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I recently wrote a spirited blog post about Mormon women. I argued that, contrary to two recent assertions by the LDS hierarchy, Mormon women do not have full equality in the Church (even though these women are, as both speakers hastened to point out, “incredible”). The post sparked some vigorous debate on the blog, which I am always delighted to see, even if people disagree. Open and transparent discussion is vital.
Today up at Mormon Matters there is a new podcast discussion about Mormon women and equality. I got the privilege to sit down with Joanna Brooks, who blogs about Mormonism for Religion Dispatches; and Kristine Haglund, the editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and one of the smartest people I know. (Listen for how she uses “phenotypical” in a sentence. I didn’t even know that was a word.) It was Kristine’s brilliant satire of the kind of equality Mormon women enjoy that galvanized me to offer a response as well.
Here is a description of the episode on the Mormon Matters website:
[Michael] Otterson’s depiction of equality led to a great deal of discussion on various LDS blogs, including a wonderfully executed piece of satire by Kristine Haglund in which she compared women’s equality with the type of equality her children enjoy as a member of her family. In this episode, Haglund is joined by two other panelists, Jana Riess and Joanna Brooks, and host Dan Wotherspoon in an animated, far ranging, and very insightful discussion of the roles of Mormon women today. How can we raise the level of discourse on women within the Church beyond the issues of priesthood ordination and claims by many LDS women to be completely fulfilled? Are there theological insights or practices that might lead the Church to utilize women’s gifts more fully? What strategies do the panelists find most helpful as they boldly speak out on difficult issues while still maintaining full activity in the church and good relationships with members and leaders? What renews their faith and encourages them to remain engaged?
My thanks to Dan Wotherspoon for spearheading this conversation and creatively working around the schedules of three very busy people in different time zones.