The Summer 2016 edition of the online journal SquareTwo features the results and a discussion of a recent poll of Mormon women about the ways that LDS women’s organizations are referred to, and about the names and titles of women’s groups, as well as women who are referred to primarily through their relationship to their husband’s titled calling: the “bishop’s wife,” the “mission president’s wife.” It also asked for reactions to a proposal to change the wording of the Young Women’s Theme plus the name of the “Young Womanhood” Award (currently the name of the recognition that is the equivalent to young men’s “Duty to God” award. Respondents who thought that discussions of these things or changes were in order were then given a chance to make suggestions for those new names and titles. Following a Salt Lake Tribune blog post about the survey, discussion really took off, netting an large number of comments both supportive of and quite dismissive of the survey and issues it raises.
This Mormon Matters episode, featuring SquareTwo board member and one of the writers of the article analyzing the survey’s results, Neylan McBaine, and Mormon therapist and writer about women’s issues and group dynamics, Julie de Azevedo Hanks, examines the survey and its findings, but also the interesting feedback it has received. What do these responses say about today’s Mormonism, especially in relation to non-correlated, non-official efforts to open up discussions about and propose potential solutions to issues that negatively affect many LDS women?
V.H. Cassler and Neylan McBaine, “What’s in a Name?: SquareTwo Poll Survey Results on the Naming of Women’s Positions and Organizations in the LDS Church”
Peggy Fletcher Stack, “Mia Maids? Mission Prez’s Wife? Please, in the name of all that is holy, change these outdated monikers, LDS women plead,” Following Faith blog, Salt Lake Tribune, 12 August 2016
Neylan McBaine, Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact (Salt Lake City, Greg Kofford Books, 2014)
Julie de Azevedo Hanks, The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2016)
Julie de Azevedo Hanks, The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women (American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2013)
The Mormon Women’s Project website
Great Discussion! I appreciated the understanding and empathy relative to more traditional women who hold the view that the structure is working for them and, in fact, is how God ordained it. It’s important to consider and attempt to understand all sides of the issues. Fascinating article and responses! Such Important discussions! Thank you for doing this work.
In place of Mia Maids, I like Seekers. Great ideas in the podcast.
Thanks for this discussion. The day after listening to it, we had a multi-stake conference visited by Elder M. Russell Ballard. Prior to his remarks, the Mission President along with another visiting member of the seventy were invited to bear a short testimony. In my head I’m thinking – what about the other Mission President aka the “Mission President’s wife”? As Elder Ballard stood up to start his talk, he thought for a moment and then determined that the conference required the wise words of women, and invited her to speak which she did graciously and without pause. Prior to listening to this podcast, I likely wouldn’t have even noticed!
That is very cool! Thanks for sharing that anecdote!
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