From Housewife to Heretic
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From Housewife to Heretic

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Within one month, Johnson lost both her husband and her church -- and found her place in history.
Paperback, 415 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Wildfire Books
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(showing 1-29 of 177)
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Sarah Clarke-Smith
Forgive the length of this review; I have a lot to say about “Feminism.” I started reading classic feminist literature in my teens (Susan Fauldi, Germaine Greer, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Betty Friedan, Naomi Wolf, Gloria Steinem, Simone De Beauvoir, Kate Chopin, Henrik Ibsen, Virginia Woolf, etc.). As an undergraduate, I minored in history and took several courses in women’s studies with particular emphasis in slavery, suffrage, and the women’s movement. I also took sociology/world...more
Katrina
I think this is an important book for every Mormon feminist to read. (Actually I wish every Mormon would read it; we'd get some more feminists if they did.) It is both inspiring and infuriating. It was often unpleasant to read what Sonia Johnson went through. I wanted to scream at the absurdity of what she experienced. I also felt sad to realize once again that my Church has been the cause of so much suffering. And even more sad to read this book 30 years later and realize how little has changed...more
Ashley Hoopes
This book is out of print, which is a tragedy in and of itself. No copies at any of the independent book stores (what?). No copies at any of the libraries in the entire Salt Lake City system (you have got to be joking) and so I went online and ordered it from a more ethical version of Amazon.com. Now I want to stock every library and bookstore in the state with a copy.

Why did I not read this book 15 years ago? It would have opened my eyes as to why I always felt "less than", why I felt that I ne...more
Katie Bullock
I don't even know how to go about rating this book. 1) I was totally gripped -- from start to finish. I felt like I was finally getting actual information on Mormon history that has been pretty hushed for my generation. And boy, was there plenty to tell. That was some dirty, dirty business. 2) I questioned her, doubted her, and trusted her all at the same time. Who knows if she's a complete nut-job or a full-on prophetess, but I love that she had the lady-balls to tell her side of the story at a...more
Jen
Aug 24, 2014 Jen added it
I'm struggling with how to write a review of this one. I'll start with the only thing I didn't like: Sonia had to deal with a lot of men telling her what to do, and that sucked. In her book, she claimed to know what the men (and some women) were thinking, feeling, and what their motivations were for the things they said and did. She didn't know what they were thinking or feeling, and her pretending to know was off putting and frustrating for me.

Her story, the things she felt and thought, the th...more
Rebeccacharell Palmer
My great-aunt wrote this book. It has some very interesting radical feminist ideas and gave me insight into my family history. It also delves into the Mormon religion in interesting ways, but it is a little out there.
G (galen)
A fascinating look at the 1970's battle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and the extensive effort by LDS Church went to block it. It was eerily reminiscent of last year's election season when the LDS church once again threw it's massive monetary and man-power against the Same Sex Marriage props on various ballots. Except, to my knowledge, no one was excommunicated over the SSM fight. It was intriguing, depressing, and enraging to read this first-hand account by Sonia about her feminist awake...more
Chelsi
This is an important book. I wish I would have read it years ago. Sonia is a badass and I'm kinf od sad that she has somehwat disappeared off the scene in the last few years. I'm sure she would have wonderful things to teach us if we could continue the Mormon Feminist conversation with her. I want to write her a letter or an email thanking her for all of her hard work and courage.

That being said, I understand why she had to write about her relationship with Rick in the context of patriarchy, bu...more
Louise Chambers
I read this when it first came out in hardback (couldn't find that edition in the search engine). Didn't quite "get it" at the time.

Later, I got to hear Sonia Johnson speak in a workshop at Michigan Women's Festival in 1989. She's fabulous. One of the best feminist minds of my generation.
Anna
I'm a Mormon and a feminist so I decided this might be an interesting book for me to read. Axe to grid aside, it was enlightening, sickening, frustrating, and sometimes annoying. She was in a tough spot at a hard time so she has my sympathy. I was mostly sad about my Church's former views about the ERA as well as some of my favorite leaders involvement in fighting against it in a rather demeaning way towards women. Sonia reminded us about Susan B. Anthony's cry to her fellow women, "How can you...more
Callie
Well, don't I feel sheepish? I was all set to write Sonia Johnson off, to dismiss her and to laugh at her. You can't blame me entirely when you title a book 'From Housewife to Heretic' a name like that strikes me as about as melodramatic, about as outlandish as you can get. Too, I read her biography on wikipedia before I read the book and the facts of her life make her sound as if she really winds up going off the deep end.

I suppose I thought this would be one of those memoirs that is purely ax...more
Wizzard
One thing I liked about the edition of the book that I read is the author's admission in the preface that she had learned a lot about living, specifically about feminism in the decade since the writing of the book and that the book covers just the awakening and beginning of the author's political and feminist consciousness.

That said, the story kept me turning its pages as I learned about the 1960's-1970's version of feminism for the white managerial classes. Johnson's writing style wraps you in...more
Nicole Mercer
Compelling story with a little too much preaching for me. I agree with her up to a point, but felt like she was pushing too hard. I was disappointed that I'd never before heard about the extent of political involvement the Mormon church had to oppose equality. A definite must read for Mormon women and anyone with an interest in women and religion.
Angel Cowgirl
As an Ex-Mormon, I have also seen and been subject to the church's political machinations (particularly with Prop 8 in California and the Defense of Marriage Act in Texas). Sonia's account was completely believable and very much in line with what I have experienced. Every Mormon should read this book and learn that real 'feminism' is not about hating men but simply desiring equal opportunities and respect for women. Men, you could score serious brownie points with the women in your life if you r...more
Nissa
I would say to any Mormon feminist this is a must read and an important piece of our history. She does have a lot of emotionally driven explanations or rants, yet seems justified for what she went through. But also, Sonia records her involvement for the E.R.A. and the church's involvement to oppose it. The book goes through her excommunication from the Church for supporting a political action. I was really pissed at times.
Stacey Lowe
A fascinating story about Sonia Johnson's dissent from the church over the Equal Rights Ammendment and the patriarchal structure of the LDS church. It's definitely her own story and she loses some credibility with her blanket statements. Heartbreaking and engrossing as an LDS woman to read.
Sianna
Eye opening autobiography about one woman's excommunication from the LDS church based on her role in the feminist movement.

Other book recommendations in the "Mormon apostate tells all" genre: Secret Ceremonies, Deborah Laake and Leaving the Saints, Martha Beck.
Holly
I appreciate where she's coming from and find her very brave in what she did. Her writing style was tedious at times though and I think the book would have been more powerful if it had been about 100 pages shorter.
Vikki
I thought this book was very good. In about 1981 this Mormon woman was excommunicated from the Mormon church for her ERA activities. I learned a lot about the Mormon church.
Ian
To inaproposly quote Peter Travers (on Les Mis [2012]): "Damn its flaws, From Housewife to Heretic is terrific!"

That's all.
Clarice
Jun 15, 2012 Clarice marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-finish-later
I got halfway through the book and need to take a break, I love the author's personal story more than the politics part of it.
Caroline Bitter
This is a story of a mormon women who was excommunicated from the church because she supported the ERA.
Tanjua
Interesting book. There is lots of material to ponder. Can relate to some of her perspective.
Mike
I recall reading this while sitting in my college library.
Jenny
Devastating.
Stephanie
Stephanie marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
Alycia
Alycia marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2014
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