As many of you know, Beatrice and I have been invited to join Zelophehad's Daughters. We are now blogging over there as well.
We are still sorting out what we want to do with Both Sides Now. We'll keep you posted as we go through this transition.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Recently, there have been a couple of prominent articles about LDS gay men who are married to straight women that have been making the rounds. One was published by Josh Weed on his personal website, and the other was a cover story in LDS Living about Ty Mansfield a month or two ago. One thing that stood out to me is that both articles discuss how the couples involved may have achieved a higher form of love than most straight couples because their relationship is not based around sexual desire, lust, or infatuation.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
In order to explain my decision to serve a mission, I am including some text from a previous blog post:
I don't remember how old I was when I decided that I wanted to serve a mission, but I think that it was sometime in high school. As I neared the end of my high school experience, I remember feeling very determined about this choice. I was going off to BYU and I was NOT getting married, I was going to serve a mission. I genuinely did want to serve a mission and I had received inspiration that I should do so, but part of that decision involved making a choice to not take on the role that my culture had laid out for me. While I didn't see it this way at the time, I now view this choice as a feminist act, like Yentl deciding to learn Jewish law by disguising herself as a man. Serving a mission is clearly laid out as predominantly male role within Mormon culture. However, interestingly, women can take on this role if they choose. I can't think of any other role or calling within Mormon culture that is like this. Thus, part of the reason why I served a mission was to prove to everyone that I had just as much right to be there as anyone else. I had a right to choose what I wanted to do with my life instead of just following the role that was laid out for me.
Friday, May 25, 2012
While many individuals likely encounter more homogeneity at BYU than they did in their hometown, I was exposed to ideas and backgrounds at BYU that I hadn't encountered growing up in Orem, Utah. I had roommates from all over the country, including some who were more experienced or knowledgable about things (like intimate physical relationships) than I was. So talking to and learning from my roommates was eye-opening to me in many ways. I realized that there were lots of different types of Mormons and lots of ways to interpret Mormon doctrines and practices.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Much of the discussion about women and priesthood on feminist Mormon blogs centers around women's desire to administer sacred ordinances, such as baby blessings and baptisms, to their children. While I sympathize with these feelings, I have never felt a need to participate in these ordinances. However, I do feel strongly about women's lack of institutional decision making power within the LDS church. The argument that I often hear is that women are consulted on every level, thus their voices are fully heard and there is no need for any change. However, I think there are at least three aspects of the current church structure that would likely change in significant ways if women were more involved. These areas include doctrine, policy, and issues of worthiness.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I have been really inspired by Lynnette's post at Zelophehad's Daughters, and Galdralag's post that I wanted to add my own contribution to the series. Like both Lynnette and Galdralag, I feel that elements of feminist thought have always been part of my life. Much of it, especially the early thoughts, focused a lot on the way the Mormon Church framed the role of motherhood and my own struggles in whether I wanted to take on that role or not.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
A couple of years ago I was in a Stake in which someone asked the Stake President why women didn't hold the Priesthood. He responded the every member, both men and women, have full access to the blessings of the Priesthood. Every member can be baptized, can take out his or her own endowments, can be married, and can receive Priesthood blessings. It seems like this argument has become more common within the church as it faces accusations of being sexist. For example the current Sharing Time manual has a lesson on the Priesthood titled "Blessings of the Priesthood are available to all." Equality is achieved, the argument goes, because everyone is enjoying all the benefits. I agree that the ordinances that the Stake President listed are available to all. However, I believe that there are additional benefits that come with holding the Priesthood that were not mentioned.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
One thing we talked about in my class this semester is how we as a society divide up the developmental time periods of a person's life. When we label one part of life "childhood" and another "adolescence" and another "adulthood", we are dividing up the lifespan based on our societal ideas about development. My students started to realize that these divisions are somewhat arbitrary when I ask them to explain when adolescence begins and ends. The straight forward answer to the beginning of adolescence seems to be puberty, but the more we talk about puberty, the more my students realize that this is still hard to define. What pubertal change specifically are we talking about given that the process of pubertal changes can take anywhere from 2 to 6 years? What about more cognitive and emotional maturity? Should those also indicate that someone has entered adolescence?
Friday, April 13, 2012
Recently Galdralag and I had a discussion about our respective careers in academia and whether our choices were practical or not. Academic jobs pay fairly well, but they are really difficult to get. If you choose an academic field that doesn't have a practical application, and you are not able to get one of the few tenure track position, you don't have a lot of options. Also, they are definitely not 9 to 5 jobs. Academic jobs involve a lot of pressure to publish, and to obtain external funding in order to do your job which leads to long working hours. This conversation lead me to reflect on why I chose the career I did, and how men and women in the church decide on majors during college. Here are some examples that I have been thinking of:
Friday, March 23, 2012
Before I started teaching Adolescence Development to undergraduate students, I wasn't that familiar with research on adolescents. Thus, teaching the course has been a big learning experience for me. One discouraging thing that I have learned is that for teenage girls, physical appearance still has a large influence on both their popularity and their sense of self worth. I feel that despite efforts to break down gender stereotypes, we still live in a world that places a premium on certain characteristics in both women and girls. These characteristics include being beautiful, engaging, easy to get a long with, and compliant. Thus, we continually see women in both TV and films who are there to be decorative instead of being whole people. We see female characters that are solely defined by how they support men (the wife, the girlfriend, the mother) instead of well-rounded characters that have their own thoughts, dreams, and character-flaws.