I was surprised by the content of Dialogue’s pink issue. I expected to encounter more scholarship than personal essays. My own supposition about the content likewise surprised me. I am deeply persuaded that sharing stories is an essential way for women to claim their agency, to challenge official narratives by saying, “In my experience, that is not the case.” Or, “That way of doing things does not work for me.” But when I came across a group of women doing just that, I felt let down. Continue reading
We’re pleased to have Professor Claudia Bushman’s reflection on the pink issue of Dialogue, for which she wrote the introduction and served as guest editor. In “Women in Dialogue: An Introduction,” Professor Bushman describes the gathering of the coterie of Boston-area Mormon women who met with some regularity to discuss feminist issues. These women considered the dominant model of womanhood in the LDS church and examined its scriptural and historical origins. As a result, they “argue . . . for acceptance of the diversity that already exists in the life styles of Mormon women” (8). Poignantly Professor Bushman queries, “Does it undercut the celestial dream to admit that there are occasional Japanese beetles in the roses covering our cottages?” (6). The group’s questioning reveals the need to understand the complexity of the Mormon woman’s heritage (see 7). With each generation, Mormon women continue to confront this complexity and struggle for women’s liberation anew. Please welcome Professor Bushman. Continue reading
Note: Summer 2011 will be the fortieth anniversary of the Pink Issue of Dialogue. The publication of this issue marked the beginning of a resurgence of Mormon feminism and an increased interest in women’s history. The women who were involved – Claudia Bushman, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, etc. – have become important figures within the Mormon academic community. In this series of blog posts, we examine the Pink Issue of Dialogue and think about the moment from which it sprang and the possible meaning of that issue today.
(Edit: Thanks to Kristine for reminding us to add the link to the 1971 Pink Issue of Dialogue: https://dialoguejournal.com/archive/issue-details/?in=23)
In the early 1970s, Claudia Bushman, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and other women living in Boston formed what they would call the “L.D.S. cell of Women’s Lib.” They read Kate Millet and discussed Relief Society lessons. Out of these discussions grew a special pink edition of Dialogue that focused on the experiences of the women within the Mormon Church. Edited by the discussion group that had coalesced around the original members, it included articles on nineteenth-century Mormon feminists, the difficulty of balancing academic work with family, and the challenge of being single within a church that exalted families. Continue reading
As the title of this blog suggests, we are ladies with multiple layers. We are scholars who love strappy heels, vintage dresses, and cute purses. We are also scholars who take an academic interest in women–in their history and in their place in the world today. This virtual forum is a place for us discuss the things, silly and serious, that are on our minds. It will likely focus on women’s religious history but may occasionally wander into other realms of inquiry. We hope you’ll join the discussion and make this a pleasant place to be. To learn a bit about us, click on “Contributors.”