My Mother’s Tribe

Nancy Dredge and her daughter Margaret Moore.
Nancy Dredge and her daughter Margaret Moore.

When I was a child, Exponent II meant pin up parties, left over blue pencils and graph paper scattered throughout our house—the remnants of my mother’s hard work and dedication to the paper. Exponent women were my mother’s tribe—they spent hours together working, talking, and laughing. My Exponent mothers were amazing role models to me: in them I saw personal strength and perseverance, determination in achieving intellectual and professional pursuits, service, and deep loyalty. I felt encouraged, supported and loved by them and from them I learned how important it is to seek out and surround myself with strong women throughout my life.

When I was a teenager in the late-80s/early-90s, EX2 was tackling “controversial” issues: homosexuality, abuse, adoption and others. In the pages of the paper I discovered Mormon women’s life experiences that were often shocking, inspiring, or sad. This early exposure to different points of view helped me to develop empathy for others’ diverse experiences within Mormonism: I learned that not everyone’s lives fit the goals and outcomes prescribed by my Personal Progress book. Exponent started me on a path of questioning convention while also developing my faith.

As an adult, EX2 has meant finding my own tribe within Mormonism. I count the retreats as spiritual highlights of my year as we share in an open and loving forum that is often described as “the way Relief Society ought to be.” I devour the paper each time it arrives at my house and am moved and inspired by the writing, art, and poetry of my EX2 sisters.

I support Exponent II not only because it has enriched my personal and spiritual life. As Mormon feminists, our voices are both promoted and preserved through this organization. This week, we ask you to join us by sharing what #myexponent2 means to you and supporting our work through your donation. Click here for more information and a list of prizes for those who donate.


Spread the word and DONATE NOW!  





  1. Growing up at that same time, I often wondered what it would be like to be in the house where those papers were created. Thank you so much for sharing this, Margaret!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Click to subscribe for new post alerts.

Click to subscribe to our magazine, in circulation since 1974.

Related Posts

From the Backlist: Favorite Quotes by Women about Leadership

April: My daughter's PTA just sent an email saying they are decorating her school with quotes about leadership. The email listed 17 quotes and...

A Feminist Hanukkah with Judith Rosenbaum

In this episode of the Religious Feminism interview series, Judith Rosenbaum, CEO of Jewish Women's Archive, talks to us about incorporating feminism into our...

Grieving the Murder of a Friend

It isn't just my own loss that fills me with rage for the man who said he loved her and then held her down while he tore the breath from her body.

Smash the Plate-riarchy: A New Feminist Ritual

  I grew up hearing the legend about the early Mormon pioneer women who sacrificed their china to be smashed up for the plaster on...
submit guest post
Submit a Guest Blog Post
subscribe to our magazine
Subscribe to Our Magazine
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :