Virtual Oases

Both the original Women’s Exponent and Exponent II were conceived as forums for women’s voices. As the internet has provided a plethora of watering-holes for LDS women, it seems in keeping with Exponent’s mission to

  • highlight women’s voices in the blogs and
  • link to stories of LDS women in the news.

Each weekend, we’ll post a round-up of voices we found compelling. Enjoy some lazy weekend browsing!

Mormon Women In the News

Intriguing Blog Posts


  1. Are you kidding Debbie? Ripples fry sauce is the thing you miss the most about P-Town? What about E9? What about the mountains?

    On second thought, Ripples is pretty good.

  2. Thanks so much for linking to my cool girls list. It’s due for an update soon, but there are certainly some strong and inspiring girls on the list as it is. Thanks!

  3. Thanks from me, too … I am always so excited when you link to me and I love taking your tour of the blogs!

  4. Let me add my thanks, Deborah. I’m glad that you liked the Heavenly Mother hymn post. I enjoyed finding out about it, myself. (Now I just need to get our choir director to put that hymn on the slate.) πŸ™‚

  5. Deborah, Thanks for including my guest Segullah post in your roundup! And I just linked over to your five-years-in post, and ohhh, did that resonate. I’m excited to follow up on the links you added, and really, honestly, just relieved to find another voice (or set of voices) on interfaith marriage. I’ve felt, well, a little like the odd one out. What a lovely thing to find I’m not as “odd/out” as I thought. Thanks again, Deja.

  6. Thank you for these links Deborah. Having pulled back from my online perusals, I would have missed most of them otherwise.

  7. Hi Deborah,

    I was wondering if we could exchange emails? I have a few questions on how you (inwardly/outwardly) respond to some of the ick comments in regards to interfaith marriages. Would you mind?

    I think you have my email (since I entered it to make the comment), but if not: dejadotearleyatgmaildotcom.



  8. You mean like that crazy your-marriage-is-doomed-to-failure comment on your post? Yeah, loves those. I’ll send you an e-mail πŸ™‚

  9. .

    Hey — just followed the link. Is that the same Emily Card named after Emily Dickinson and Emily Bronte by her father Orson?

  10. Thanks so much for doing this, Violadiva! I don’t have time to read everything on the blogs, so this is so helpful in pointing me toward great posts and articles for Mormon feminists. I love these links.

  11. Yay, I’m so glad the Virtual Oases is back! Thank you for doing this! And thank you for compiling all of these articles, it will be very important for our history to document what has happened.

  12. This was really great for me too. I just don’t have time to read everything so it is nice to have this layout of some of the most important things to read. Thank you!

  13. I didn’t realize how much I missed this feature until I opened this post. Virtual Oases, indeed!

    Thanks, Violadiva!

  14. Thanks for the validation, friends! I knew all of that time sitting, rocking, and nursing the baby while combing through the collective brainchild that is the Facebook link sharing feature would be a win-win-win. Some good ones coming up next week πŸ™‚

  15. An outstanding list! I read the article about how GA talks on gender haven’t changed in 40 years, and it struck me that the sociologist from the University of Tampa noticed something Mormon feminists have long pointed out:

    ” Beyond seeing no shift toward egalitarianism with time, Cragun and Sumerau noted that the Mormon Church describes gender as immutable and ordained by God. However, the church’s official talks and articles have a heavy focus on telling congregants how to live up to their gender roles.

    If gender characteristics are innate, “you should do it automatically,” Cragun said. “There should be no reason to tell people.” ”


  16. I have always considered myself to be a “strong” woman but only in this last year have I identified as a Mormon Feminist. I am voraciously reading everything I can get my hands on so this list is very much appreciated. Thank you!

  17. This is an amazing rundown of highlights from the last week or two. Thank you for doing this, Violadiva!

  18. Thanks for all the pointers, Violadiva! I particularly loved the post by Rachel Held Evans. It’s striking how similar the responses she gets (“don’t air dirty laundry before the world,” “you’re hurting our witnessing efforts,” “this is a minor issue”) are to the responses Mormon feminists get when bringing up feminist issues.

  19. Great collection of interesting stuff.

    I am getting very tired of the polarization around feminism resulting in the oft-repeated assumption that if someone doesn’t support feminism, they are ignorant about it. While that is true in some cases, a lot of us who choose not to identify as feminist have actually been involved with feminist organizations, work with them on issues of common interests, and have studied the theory etc.

    We just don’t agree with it.

    Toward the end of her life, I heard interviews with Betty Friedan in which she lamented the directions that feminism was taking. Last year I had the chance to meet Stephanie Coontz, author of the brilliant The Way We Never Were. She said that she was no longer identifying as a feminist because of the baggage involved and was focusing more on the issues themselves.

    So no, non-feminists are all ignorant or less enlightened.

  20. I am not as upset as some over the frilly poster, because I wonder if they might be piggy-backing off a prior arranged trip by the leaders rather than organizing a Women’s Meeting from the ground up.

    In my stake, when a member of the Q12 was coming to our stake for a daytime business meeting, the stake RS took advantage and organized a stake-wide sisters meeting with him for that evening. As it happened, the men of the stake got grumpy since his reason for coming involved less than a dozen local members and they thought it was unfair that sisters got this opportunity. So they got to come along. (I know this will seem ludicrous to some, but we don’t get apostles out our way very often.)

    When we got there, he only spoke for five minutes and then took questions from the audience, live questions unfiltered, for the rest of the time. And he announced that since this was an RS activity, only sisters in the audience could ask questions:)

    It was a special experience, I didn’t mind not having a female speaker, and I would have been sad if people made fun of our activity and insisted that someone without a penis have a part in the program, taking away some of his time.

    A lot of these things are not black and white, nor pink and blue.

    • I agree; the European tour for the Q12 has probably been in place a while. I think of the meeting as a step in the right direction because usually when an apostle visits an area, he sticks to Misson/Stake Presidents/Coordinating councils without speaking to the women (except if he also makes an appearance at a youth fireside or Stake Conference) so this seems a nice move for parity in that regard.

      I’m also a little confused. Do you mean to imply that you value the words of the male GA’s more than those of a female leader, and that the men are more deserving of time at the pulpit? If that’s the case, I disagree. I’ve heard people joke about how the female speakers at GC are a good time for a potty/snack break before coming back for the “heavy hitters.” Sentiments like that bum me out.

      Our stake hosted a special meeting earlier this year and Elder Oaks was in attendance. First time in 20+ years an apostle has been to our stake. The highlight talk of the meeting, for me, was by the Stake RSP; she spoke eloquently about the story of Mary and Martha, and how valuable it is to sit at the feet of the Savior and learn of him and his words. Elder Oaks was taking careful note of what she said and when his time came, he spoke completely off the cuff (a super strange experience to hear him speak without a well-organized script like he’s so good at doing for GC!) but based a large portion of his comments on the Stake RSP’s talk! (The SP and Temple Pres from our stake also spoke, Elder Oaks did not reference their remarks nearly as much.)

      While I tremendously value the counsel and words of our Prophets, in this particular case, it was the words of the female speaker that absolutely resonated within my heart. I was so grateful for her contribution and didn’t feel the slightest bit ripped off that Elder Oaks didn’t speak longer.

      As far as the funny fonts and color scheme; the Church normally sticks with their dignified, approved fonts (Palatino, anyone?) so this particular poster struck me as slightly comical. I saw posted online (can’t bring it into the comment, danggit) a re-gendered version of the poster with dark, bold lettering, little basketballs and the outline of a necktie with photos of the 3 Relief Society General presidency calling for a “General Men’s meeting.” Seeing it from the other side made the original frilly poster even stranger to me. (kinda like those Bic pens marketed just to women — it’s a pen! It doesn’t need a pink package.)

      • “Do you mean to imply that you value the words of the male GA’s more than those of a female leader, and that the men are more deserving of time at the pulpit?”

        Well no, but great way to smear and put me on the defensive.

        For one thing, I think that it is a good thing to take advantage of a visitor who is rarely there. If my department at the university brought in a big name and then had a local professor speak for part of the time, I would feel like, okay, but I can always go talk to this person, so why are we using the visitor’s time this way?

        I also “mean to imply” that there are many kinds of meetings that will have profound meaning to women. I’m glad you appreciated the meeting you attended. In the case of that Q & A session, it took a while for people to warm up to the idea that they really could ask whatever and it would be met with patience and kindness. One of the toughest questions came in the last 10 minutes from an African American convert, about race. Had we not had such a generous helping of time for questions, that query would likely not have been asked, so I am grateful that we had the entire time that we did.

  21. This is outstanding, Violadiva! Thank you so much. I’m going to dedicate a half hour tonight to reading all these links. Yay!

  22. Could this blog post have anymore awesomeness in it?! Thanks for putting all these resources in one place, Violadiva.

  23. I love this! Particularly because with Facebook, I often see things I want to read when scrolling on my phone but don’t have time (and then loose them). Now I feel caught up and I’m using the Olympic coloring pages for FHE tonight.

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