Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Feminist Mormon Housewives Blogger Tresa Edmunds Featured In The Guardian, Strives To Synthesize Mormonism And Feminism

A long time contributor to the Feminist Mormon Housewives (FMH) blog has become the subject of a profile in a British newspaper, the Guardian. In an August 10th article entitled "Mormon, and feminist too", Tresa Edmunds, who according to FMH, blogs under the nom de keyboard of Reese Dixon, discusses the influence of both Mormonism and feminism in her life, and how she strives to create a synthesis of the two sometimes-conflicting belief systems.

Edmunds insists that both beliefs come instinctively to her. Her feminism is fueled by the fact that her heart is attuned to injustice, and so she's become sensitized to what she perceives as injustice against women. At the same time, she's also a "legacy" Mormon, meaning that she comes from several generations of Mormons in her family, the earliest of which crossed the Great Plains at considerable hardship. She nurtures a deep respect for their sacrifices as well.

However, Tresa Edmunds is NOT another Sonia Johnson. From the article, this description:

Whenever I tell someone at church that I am a feminist, I cannot even allow myself to take a breath before I spill out exactly what that means to me. That I don't hate men, that I don't want to overthrow the prophet, that I just want women to have every available opportunity for growth and respect. "Feminist" is widely considered to be "the other F-word", and even using it in public can end conversations as people assume some definition that bears little resemblance to my beliefs.

In the final analysis, Edmunds asserts that by calling herself a feminist, she simply believes that God loves His daughters just as much as His sons. She tells others that our LDS heritage encourages a woman's expression of spiritual gifts. She reminds others of our tradition of believing in a Heavenly Mother. But most importantly, she says we can all do better in how we treat each other.

This particular article has now been discussed on FMH. In addition, a recent post focuses on an article by Edmunds published on Patheos as well as a new project being launched to educate and support Mormons called Women Advocating for Voice and Equality (W.A.V.E.), an advocacy organization to advance gender equity within the LDS Church. WAVE intends to work with local and general leaders to be guided in highlighting and shaping policies that allow for the more full participation of our sisters and daughters in order to improve member retention. They do NOT specifically advocate extending Priesthood membership to women without benefit of a divine revelation to the President of the Church.

As Reese Dixon, Tresa Edmunds also edits the BeginningsNew blog, described as a lively and practical forum for Young Women leaders to talk about everything related to their calling to minister to the young women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Any effort to de-fang and de-toxify feminism is welcome. People like Sonia Johnson and Gloria Steinem have inflicted serious damage to the feminist cause by their attitude and their male-bashing. If FMH can change that perception, they are welcome to do so, as long as they don't attempt to stampede the Church leadership into extending Priesthood to women without benefit of a revelation.

No comments: