What do Mormon male privilege, bikinis, Boyd K. Packer, priestesshood, CES & 50 Shades of Grey have in common? The year 2012.

Continuing our retrospective of the first decade of the Exponent blog, here are the most discussed posts of 2012:

Mormon Male Privilege and How to Make Apparent Gender Disparity in the Church BY WHOA-MAN

Whoa-man lists 82 ways that Mormon men are privileged over women. Commenters had a lot of ideas, too!

Bikinis: To Wear or Not to Wear BY SUZETTE

Wow, when an Exponent blogger talks about the rather mundane personal decision of what to pack for Memorial Day weekend, the whole Mormon community chimes in!

Call to Reaction to Boyd K. Packer BY DEFYGRAVITY

DefyGravity shares a letter she has written to her local church leaders about Boyd K. Packer’s 2012 talk at the worldwide leadership conference, especially his statement about how the worthiest thing women can do is be a wife of a priesthood holder and have children.

The Potential of Priestesshood BY MRAYNES

Mraynes sketches out her ideas for how the church might “explore ways of allowing women to serve and be served in a way that is truly equivalent to men.”

LDS Church Educational System Employment Policies for Mothers BY APRIL YOUNG BENNETT

I had been told that the church fires married, female seminary/institute teachers for giving birth but there was no public documentation of the policy, so I interviewed someone at the Seminary and Institute Preservice Training Office. Spoiler: Yes, they were firing married women for becoming mothers. The good news is that this policy has since changed.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey Series)50 Shades of Grey-Book Club BY JESSAWHY

This post was controversial to Mormons and feminists alike and attracted attention from secular news outlets curious about Mormon reactions to this book.

Enlisting Allies BY JESSAWHY

Jessawhy notices that “sometimes our conversations with open-minded men and women can turn them away from the great cause of feminism instead of enlisting them as allies” and discusses how we can do better.


In this post, I talk about the taboo against women saying they want the priesthood and my personal compliance with the taboo. This was a fun post for me to re-read because I eventually broke the taboo in a pretty big way. Some of the consequences I feared never came to fruition, but others did.


It’s easy for Mormons to scoff at elderly, celibate Catholic bishops making decisions about birth control for married Catholics, but I’m afraid our own GAs are equally insulated from problems of average Mormons.


Childless by choice, Defygravity was often asked, “Why don’t you want kids?” In this post, she flips the question around and asks the rest of us:

Why did/do you want kids? Have your feelings about wanting kids changed? And is reasonable to ask someone why they want kids, or is that like asking why someone likes chocolate or doesn’t like the color orange? Can you explain it, or is it something inherent that can’t really be explained?

April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series and host of the Religious Feminism Podcast. Learn more about April at

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