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Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism
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Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism

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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Utah women today might be surprised to learn their grandmothers' views on feminist issues, according to Maxine Hanks. LDS Relief Society co-founder Sarah Kimball referred to herself as "a woman's rights woman, " while Bathsheba Smith was called on Relief Society mission in 1870 to preach equal rights for women.The society editorialized that females belonged not only "in th ...more
Paperback, 494 pages
Published November 1st 1992 by Signature Books
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Community Reviews

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Tonia
My Aunt gave me this book back in the early 1990's. which is when I read it. For me it was the beginning of University, independence, individual thought, and a fascinating collection of essays based on the gender inequities in a modern day Church. (These were the growing pains of many Christian churches at the time.) I had grown up within the LDS Church able to see the gender inequities others did not acknowledge, and here was a group of women and men who helped me name them. (It also helped tha ...more
Kaylana
While I was reading this I went through many stages in my faith. From a questioning believer to a non-believer in the space of about 8 months. I think it provides some thought-provoking essays on the place of Mormon women in the early part of the Church as well as on women in the church now.

But the last few essays had me scratching my head. So many of the women had to jump through so many hoops to try and reconcile their place within the church and their place within Mormonism's theology.

I, for
...more
Stephanie
Jun 26, 2010 Stephanie is currently reading it
A few notes about me, this book, and me reading it (because I know my Mom was worried about my choice of reading material!):

- I am reading this book because I am genuinely interested in the role of women in the LDS church. This book contains several essays about that, both historically and in the present.

- I know that the author, Maxine Hanks, was excommunicated for writing this book. I do not plan on leaving the LDS church, nor am I the sort to make a big stink and get myself excommunicated.

-
...more
Natalie
I read this book very slowly, bit by bit, over a long period of time. I found it to be very powerful.

Some chapters (like the one on sister missionaries) didn't particularly communicate with me. But many, many, many of them affected me a great deal. I wish I could see a book like this, written today, talking to today's women, 20 years later.

I feel such a longing to develop a kinship with my foremothers in the LDS tradition. I want to sit down for lunch with Eliza R. Snow and Emmeline B. Wells.
...more
Heather
It's interesting to think this was compiled almost 20 years ago- if someone ventured to do such a compiling now, would it be possible?

I found the histories fascinating. Various essays followed the history of women healing in the Church, sister missionaries, how the Church discusses our Mother in Heaven, the ERA, and even feminism at BYU. Reading about the experiences and excitement of the women working when the WRI was first established made me sad. Here I am in 2010, knowing that as of December
...more
Just Me
I started reading this a couple days ago. I am getting close to the halfway point.
Much of the material is not new to me, but things I have read in various other articles in the past year or two. However, reading so much of it all in one place is making me angry and sad all over again.

I like the format of articles and chapters by different people and the inclusion of articles written for the women's publications of so long ago. It helps make it more readable.

Just finished the book. I really like
...more
Nicole Mercer
Absolutely amazing. I feel like there is discussion here of many questions I have asked my whole life and never had anyone to talk about them with. Great insights into Mormon history and theology.
James
Great collections of essays and thoughts from a veritable all-start lineup of Mormon intellectuals.

Really good insight, especially for a male who was raised and indoctrinated in the patriarchal order of the LDS church, to see these perspectives and understand at a deeper level the effect the Church can have on females.

Glad I read it. Would highly recommend it.
Amber
While I can’t agree with all of the conclusions drawn by this book, there were actually few conclusions drawn. Instead, there were articulate and well researched essays and historical writings that promote honest communication regarding gender. Interestingly, I found this month’s visiting teaching message among the writings published from The Exponent.
Rae
A provocative (and yet "whiny") collection of essays on subjects such as the worship of a Mother in Heaven, priesthood and women, and healing by women. The best essay is D. Michael Quinn's "Women Have Held the Priesthood Since 1843." This is a book to be read carefully, looking for hidden truths and enlightenment. Definitely not mainstream stuff.
Luna Lindsey
A profound view of feminism within Mormonism. This is a collection of essays, poems, and research papers dealing with various women's issues in the church, including the historical perspective, ERA fights, views of Mother in Heaven, etc. I have purchased copies of this book to give to my family members. Very enlightening.
Noelle
A couple of the articles/essays I probably would have only given a three, but loved the rest/found them to be well-written, insightful, and uplifting. First time I think I've actually enjoyed reading about the history of Relief Society.
(Just FYI, the whole book is available online for free, just Google it)
Liz
Five stars for how much it has informed my mental processes on women in Mormonism. Some essays were more helpful than others, and I don't agree with every single thing, but it's a powerful book with interesting and important research into mormon theology and church history.
Courtney
Mar 29, 2012 Courtney marked it as to-read
Mormon Feminism seems like a blatant oxymoron. However, I'm curious about this book. The author was excommunicated for writing it, so I'm hoping it contains subversive interpretations of how women OUGHT to be treated in Mormon culture. hmmmm
Mehrsa
Very interesting essays on Mormon feminism, but most of the essays took doubt and questioning a little farther than I wanted to go, but the ideas are all interesting and the breadth of contributors and topics is a real draw.
Clay
Probably one of the most important, yet uncelebrated, collection of essays dealing with Mormon studies.
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