129-131: Feminist Mormon Housewives Founder Lisa Butterworth

March 2, 2010
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In this 3-part interview I speak with Lisa Butterworth, founder of (perhaps) the most popular blog within the LDS Bloggernacle: FeministMormonHousewives.org.

  • In Part 1, Lisa discusses her early life, how she became a feminist, and what led to her creation of FeministMormonHousewives.com
  • In Part 2, Lisa discusses the importance of open, thoughtful and candid discussions about women’s issues within the church, and on the Internet
  • In Part 3, Lisa discusses the costs and benefits of blogging, provides some final insight and advice to LDS women, along w/ her testimony of the LDS gospel.

Music on this episode was provided by http://skyepixton.com and http://claytonpixton.com.

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17 Responses to 129-131: Feminist Mormon Housewives Founder Lisa Butterworth

  1. March 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    For an interesting look at a couple of mormon TBM vigilantes in action, check out this facebook thread: http://www.facebook.com/johndehlin?v=feed&story_fbid=356766444466

    Here’s a quote from near the end: “There are some of us who prefer that willful people who are in defiance of Church authority and or doctrine not call themselves Mormon. We perform a socially useful function…”

    Do you think this could be a new church calling? “You have been called to serve in the FaceBook mission as a ‘Mormon Orthodoxy Enforcer’… ;-)

    BTW, an enjoyable podcast John!

  2. Jay
    March 3, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Absolutely loved the podcast! It is so good I’m having my very believing wife listen to it also.

    When Lisa shared her experience about speaking up in RS I thought she was going to give me an example that would inspire me to do the same. Instead it seemed like her experience pretty much mirrored my own. In fact, it was only last week when the SS teacher opened D&C 132 and asked us to tell her what the section was about. I sat there wonder if I should raise my hand and say, “polygamous marriage”, but held back because of previous bad experiences. There was also an opportunity in EQ I pass up where the EQT asked, “How did Joseph Smith translate the BOM?”. I really wanted to mention the seer stone and hat bit, but was worried about how it would come across to a room full of people that had never heard about it. Almost every time I look back on such moments I regret not having said anything. In a strange sort of way your experience has strengthened my resolve to speak up more, but to do so in a loving way so I don’t come off as a jerk. That’s really going to take some serious practice:)

    Thanks for doing the podcast Lisa, you are one of my new heros!

  3. Mike
    March 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I enjoyed this podcast. a breath of freash air on mormon stories. Unpretentious.

  4. March 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I’m pretty surprised that Lisa did not have any more examples of how the idea is conveyed in the church that you have to be a registered voting Republican to be a ‘good’ Mormon!

    I literally laughed out loud when she said ‘dirty liberal’! I can imagine the looks, and comments she must have received when admitting she held anything but the normal conservative view.

    I’ll never forget coming into a RS Enrichment activity wearing my I Voted sticker (proudly!) and being asked who I voted for, when I reported that I had voted Democrat, the reply instantly attacked my righteousness, my testimony, even my ability to hold a TR. I was stunned to say the least! I’d gotten looks before and experienced some snide comments like oh you’re young, you’ll grow out of it, especially when you have kids of your own. But never before had I felt such a verbal slap like this question into my righteousness.

    It became very clear that I could not express my views politically or on social issues without being attacked.

  5. Oz
    March 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Excellent podcast!!!! This one will be saved and passed to those who need it.

  6. March 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I’m halfway through the second mp3.

    The story of receiving her witness, in the car, was amazing for me. My experience is so similar, and I’ve never heard anyone else describe it that way.

    Motherhood feminism….isn’t that basic Betty Friedan feminism, that women who aren’t mothers are having equal career opportunities.

  7. Scott
    March 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Rich:

    Thanks for that link… it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so, so sad…

    Lisa:

    Great interview! I’m almost embarraassed that I’d never heard of you or FMH before. Keep up the good work…

  8. March 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Great podcast & project. LOVE Love love the concept.

    Keep up the great work!

  9. Marshall Bond
    March 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Lisa — what a beautifully insightful person you are! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m not familiar with FMH — can you recommend some memorable and representative message threads?

  10. March 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

    You know what was strange about listening to this for me was how much like my own experiences in the Church Lisa’s were, and yet how differently we have dealt with them.

    I would be willing to be that almost every person in the Church has these experiences of being shut down, or not feeling like a part of the body of the Church, or ones like them. And yet, the conclusions reached based on those experiences are so vastly different.

  11. March 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    LOVED this series. Thank you John, and thank you, Lisa.

    This is for Lisa: Your husband sure sounds like a great guy. If you read this, say hi to him for me. If I may, I’d like to mention your aversion to getting paid for spiritual work. It’s still a conception in our culture that spiritual work should be free or by donation only. That’s a beautiful tradition that has continued through the centuries in many cultures. However, in those cultures, the ordinance workers / healers were supported by the village through the gift economy. What’s wrong with getting money together to cover, at the very least, your costs? I get worried when I hear people say things like this. Do you really think God would look down on you if you make a profit from FMH? Why do we still think that money is dirty? Why don’t we want to receive money for what we do, spiritual or not? Where is the line between “spiritual” and “healing”? Massage therapists get paid. Psychoanalists get paid. Is their work not spiritual? Where does one draw the line? Is money dirty in God’s eyes? I think the idea of priestcraft from the BofM is about paying for *access to God,* which is what the priests provided. “Better get money together for this ordinance or you can’t be saved.” But I really think we hold ourselves back from having sustainable healing / spiritual / writing / communally enriching contributions by our seeing money as dirty. It’s as though if you get paid for something, you’ve dirtied it. I’ve had to see this shadow in myself. Bless you, Lisa, for what you do, and may it be very soon that you never have to worry about money. I think sometimes we *repel* money and keep looking at it at the same time. I’m not talking about getting rich off people’s quests for happiness. Although that doesn’t even sound evil. Anyway, there is a healthy relationship to money to be had, and I’m working on it for myself, which is why I’m saying all this, for the help that it may benefit someone else as well. Blessings to all :)

  12. Carey
    July 13, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I’m not a feminist — but I was empowered by your message and your plight to find your voice and make it heard in Mormonism.

    Lately I’ve come to understand that church is sometimes a place for people to share their views but its seldom a place to challenge other people’s points of views. I think you should definitely state your position when you feel its appropriate, but we also must allow others even when they are flat out wrong the same without challenging them.

  13. ...
    March 21, 2011 at 5:13 am

    The FMH site has lost its focus. It censors way too many comments. The site has become a modern day Monty Phyton where people plot but yet take no action.

  14. Grammysulli
    July 8, 2011 at 1:27 am

    I’m intrigued with the idea of being a feminist Mormon, but as for speaking out in RS or SS …….. why?  
    I feel that intelligence to think for oneself is God given,  and why should we feel the need to prove anything?  It is my
    experience that those who play devil’s advocate have a greater need to prove how smart they are.
    Teachers in the church are  not doctors of religion, they can only teach what they know. 
    ” If we can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all”……. could parallel  ….. “If we can’t speak something testimony building,
    why bring it up?”

  15. Jeanne
    September 18, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I would not categorize bringing up polygamy as an example of a challenge that Joseph and Emma faced as “speaking out.” It’s not new or shocking knowledge, and if you can’t talk about the trials of polygamy with a group of Mormon women, then who can you talk about it with? And, I gotta say; I LOVE it when people speak out in RS or SS. It makes it way more interesting. I’ve been stuck in Primary for almost three years, and I am always asking my husband to give me a play by play of the banter in Sunday school and Priesthood meeting. And when the lesson is on a good, juicy topic, I regret that I am not in Relief Society to listen and speak out myself!

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