they were sustained?

And if they asked questions before they were sustained, why not you? 

And if you can and should consider difficult questions, why not feminists?







Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Keeping the Faith and the Feminism

I promised another post on Glee's continued misogyny, and yet I find something more substantial weighing on my mind - the struggle to remain faithful, as a feminist in a conservative and patriarchal worship community. This issue has weighed on my mind (and heart too, I suppose, but I don't want to sound sentimental) for awhile now, but I've hesitated to post for a couple reasons:

1. It's difficult to discuss this issue without bringing in some personal examples that could hurt, offend or confuse people who have attended church with me.

2. In my faith - and this is my greatest reason for hesitating - merely suggesting any form of doubt can make other members worry. And when they worry, they're often quick to jump in with needless (and perhaps destructive) reassurances. For instance, when I mentioned in Sunday School one day that there's a trend of creative writers leaving BYU for PhD programs elsewhere and then leaving the church and that this trend has forced me to contemplate what causes this apostasy so that I can avoid it - well, one friend immediately reassured me that apostasy only happens gradually so I shouldn't worry, and my bishop then asked me to explain this dilemma to my mother. Kindly, all kindly.

I've found myself explaining to friends my philosophy that it is good and productive to work through doubts and confusion, so why hold back on this blog? So instead of remaining silent, I'm prefacing this post with this explanation and a request: do not try to shut down this discussion or others like it, even with well-meant reassurances. Sometimes people need to consider and contemplate and discuss difficult situations, and your well-meant "Don't worry, it's not as bad as it seems," can cause real harm by ending a discussion before it happens.

As you can tell from that preamble, I've been thinking about tensions between faith and feminism for awhile now. Tension is only one part of that relationship - faith and feminism often reinforce each other in my life, which is why I tell people that I'm a feminist because of my faith, not in spite of it.  I'm a feminist because I belong to a faith where women are considered beings with divine potential, a faith that was before its time in promoting education for nineteenth century women. A faith with an unnecessarily well-kept secret (which isn't intended to be a secret in the first place) that women perform priesthood ordinances in the temple. Take that fact as you will, but a fact it remains.

Recently, though, I've been reminded that feeling a sense of belonging in church is a struggle for many feminists. A few weeks ago a friend added me to the facebook group Feminist Mormon Housewives Society, a group inspired by the fMh blog. Each day members of the group share stories of challenges that they face as feminists and unorthodox Mormons. One woman shared a story of a bishop curtly forbidding her from putting a Sunday service project in the ward bulletin, along with instructions for her to review church literature on what constitutes appropriate Sabbath activities. Another asked advice on communicating with her husband. But all the posts had something in common: Mormon feminists looking for a community of others who share their faith and their feminism to offer support.

As Mormon feminists we have all the advantages that I have listed. But we also belong to a faith with some ordinances and scriptures that don't seem to jive with the contemporary Mormon ideal for equal marriage partners. And a faith with members who sometimes infuriate and offend. Don't misunderstand me - members are much more likely touch my heart and teach me how to be a better person, but sometimes an individual infuriates me, all the same. And sometimes it simply takes awhile to find your niche in a faith community. And having a sense of community is key for most people in continuing in a faith. Sure, there are some religions that are more individualistic, but let's be honest - in faiths where meeting as a community is essential, who wants to continue spending hours with individuals where they don't feel accepted?

One of our teachings is that we should seek friends who share our values. In fact, my current branch (our word for a smaller congregation) recently handed out posters that reminded us to seek friends who share our standards (based on a 1989 address at Rick's college that is not accessible through lds.org). My knee-jerk reaction was to make a snarky comment under my breath about how this poster was asking me to drop out of my PhD program. I have dear friends outside the church who are pro-pornography, friends who are openly gay, friends who drink, and I'm not about to cut off ties with those friends simply because their standards are different than mine. On a more productive level, I would say the principle is to find others who share our values in a more general sense. But even then,  do all active, temple-going Mormons share the same values and standards?

I think the obvious answer is no. Some Mormons love Ted Talks as much as they love hearing from Mormon leaders, while others pride themselves on reading only books published by church leaders. Some Mormons watch R-rated movies without a second thought, while others consider R-rated movies to be a form of pornography (sorry, dear fellow Mormon whom I'm referencing). Some Mormons are politically conservative, others politically liberal. And many of us fall into a more moderate area of these spectrums - most members aren't even in the US and don't even know why we US members make such a big deal over a rating system that doesn't apply to them and which is applied by people who do not share our beliefs anyway. So yes, Mormons are diverse, as the I'm a Mormon campaign has worked so hard at convincing people.

But that diversity does not always translate into an even distribution within one congregation. Because Mormon congregations are assigned by our residential addresses, neighborhoods and regions factor into ward makeups. If a member is unhappy with a ward, that member occasionally can choose a different form of congregation (I currently have the choice between a university branch and a local family ward), but usually switching congregations requires special permission or - more commonly - moving. A member who chooses to attend elsewhere without permission will find that his or her records remain in the assigned ward and is unlikely to be able to fully participate in the chosen ward due to the location of the records.

For the most part, I see those restrictions as a positive aspect of Mormon life. We are unable to shop congregations until we find a Bishop (pastor) who already agrees with us, so we face the challenge of learning to love and accept members and leaders whom we have not chosen. That challenge helps us grow and learn and love. But it also means that when a person feels rejected by a congregation, they have a choice of leaving the church, moving to a new home and thus ward boundaries, or seeking to resolve that rejection and attending church even if those attempts fail.

Sometimes rejection is hard to overcome, as in this recent story from a woman whose religious community is also her neighborhood and her former business clients. According to the author, she learned on good authority that members of her religious and neighborhood community made a collective decision to boycott her business in order to avoiding supporting someone who shared the views she makes public (in support of gay marriage and abortion rights, for instance). No matter how rare this type of incident might be, it presents a dilemma for anyone who finds herself in that position. When your faith community rejects you, how do you find the strength to continue attending weekly 3-hour meetings (and more, if you attend additional activities) with those very individuals?

For some Mormon feminists, the answer has been to stop attending church. But leaving the church is a tragic option for a person who still believes in the Gospel. So what can we do differently?










Monday, October 1, 2012

A Return to Not Another Wave

There comes a time in every feminist blogger's life where she looks at the frequency of her facebook posts and the increasing ire coming out in the comments on said posts, and realizes that it's been far too long since she blogged. So long, in fact, that she is perhaps deliberately starting trouble!

Not that I would ever find myself in that position.

But, seriously, folks - it's been over a month since I shared my opinion on LDS women and the priesthood. Since then, I have been to a bar with my cohort-mates.  And when Joanna Brooks spoke on The Daily Show, I responded with a post on Patheos about how exclusive and us vs. them language at church can drive members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to apostasy. Since then I have also graded more papers than I care to think about. But now I'm back.

Next up:

How Glee continues to offend.