Yearning for God, Trying to Love My Neighbor, Making Theatre and Beauty, Building a Life...

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Divine Feminine, Mormon Style: Carol Lynn Pearson's _Mother Wove the Morning_, Joanna Brooks, and Faithful Mormon Feminism

Feminist. It's a divisive word among Mormons. When I've told people that I consider myself a Mormon feminist it gets a wide range of reactions, from pleasant surprise from my more secular friends and peers who have a firm idea in their minds that Mormons are sexist and patriarchal; to a not-so-veiled antagonism from more conservative Mormons; to a simple and warm curiosity from moderates on all sides. As consequence of having seven powerful and independently minded sisters; a traditionally minded mother, who was nevertheless a strong and powerful influence in my life; a long list of female friends (generally, I have gravitated much more towards women than men); not to mention a strong minded wife and a spunky, little daughter; I've always had a robust appreciation for the women in my life. They've been a diverse spectrum of personalities, beliefs, and approaches, which have been a hugely pervasive and positive influence in my life.

Thus my feminism, although I may have hidden it from myself under different names in the early part of my life, it has really always been there, even as a young child. People have called me out on it in my writing, even in the time of my life before I really considered myself an "official" feminist. Women were often the key characters, and came in greater numbers in my plays (except sometimes in my historical pieces, like Swallow the Sun... I couldn't help it if C.S. Lewis mainly hung out with men!). As my writing continued, in time, my feminist identity and themes became even more pronounced... sometimes to the discomfort of certain family members and friends.