Author Archives: Natasha

Why My Voice Should Count For More Than One Vote

Black and white hand drawn comic with 12 men and one woman sitting around a table. All of the men are looking at the woman. Text reads, "Well, you're the only one who thinks we're a sexist organisation."

This comic has appeared in my newsfeed several times in the last week. It captures what many of us feel when we are the minority in any given situation. It captures the overwhelming feeling of loneliness when faced with the contrast of your difference. It captures why I don’t want a seat at the table.

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The Posts You Like Most

As part of our birthday celebration, we thought we would do a roundup of our top 10 most popular posts. This is a good way for those of you who recently found us to check out some of our other work and get to know FEMWOC a little better. Continue reading

Transcending Time Through Gumbo

   March is Women’s History month. As I think about this in the context of Mormonism, I think about how personal history is such an important part of our religious practice. This personal history becomes part of our individual narratives. Unfortunately, my attempts to collect my personal history do not extend beyond this continent. Even genealogy is a penetrating reminder of the continual tragedy of slavery and its far reaching effects. Despite this, I have realized that I have found connection to the women from my personal history through personal ritual. Sure, it doesn’t reach far beyond the continent and beyond the grips of slavery, but it makes me feel closer to the women who have gone before me.

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Ready for Revelation – 1 PoV by 1 PoC

I originally wrote this post for Ordain Women. It explains one of the reasons I support women’s ordination. This was originally posted on OrdainWomen.org on February 1, 2016. 

The story of black women within the Mormon church has often been ignored. Instead, we focus on those whose oppressions are easily categorized without intersections. The racial oppression of black men through their exclusion of the Priesthood and the pious suffering of white women as they endured the sacrifices and the sexism of polygamy take center stage. At best, black women are a distant afterthought.

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An Additional Narrative : Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2

Welcome to our first discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.Doers of the word

As Carla L. Peterson explains her purpose and begins to explore the lives of women highlighted throughout the book, I am most struck by the realization that before this book, I knew mostly names of black women connected to southern slavery. This is the narrative of black history. It ends and begins with slavery. When I think of northern abolitionists I think of white people but mostly white women. Black women have been completely erased from the northern abolitionist narrative, which allows for the development of a narrative that views northern whites as the savior of enslaved southern blacks. This, of course, continues an ongoing hierarchy of indebtedness and development of the benevolent oppressor. I believe the very act of expanding our awareness of the diversity of experiences of black people in the 1800s breaks down the oppressive nature of our history and forces us to view the black experience as an individual experience. Our history is not a homogeneous monument to one specific type of oppression (slavery). Just as there is not one narrative of oppression to capture black experience today, there was not of the past either. Continue reading

Black History Month Book Discussion

Doers of the word

As we round out our first blog year and move into our second, we have decided to make a greater effort to focus on identity and awareness months. Today marks the first day of Black History Month. We thought we would try something new and feature a book that we can read and discuss together.

We have selected Doers of the Word: African American Women Speakers and Writers in the North. You can download a copy through the Kindle app or have one shipped to your home. This book features African-American women preachers, lecturers, and writers from the North from 1830-1880. I will be reading this book for the first time along with anyone else who chooses to participate, so for a more comprehensive review please see the Amazon summary.

Each week, we will cover 2 chapters. We will post a blog about the chapters each Monday and open the comments up to discussion. We ask that all related comments be posted on the FEMWOC website to aid in unified interactive discussion. We hope you will find the time and will have a desire to participate as we read about historical African-American women who were engaged in social justice action and work. I’m sure this will be a very enriching and enlightening experience!

Missing the Mark

Photograph of Martin Luther King JR at a press conference, standing at a podium behind microphones and speaking, 1964. Text Reads "Why Can't W[ait]"

[This post was originally published at Feminist Mormon Housewives by Natasha Smith on February 9, 2015. The original text can be found here.]

Let’s be real, Feminist Mormon Community. We just had a major opportunity to embrace intersectionality, and we squandered it. What am I talking about? Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On that day, I watched as post after post dribbled through my social media co-opting Dr. King’s message. I saw many posts that talked about how Dr. King’s words apply to issues today as if racial inequality is not an issue today. I’m all for equality in every form, but given the current political and racial climate of the United States and the recent racial deconstruction of the Feminist Mormon Community, we needed to do better.

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