Category Archives: Culture

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.

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.

Continue reading

Go Home, Ben Carson. You’re Drunk.

I watched this video yesterday of the most adorable 106 year old woman named Virginia McLaurin dancing with the President and First Lady. I got a little teary eyed when she held their hands and told them that she never thought she would see the day when she would be welcomed into the White House to meet a black president. It was a beautiful moment, and reminded me of how important it is that we see ourselves represented in our leadership. It meant something to Ms. McLaurin that she was able to look into the eyes of the President of the United States and see one of her own looking back. It was powerful and wonderful and it made me appreciate the special time in history that I am blessed to be a part of.

ben Continue reading

Finding Mis Abuelitas

Sixteen years ago, prompted by a line in my patriarchal blessing, I signed up to take a family history class at BYU. The first day of class, the professor asked us each to introduce ourselves and our goals for the semester. One by one my classmates shared their ambitions to learn more about pioneer ancestors who settled towns in Utah or Idaho. With a healthy sense of humor and self-acceptance, I stood and semi-joked, “I’d really just like to trace my father’s family back to legitimate births.”

There are pockets of pioneer ancestry tucked into my lineage.  There’s a street in historic Nauvoo that shares my mother’s maiden name. But the family stories that dominate my sense of identity are conspicuously lacking in quilts and covered wagons. And, my father’s side especially—the Mexican side of the family—has always been the stumpy side of the family tree. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

In Response to the Maple Mountain Drill Team…

image1 (3)

Dear Editor,

Recently the drill team at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork put on a display of racism and white privilege that would make the Washington “Redskins” proud.  I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and we do not appreciate the exploitation of our culture by ignorant non-Indians.  The Maple Mountain drill team not only dressed themselves offensively, but dared to mark up their faces in caricature of our traditional dancing.  I assume they attempted to translate their drill team routine into something that might remotely resemble the spiritual expression that the hoop dance is for Native Americans, and they only succeeded in proving that racism is alive and well in Utah.

Continue reading

I support Bigotry and Discrimination

Golden Angel Moroni blowing a trumpet. This is usually seen on top of a Mormon Temple
I am currently an active member of the Mormon Church. However, in light of the new policy change by our church that declares marriage between same-sex couples apostasy and bars their children from participating in saving ordinances as well as receiving a name and a blessing, I can no longer deny that I am part of and support a bigoted and discriminatory church that systematically participates in the subjugation of others. Continue reading