Episode 21: Feminism Wants What You Want

Feminists aren’t that different than you! Join Lindsay, Danielle, Meredith and Amanda as they discuss four controversial topics, (Men, modesty, pornography and abortion) and why we have the same goals as our faithful LDS sisters who don’t identify with the title of “Feminist.” We talk about common misconceptions about Mormon Feminism and explain how we could possibly identify with “Pro-Choice” or “Anti-modesty” positions. Give us a listen and see if we have more in common than we realize.

Lindsay’s modesty post can be found here.
Early 90’s rockin’ bumper music courtesy of Belinda Carlisle – (We Want)The Same Thing (1990)
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9 Replies to “Episode 21: Feminism Wants What You Want”

  1. This episode hasn’t received any comments yet? That’s too bad because it was seriously awesome. My husband regularly listens to this podcast and I just thought I’d let you know that he told me he had really enjoyed this particularly episode. He frequently gets into discussions about hot-button topics with his fairly conservative co-workers. He said that this particular episode helped him so that he will be able to more accurately represent the feminist perspective with some really, really good points in some of those water-cooler discussions. He said it enlightened him and made him feel more informed in general about the complexity of these issues, especially abortion and women’s reproductive rights. Kudos to the panelists for a great podcast!

  2. I really liked this one too – and will recommend it to my mom. It’s interesting to see how she views the title “feminist” compared to my generation. I think those that were trying to raise kids in the 60’s and 70’s have a very different view of the title than I do.

    I am glad you directed this to show how those of us who care about women really want the same things, we just look at the solutions in differing ways.

  3. Thanks ladies. Great episode. I have one point that I would really like you to address at some later stage if possible. Feminism is about us not being discrimated against due to our gender… But when you discussed abortion their was no mention of the fathers rights. I know of a number of men who found against their child being aborted and have raised the child. I understand that a women has a right about her body but I am against that decision being made solely by a woman – she didn’t get pregnant alone and shouldn’t be able to choose to abort alone and if any critisim can be constructive I would have liked you to discuss this aspect more.

  4. I am fairly new to Mormon feminism. I have really enjoyed the podcasts I have heard so far. I appreciated a lot of this, but was bothered by some of the things in the segment on pornography. As the wife of a recovering porn addict I recognize that my perspective has been altered by my experience. (Incidentally, this experience is also what led me to discover that I am a feminist.) I totally agree that the church needs to take away the shame surrounding this topic, but it sounded like you felt the church was overemphasizing and overreacting to porn and over-diagnosing people as porn addicts. That has not been my experience at all. What I have typically experienced (and countless other women I have encountered in the recovery community have as well) is priesthood leaders who assure your husband that he is a good guy and tell him to fast, pray and read the scriptures to fix it and to not be too hard on himself and tell the wife to be sure to do everything she can to support her husband. They are usually oblivious to the devastating impact — especially of the lies and secrecy–on the wife. I know of several people personally whose bishop told their husband to go to the temple more to increase their spirituality (which doesn’t work, by the way). I think the church needs to improve, but not in making it not such a big deal to “like pornography.” I have experienced the damage first hand. It is powerful, addictive and damaging to men and women. The church needs to make pornography something we can openly discuss and not shame others over and empower women to stand up to husbands who are coercive and emotionally abusive. Just my two cents.

  5. Listened to this one on the commute this week. I appreciated hearing the perspectives on the various topics and found that, even if I didn’t completely agree with them, I could see they were reasonable. A couple of comments: as the friend of a recovering pornography addict, I can attest to the devastating effect the addiction has on families. I recognize your concern was that in some areas it’s being overemphasized or over “diagnosed” but my experience has been the opposite. Also, in the conversation about abortion, I really appreciated the information on the ramifications of illegal abortion and the need for real sex ed and access to contraception. I was disappointed that the conversation looked at the problem as an “all or nothing” – abortion is legal or it’s not – without suggesting other options or alternatives. As someone who was born to a married couple 2 years after Roe v. Wade and put up for adoption through Catholic Social Services, I am eternally indebted to parents who made what I can only imagine was an incredibly difficult choice so that I could live. While I recognize there are valid reasons for abortion and support those, I also wish adoption as an option was a larger part of this discussion.
    Thanks so much for all your work on these podcasts. They really are helping me through my dissonance right now!

  6. This was a great discussion. As someone who works in the area of sexual and reproductive health I felt that the topic of abortion was addressed very well. Although it was mentioned, I would just like to highlight the importance of contraception in the abortion debate. While criminalizing abortion is not effective in reducing the number of abortions, research has consistently shown that comprehensive access to contraception of the woman’s choice, including emergency contraception (i.e., the “morning-after pill”) does reduce the number of abortions. Note the many on the pro-life side, particularly from the far-right, in attempting to limit access to contraception and in being against evidence-based sex education are actually fighting against the best tools we have to prevent abortion. I know that the terminology is not under debate, but I would just like to point out that the pro-choice side could actually be considered more pro-life than the pro-lifers as they are (1) promoting the tools that we know prevent abortion and (2) are pro-life-of-the-woman. According to the World Health Organization, 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide are a result of unsafe of abortion. Ninety-seven percent of these occur in the developing world where women are more likely to experiences barriers (i.e., legal, physical and social) to accessing safe abortion.
    Also, I would just like to point out that the Guttmacher Institute is not like the World Health Organization. The Guttmacher Institute was formed as a sub-division of the Planned Parenthood Federation, and as such has a liberal agenda. The World Health Organization provides technical guidance based on best practices and, contrary to the belief of those who are opposed to all UN organizations, does not have a liberal agenda. Although this probably does not matter to most people, and though I personally think most of what comes out of the Guttmacher Institute is very good, I thought it was just important to mention for those trying to discuss the issue with staunch pro-lifers. Information coming from the Guttmacher Institute will not carry as much weight as that coming from the World Health Organization. Just an unimportant detail from someone staunchly committed to her field!
    I would also like to point out that the debate surrounding abortion and modesty are versions of the common theme of turning women’s bodies into objects of policy. This occurs at various levels and overcoming this is a critical element of achieving gender equality and fulfilling women’s rights.
    Thanks for the wonderful podcast!

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