Matt Stoller

Nice post.


I am curious about one thing. You link a number of Mormon feminists. My best friend is Mormon. Mormons (LDS) seem the polar opposite from feminism. Comment?

Doesnt their religion essentially tell them to serve and obey their husbands?

The Happy Feminist

I have to admit that I'm not much of an expert on Mormonism or Mormon feminism. I am guessing that a lot of Mormon feminism has to do with trying to change certain Mormon practices and beliefs, and trying to reconcile their feminism with their religious and cultural heritage. I imagine this is an issue for a lot of people, not just Mormons. How does one, for example, reconcile being a feminist with, say, being a life-long Catholic. On the one hand, a Catholic (like my husband) may have a deeply ingrained affection for the church in which he was raised, a church that represents his familial and cultural heritage. On the other hand, many of the church's principles and practices (such as not permitting women into the priesthood) are diametrically opposed to feminism.


I have to agree that this is a great post. I'm another college-educated, white, makeup-wearing (etc) feminist who sometimes trades on the fact that she is palatable to many who are turned off by hairy angry feminists. I do get angry, and actually I do get hairy, too, but I don't think these are things people would say are major characteristics of mine. I should also point out that I'm not very familiar with feminism in a formal sense - never taken a women's study class or anything - so I think I have a unique perspective to offer others who aren't willing to accept feminism when it's presented as dogma rather than something that arises organically. I think it's easier for people to reject the hairy angry feminist when they don't have any idea what connects their reality to the hairy angry one.

Also, I do think it's often acceptable to make incremental difference rather than none at all. I would like it if I could be absolutely loyal to all of my principles, but I think doing that would be paralyzing. I will compromise if someone else is willing to do some yielding of their own, because I have no idea how to make things perfect. I have ideas on how to make things better, and that's what I pursue. I do make it a point to try and stick up for everyone I can, but I am willing to accept better on many issues instead of perfect.

Mrs. B.

This was a good post....very interesting because I have been thinking, lately, about why I read your blog, almost daily, even though if you and I were to sit down and talk we would most likely be polar opposites in our views on just about everything.(except dogs:)

I don't know.....I guess I've always found people to be interesting and fascinating and I like to try and understand where they're coming from, even if they're different than me....I think that's why I LOVE reading people's blogs, especially people who have an interesting writing style.

I guess another reason why I read and comment, here, is because even though we're different, I don't feel 'hated' by you and you seem to appreciate ALL viewpoints even if you don't agree with them.

Ron O.

I feel similarly as a man who identifies as feminist. Though some have a legitimate issue with my use of the label, I think it is justified to show that men can & do care about gender issues.

Oh, and I agree with you on many things, but not the dogs ;)


Very well said.

Liberal Girl

I really enjoyed your post and your blog in general. Today is the first time I'm reading it being directed here from another blog.

I am angry. Not all the time but sometimes. And I am hairy, although I do shave my legs which some of friends think is weird. I'm not a lesbian though. Married with child. But I do think that I am an ordinary woman who simply wants what she and other women deserve, a choice. We should have the choice to be successful professionally and make equal pay for equal work and experience or to be a stay-at-home mom and raise our children without guilt. We should be able to decide whether we want to use birth control or not, have abortions or not. We should have the choice to be sexual if we want and virginal if we choose and not to fear sexual violence if we choose any path. And I do believe that men can be feminists.

I do not think that your opinions are more or less valid because you have lived a "conventional" life and that your posts are respectful and intelligent and that worrying that you are limiting the feminist cause because of who you are is unwarranted. You are a woman who thinks that the world should be less gender biased and that makes you a feminist.

Mrs. B.

"....and that your posts are respectful and intelligent...."

This sentence sums up, well, what I was trying to say.

The Happy Feminist

Thank you!

xoxoxo HF

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