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Community Vision & Male Participation

My (Original) Vision for the Community

“The Personal Is Political” and “Everyone’s Experiences Are Valid”.

These are two feminist statements that have spoke to me time and time again in my women’s studies classes.

When I chose to create this community this is the place where I came from. I wanted anyone who wanted to participate to do so respectfully, and concisely while acknowledging that each person’s person experiences are valid. Your experience happened. Your experience is valid. So often women’s experiences in the church are erased, as women are often removed from history because their work wasn’t deemed important enough to write down.

However, disagreement and dissent will always happen. We can all disagree, politely, with our own experiences. Each of us can say, “Wow. That’s totally crazy. That makes sense based on Mormonism’s own tenants of X, Y, Z. While that never happened to me, I can see it being taught. What happened to me was...” Your disagreement does not erase and will never erase the existence of the other person’s experiences. We can also point out how the trait mirrors the larger world. As one of our members (windancer) recently wrote: “It's like Mormonism takes the worst of US culture and magnifies it.” Discussion happens upon disagreement. However, respect is necessary -- for our fellow members, and ourselves. For their experiences, and our own.

This community was definitely created with women in mind. I personally found that most ex-mormon websites didn’t tend to discuss women’s issues very frequently. Or that these were often erased. I know my fellow members often felt the same way. All of us want a safe place to discuss the intersection of women and religion’s aftereffects (or effects).

However, what about men? (I know, I know, the “what about the menz?” cry.) I want the community to be open to all, I want participation from all. As I wrote above, “The Personal Is Political” and I feel like the best way to change one’s opinion is to learn. The question plaguing feminist communities is: “Can men be feminists? Or can they just be feminist supporters since they don’t have any experience as women?” Personally, I always felt that men could be feminists. Men should be able to participate in forums such as this -- assuming respectful conduct, of course. However, oftentimes men don’t have any idea what oppression women went and continue to go through -- education is the best means for change, and that was a large motivation for me to let men into this community. Being educated about women’s issues leads to change (at least I certainly hope).

Your Opinions?

I don’t speak for the rest of the women here though (as I’ve said above), so I’m going to ask everyone to weigh in -- how should men be allowed to participate in this community? I will straight up say this: I refuse to kick anyone out of the community unless the violate the rules. However, do you feel that men’s participation in the community should be curtailed? If so, how would you say this should be done?

Women in Patriarchy

The post about women being valued for their looks made me think about how women are generally the enforcers of patriarchy.

For example, as a TBM I was the one who made sure we went to church and did all the 'right' things like family prayer and scripture study. Most of the families I knew had this same dynamic - the woman got the kids ready and made sure everyone behaved during church while often men would put their heads in their hands and fall asleep during the talks. The worst failing an LDS woman is for her kids to stop going to church. (Sorry, Mom...)

In The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali describes the same dynamic in her Muslim family. Women enforced the traditions that kept them in their place on the bottom rung of society. One theory I have read about is that patriarchy enforces the idea that women have no power, and subconsciously this causes women to repress their feminine side and embrace their masculine side, which means they identify with men and enforce the patriarchal system in ways that give them some power. OK. I didn't say that very well. Do you know what I mean, though?

Why do you think women try so hard to support a system that hurts them? When you were TBM were you the one who made sure everyone got to church on time?

Wine Suggestions?

 I know this is a rather boring topic but I was hoping that some you might have some great wine suggestions. 


Jan. 6th, 2011

 Name: Donna Banta
Age: 52
Location: San Francisco
A bit about myself:
I joined the LDS church as a teenager, graduated from BYU, and married in the Oakland Temple in 1980. After many frustrating attempts to "live the Gospel" as adults we finally left the church as a family in the late 1990's (resigned officially in 1999.) We have a son and a daughter-in-law who had a wonderful wedding a few years ago that everyone was able to attend. They now have a beautiful daughter. We have a daughter who has lived in Paris, London, Brittany, New York, and now Berlin. Both of our children and our daughter-in-law have college degrees -- NOT from BYU.

Life is good. But I still feel bitter about my experiences within Mormonism sometimes. Writing and blogging about it helps. 


Learning Curve

It's going to take me a bit to learn the format here at Live Journal. So far I've figured out how to create my own journal, how to post a topic on the women exmormons site and how to respond to comments. I suspect there's a ton more to figure out. The comment field for posting an entry is pretty much like the one at Postmo or blogspot and allows photos to be inserted but not arranged next to the text field.

A lot of the options are listed in tiny little letters at the top top part of the Live Journal bar. That was confusing. Then if you don't click to post into the women exmormons page the post will dump into your own journal. That was a little frustrating at first.

It appears that the comments can have their own legs that can trail into little roots, sort of like on Democratic Underground where one comment can lead to seven layers of replies, all linked back to the original topic. That's pretty cool because it keeps them in context with each other and prevents those irritating silly full text quotes followed by a simple LOL like I see on Postmo.

I'm going to try to figure out how to link my blog to my photo image but otherwise the yellow smiley face is what you get. I don't plan to change that. That's me, most of the time unless I'm sad. Winter depresses me till I can get out in the garden but hopefully communicating with you folks will help me through the time between now and then.

Thanks again for inviting me to your group. I'm not very good at some of the games people play and if I can't head off a kerfuckle with a bit of humor I'll just bow out. Only rarely will I lob a flaming bag of dog poo back at someone and that's only after they've drawn first blood and been quite blatant in their attack. I don't play fair if that's the case and consider a backstabbing attack an invitation for a severed head. I've only ever had to use these evil powers a few times. Usually I find that ignoring someone that is a troublemaker starves them of the attention and they wither up and die or go away on their own to some place where they can poke and prod and get the desired attention.

Ok, enough of all that. Hope I can fit here with you ladies and learn how to play nice. If I do offend it's usually not intentional and a private message will go a long way to help me clear up any misunderstanding or percieved offense. I cuss and talk smack a bit, especially about the church leaders so if you're still loyal to the church you might want to ignore my rants.


Inspiration, Mormon Style- by Insana-D

I posted this to my journal before I figured out how to post here. So here it is again but this time ready for everyone to view and discuss. Please share your own experiences with "Mormon Inspiration". I'd like to know about your callings, the so called confirmation regarding who you married, etc.. In my limited experience inspiration is fairly arbitrary and has been behind some really foolish life choices or daliances. My ex claimed divine inspiration when he decided to join Amway. God is a flucking joker if he insipres someone to join an MLM or shave their moustache so they can be eligible for male leadership in the church.

Here's Inspiration, Mormon Style

The Mormon God clearly has a wicked sense of humor because he's been behind some of the most odd pairings and mismatched marriages.

Say some young buck comes home from his mission all hot and horny and ready to do his duty and start propagating. He sees a hotty in his BYU institute class and sure enough, she bats an eye his way. He goes to the temple and while meditating needily in the Celestial room he gets the inspiration that She is to be his celestial companion. Wooo Wheeee!

That would be fabulous, except that God forgot to tell her the same message and like some Shakespearean comedy the silly minions of love fairies are playing some nasty tricks. She is secretly, madly, head over heels in love with her Professor, who happens to be married already to his second cousin and together they have nine kids and live in a split level in the flat ugly part of Linden.

The Professor is secretly in love with one of the young beautiful and nice dressing return missionaries, and I'm not talking a sister, but according to God's Plan, it's a forbidden love. Besides he's already married to his second cousin and together they have nine kids and live in a split level in the flat ugly part of Linden.

The first hot horny returned missionary is chasing the young virgin in his institute class, she's chasing her Art History professor, and he's wishing he could chase the boy in the Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt that paints the most fabulous hibiscus pictures. Instead, every night he bows his head, shuffles home in his Pinto to his second cousin wife with the nine kids who live in a split level in the flat ugly part of Linden.

The guy in the t-shirt is in love with the horny missionary whose in love with the virgin whose in love with the Art History teacher whose in love with the guy in the t-shirt, and around it goes. The second cousin wife with the nine kids is in love with scrap booking since she's long given up any hope of getting her husband interested in anything more exciting than procreative sex, which they already did nine times and she's about worn out, so she buys fancy scissors and glues stuff, all day, every day.

Now if God really wanted to give some divine inspiration, he'd have told the art history teacher to avoid the shock therapy that BYU instigated in the 1970's and 80's and just follow his heart rather than acquiesce to marrying his frumpy but sweet second cousin.

He'd convince the return missionary that with a little creative effort he could release the demons of horny neediness and not be in such a big dang hurry to get married to the first thing he set eyes on.

He'd inspire the lovely young virgin to exercise her options a bit and play the field till she was totally ready to settle down and find the perfect man who could devote his whole life to her and their dreams, instead of lusting after the married teacher who has nine kids and lives in a split level in the flat ugly part of Linden and drives a Pinto because BYU wages are just so paltry and nine kids are a lot to provide for, especially when your second cousin wife is spending every last dime on crappy scrap booking stuff.

He'd send some sort of message to the beautiful stud that paints hibiscus to pursue his art dreams in a more progressive town like Sedona, where he could wear pink shirts without having to conceal his fruitiness and eccentricities.

Nope, that God, he's a joker. He lets the return missionary think he got a revelation, the virgin believes that if she is just a little more attentive she'll sway the Art History teacher from his wife and nine kids, and the Art Teacher just weeps in his closet for the loss of all that he ever really was inside. The second cousin keeps cutting out little thingy’s and gluing because she's blissfully happy making nine layer photo frame pages while her kids stew in their diapers and beg for some real attention.

I don't know where I was going with this. Hopefully not to the flat ugly part of Linden to a split level while riding in a Pinto. Hey, maybe I'll head to Sedona and see if I can make a deal with that hot artist who paints hibiscus.

Post to this community (Duh?)

Ok, so I've been writing some pretty good stuff but it kept getting dumped into my own journal, so like often happens, I was talking to myself. I was beginning to think you all were ignoring me and my panties were twisting real tight. Then I saw the "Post to this community" thingy at the top. Told you I'm a tard.


Insanad's intro

A lot of you already know me from Postmormon. I'm Dahli-mama there and Insanad on Exmormonforums.com (a small little band of misfits behind the Mormon Curtain)

If you don't know me then you should read the small print on the side of my package that comes from the surgeon General as a warning: Ingesting large amounts of Insanad has been linked to anal leakage, coffee spewing, irritating rash, twisted panties, and occasional bouts of laughter. Take in small doses and never more than twice a day. If over exposure occurs, wash eyes with milk and turn off computer. Not recommended for LDS or pregnant women who have come in contact with LDS or other hallucinagenic substances. Keep Insanad away from children and elderly or infirmed. Do not take Insanad with alcohol or drive large equipment while taking Insanad. Consult a physician if symptoms last longer than four hours. This prescription can be refilled as many times as you wish. Sharing this prescription is highly overrated.

For the rest of you feel free to read about me on my lengthy self aggrandizing narcissistic blog called findingthepony (a reference to finding the happiness in a pile of ripe shit) or you may look at my mediocre unmarketable art on my art blog insanadsprojects . In the event that I offend you or say something way out of line, and just a matter of time before I do, please feel free to PM me and ask for an apology or explanation. In 99% of my posts I don't mean offense to anyone in particular unless you're a General Authority or church leader. Then I mean it directly at you. In fact, if I find a General Authority posting here I'm letting loose with all my guns, even my biggest swear words which are longer than four letters.



 I am 30 and have 4 kids 7,4,3 and 2 along with my husband ;) I am also a full time student and am pursuing a business/legal studies major with the plan of attending law school. I would love to make some non-tbm friends as I am pretty surrounded here in Utah. I am so excited to meet all of you and have other women to talk to. Let's see I love to read and have been reading Dawkins lately. Yeah I'm kind of boring so if you want to know something just ask :)