Reproducing Patriarchy and Erasing Feminism : the Selective Construction of History within the Mormon Community
Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion
The author, herself a Mormon feminist, argues that there is a feminist history and culture embedded in the Church. She notes that Church leaders have suppressed the publication of that feminist element in its past because it "hardly reflects Mormonism as it is practiced today." She argues that priesthood leaders (who she regards as the "ruling class") use the threat of excommunication to maintain and perpetuate the "current status quo." She also argues that the ritual of sustaining Church leaders "provides only the illusion of choice." She observes that in the sustaining ritual, leaders may ask for opposing votes, but "opposing voices are neither expected or preferred." She notes that Mormon feminists have no desire to be cast out from the Church community, but they are waiting and hopeful of a "heroic," if not an immediate, change in regard to Mormon feminism. She says they are waiting to reclaim what was historically a part of the Mormon past. She says they are hopeful because of the change they witnessed in overturning the policy of black men not being permitted to have the priesthood. She looks at "the theological authority of Mormonism and its subsequent erasure of feminism" through the lens of Marxist cultural theory.